At a time when a couple of national news outlets were promulgating the same tired trope of characterizing D.C. residents as lifeless government drones, a Nationals fan equipped with two stadium beers and an iron chest helped humanize the city.
Jeff Adams went viral in the sixth inning of last night’s World Series game, when Fox cameras caught his valiant decision to hold onto two Bud Light beer cans while a home run came screaming into the stands off the bat of Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez. Adams gamely let the ball glance off his torso, maintaining his precious, overpriced beers and eventually collecting the ball, too.
The Washington Post caught up with Adams, who was wearing a tattered Nationals cap and a weathered Nationals T-shirt, and found out that the fan was using a blocking technique he learned from a Little League coach in Miami. He said he lives in the District and frequently goes the ballpark.
What a legend— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 28, 2019
This fan was double fisting with 2 beers and took Yordan's home run ball to the gut! pic.twitter.com/9Tfi8uiyhy
Adams showcased exemplary beer consumer behavior. His choice of beers and dedication to preserving them seemed especially symbolic in light of two hot takes published over the weekend. By buying a mass-market, domestic beer, Adams secured a stereotypical totem of the everyman. By refusing to drop his beers, he became instantly relatable to every fan who’s ever griped about stadium mark-ups.
In Deadspin, Charles P. Pierce whined about how the Nationals bandwagon would fill “a stadium swollen with people who, three years ago, were studying law in Bug Tussle or working on the staff of some county commissioner who ran for Congress and won.”
In the New York Times, which loves itself a pedantic D.C. explainer, a sports essay describing the unifying effects of the Nationals’ World Series run still slipped in digs at the city that feel incomplete: “It’s uncommon to meet a Washington native,” it read, “and it takes a lot for Washingtonians to get excited about the same thing. Calling it a fun-loving city would be a stretch.”
This paragraph in the NYT is the Triple Lindy of bad, lazy and wildly incorrect takes on D.C. pic.twitter.com/cPhtOkeWpV— Michael Martinez (@MikeMartinezDC) October 27, 2019
Pretty disappointed with the way this @NYTSports essay on the @Nationals conflated Capitol Hill with the *actual* city of D.C. “It’s uncommon to meet a Washington native”? Did the author actually try? pic.twitter.com/FONzANh6dM— Mikaela Lefrak (@mikafrak) October 28, 2019
WAMU reporter Mikaela Lefrak took issue with that description, pointing to an NPR article that explained how saying “no one is from D.C.” erases members of Washington’s black community.
All the political power players that make up what others see as the worst of Washington were certainly in the expensive seats at Game 5. President Donald Trump was there, after all, and he got soundly booed.
But Adams was there, too, sticking out his chest for fun-loving Washingtonians everywhere.