By John A. Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
I caused no small stir last year when, on behalf of the town's long-suffering sports fans—and making a clear exception for the Capitals hockey team—I called Washington, D.C., a loser town.
The city's sports barons were great at building stadiums, I said—and equally bad at building winning teams.
Well, the Washington Post admitted the obvious today, with a list of the top 10 local sports stories of the decade.
Can any city in America show so meager a collection of highlights?
(OK, OK, maybe Cleveland.)
When the shooting death of Sean Taylor, the Redskin safety, makes your list of top 10 memorable sports moments, it speaks for itself.
There was but one championship on the list—claimed by the University of Maryland in basketball. The second biggest story of the DECADE, according to the Post, was that another area college (George Mason) actually made it to the Final Four.
The arrival of the Nationals, a worse-than-mediocre baseball team that, according to Post sportswriter Tom Boswell, has about a 5 percent chance of reaching .500 next year, came in third.
The list was stretched every which way just to get to 10. The Capitals were cited twice—once for getting Alex Ovechkin and once for getting good, which is kind of the same thing, eh?
The return and departure of Joe Gibbs, who couldn't get his Redskins to the Super Bowl, was a highlight. So was the arrival and departure of an equally over-the-hill Michael Jordan who, the Post said, "made us feel like D.C. sort of mattered." Only in your dreams.
There is always next year, etc. We can hope that the promise shown by Brian Orakpo and Stephen Strasburg won't, after front office shake-ups, be snuffed by injury or wasted by the Redskins and the Nats. A new coach isn't helping the lazy, conceited Wizards, but Mike Shanahan might rescue the lazy, conceited Skins.
And maybe the ugly 6-3 loss to Carolina the other night was just a blip. Maybe the Caps will get even better after trading their captain to the Blue Jackets. Maybe Nick Backstrom will hang around, as did Alexander Semin, and help Ovechkin bring a Stanley Cup, or two, to loser-town.
Or, we can all turn into soccer fans. Which is played pretty well around here.