The Updated Staffer Guide to the Congressional Baseball Game
Posted at 10 a.m. on June 23, 2014
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
It’s that time of year again.
Congressional baseball is back! Yes, so is Major League Baseball (and minor leagues, and Bethesda Big Train) but for the purposes of our audience, the Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game is the real midsummer classic.
It has the feel of a summer baseball game with the camaraderie of a work happy hour. There is something for everyone, from the thrill-seeking intern who gets excited to see a member of Congress in person to the hard-working chief of staff who needs an excuse to take the rest of the staff out for a night.
Last year, Hill Navigator put together a staffer guide to the game. This year, we’ve updated it to ensure your game-watching and section-cheering experience is stellar. Enjoy.
First, take it for what it is. This is not the Washington Nationals, nor is it the P-Nats. These are men and women fulfilling a lifelong dream to be a sports hero with the audience and arena to do so. All you Baseball Prospectus fans, leave the dither at home and enjoy the mediocre ballgame without the MLB comparisons. No one wants to sit next to a whiner.
Second, root for the home team. It’s one of the best days of the year to root for your party without any rancor or campaign ramifications. And with midterms just around the corner, consider this good practice for getting into the partisan spirit. Bonus if you have some creatively worded signs! (Tweet the best ones to @rollcall and you may get a retweet.)
Third, mingle. Stretch those legs, say “hi” to another office, use this as a chance to sidle up to a lobbyist in one of the special, roped-off sections. This can be especially useful if the idea of three hours with your co-workers seems daunting. Take advantage of the above-average ballpark food (see recommendation below) and great setting. If the weather cooperates, it could be a beautiful night, and you can be part of your office outing without being confined to a single space.
Fourth, watch the drinking. Seems obvious, but know your limits and remember it’s a work event. This is not your Washington pro football team playing the Eagles. And know that Heard on the Hill is watching, taking notes, writing tweets, even capturing surreptitious pictures. (If you see a blotto staffer acting particularly foolish, be sure to drop us a line with the section number.)
Fifth, spin this to your local paper. If your boss is in the game — or even is posing with that creatively worded sign — snap a pic and put together a couple lines to let your hometown papers know about it. You’re likely to generate a story that even the most politically apathetic could still find interesting.
And several practical tips:
• Ditch the suit and ID badge. Change into casual clothes and don’t walk around with that badge hanging out. You’re not an intern, and if you are, you don’t need to look like it.
• Read the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game Program. And store it somewhere on your office shelf, especially if your team wins and you want to commemorate what an awesome time you had.
• Come prepared. Maybe that means an umbrella, maybe that means a charger for your iPhone. You might be in casual clothes watching a jumbotron, but you’re still at a work event.
Have a Congressional Baseball Game tip Hill Navigator should have included? Email them to hill email@example.com.
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