Author Topic: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions  (Read 695 times)

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Offline NationalHeat

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D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Topic Start: October 15, 2012, 11:38:58 AM »
So someone mentioned to me that I don't understand the pain most Nats fans are going through because I root for Miami teams outside the Nationals (wasn't said in a bad way, just his observation.) Not to rehash why I'm a Nats fan again, but I've lived here for almost a decade now and definitely consider myself a Washingtonian over Miamian; simply prefer the city, the area, the people, everything about it really over my hometown. So although I don't root for the Wizards or Skins or whoever else, I definitely like to see good things happen to the local clubs when not playing my teams, and I do take some pride in non-Nats teams.

Anyway, over the years, I've heard a lot of people say that a DC sports fan has suffered through terrible times - I guess bad more than good - during their lifetime.

Of course, having not grown up here I don't understand fully, but I dont see it. Bad times? Definitely. But I wouldn't place it in the top 5.

Lets go over titles:

Starting with college sports, three local basketball teams have made the Final Four in the past decade. If you want to stretch that out more, VT is consistently good and VCU made the FF as well. Low misery here.

In the MLS, DC United is the flagship team outside of LA, having won more Cups and trophies than any other team. Currently going to the playoffs with the last title in 2004. Low misery here, playoff missing streak now broken practically.

Now this is when it gets bad. The Wizards have been awful for the past 30 years, minus the Arenas years. They were, however, an east coast mini dynasty in the 1970s, so at least some people on this board got to see a great team with HOFers on it co-rule the East. High misery, but with at least a decade of semi-excellence.

Hard to determine baseball here. An expansion team basically, took them 6 years to be respectable, but now has a great park,  once-in-a-generation stars and a division title. High level of misery here no doubt, but the future could not be brighter. Lots of reason for optimism.

I won't pretend to know much about hockey, as I only follow the Caps loosely (not much ice where I'm from.) But an ECF trophy, plus a Presidents Trophy, 4 division titles, a marketable star since 1998 is at least upper-middle-of-the-pack. Medium misery (?)

This is where we will disagree I think. The Redskins without doubt have sucked since the mid 90s up until the RG3 era, which I think will break them out of the funk.  However, they were the co team of the 80s, a real dynasty with a semi-semi recent SB win. I'd imagine 80% of the board members here were alive and can recollect that win, so that should alleviate some of the pain. Think about how many teams and cities can't even say that. I personally have only seen the Dolphins advance to two AFC Championship games, both when I was like 5 or 6.

So, considering every team, besides baseball. has won or been to a title game in most peoples lifetimes has to disquality DC as a top 5 misery sports town right? Especially considering how many sports options we have, and how many real, crossover appeal stars we have right this second.

My top 5:

Cleveland. No need to beat a dead horse here.

Seattle. One championship, in 1979, by the Sonics, who were later moved overnight to the middle of nowhere and saw their team emerge into a budding dynasty. The baseball team has disappointed in the playoffs, and constantly loses its big stars to bigger markets, besides Ichiro I guess. The Seahawks, while having made the SB recently, have really treaded water as a mediocre team for all of their existence. I guess the Sounders have potential though.

Philadelphia. No Eagles titles since the 50s, and 2 major sports titles since 1980. That, and they live in Philadelphia or southern NJ.

Atlanta. One championship ever, around the same time as the Redskins, and constantly ridiculed for being a terrible sports town.

Any Canadian city. Seriously, besides the Jays in the early 90s, what has happened here? Constant letdowns, Leafs and Canucks havent won in generations, and their other ballclub moves to DC.

Honorable mentions: Phoenix. (One small run with a great baseball team.) Long Island/NJ fans: NYC fans who don't root for the Yankees or Giants, plenty of those. The Jets/Mets/Nets or Knicks crowd has not fared so well.  Jacksonville, because its Jacksonville. Cincy, only off the list because the Reds are typically good, and won in 1990.

Love to hear thoughts.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #1: October 15, 2012, 11:44:33 AM »
for your 'good,' what percentage of the local population went to those schools? DC isn't Lincoln, NE where everyone rallies around the local team, you have an area of people where even a large portion of the life long population spreads out for school then returns. As far as MLS, the team is also threatening to move to Baltimore- to me that negates any good will.

I'd agree on Cleveland on 1, Philly, no way, the eagles were consistently good very recently and the phillies have a title too recently. I might put DC number 2, our major sports teams (sorry hockey) have all sucked for a long time, and when our teams have made the playoffs recently, they've chocked. 

Offline NationalHeat

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #2: October 15, 2012, 11:48:23 AM »
The Baltimore threat seems to be behind us, of course it looks like that thought lingers on unfortunately.

Well, you can't make the argument that the Eagles are constantly good but our teams choke in the playoffs. It's kinda the same thing. Eagles on average go 10-6 and lose somewhere in the NFC playoffs.

I'd have to imagine a large chunk of DC fans root for one of Georgetown/UMD/GMU/VT, whether they went there or not.

Seattle and Toronto/Vancouver have it way worse. Same with Atlanta (maybe.)

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #3: October 15, 2012, 11:52:48 AM »
The Baltimore threat seems to be behind us, of course it looks like that thought lingers on unfortunately.

Well, you can't make the argument that the Eagles are constantly good but our teams choke in the playoffs. It's kinda the same thing. Eagles on average go 10-6 and lose somewhere in the NFC playoffs.

I'd have to imagine a large chunk of DC fans root for one of Georgetown/UMD/GMU/VT, whether they went there or not.

Seattle and Toronto/Vancouver have it way worse. Same with Atlanta (maybe.)

Our team that chokes is hockey (4th sport, not a major sport in this country anymore), their NFL team consistently made the playoffs and their baseball team won a championship won the series in 08 and was in it in 2009. As far as college teams go, everyone I know roots for their school, their spouse's school, their kids' school, or their parents' school. I don't know anyone not attached to those schools who cares about them one way or the other, though maybe the MD suburbs are different since they have a flagship state school nearby

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #4: October 15, 2012, 12:18:33 PM »
[...]The Wizards have been awful for the past 30 years, minus the Arenas years. They were, however, an east coast mini dynasty in the 1970s, so at least some people on this board got to see a great team with HOFers on it co-rule the East. High misery, but with at least a decade of semi-excellence.[...]

The year the Bullets won the title, 1978, was my first full year of my current residence in this area - it was the city's first pro sports title since the 1942 Redskins and was quite well received (it even generated a local hit single, Nils Lofgren's 'Bullets Fever". They were a quasi-dynasty back then, going to the NBA Finals four times from 1971-79 (the first of these while the club was still in Baltimore)...a very good team that, with one exception, just couldn't win the big one (sound familiar, Nats and Caps supporters?)

In the 33 complete seasons since the last Finals trip, the Bullets/Wizards have won all of two playoff series. Closest they've come to the great days is the period I call the False Spring (2004-08) - one season to celebrate a first-round win over the Bulls, followed by three seasons of serving as LeBron's first-round punching bag.

Add the Mystics (haven't even won a playoff series since 2002, and the past two seasons we've had Sheila Johnson's destruction of the team)...and the Freedom (won the WUSA title in their third year of existence, 2003 - and then the league folded because it blew its 5-year budget in three years)...MISERY!

...and yet...

The last year DC had no pro teams in the post-season was 1981...Joe Gibbs' rookie season, the Capitals still a struggling expansion team, the farewell season of Hayes and Unseld, the lone season of Diplomats Version 2.0, and of course the tenth straight year without baseball. Since then, we've had at least one team in post-season every year:

1982 Bullets, Redskins*
1983 Capitals, Redskins**
1984 Bullets, Capitals, Redskins
1985 Bullets, Capitals
1986 Bullets, Capitals, Redskins
1987 Bullets, Capitals, Redskins*
1988 Bullets, Capitals
1989 Capitals
1990 Capitals, Redskins
1991 Capitals, Redskins*
1992 Capitals, Redskins
1993 Capitals
1994 Capitals
1995 Capitals
1996 Capitals, DC United*
1997 Bullets, DC United*
1998 Capitals**, DC United**
1999 DC United*, Redskins
2000 Capitals, Mystics
2001 Capitals
2002 Freedom**, Mystics
2003 Capitals, DC United, Freedom*
2004 DC United*, Mystics
2005 DC United, Redskins, Wizards
2006 DC United, Mystics, Wizards
2007 DC United, Redskins, Wizards
2008 Capitals, Wizards
2009 Capitals, Freedom, Mystics
2010 Capitals, Freedom, Mystics
2011 Capitals
2012 [thus far] Capitals, DC United Women, Nationals

*Won league title
**Reached championship final


That seems to be the real story hereabouts...get a taste of the post-season, but the scrumptious main course always ends up someplace else...built up to be let down, again and again and again.

Offline Minty Fresh

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #5: October 15, 2012, 12:22:14 PM »
But the NBA and NHL are run like little-league baseball where EVERYONE makes the playoffs.  You have to be off-the-charts horrible to go on a five-year stretch where your NBA or NHL team doesn't make the playoffs.

Those two leagues shouldn't count.  Conference Championships or GTFO.

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #6: October 15, 2012, 12:26:34 PM »
But the NBA and NHL are run like little-league baseball where EVERYONE makes the playoffs.  You have to be off-the-charts horrible to go on a five-year stretch where your NBA or NHL team doesn't make the playoffs. [...]

The Bullets/Wizards went through a 16-season stretch (1988-2004) when they made the playoffs all of once (1997 - to serve as opening-round cannon fodder for MJ's fifth title).

And they were off-the-charts horrible.

Offline Minty Fresh

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #7: October 15, 2012, 12:29:15 PM »
The Bullets/Wizards went through a 16-season stretch (1988-2004) when they made the playoffs all of once (1997 - to serve as opening-round cannon fodder for MJ's fifth title).

And they were off-the-charts horrible.

Well . . .  The NBA sucks anyway so who cares?

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #8: October 15, 2012, 12:32:44 PM »
Well . . .  The NBA sucks anyway so who cares?

I do (Wizards STH 2004-present).

...but even so, pop by a Wizards home match on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday (no promos those nights) against some no-name opponent and you'd be basically proven right - the 'crowds' will remind you of 2009/2010 Nats Tuesday nighters against the Astros.

Online PowerBoater69

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #9: October 15, 2012, 12:50:41 PM »
The Baltimore threat seems to be behind us, of course it looks like that thought lingers on unfortunately.

Well, you can't make the argument that the Eagles are constantly good but our teams choke in the playoffs. It's kinda the same thing. Eagles on average go 10-6 and lose somewhere in the NFC playoffs.

I'd have to imagine a large chunk of DC fans root for one of Georgetown/UMD/GMU/VT, whether they went there or not.

Seattle and Toronto/Vancouver have it way worse. Same with Atlanta (maybe.)

There are tons of local sports fans who root for Georgetown and/or UMD who did not attend those schools, college sports are watched by large percentages of the population who did not attend college.

Offline Terpfan76

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #10: October 15, 2012, 12:59:27 PM »
There are tons of local sports fans who root for Georgetown and/or UMD who did not attend those schools, college sports are watched by large percentages of the population who did not attend college.

I'm a huge Terrapin fan and only ever attended community college for about a semester. I was't much of a student. Oh how I wish I could have done things different.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #11: October 15, 2012, 01:04:16 PM »
Edmonton had some pretty decent hockey in the 80s, and Calgary and Montreal each won a Cup in the 90s, but yeah, otherwise it has been a lot of losing in 7 to crappy American sunbelt teams.  There is of course the CFL, so measured by that yardstick at least one Canadian city isn't an utter abject failure in a given year.


Any Canadian city. Seriously, besides the Jays in the early 90s, what has happened here? Constant letdowns, Leafs and Canucks havent won in generations, and their other ballclub moves to DC.

Love to hear thoughts.


Online HalfSmokes

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #12: October 15, 2012, 01:08:19 PM »
There are tons of local sports fans who root for Georgetown and/or UMD who did not attend those schools, college sports are watched by large percentages of the population who did not attend college.

This is a pretty educated area as a whole- I think most people stick with their school. Just a random yard stick, but I rarely remember seeing local teams prominent at the CCSP when I used to go there saturdays. Maryland may be different since they have a single flagship school for residents to identify with

Offline 1995hoo

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #13: October 15, 2012, 01:27:15 PM »
Edmonton had some pretty decent hockey in the 80s, and Calgary and Montreal each won a Cup in the 90s, but yeah, otherwise it has been a lot of losing in 7 to crappy American sunbelt teams.  There is of course the CFL, so measured by that yardstick at least one Canadian city isn't an utter abject failure in a given year.



Calgary won in 1989, actually; they also lost in the 1986 Stanley Cup Finals. Late 1980s were dominated by the Canadian teams:

1984—Edmonton
1985—Edmonton
1986—Montreal (Edmonton eliminated on an own goal in Game 7 of the Smythe Division Finals against Calgary)
1987—Edmonton
1988—Edmonton
1989—Calgary
1990—Edmonton

Other notable Canadian sports seasons since then, aside from the CFL and the Toronto Blue Jays' championships noted earlier in the thread, are as follows, and it's probably not reasonable to paint them all as American sunbelt teams unless you consider New York and Boston to be in the "Sunbelt":

1993—Montreal wins Stanley Cup, currently the last Canadian team to do so
1994—Vancouver loses in Stanley Cup Finals (New York Rangers)
1994—Montreal Expos go 74–40 to finish with the best record in baseball in the strike year
2004—Calgary loses in Stanley Cup Finals (Tampa Bay)
2006—Edmonton loses in Stanley Cup Finals (Carolina Hurricanes)
2007—Ottawa loses in Stanley Cup Finals (Anaheim)
2011—Vancouver loses in Stanley Cup Finals (Boston)


But the true low point for Canadian sports may have come in 1995, when the Baltimore Stallions won the Grey Cup, the only non-Canadian team ever to do so to date (and, given the disastrous result of the CFL's southward expansion, it's unlikely there will be any other US-based teams any time soon).

Offline NationalHeat

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #14: October 15, 2012, 01:44:05 PM »
Kansas City has also had it pretty bad for a while. And many of the smaller cities like Portland, Sacramento, Charlotte, etc

Offline Frau Mau

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #15: October 15, 2012, 01:50:48 PM »
My opinion is that some of these posts are too damn long.  :shock:

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #16: October 15, 2012, 01:55:42 PM »
Kansas City has also had it pretty bad for a while. And many of the smaller cities like Portland, Sacramento, Charlotte, etc

Charlotte has Duke/UNC depending on you're affiliation (when I lived there NC State tended to have a more rural following), so they have college basketball. Smaller cities should be happy to have teams since there are cities larger (San Jose for instance) without any teams

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #17: October 15, 2012, 02:32:10 PM »
[...]Smaller cities should be happy to have teams since there are cities larger (San Jose for instance) without any teams

...except San Jose does have the Sharks (if/when the NHL ever resumes playing).

The largest metro area without any of the 'Big Four' pro leagues represented is the Norfolk/Hampton Roads area.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #18: October 15, 2012, 02:33:49 PM »
saying a city has a team based on the NHL is getting close to saying a city has a team based on the MLS, another work stoppage or two and MLL may be the better comp.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #19: October 15, 2012, 02:45:25 PM »
Starting in 2014 San Jose will have the 49ers

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #20: October 15, 2012, 02:46:53 PM »
Starting in 2014 San Jose will have the 49ers

They have also been mentioned as a possible destination for the A's (and I neglected to mention the MLS San Jose Earthquakes earlier).

Offline NationalHeat

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #21: October 15, 2012, 03:02:43 PM »
saying a city has a team based on the NHL is getting close to saying a city has a team based on the MLS, another work stoppage or two and MLL may be the better comp.

Pretty sure within the next 10 years it'll pass hockey, maybe even basketball. Look at the inroads with MLS/youth leagues/usmnt/Fifa video games.

Why it's important to keep United where they belong.

Online mitlen

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #22: October 15, 2012, 03:05:53 PM »
My opinion is that some of these posts are too damn long.  :shock:



Online HalfSmokes

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #23: October 15, 2012, 03:11:05 PM »
Pretty sure within the next 10 years it'll pass hockey, maybe even basketball. Look at the inroads with MLS/youth leagues/usmnt/Fifa video games.

Why it's important to keep United where they belong.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Soccer_League_(1968%E2%80%931984)

maybe, maybe not, soccer got really big before without sticking

Offline spidernat

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Re: D.C. sports misery index - want opinions
« Reply #24: October 15, 2012, 03:12:01 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Soccer_League_(1968%E2%80%931984)

maybe, maybe not, soccer got really big before without sticking


Yeah they've been saying that for at least 30 years. It MAY surpass hockey (I doubt it) but it won't surpass the NBA.