February 05, 2005

Questioning Myself

Today's Musical Selection: "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean"

All right, as promised, today I explain my scarcity over the last few weeks. In order to do so, I will dust off the long-ignored Smart-Alecky FAQ style that I haven't used since my very first post, in which I explained who I was and what I thought I was doing. Enjoy!

So, where the hell have you been, anyway?

Boy, that's a fine how-do-you-do. Not "How have you been?", not "Is everything all right?" You're awfully impatient, aren't you.

Hey, this is supposed to be Frequently Asked Questions, not Frequently Asked Small Talk. So out with it. Where have you been?

Well, I've been helping to launch a dream.

What the hell does that mean? Have you been out desperately trying to convince some poor woman to date you?

No. I am referring to the Nats Fan Club.

The what?

The Nats Fan Club. We have formed a fan club in support of our new baseball team.

And so you're, what, the waterboy?

No, I am the president.

The president? And who's in this fan club? Me, myself and I?

Actually, we're about seventy strong now. The people of Washington are very excited about this team!

When did this come about?

The idea was born on that glorious night of September 29th, when it was announced that, at long last, baseball was back in DC. In the wake of that announcement, and our subsequent celebration, some of us decided that it should be more than a one-time thing. Thus was born the idea of the Fan Club.

It lay dormant over the next couple months, as the ballpark bill made its excruciating journey through City Council. But after the financing finally came through, about half a dozen of us convened to discuss exactly what we'd like to see out of a Fan Club. At the end of that meeting, the rest of the group turned to Papa Shaft and I and said, "You seem like sharp guys. You're running this thing." A couple weeks thereafter, Papa Shaft had to pull out due to an overloaded schedule, and the Club became my baby. And I've been sprinting ever since.

So what's the purpose of this fan club?

Officially, our mission is to support, honor and expand the fan base of the Washington Nationals and spread the excitement of baseball in Washington. We intend to do this in a variety of ways, from holding group outings to the ballpark to spreading the word about the Nationals at local events to making the Nationals feel welcome in their new home.

Have you had any meetings?

Two so far, including one just this afternoon. Attendance was about 25 for the first meeting and 30 for today's meeting, which I'm very pleased about. The excitement is like grabbing hold of a live wire!

And what exactly is it that you do as president?

So far, I've been pretty much a one-man show. I've been hyping the club to people and local groups, talking to the media, scheduling meetings, distributing information about events, exchanging e-mails and phone calls with members, desiging and printing up flyers, etc., etc., etc. At this meeting we seated an officer corps, so hopefully that will take a little bit of the pressure off. But I'm still likely to be very busy.

Did you say the media? Are you actually getting publicity for this?

Indeed we are! We got a mention in a story on MLB.com last week. A number of blogs have been spreading the word about us. Marc Sterne gave us a plug on his show this morning on SportsTalk 980. So yeah, we're getting the word out there.

So what should we expect from you in terms of output on this blog?

I'll do what I can. I hope you'll understand if I'm not posting at my previous five-times-a-week rate for awhile. Something on the order of three or four times a week is more likely. And some of my posts may be shorter than usual (which will probably be a relief to at least some of you). I hope I'm not disappointing too many people, but if I have to choose between blogging and sleep, I've got to go with sleep.

So you're not shutting down the blog?

No, I'm not. I admit I considered the idea while I was on sabbatical, but I enjoy communicating with you, The Reader, and I don't want to give that up. So I'm going to keep it going, just at a bit of a reduced rate for the time being.

Why can't you get any of your guest columnists to fill in when you're away?

Well, the commitments that kept Papa Shaft from running the Fan Club will also keep him from posting here. Considering what I'm already paying Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice to write a column every other week, I shudder to think how much I'd have to pay them to write more regularly. Hammerin' Hank is probably in jail. And "Deadline Danny" Goodwin hasn't been heard from since I authorized his expense account. (He told me he's down in the Caribbean doing "background research.")

So that's it, huh? And we're supposed to be happy about it?

I hope no one will be too unhappy about it. If they are, I'm afraid there's not much I can do. And aren't you a trifle ungrateful?

Hey, you're the one who wanted smart-alecky questions.

Fair point. Anything else?

Yeah, can we go get a beer?

Okay, but you're buying.

I hope that clears everything up. Oh, by the way, you can learn more about the Fan Club at www.natfanatics.com.

Until next time!

Posted by Fred at February 5, 2005 10:36 PM
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