Fame came to John Loughney in the form of a viral tweet based on a NBCWashington segment:
“How long you been a Nats fan for?”
“Since today!” pic.twitter.com/i8qPHah0C6
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) October 16, 2019
He quickly became a symbol of Nationals fandom for haters: “This, ladies and gentlemen, is why America hates its own capital,” the NBC News analyst Howard Fineman tweeted for some reason. The Washington Post called him the “face of the Nats’ World Series bandwagon.” He even starred in a video of his fellow DC theater folks cheering on the team. The caption under his now-famous red sweatshirt and backwards baseball cap? JOHN PATRICK LOUGHNEY: THAT GUY.
The Washington Nationals are ready to host their first World Series game tonight and the DC Theater Community couldn't be more excited about it. Here's "Since today!" fan and DC actor John Loughney along with some friends from around the DC area to celebrate! #finishthefight #GoNats
Posted by Signature Theatre on Thursday, October 24, 2019
Loughney has a message for all the bozos who used him as a symbol of everything wrong with Washington: “I’m no longer a ‘Since Today’ fan,” he says. “I’m fully on board. I’m a fan for life. This has honestly been the best two weeks.”
Indeed, Loughney, who grew up outside Scranton, Pennsylvania, and was never into sports, has spent the last two weeks getting really, really into baseball. “After ‘Since Today,’ I was like, you know, I probably really should pay attention to all of this—I should not be That Guy,” he says. But to many in Washington, That Guy was just fine. He got recognized when he went to the Game 1 watch party. He’s seen a picture of someone who’s dressing up as him for Halloween. A company called 15 Seconds of Fame offered him really good seats (Section 115!) for the first home game.
Loughney began reading everything he could about the Nats. (He says he’s now “in panic mode” over the possibility that Stephen Strasburg might opt out of his contract.) He could sort of name three players on the Nats when the Post interviewed him (“there was Scherzer. And Trea something,” he told Scott Allen). Now, he says, he’s enamored with the team’s “quirky personalities,” which he says his theater background helped him appreciate even more. And he was especially tickled that Adam Eaton talked about him:
Adam Eaton knows D.C. will be crazy for the first ever #WorldSeries game at #Nationals Park, he wants ALL fans even the ones "since today" to show up! #STAYINTHEFIGHT @nbcwashington @Son_of_a_Bunn @TommyMcFLY pic.twitter.com/b8KibXy9UY
— NBC4 Sports (@NBC4Sports) October 24, 2019
That theater background also helped him form a theory about why the Nats lost every home game during this series: “When people are all in, and there’s so much pressure on you, that’s when you mess up onstage. You get into your own head.”
Loughney stayed in Wednesday night to watch Game 7. “I was just screaming at the TV,” he says. “I always made fun of the people who screamed at the umps. I was screaming at the umps. I completely understand it now.”
He says he’s thrilled to be a small part of the story of this crazy couple of weeks in Washington. “I’m happy to be the comic relief. I will never not be happy to be the funny guy,” he says, adding that some of his friends praised his comic timing in the clip, which pleased him very much. And no, he has not yet met Jeff Adams, now better known as Bud Light Guy. “I think Bud Light Guy and I should be part of the floats on Saturday,” he says. “Viral guys who gave the team a laugh.” Well, at least you didn’t have to get hit by a baseball, I said. “I wasn’t holding a Bud Light” at the time of that interview, he says. “I had plenty of them in me.”