What does Boston have that Washington D.C. doesn't have?
They've got clam chowder, sure. But I'll take a nice bowl of Maryland crab soup any day of the week. I guess they've got some history. I guess they had a few tea parties back in the day. One if by land and whatnot. But we've got history too! We've got the White House for crying out loud!
So if Boston and D.C. are roughly equivalent cities from a culinary and historical perspective, how come their teams get to win championships and our teams don't?
The city of Boston is the new Titletown. Boston teams have won seven championships in the past 11 years, including at least one in all four major sports. When will D.C. have its 11-year run?
I happen to think it will start pretty soon.
Our franchises are certainly on the right track at least. Because for all the frustration we’ve felt while watching the Washington Capitals get bounced out of the playoffs far too early for the past four years, I still can’t imagine that this team won’t win at least one Stanley Cup. Alex Ovechkin is just too good to retire without winning at least one. Sooner or later, the Capitals will figure things out. Every season they’ve made moves to try to give themselves an edge, and one of these seasons its actually going to work.
George McPhee and the Capitals have started even earlier this year with their moves, making several significant and surprising changes already this offseason, including the acquisitions of veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun, former Caps Captain Jeff Halpern, shut-down defenseman Roman Hamrlik, and playoff hero Joel Ward. With the Capitals so close to the salary cap, more moves are likely coming. 2012 could be the year for the Capitals, but if not 2012, then surely 2013 or 2014. Right? With Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in their mid-20s, the Capitals still have a fairly wide window of opportunity. They’ll win a championship one of these years.
And they might not be the only team in D.C. to do it. The Wizards and Nationals may each be a few years behind the Capitals in terms of age and development, but they have just as much potential. Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper could be the best young pitcher-hitter tandem in the major leagues within the next few years, and they’ll have quality players like Michael Morse and Wilson Ramos supporting them. The Nationals probably need a few more hitters still, but they have the cash flow to be able to find them. Like the Capitals, they’re on track to compete for multiple championships this decade.
The future is a bit more hazy for the Wizards, who have one elite caliber player in John Wall, but probably need a few more to be able to compete in the NBA as its currently fashioned. A new collective bargaining agreement could change the landscape of the league to benefit a young team like the Wizards, but we won’t hold our breath. Still, with a player like Wall, at least Wizards fans now have hope that a championship could be on the horizon.
Am I forgetting one of the four major sports? Isn’t there one where the ball isn’t round? Ah yes, the Redskins. Okay, I’ll admit that the Redskins don’t look any closer to winning a Super Bowl now than they did 10 years ago. Their biggest hopes still rest in drafting a franchise quarterback in 2012. Until then, they’re just stuck in the middle. But championships in three out of the four major sports wouldn’t be so bad…
Seeing the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup last month brought pleasure to very few D.C. sports fans. We all know some people who grew up in Boston, and every single one of them was smug enough already. They didn’t need another title. They’d already had dominant teams in three major sports. Did they really need a fourth?
But if all goes according to plan, we won’t feel the need to be jealous for much longer. We’ll be the ones who are annoyingly smug. We’ll be the ones celebrating multiple championships in multiple sports. And we’ll still have our soup too.
(Or so we hope).