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A new day for D.C. sports

Five months ago, I published a list of the longest tenured D.C. sports figures from the six professional teams. The list included 13 names.

Well, six of those 13 are no longer D.C. sports figures, including three of the top four: Ben Olsen, Chris Samuels and Brendan Haywood. The D.C. future of a seventh -- Gilbert Arenas -- remains in doubt. Many of the remaining names are bit players at best.

It seems we've had a city-wide changing of the guard, with most of the old timers swept away and big question marks left in their place. I'm not saying this is a bad thing; most of the local teams have been struggling, so why not try something new? Still, it's hard not to marvel at how much the landscape has changed in less than a half year.

The changes have been most dramatic in leadership roles, so here's a rundown.

Nov. 24: Ben Olsen retires from D.C. United. He wasn't the team's captain, but would usually fill that role when Jaime Moreno wasn't on the field. He was also this city's second-longest-tenured player, in any sport

Dec. 28: Chris Clark is traded from the Caps to Columbus. The veteran winger was eventually replaced as captain by Alex Ovechkin.

Jan. 6: Gilbert Arenas, one of three Wizards captains, is suspended indefinitely. That later becomes a season-long sentence.

Feb. 14: Caron Butler, a second of the captains, is dealt to Dallas, along with Haywood, the longest-serving Wizard.

Feb. 17: Antawn Jamsion, the third of the captains, is sent to Cleveland. The Wizards still have not filled their captaincy vacuum.

March 4: Chris Samuels officially retires from the Redskins. He was both an offensive captain and the team's longest-tenured player.

March 4: Within a matter of hours, the team releases, among others, Rock Cartwright, Cornelius Griffin and Ladell Betts. Cartwright and Betts had both been with the team for eight straight season. Cartwright and Griffin were both captains, meaning half of the team's six captains left in a single day.

In total, that makes seven D.C. captains traded, retired or suspended over a two-month span.

(Photo stolen from Skins Blog)

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 5, 2010; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United , Redskins , Wizards  
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Makes sense to me. Aside from Olsen and Moreno, what did the others accomplish apart from the rare first round playoff win...?

We're finally starting to move away from a horrid period in DC sports. Hopefully.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 5, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

No championships for DC pro sports recently (Redskins, Wizards, Nationals) so why not make a change?

The point is to WIN.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | March 5, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Ben Olsen isn't a DC athlete anymore, but as an assistant coach for DC United, he is still very much a DC sports figure.

Posted by: EdTheRed | March 5, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

so who is the longest tenured DC athlete? It can't be Boyd Gordon can it? I'm too lazy to look it up.

Posted by: FlyersSuck | March 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

so who is the longest tenured DC athlete?

Boyd Gordon, 2003-present
Jaime Moreno 1996–2002 and 2004-present

Actually, I think the honor would go to United's Bryan Namoff (2001-present)

Posted by: Kev29 | March 5, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Question sparked by this:

Why does a basketball team need 3 captains?

In football, you have 3 distinct units within the team that have little to do with each other, so I can see having 3 captains there. Baseball teams, as far as I know, generally have 1 captain. Soccer and hockey definitely have just 1 captain. All of these sports have larger squads than basketball.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 5, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I know the guy is currently an unsigned UFA, but how has Ethan Albright not made this list? Redskin since 2001.

Posted by: Langway4Eva | March 5, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

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