Being a DC Sports Fan: a lament…

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May 14, 2015 by Austin McNair

alex-ovechkin-sad

This weekend I will be a groomsman in my good buddy Vinny’s wedding.

I met Vinny my first year of college in 2008. Since we met, the two of us have formed an incredible friendship through late night trips to Waffle House, traumatic camping excursions, and generous amounts of PBR. I am honored to be in his wedding. However, there has always been a particular dissonance between our friendship in our shared experiences. It is a difference in perspective SO MASSIVE that neither party can remotely relate to the other. What is that dissonance?

Sports.

You see Vinny was born and raised in Western Massachusetts where, with the help of his father and other New England loyalists, he has been awarded the opportunity to become a Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox fan.

Cudos to Vinny though. Not every millennial of the digital age has the balls to root for all of their home teams. In fact, it is a rarity. Having grown up in Northern Virginia my whole life, I have been a firsthand witness to just how easy it is for my peers to join the bandwagon of other teams. I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of my friends who grew up with me in Northern Virginia who haphazardly decided one day to become Dallas Cowboy fans. Or Philadelphia Eagles fans. Or even more randomly, San Diego Chargers fans. Shit… my own brother even became a diehard Green Bay Packers fan.

It takes balls to root for all of your home teams. I have those balls. Vinny has those balls too. But while his balls are literally being deflated by Tom Brady, mine are figuratively deflated, year after year, after year, by franchises who can’t seem to catch a break…

Since I met Vinny in 2008, here is what he has been granted by the sporting world:

  • 6 Consecutive Post Season Appearances (Patriots)
  • 4 AFC Conference Championship Appearances and 2 Victories (Patriots)
  • 2 Super Bowl Appearances and 1 Super Bowl Championship in 2015 (Patriots)
  • 7 Post Season Appearances (Celtics)
  • 3 Conference Finals Appearances and 2 Victories (Celtics)
  • 2 NBA Finals Appearances and 1 Championship in 2008 (Celtics)
  • 7 Consecutive Post Season Appearances 07-14 (Bruins)
  • 2 Conference Finals Championships (Bruins)
  • 2 Stanley Cup Finals Appearances and 1 Victory in 2011 (Bruins)
  • 3 Post Season Appearances (Red Sox)
  • 2 Appearacnces in ALCS with One Victory (Red Sox)
  • 2013 World Series Champions (Red Sox)

rg3knee

Here is what I have been blessed with:

  • 1 Post Season Appearance, which was a loss to Seahawks, where RG3 broke his knee while I was in the 4th row… And oh and it was my birthday that day… (Redskins, 2012)
  • 2 Post Season Appearances and 0 trips to the Conference Finals (Wizards)*
  • 7 Post Season Appearances and 0 trips to the Conference Finals (Capitals)
  • 2 Post Season Appearances and 0 trips to the NLCS (Nationals)

He doesn’t get it. DC Sports is a punchline for him and a punching bag for everyone else.

Last night the Capitals lost in a Game 7 overtime thriller which is going down as one of the best hockey games of the 14-15 Season. I sprinted back into my house last night just in time to crack open a beer and turn on the TV to catch the overtime puck drop. The Caps had the screws turned on the Rangers. Shot after shot after shot. We had more energy, we had more possession, and we had more passion. But it all came down to a gift basket of a rebound – Except it was not to the Capitals.

That gift basket would have never fallen to the Capitals. In a multiverse of infinite universes, that puck never has and it feels like it never will fall to a Washington sports team.

The Captials have been blown multiple series in which they were leading by 2 games.

Drew Storen was one strike away from taking the Nationals to the NLCS.

The Redskins mortgage 3 seasons of draft picks for a prolific-Heisman-Trophy-winning-Rookie-of-the-Year-Award-Winning Quarterback and his entire career is set back by injury.

These are the sports scars I bear.

When will it ever change for DC Sports? When will the other team be the bearer of unexpected injury or unforeseen bad luck? Why do I always have to see my hopes stomped into the dirt and spit on? Do I not deserve it?

This is my lament – I am a committed young man, ballsy in my willpower to remain loyal to my local teams. But I am a man who has never tasted the sweet victory of even a conference final appearance.

When I was one-years-old the Redskins won the Super Bowl. Was I forever doomed from that moment forward? Did I use up all my sports karma in my first year of being? Why was I awarded from that moment forward the antics of Dan Synder and Albert Haynesworth? Is it my fault?

I hope not, but it sure feels like it.

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