It a bit depressing when you think about it, but every single team in the Washington area was a source of debilitating disappointment this season. Every team in the area has found a way to extinguish hope and destroy morale this year.
The New York Post got the ball rolling on this year of misery less than three hours into the new year when they first reported Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton pulled pistols on each other in the locker room. From there, it only got worse. Georgetown let Ohio score 97 points, Korie Lucious drove a dagger through Maryland's heart, Patrick Roy possessed Jaroslav Halak's body for seven games against the Capitals, Stephen Strasburg blew his arm out, D.C. United endured their worst season in franchise history and the Redskins found themselves on the wrong end of one of the greatest offensive performances the NFL has ever seen.
In a lot of ways, this has been an incredibly tough year for D.C. sports, but there has been plenty of good sprinkled in as well. Today, as we give thanks, let's remember everything good about D.C. sports.
Let's be thankful for Stephen Strasburg. Sure, he won't be back for a while, but for three months, he made a 90-loss team fun to watch. And for one magical night in June, he made us believe just about anything was possible.
In that same vein, let's be thankful for Dr. Frank Jobe, the man who came up with the procedure we now know as Tommy John surgery. As depressing as it is to know Strasburg won't likely be back until 2012, it sure beats not returning at all.
Let's be thankful for Clinton Portis. It looks like he won't become the Redskins all-time leading rusher, but he'll always be no. 1 on Eugene Wilson's list of people to avoid in life.
Let's be thankful for Jaime Moreno and his 14 fine years of service with D.C. United. By my count, only Darrell Green, Monte Coleman and Calle Johansson have spent more time playing sports for a Washington franchise.
Let's be thankful for Anderson Russell's two game stint with the Redskins before being placed on injured reserve. His fleeting moment with the Redskins makes it easier to appreciate London Fletcher's streak of consecutive games played (202 games and counting).
Let's be thankful for the Capitals, the only team who can be tied for the best record in the NHL and still be accused of not firing on all cylinders.
Let's be thankful for Alex Ovechkin, for keeping at least one local team relevant at a time when there hasn't been much else to cheer about locally.
Let's be thankful for Kwame Brown, who serves as a constant reminder that success does not come automatically with being drafted high, and properly tempers our excitement for the area's young talent.
Speaking of which, let's be thankful that the Nationals' Single-A affiliates are in Hagerstown and Potomac. If you want to get a good look at Bryce Harper, you won't have to drive far this year.
Let's be thankful for Wade Phillips, who made it so much easier to make fun of the Cowboys over the past three and a half seasons. Wade, you'll always hold a special spot in Washington's heart and funny bone.
Also, let's take some time to be thankful for Alex Barron. Because without him, the Redskins would have a losing record right now. Thanks Alex!
Let's be thankful for JaVale McGee, whose highlights are the cure for your tryptophan overdose.
Let's be thankful for Brandon Banks, whose highlights are the cure for your Dutch Randle-Elm Disease.
Let's be thankful for all the great college basketball in the area. On any given night, you can find great action involving Maryland, Georgetown, American, George Mason, Howard, George Washington, and/or Navy. That's seven D-1 schools within an hour drive of each other. And you thought Philly had it good with their Big Five.
Let's be thankful for second chances. You can bet Gilbert Arenas sure is. Graham Gano too, albeit for completely different reasons.
Let's be thankful for Ted Leonsis, who will keep half of D.C.'s major sports teams in good hands for the foreseeable future.
Let's be thankful for 106.7 The Fan radio hosts Chad Dukes and Danny Rouhier, who have a special gift for channeling the passion of Redskins fans and turning into a highly entertaining product for our consumption.
Let's be thankful for Mike Shanahan for giving us the phrase "Cardiovascular Endurance."
Let's be thankful for Rex Grossman, who reminded us how wide the talent gap is between starting quarterbacks and backups in the NFL.
Let's be thankful for Alexander Semin, who is putting his best foot forward in a contract year.
That said, let's also be thankful that George McPhee's track record indicates he won't get caught up in the hype and overpay Semin this offseason.
Let's be thankful for Flip Saunders. When he was hired as Washington's new coach, people were talking about the Eastern Conference Finals. Less than two years later, he's trying to coach up a roster with 30-win talent. I'm sure he'd love to be coaching a true contender, like he did in Minnesota and Detroit, but he's handled the team's transition with the utmost professionalism, and it's beginning to pay off with his young team.
Let's also be thankful for Ivan Rodriguez, a future Hall of Famer who has embraced his role as a mentor for the developing Nationals. Sure, the money helps, but the Nationals really couldn't have found a better guy to tutor Wilson Ramos, the Nationals' backstop of the future and guide the team's young pitchers through the ups and downs of life in the majors.
Finally, let's be thankful for John Wall. If a point guard sent from heaven at a time when the Washington Wizards were at their lowest point as a franchise, who says all the right things, does all the right things, who leads the league in steals per game as a rookie, trails only Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo in assists per game AS A ROOKIE, records a triple-double in his sixth career game and exceeds all of his expectations can't get you into a thankful mood today, odds are you live on Mount Crumpit and you're trying to find a way to steal Christmas from Whoville. That, or you're Albert Haynesworth.