Congratulations to the World @Nationals!
Cute bro love. But it doesn’t tell the whole story of the District’s sports teams.
I, along with others, reminded them that they forgot one. It was just a couple weeks ago that the Mystics won the WNBA championship, right here at home, in an exciting series against the Connecticut Sun.
But some folks may have missed that. The women who also made franchise history with that win did not get a city parade like the Caps did and like the Nats will. Some readers have pointed out that there will be a celebration for the Mystics in the spring — months after they won the championship. Sorry, guys, that’s not remotely comparable.
Most of them had to hit the road right after scoring the big win and head to their second jobs, so they held a modest rally at their arena.
WNBA players don’t make enough — the median league salary is $71,000, the league’s most valuable player earned $115,000 — to take the offseason off. They play in other leagues around the globe, and they didn’t have the pleasure of swimming in fountains.
Although MVP Elena Delle Donne did pay a cheeky homage to Alexander Ovechkin’s famous canoodling with the Stanley Cup in bed with a photo of her snuggle time with the WNBA trophy.
The Caps, to their credit, reissued their tweet an hour later to include the Mystics' 2019 title.
The Washington Post’s own editorial page did the same thing in a fittingly ebullient piece celebrating the Nats’ win, harking back to the thrill the Caps brought us in spring 2018, then reaching aaaaall the way back to the Super Bowl in 1983 to find that old joy. And readers pointed out that we didn’t mention the stunning win by the Mystics in the same month. (The piece was updated, and the Mystics are now included.)
But come on, y’all. We could’ve been celebrating, partying in the streets, uniting, strutting and whooping when our other pro teams brought home their championships.
It’s not real unless men do it? Puhleez.
I said we have four titles. The one that everyone forgets is the time a D.C. football team won the Super Bowl just four years ago. Remember?
Oh, come on! It was against Dallas, even. Doesn’t sound familiar?
I had the honor of interviewing that game’s MVP, a gifted player who was back at work in a cubicle filing benefits proposals and catching up on paperwork just two days after clinching the title.
That MVP was Tia Watkins, the league’s defensive player of the year and the star of the D.C. Divas — Washington’s other full-tackle and far more successful — football team.
No parade on that one, either. Watkins said the team had a small celebration at their airport hotel in California before flying back. They had to get back to their jobs and kids. The work piled up after they took those days off to play for the championship.
In a seating serendipity lost on the likes of me, I was next to football Hall of Fame legend Darrell Green at a charity dinner last weekend. Once known as the fastest man in the NFL, Green was shocked when I told him about Watkins.
“If that MVP had been a man, he’d own that company; he wouldn’t have to go work for it after winning like that,” he marveled. (I had to bring this up because I have no other football thing to bring up. Also, Green was a lovely man, equally gracious with both clueless me and the sweet-but-thirsty fanboy across the table.) I told him about the Divas’ practices, how kids are lined up along the sidelines doing homework as moms do their up-downs. About the bone-crushing play I saw when Trigger McNair’s leg bone snapped in half.
“It’s truly for the love of the game. Wow,” he said, shaking his head in admiration.
As a nation, we came close to getting celebrations right when the U.S. women’s national soccer team won the World Cup this year. They got the New York ticker-tape parade, the interviews, the fan love.
They still, however, did not get the pay that champions deserve. That case goes to court in May. But forget equal pay: They should make a truckload more than the men’s team. They win. The men don’t.
The Saturday parade for the Nats will be fantastic and well-deserved, and I’m sure that the Caps will help them party like Vikings.
But wouldn’t it be epic — a regular Mardi Gras on the Potomac — if all the professional teams that bring the titles home were celebrated?