After my experiment of trying to blog daily during the month of June, I took a break from blogging for the past two months. But, now as we’re about to enter one of the most exciting Sports periods of the year (I love September with the start of the NFL and NCAA Football seasons, MLB pennant race, start of NHL and NBA training camps, etc) as well as the start of our Fall semester at Georgetown Univ, it’s time to ramp it back up.
I like to write from time to time about the status of the Washington, DC sports scene — so here we go:
– Washington Nationals: what a great series win over the Phillies, the team w/ the best record in baseball. I very much like the foundation that the Nats are putting in place. They now have a core of good, young players — Zimmerman, Espinoza, Desmond, Morse, Ramos, Zimmermann, Storen, Clippard, etc — while they’re also putting together a terrific farm system. The signing of all 5 draft picks last week was terrific. I like how they’re patiently building out the team — from the minors up to the majors. Similar to the Atlanta Braves model — which helped them win numerous NL East titles. Yes, they still have a ways to go but it’s good to see the approach they are taking.
– Washington Redskins: yes, it’s only the preseason but as a ‘Skins fan, one must like they are playing the game — offense, defense and special teams. This year’s team is younger, more athletic and faster. And, they seem to have players that want to play the game — rather some of the overpaid and pampered free agents from the past few years. It’s refreshing to see. It’s good they put an emphasis on building up the offensive and defensive lines. Obviously, the QB is going to be a major factor in how the team plays this year. But, the Shanahan duo seem to fully believe in Beck. The ‘Skins are in a tough division – with the the Eagles (nearly everyone’s pick to win the Super Bowl), Giants and Cowboys. A .500 record might be the best we can hope for — but at least Shanahan and Allen are building the team the right way (also taking the long-term approach and filling the team with character guys).
– Washington Capitals: wow, this is going to be another exciting year. Some “experts” are predicting the Caps to win the Stanley Cup this coming season. That might be a bit premature since they haven’t advanced too far in the playoffs the past few years. But, the team is certainly talented and extremely well-built (the additions of the veteran free agents should have a great impact — on and off the ice). And, the Caps games are the “must see” and “go to” sports experience in DC. It is the one sports experience that has a “wow” factor and compels fans to keep coming back. In fact, the Caps are already sold out for the season. Looking forward to rocking the red in about 2 months.
– Washington Wizards: this will continue to be frustrating for NBA fans … the lock-out talks, similarly to what we went through with the NFL for so many months this year. It’s a shame since I like the team the Wizards are putting together — similarly to the Caps and Nationals — they’re putting together a good foundation of young talent — that can develop and grow together into a winning team. But, similarly to the NHL in the mid ’00’s, this current economic model is broken and needs to be remedied. It’ll eventually be settled but it looks like it’s going to take quite some time for this to occur.
– DC United: it’s good to have them back to their winning ways. Coach Ben Olsen is doing a good job in his first year as the full-time head coach. They do need to fare better at home but they’re playing well on the road. The team is coming together nicely — and they’re right there to snag a spot in the top three if they keep playing well. It’s a shame that more fans don’t come to RFK for games — it’s really a fun and entertaining experience. Of course, things would be different if the team played in a new, soccer-specific stadium. But, for now, more and more fans should go and experience a MLS game.