It was one year ago today that John Loughney became a local hero:
“How long you been a Nats fan for?”
“Since today!” pic.twitter.com/i8qPHah0C6
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) October 16, 2019
Paths to viral fame are rarely straightforward, but consider Loughney’s: He drank a bunch of beer and celebrated the Nats clinching a World Series berth in Navy Yard, where he ran into Tommy McFly, who was reporting on Nats mania for NBC Washington. “Since Today” became a symbol of hometown pride during a trying year for locals (or a symbol of DC’s essential emptiness, if you were a huge freaking bozo) via a tweet from HuffPost reporter Ryan Reilly. Lester Holt mentioned the clip, and it made its way to ESPN, too.
Once the World Series began, Loughney, an actor and singer, became a rabid Nats fan in his own right, telling Washingtonian he found himself screaming at his television during games. A company called 15 Minutes of Fame got him tickets to the first home game.
Reached by phone, Loughney says he watched the team this year, too, though the vibe wasn’t the same: “It’s funny, for my entire life not giving a crap about sports,” he says, “and the first time I show any interest in it, there’s a national emergency that shuts the sport down.”
McFly, too, remembers the moment as a “magical, only in DC experience, the culmination of so much excitement around the team.” He remembers being on one side of the stadium, with Shomari Stone on the other, talking to the NBC Washington team through his headset and trying to find moments that would make good TV. Even crazier, though he didn’t realize in the swirl of the moment, McFly had met Loughney before through his husband, Chrys, and they’re both from towns near Scranton, Pennsylvania.
After “Since Today,” Loughney attended a number of weddings where guests worked the phrase into speeches or asked for selfies; people still try to squeeze it into Zoom meetings with him, he says. “It still lives on for me,” he says, laughing. “It’s a welcome memory to watch this clip and laugh at myself all again.”
And as to the people who took offense online to Loughney’s newfound enthusiasm, McFly says, “Eh you know what? We’re still the world champions!