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The World Has Ended

Somehow, in six hours, the biggest source of Washington D.C. sports-related anguish flitted several miles west of RFK Stadium and landed in a little building I like to call the House that Abe Built and Now Plans to Refurbish Using Your Money. I mean, wow. When I went to Philadelphia before the all-star break, I came home with a notebook filled with droll anecdotes featuring Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Andray Blatche, James Lang and Brendan Todd Haywood. Last night, those five men combined to play one minute and 51 seconds, take zero shots and score zero points.

And what's really a shame is, it was a night that held such promise. Why? Because DeShawn Stevenson gave the fans "I Can't Feel My Face" t-shirts, a fact that was oddly absent from today's birdcage liner, as Adam Kilgore calls what Barry Svrluga calls the $0.35 edition. When I heard the t-shirt news, I already had visions of today's practice, where DeShawn would explain his Takeover of the Takeover, and Gilbert would get mad, and maybe they would bet many thousands of dollars on something or other, and BTH and Mike Hall would come up with their own t-shirt slogans off to the side. Well, I'll go to practice, and I'll try to have fun, but don't stay up late waiting for hilarious t-shirt stories.

From the WashTimes:

Not so long ago, the Washington Wizards were effortlessly parting the NBA the way a proud cruise ship does the ocean. Now they look more like the Titanic, taking on water rapidly and about to go under.

In case you've lost track, the Wiz are now essentially without 60 percent of their optimal five-man unit, and an astounding 80 percent of their fourth-rated five-man unit.

You can, if you want, let Gerald Wallace explain what this all means. This is what Wallace said after the Bobcats won on Tuesday night:

"[Tuesday] they needed to win," Wallace said. "[Wednesday] is a must-win."

So in two days, the Wiz lost a game they needed to win, and a game they musted to win. I've never really understood the consequences of losing a must-win, but they've gotta be dire. Here's what the Charlotte Observer had to say today:

In fact, the Wizards (39-35) could learn plenty from the Bobcats' pluck....[The Wizards are] limping to the finish line, in part because they've lost two stars (Caron Butler and now Gilbert Arenas) and in part because they're soft as snowflakes.

Snowflakes aren't really soft, IMO. They're wet, and they dissolve, but they're not exactly soft. Ray King's belly, now that's soft. Anyhow, if you want, you can let SLAMOnline explain what this all means:

Not the best d.a.y. in the life of Gilbert Arenas. First, he's ordered to come off the bench for being late to shootaround. Then, he plays one minute against the Bobcats, and in that minute his knee bent the wrong way, and well, thanks for playing Wizards have fun getting swept by Toronto.

And in fact, the Raptors are already publicly salivating at the chance to play the Wiz. From the Toronto Star:

Duly noted in the Raptors locker room were the events in Washington, D.C., where the best player on the sixth-place Wizards, Gilbert Arenas, left the game in the first quarter with what was described in reports as a sprained left knee. He'll undergo an MRI today, but it appeared to be the second significant injury suffered by the Wizards in four nights. Starting forward Caron Butler broke his hand on Sunday. If the playoffs began today, it'd be Raptors-Wizards in a first-round best-of-seven. Bosh smiled at the prospect.

"We're very aware we're in the race for third place right now. We can't take a day off," said Bosh. "With Caron out and Gilbert out, that's about 40 per cent of (Washington's) offence. We'll just see how they play without (Arenas) and go from there."

In other words, the over/under for total Wiz playoff games has likely now dropped from 5.01 to 4.01, although, ever the optimist, I still have them in the Eastern Conference finals. Here's a non-optimist, from the Wizards boards:

The entire 2006-07 sports season in Washington has [edited]. Clinton Portis, Arenas, Butler and Jamison getting injured, Mark Brunell starting, the Skins [edited] the entire year, Wizards peaking in december of 06.

Its always next year for us, always. Its been sixteen **** years since I've been rooting for these teams and its always NEXT YEAR. NEXT YEAR. WHEN WILL IT BE THE DAMN **** YEAR.

Dunno. Next year, maybe?

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 5, 2007; 9:51 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: On Being An Appetizer


I can't feel my face

Posted by: DCOptimist | April 5, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I can't feel anything.

Posted by: AV | April 5, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Not necessarily a karma-type believer, but notice Butler and Arenas were injured after Michael Ruffin's "celebration" against Toronto last Friday?

If the Wizards can somehow win the opening playoff series, I would consider the season a success, considering the hand fate has dealt them.

No one ever said it was easy to be a Washington sports fan, periodic college hoops successes ('06: Maryland women, GMU men; '07: GWU women, Georgetown men) notwithstanding. Well, at least we still have Ovechkin (for a few games this season) and Zimmerman.

Posted by: Vincent | April 5, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

There's always DC United. Come along now, kids, the ship's about to set sail.

Posted by: d, dc | April 5, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I believe in AD.

Posted by: J.E. Skeets | April 5, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I beg for the sweet relief of death.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | April 5, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

looks like suicide again tonight.

Posted by: bryc3 | April 5, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

The only question that needs to be asked... can the Wizards actually miss the playoffs? I know they need one win to clinch - would Indiana have to win all their game and the Wiz lose all theirs?

Posted by: Kev | April 5, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I bought tickets for the Cleveland game a month ago thinking Queen James, Gil, playoff seeding, and other dramatic scenarios. Now I get AD vs Eric Snow, the futility of no one wanting to take a 4th quarter under 3 min shot, and Mike Hall. Maybe I'll win a free chipotle burrito. That'd be a highlight; other than Darius' pulling up and consistently making 2 pointers from 22 feet out .

Posted by: CreditZard | April 5, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Say it with me now,


Posted by: James | April 5, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"Not necessarily a karma-type believer, but notice Butler and Arenas were injured after Michael Ruffin's "celebration" against Toronto last Friday?"

Vincent, it's time to learn a lesson about karma. karma does not mean bad luck, in simple terms karma refers to a system in which good deeds and actions are rewarded while bad deeds and actions are punished.

You are right to notice that the winds of fate have blown in the wrong direction since Ruffin was savaged and mercilessly mocked by our own fans. but you are woefully mistaken about the karmic meaning behind it. the bad karma, if you will, is not flowing from ruffin's blunder but from our own response to the play. this is what we get when we turn on our own.

Posted by: Pindar | April 5, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The world has ended...until Saturday.

Vamos United

Posted by: sitruc | April 5, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

$50 million for the Phonebooth? Wiz tickets already cost enough so I'm not looking forward to them raising the tax on tickets to Nat levels. I want a soccer stadium.

Posted by: sitruc | April 5, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Dagger! Gilbert out 2-3 months but he could come back in time for the Finals should the Wizards make it.

That above statement is like the line in Animal House when Hoover says "We're really hoping our mid terms really boost our averages!"

Posted by: Bill-DC | April 5, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

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