The gait was perhaps a bit slower, the gray hair perhaps a bit thinner, the No. 20 Nationals jersey perhaps a bit more snug.
Though there was legitimate optimism surrounding the Nationals when this season began, it took some time before the city fully bought into the notion this team could win big in 2012.
How does a town respond to something that hasn't happened in 79 years?
The burgundy and gold's signal caller, Robert Griffin III, is breaking in some Pepto pink cleats this week in support of the NFL's Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.