Best of 2012: Sports

October 18, 2012

D.C. Team: Nationals
Athlete: Bryce Harper
Coach: Davey Johnson

It should come as no surprise that the Nationals disposed of their Best Of 2012 opponents as decisively as they did the rest of the National League en route to a remarkable 98-win season and their first division title since arriving in D.C. in 2005. Not only did the Nats snatch the Best D.C. Team title from the NHL’s locked-out Capitals, but 20-year-old rookie phenom Bryce Harper (Best Athlete) and 69-year-old manager Davey Johnson (Best Coach) also dominated the voting. Harper edged out that other hot rookie, Redskins starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, while perennial winner Alex Ovechkin fell to third place. Johnson, meanwhile, in his first full year behind the Nationals’ bench, handily defeated Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. If only the Nats could have done the same to the Cardinals. The Nationals’ playoff run ended in a soul-crushing Game 5 defeat, but they still gave Washington fans the most exciting season of baseball since 1933. And that’s worth cheering for.

D.C. Team

1st: Washington Nationals
2nd: Washington Capitals
3rd: Washington Redskins

Athlete

1st: Bryce Harper
2nd: Robert Griffin III
3rd: Alex Ovechkin

Coach

1st: Davey Johnson
2nd: Mike Shanahan
3rd: Ben Olsen

Amateur Sports League: Happy Hour Kickball

There’s no stopping everyone’s favorite childhood recess game turned boozy, after-work sport, which powered past the girls on roller skates for the win. With a summer season that runs from April to July and a fall season from August to November, you have multiple opportunities to try out this four-time defending Best Of champion. It helps that the Bethesda-based Happy Hour Kickball family includes dodgeball (January to March), softball (April through June) and bowling (March through April) leagues, proving that any game that was fun when you were a kid is still just as fun.

1st: Happy Hour Kickball
2nd: DC Rollergirls
3rd: DC Bocce League

Sports Venue: Nationals Park

Winning is contagious. Either that or you guys really love the food at Nationals Park. With eternal favorite — and 2012 Best Of winner — Ben’s Chili Bowl occupying concession space along with the ever-popular Hard Times Cafe and Shake Shack, we’re not surprised Nats Park repeated as D.C.’s top sports venue. Throw in scenic views of the Capitol and the fan-favorite Presidents Race, and you’ve got a combination that’s hard to beat.

1st: Nationals Park: 1500 S. Capitol St. SE; 202-675-6287. (Navy Yard)
2nd: Verizon Center: 601 F St. NW; 202-628-3200. (Gallery Place)
3rd: RFK Stadium: 2400 East Capitol St. SE; 202-587-5000. (Stadium-Armory)

College Team: University of Maryland Terrapins

We’re going to assume it was the University of Maryland football team’s pride jerseys — which, for better or worse, prominently display the Maryland state flag — that helped the Terrapins eke out a victory over the Georgetown Hoyas for favorite college team this year. It certainly couldn’t have been the football team itself, whose performance of late has been dismal, nor the men’s basketball team, which missed the postseason for the second-straight year last season. Maybe the women got out the vote: Maryland’s field hockey team won a national championship in 2011, as did the women’s lacrosse team in 2010.

1st: University of Maryland Terrapins
2nd: Georgetown Hoyas
3rd: George Washington University Colonials

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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Shauna Miller · October 18, 2012