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The Nats' Version of 9-20


Glory days of badness: Rex Chapman, P.J. Brown. (1995 AP Photo)

This is about the Nats. Promise. But first, during one glorious stretch during the late-80s and early-90s, the Bullets/Wizards began their season 9-20 four times in seven years. Like the proto-blogger that he was, Tony Kornheiser then dumped several gallons of "9-20" into his gooey bag of jokes and broke it out, year after year after year. For example:

Nov. 2004: Usually, if you're going to write something positive about the Wizards, you have to do it before the season -- and the losing -- starts, and they begin their inevitable slog to 9-20. They hit 9-20 every year. It's their Groundhog Day.

Dec. 2004: It's been so long since the Wizards weren't 9-20 that it's hard to conceive of what might happen in terms of economic upheaval or geothermal cataclysm. The truth is, I can't remember the last time the Wizards weren't 9-20.

Jan. 2005: "Last year at this time, they were 9-23, having blown through the 9-20 barrier, and it was reasonable to project that it was time to take the season-ticket package, put it on top of the stove and set it on fire!"

That's three "9-20" references in three months, which is as impressive than as "9-20" records in seven years.

The Wizards haven't been 9-20 in 15 years. In the meantime, the Nats have been trying to set their own benchmark of midpoint mediocrity. After 81 games in 2006, exactly half a season, the Nats were 33-48. After 81 games in 2007, exactly half a season, the Nats were 33-48. The Nats seemed destined for that same midway mark this season--at 30-45, they just needed to close the half by playing .500 ball for a week.

But four straight losses have ruined what seemed like fate, and the Nats are now 30-49. Which means the best midway record they could manage is 32-49. Which means this will be their worst midpoint record since moving to D.C.

(In happier news, join me in welcoming the YOU DEAD DAWG blog, which really ought to have been named YOU DEAD BLAWG.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 25, 2008; 3:44 PM ET
Categories:  Nats , Wizards  
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