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Posted at 2:17 PM ET, 12/26/2010

Year in review: Sporting seasons to forget

By William Byron, Takoma Park

Some questions have easy answers. For instance, what state is colder than South Dakota? North Dakota, of course. Now, name an American city whose major sports scene was as unlucky, mismanaged, confused, bungled and even downright cursed as was Washington’s in 2010. That’s right, there isn’t one.

The year started off with the Washington Redskins replacing the supposedly in-over-his-head coach Jim Zorn with proven winner Mike Shanahan and the installation of a “real” general manager in Bruce Allen. Add six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb, and the team appeared to be on the road to football redemption. Yet, instead of getting serious about pursuing Super Bowl rings, the Redskins continued the three-ring circus that has been the rule under owner Dan Snyder. The worst Redskins moment in decades was the 59-28 shellacking administered by Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles at home in November. As the season ground toward a miserable halt, the team suspended insanely overpaid defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth and benched McNabb.

But 2010 brought more, much more: The Capitals, with the best regular season record in the NHL, were shut down in the first round of the playoffs. Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, once the team’s brightest star, was suspended for bringing guns to Verizon Center and was finally traded this month. Nationals pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg’s exciting beginning ended abruptly with reconstructive surgery. To top all this off, Maryland fired football coach and College Park institution Ralph Friedgen after he had a comeback season and was named ACC coach of the year.

The good news for area sports fans is that there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to go but up. Next year could not possibly be as bleak, could it?

Maybe some questions are better left unasked.

The Post invited readers to write a short essay on the meaning of 2010 for the D.C. region. To participate, send up to 300 words to letters@washpost.com.

By William Byron, Takoma Park  | December 26, 2010; 2:17 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, University of Maryland, Year in review 2010, sports  
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Next: Year in review: Metro sliding backward

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