Nats Follower May Be Unluckiest Fan

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The Washington Nationals baseball team lost a whopping 103 games this season. Local fan Stephen Krupin attended 19 games, but each one he attended ended in a loss. He later discovered the odds of that happening are about 1 in 131,204. Krupin says he considers himself a lucky person, but as a native Washingtonian and a fan of Washington sports, he knows what it's like to see losing teams.


Here's a fact about Major League Baseball that makes it different from other pro sports. The team with the worst record in each of the past two seasons, the Washington Nationals, still managed to win 59 times each year. It's a long season, 162 games, half at home, half on the road. And even if a team had the greatest season on record imaginable, it would still lose 40 times. All this in the way of preface to the extraordinary season that Stephen Krupin had. In a game that thrives on stats and record, Mr. Krupin had what must have been a season for the record books, and he joins us now. Welcome to the program.

STEPHEN KRUPIN: Thank you for having me.

SIEGEL: Let's establish you don't play for the Nats, you're a Nats fan.

KRUPIN: I don't. I am.

SIEGEL: A big fan?

KRUPIN: I'm a season ticketholder and have been since they came to Washington in 2005.

SIEGEL: But season ticketholder doesn't mean you go to every single game.

KRUPIN: I don't. This year, I went to about one out of every four games, once or twice a week, when I could make it.

SIEGEL: Which totaled how many games?

KRUPIN: I went to 19 this year.

SIEGEL: Nineteen games. And of those 19 games that you witnessed the Nationals play in their home stadium, how many did the Nationals win, and how many did they lose?

KRUPIN: They won zero, they lost all 19.

SIEGEL: This is the record. You picked 19 games, and the home team lost all 19 of them.

KRUPIN: They lost all 19, and it was completely by chance. I didn't pick games against good teams. I didn't try to go see good pitchers. I went when I could make it, and they never pulled out a win.

SIEGEL: I could ask you, what are the odds of that happening, and you have an answer.

KRUPIN: I do have an answer. A cousin of mine, my cousin Matt(ph), is a huge baseball fan. He's a stat-head. He's a Ph.D. in economics. When he heard about my 0 and 19 record, he crunched some numbers. He found out that, by his calculation, the odds of this are one in 131,204.

SIEGEL: Is this something about you that you've experienced in other activities? I mean, are you a remarkably unlucky person, say?

KRUPIN: I consider myself a pretty lucky guy. That said, I am a native Washingtonian and a fan of Washington sports for my entire life. So I know what it's like to see losing teams.

SIEGEL: At what point during the season did it begin to strike you that this was uncanny how often the Nationals were losing when you were there?

KRUPIN: Well, I'll tell you, the Nationals play on their PA system the same song after every loss, and it's a song by Bob Marley with the lyrics: Everything is going to be all right.


KRUPIN: And it hit me around Game 10 or 12 that I was walking out of the stadium, up the same aisle to the same concourse to the same song every single time I went, and that's when it hit me: I have absolutely no idea what song the Nationals play when they win.


SIEGEL: But you know the losing experience.

KRUPIN: I know the losing experience all too well.

SIEGEL: Well, Stephen Krupin, thank you very much for sharing your record- breaking, we think, season with us.

KRUPIN: Thank you for having me.

SIEGEL: And we called up the Nats to find out about that winning song. It is "Beautiful Day" by U2.


BONO: (Singing) It's a beautiful day. Sky falls, you feel like it's a beautiful day. Don't let it get away. You're on the road, but you've got no destination. You're in the mud, in the maze of her imagination. You love this town...


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