Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A New Hope is all but lost

A drought dating back to 1992 when the Redskins won the Super Bowl, the Washington, D.C. area has got to be the last remaining big city to win a championship. With the Phillies World Series win last fall D.C. has jumped to the front of the pack as the loneliest sports town in America. With all the big sports in town, and a frenzy of fans who will ride bus when hot and and cliff jump when cold, this area is desperate for a championship.

This year the Washington Capitals were that "New Hope." The team with the games most iconic player and an offense that is sure to dazzle, the Caps were the love of the town. Recording a franchise-record 108 pts in the standings, winning the Southeast Division for a second year in a row, and securing the #2 in the Eastern Conference it was destined that this team make a run at the Stanley Cup.

While the Wizards fizzled to a franchise low and the Nationals off to an MLB worst start, it was up to the Caps to provide the fury for the sports-loving area. Though the Redskins are this town's darling, hockey has provided a mistress for people as we wait for the Dark Lord in Dan Snyder to find his way in operating a sports franchise.

Games are the talk of the town and red can be blinding within "The Phonebooth." The deafening cheers along with the boat horn that accompanies every Caps goal were raving downtown and you couldn't turn on a TV without seeing Alex Ovechkin acting goofy in an Easterns Automotive commercial.

5 months after the start of the season, the real season began. Caps fans have waited all year for the playoffs, a time when last year they lost in a Game 7 overtime to Philly, the most hated city in this area. In walks New York, the second most hated city in this area, a team that the Caps went 3-1 against in the regular season and hands the Caps two straight losses at home. Game 3 provides an uplifting story with a rookie goalie recording a shutout for the Caps and a hope that this team can pull this out. Then comes Game 4. An effort lacking any emotion or flare and the Caps skate away 2-1 losers. The loss, probably the most disheartening loss since the Redskins playoff loss to the Seahawks after Sean Taylor died, will undoubtedly put this city into an early hibernation and a sleep that is has become accustomed to over the last 17 years.

With the Redskins looking to trade up in the draft to pick another QB, a certain FAIL in the fans eyes after watching the offensive line deteriorate last season, it almost a lock to see that team struggle once again with an ownership running around with its head cutoff. The summer will be all but dead with the Nationals providing loss after loss with a bullpen who cannot sustain a lead or get a side out in the 9th. The only possibility in terms of excitement is if the Wizards can somehow land the #1 pick and grab Blake Griffin. Should this not happen, this area will be the most depressing city in the country as another year of losing sports fills the docket until the Caps come around again.

Only a miracle can save this city now. A win in the first round would do wonders for this Capitals team and show them that they CAN win and could spark something special. Until that happens, this team too will provide disappointment and heartbreak to an area that needs a champion more than any other city in the country.

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