Each year, it seems, there arrives some new data point with which to argue that following D.C. professional sports teams is bad for your mental well-being. And in some ways, this feels like an okay time, with the Nats everybody’s sleeper team and the Redskins about to get a franchise quarterback.
Still, if the Caps can’t climb out of their current ninth-place position — and Thursday night’s trip to Boston will be gigantic in that regard — it will mean at least 12 months in which no D.C. pro team has made the playoffs. Not the Wizards, not the Capitals, not the Nationals, not the Redskins and not D.C. United. The Nats and United would have the first chance to break that streak in October, which would be about 17 months since the Caps were eliminated by the Lightning in the 2011 playoffs.
How would that 17-month stretch compare to other D.C. playoff droughts? I could only find three worse periods in my lifetime: the two years between Caps playoff appearances in 2001 and 2003, the two years between Bullets playoff appearances in 1980 and 1982, and the 19 months between the Caps’ trip to the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals and the Redskins’ playoff berth in 2000.
Of course, none of those periods involved a pro baseball team missing the playoffs. So unless the Caps can make some magic in their final five games, this will definitely go down as a very, very bad 12 months.
BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER...
Mike Wise argues that George McPhee made a mistake when he tapped Dale Hunter as Bruce Boudreau’s replacement.
The Nats have four guys — Brett Carroll, Xavier Nady, Chad Tracy and Jason Michaels — competing for the final two roster spots. Best hope no one else gets hurt.
Since trading for Nene, the Wizards are holding opponents to 90.5 points per game (which would be third best in the league) and holding opponents to 43.1 percent shooting (which would be tied for eighth).
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Add Joe Theismann to the list of analysts who would take Robert Griffin III over Andrew Luck with the top overall pick.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Davey Johnson reports that all looks well on Michael Morse’s sonogram.
“It looks like we’re not having a baby.”
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
No actual D.C. sporting events were on Wednesday night’s docket, but Randy Edsall tweeted out this video of the “board drills” from Maryland spring practice. “It shows us who’s got that toughness to get in there and really fight,” he says in the video.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Caps play the Bruins at 7 on Comcast SportsNet. It may be the third time in a week they’ve played their biggest game of the season, but still. Also, the Wizards play the Pacers at 7 on CSN+. Don’t watch that. All TV/Radio listings are here.
HERE IS A LINK
* Randy Wittman to Sports Illustrated, on John Wall: “John has a big heart and big balls, and sometimes that is his greatest weakness.” Weird weakness, dude.
* Jim Bowden, in an ESPN Insider piece, predicts that Davey Johnson will be the NL manager of the year. Quoting Bowden: “The Nationals are poised to make a leap this year, and Johnson is a big reason. He was AL manager of the year in 1997 and it won’t surprise me if he joins the elite club of Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Lou Piniella and Jim Leyland as the only managers to have won the award in both leagues.”
* The hasty trade to L.A. meant that Nick Young had to leave his clothes in D.C. “I can’t be in L.A. without my swag,” he joked. Young also said this, via CSN Washington: “When you go to a winning atmosphere, you have to bring your A-game every night.” Right.
* CBSSports.com reports that discussions between George Mason, VCU and the Atlantic 10 “have been conducted through a third-party.... The schools, the CAA, where VCU and George Mason are members, and the A-10 said no ‘formal discussions’ had been held.”
Sarah posts pop culture updates; I post beer news. DCist reported on Wednesday that Thor Cheston, formerly of Brasserie Beck, is starting a petition “to pass the Sustainable Bottle Amendment Act of 2011, which was introduced in December and would allow establishments with Class-C Tavern/Brewpub licenses to sell beer in growlers.” The D.C. Sports Bog formally endorses this effort. Go here for more details.