WASHINGTON – Parade, schmarade – I’ve got your best sports city right here.
Yes, this month brought another painful playoff exit for the Washington Capitals. It’s happened too many times, in too many elimination games. Since 2008, they have been ousted three times in overtime while winning once.
But what would you rather have? One of the seven Canadian teams that didn’t even make the playoffs? Sports is about entertainment and hope, and with the Capitals, you get both.
You have to admit, they were a very entertaining bunch running up the best record during the regular season.
The playoffs, well, yeah, that’s been a different set of issues. But when it comes to seven-game series and overtime games, who does it better than the Caps? They were actually 4-3 in overtime elimination games up to 1998.
They certainly keep you riveted, for better or worse. A bounce here, a penalty there, a suspension or an injury and who knows.
Last year, they were eliminated in overtime in a seven-game series, each decided by one goal. This time, again in overtime, they were eliminated in a series that had five games decided by one goal.
Sure, they’ve come up short just about EVERY FREAKIN’ TIME. But the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and half the NHL would surely take that.
And, while the nation’s capital is still waiting for a professional championship (sorry Mark Ein, but your three-week Washington Kastles season just doesn’t cut it), D.C. is in a lot better shape than just about every city in the United States.
That’s right, from sea to shining sea.
Except maybe Chicago, which just might have two teams in the World Series this year. Plus, they saw the Blackhawks win three Stanley Cups in six years.
While D.C. is still waiting for its first parade down Constitution Avenue in decades, all of its teams have been in the playoffs for the past two years.
That’s the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards and D.C. United. Throw in the Kastles, Mystics and Spirit, if you like.
Can Philadelphia say that? New York? Boston? Miami?
Only Dallas can make a similar claim, but the arrow is trending down for the Mavericks and maybe the Cowboys.
So while Washington fans lament the dearth of championships, why not try to enjoy the journey instead?
Just 24 hours after the Capitals were eliminated, Max Scherzer tied the Major League record with 20 strikeouts.
How great was that?
What other city has two players who are the best on the planet in their sport as Alex Ovechkin and Bryce Harper?
There’s also John Wall — a three-time All-Star.
The Redskins are getting it done without a superstar but with a growing number of good players. It appears they’re just starting a good run.
And to take this even further, what other area combines professional success with collegiate sports success?
Maryland soccer and lacrosse programs are the best in the country. Both Terrapin basketball teams were ranked in the top 10 most of last season.
George Washington turned its NCAA disappointment into an National Invitational Tournament title.
Georgetown and George Mason have had their successes. Same for American and Catholic universities.
There are college towns and there are Title Towns, but no other area combines what we have in our town.
Be patient, a parade is coming. I just don’t know when.
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