Sports Guy Spits on D.C. Sports Fans
The thing is, when you look up at the rows and rows and rows of empty seats in the Verizon Center last night, when you think back on The Brave MASN 8,000, when you see the army of Terriblerific Towels at FedEx, it's sort of hard to argue with any of this.
But still, you never want your city to get called out in one of those triple-digit word rhetorical Sports Guy Mailbag questions, filled with all-of-the-above multiple-choice items in quotation marks, asides about one of his buddies, New England city addresses and '80s-style references, do you? From today's:
Q: I was in the Verizon Center in D.C. the other night when I looked up to the rafters to see banners claiming the Washington Mystics led the WNBA in attendance, not once, not twice, but THREE times (1998, 1999 and 2002). Has it really been that long for a championship in the D.C. area that they are clinging to WNBA attendance titles? Shouldn't there be a rule stating a city must be in a championship drought for a set number of years before hanging up meaningless banners? We need your expertise on this one.
-- Steve, Needham Heights, Mass.
SG: I don't consider those three WNBA attendance titles valid because half of those crowds were made up of Pittsburgh Steelers fans. But I mentioned your e-mail to my buddy House (a D.C. fan and resident) and he shamefully passed this tidbit along: Apparently last month during a Capitals game, the Caps raised a banner to commemorate their 2007-08 Southeast Division title. If you came up with some sort of formula to determine the worst four-sport city in America that included things like "sweeping lack of success," "general apathy," "ability of opposing fans to overwhelm your home crowd," "lack of tradition," "most transplants living in the city and rooting for other teams" and everything else, wouldn't Washington and Atlanta end up battling it out for the title like Sebastian Coe and Steve Scott in the '80s, like, they'd be so far ahead of the pack that it would be foolish to even mention the other contenders?
Like I said, hard to argue, though this still feels cheaper than a back-alley group attack from multiple members of the Cobra Kai Dojo, and heaven forbid any arena ever raise a banner for something besides a world title. But the thing you always have to remember is this: you could live in a city with marginal--or at least fluctuating--passion for many of its sports teams, cursed by widespread apathy about its men in tight pants and populated by tons of outsiders foolishly attracted to the promise of jobs, nightlife, and a lively economy. Or you could live in, say, Philadelphia. Like Bill's Buddy House, I choose the former.
(And yeah, this feels a bit like those times in middle school when you'd respond to taunts with the old, "I'm gonna make more money than you one day," before you realized that you were actually going to grow up to do a sports blog in a town where no one cares about sports.)
Incidentally, I was once told that Bill's Buddy House is an occasional reader here. House, are you out there?
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