Washington Nationals

It’s a question lots of newcomers or visitors to Washington have asked themselves at some point: Why are people walking around D.C. wearing Walgreens hats?
Does sporting the drugstore chain’s “curly W” get you a discount on Zyrtec? Or do Washingtonians just really believe in “living well” at “the corner of happy and healthy”?
Listen up, D.C. newbies: It’s none of the above.
First of all, the D.C. region’s drugstore of choice isn’t Walgreens; it’s CVS. Second, in Washington, that curly W stands for one thing: the Washington Nationals.
The confusion among logos is understandable. And it’s what prompted D.C. resident Aungelic Nelson to ask this question of WAMU’s “What’s With Washington” series:  “Why does the Washington Nationals ‘W’ look almost exactly like the Walgreens ‘W’?”
The curly W has confounded people ever since the Montreal Expos moved to D.C. for the 2005 season, adopted the Nationals moniker and recaptured the vintage logo used by long-gone baseball team the Washington Senators. Especially those who relocate here from places like Illinois, Florida and Texas, where Walgreens are as ubiquitous as food trucks in McPherson Square.
Despite confusion over the two symbols, Walgreens — which used a curly W long before the Senators did — hasn’t sued Major League Baseball for a trademark violation. That’s surprising, considering the company sued grocery chain Wegmans over this exact issue before.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball hasn’t publicly addressed the similarity or made any attempt to rectify the situation, fueling satireonline scrutinyrampant speculation about why this hasn’t wound up in court — and surely bewildering many tourists.
But if you think Nationals fans are immune from the confusion, you would be wrong.

‘I Couldn’t Tell You Which Is Which’

To determine whether Nats supporters can distinguish the two trademarks, a small team of WAMU journalists roamed the streets outside Nationals Park on a recent game night, challenging baseball fans to a quiz: Which curly W belongs to whom?
Two native Washingtonians had no problem correctly identifying the Nats “W.”
“Everybody knows this is a Nationals hat!” said Tye Ali, laughing under his ballcap brim. John Spice, standing nearby, concurred. “If you’re a Washingtonian,” he said, “you know the difference.”
That was generally true of the locals we interviewed — though there were exceptions.
“I can tell that one is for Walgreens and one is for the Nationals,” said Washingtonian Rich Jensen, scrutinizing the two logos side by side. “But I couldn’t tell you which is which.”
But few people we spoke to seemed to think the similarity was a big deal.Jensen was wearing a Nationals cap at the time.
“The curly W’s been around forever. Who cares about Walgreens?” said Dennis Thaxton of Burke, Virginia. “I’m a Nats fan, I’m not a Walgreens fan.”
Ryan Miller of Ashburn, Virginia, who brought his son Deacon to watch the Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals, said the issue was old hat in his social circle. “I’ve been making fun of it long enough to know the difference,” he said, dryly. “I think it’s pretty uninteresting.”
But there are plenty of others who continue to be either confounded or entertained by the whole affair — and the latter group includes Todd Radom, the guy who recast the Senators logo for Major League Baseball.

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