D.C. now vying for saddest sports city
Last night after "Sunday Night Football" ended, my local D.C. NBC news team started its broadcast with the following: "For the first time in two weeks, a D.C. professional team has won a game." Of course they were not referring to the Redskins or Wizards, but to the only team in D.C. not terrible: the Capitals. So I couldn't help but ponder whether Washington, D.C., is now the saddest sports city in America. I may be biased and all living here, but I say YES.
If you look at recent postseasons alone, D.C. wouldn't make the cut. The Redskins have made the playoffs twice since 1999. The Wizards didn't get spat on by the best player in basketball (although their best player did brandish a weapon in the locker room). And the Caps have been one of the best, if not the best, teams in hockey for a couple of years now. But let's look at two factors helping D.C.'s case for the "Biggest Loser" title.
1. They are terrible RIGHT THIS SECOND. The Redskins are in a tie for last place in the NFC East. Amazing isn't happening with the Wizards, who are in last place and have the worst record in the Eastern Conference. The Nationals? Last place in NL East. Even D.C. United finished in last place in their eight-team conference. The Caps are the lone exception, so if you think hockey makes up a large chunk of the sports pie, I'm fully prepared for you to disagree with this posting.
2. Unrealized expectations. The Redskins brought in coach Mike Shanahan and QB Donovan McNabb, and unlike the exciting rebuilding Lions with QB Matt Stafford and rookie DT Ndamukong Suh, they were supposed to be playoff-bound now. Stephen Strasburg fever hit D.C. hard this past June, and he didn't disappoint Nationals fans. But the fever instantly cooled when in August the young phenom was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right elbow, which required Tommy John surgery and at least a year of rehab. When the Wizards signed John Wall with the No. 1 overall pick this year, the Verizon Center was abuzz and ticket sales soared. But shortly after the hopeful season began, Wall suffered a bone bruise and has already missed almost half the games.
Depending on your political leanings, hope may still be alive in the hallowed halls of the White House and the Capitol. But it's certainly dead throughout D.C.'s stadiums and arenas. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.