Bad year: D.C. sports teams


D.C. has always been an odd sports town because of its nomadic fans who would rather root for the team from their home state than the team from where they now live. (Anything worse than going to a Nationals game and being drown out by, say, Pirates fans? Gag.)

But this year, Washington was just a plain old bad sports town. The Wizards stunk (23-59), and the Redskins (4-9 and with Rex Grossman as their quarterback, as of this writing) still stink. (The Skins haven't been to the playoffs since the 2007 season.)

The Nationals put together a decent season — 80-81 — but all anyone cared about was when star hurler Stephen Strasburg would be back to full strength and/or when hitting phenom Bryce Harper would be called up to the majors. And, after winning 11 out of 12 games in June, the Nats lost their manager when Jim Riggleman quit in a contract dispute.

But it was the Capitals that best typified the pathos of the D.C. sports fan in 2011. After skating to 48 regular-season wins and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Capitals seemed to have exorcised their postseason demons by dispatching the New York Rangers four games to one. But then in the second round they were swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning — a hockey team in Tampa? — the sort of soul-crushing defeat that Washington sports fans are all too used to.

Just in case you thought things might get better after the Capitals began this season 7-0, you were wrong: The team jettisoned coach Bruce Boudreau after he feuded with star forward Alex Ovechkin.

At least we'll always have Georgetown hoops and the mighty Big East. Wait . . .

chris.cillizza@wpost.com

Chris Cillizza writes the political blog The Fix and is managing editor of PostPolitics.com.