Scott Allen is one of 10 finalists in The Washington Post’s D.C’s Greatest Sports Fan contest.
About me: I was born at Sibley Hospital, grew up in Cheverly, and spent my teenage years in Arlington — the DMV equivalent of hitting for the natural cycle. I graduated from Stanford, wrote for a newspaper in Wyoming, moved home and now work in sports marketing.
Defining moment as a D.C. sports fan: I was 4 in January 1988 when my parents took me to a Super Bowl party hosted by a couple of Broncos fans. I probably couldn’t spell H-O-G, but I knew I was rooting for the guys in Burgundy and Gold, and I remember the adults ribbing me after Denver took an early lead. Doug Williams – who could have been the first rainbow-colored quarterback to start a Super Bowl for all I knew then – eventually took charge and guided the Skins to a 42-10 win. I went to sleep that night well past my bedtime and woke up a D.C. sports fan. I consider that night one of my earliest and most defining memories.
Unheralded local athlete: Peter Bondra. I’m sure there are more deserving candidates who were less heralded before my lifetime, but Bondra is the first name that comes to mind. He’s certainly appreciated, especially by longtime Caps fans, but when one thinks of the greatest stars in D.C. sports history, Bondra’s name probably doesn’t come up. He was a consistent goal scorer and a stand-up guy with a flair for the dramatic. I remember being at Teen Night at Wells Ice Rink in College Park and hearing that Bondra had scored five goals in one game in 1994. Other players considered: Mark Rypien, BJ Surhoff, Olie Kolzig and Chip Lohmiller (before I looked up his career stats - yuck).
Why I should win: As a kid, I would spread out the Sports section on the kitchen floor and pore over the standings. My dad took me to games at the Capitol Centre, Memorial Stadium, and Cole Field House, and my room slowly turned into a DC sports shrine. In 1991, I wrote game recaps of every Redskins game. Every story began with “Boom!” — the sound of the opening kickoff, apparently. I went to 2131, the Redskins’ finale at RFK, the Wizards’ first game at MCI Center, and Strasburg’s debut at Nationals Park. I was a Racing President, won Wizards season tickets in a Halloween costume contest, and share Caps season tickets with friends. In short, I have loved DC-area sports teams for as long as I can remember and will continue to love them through thick and thin.
What the judges had to say:
Tracee Hamilton: I think more writers should start every story with the word “Boom!” I’m going to steal that.