Does the DC Sports Curse Exist?

Does the DC Sports Curse Exist?

Even Cleveland got a championship, so what gives?

Super Bowl XXVI Washington Redskins 37, Buffalo Bills 24. It was the third Super Bowl championship in a decade, but who knew the 1992 Super Bowl would be the last DC championship? In fact, the 24 year drought is second among cities with three or more teams (NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL), and Minneapolis, Minnesota beats us by three months. The Minnesota Twins 1991 World Series Champions in October 1991 to our January 1992 Super Bowl. If you include cities with two teams, Washington DC ranks seventh. This includes cities like San Diego (53 years), Buffalo (51), Milwaukee (45), Charlotte (28 – when they first received a team), and Cincinnati (26). However, we have four teams and therefore twice as many chances as these cities, so where is our next championship? Even Cleveland got a championship, so what gives?

In a city starved with political turmoil - divided by blue donkeys and red elephants - our sports teams sure know how to replicate this. From the constant Redskins quarterback, coach, and owner drama that makes even the Kardashians look normal. The Gilbert Arenas gun saga made the Washington Wizards look more like their old name: the Washington Bullets. (Hey, at least the Bullets won a championship, the Wizards can’t say that right?) Then there are the Nationals and Capitals, probably the two most successful teams of recent time whose playoff disappointments get DC fans just close enough to taste it only to be thrown out of one season into another, hoping for change (i.e. 2012 NLDS Game 5 Meltdown). The Capitals have only had four losing seasons of the past 24, but only one trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998, which they lost. Of the 83 sports seasons that have happened since the last championship there have been 38 losing seasons and 23 last place finishes.

The constant losing has given us 22 top five draft picks and five number one picks. Four of these have given us hope for the future: Alexander Ovechkin, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, and John Wall. If you go to a game or walk around the city you will find their gear all over. However, their hype has shown promise, but has fallen short of the ultimate goal. Harper’s 2015 MVP season found the Nationals without a playoff berth. Strasburg has performed less than spectacular in big game spots. Ovechkin has been near the top in scoring in the NHL, led the team to playoffs for years, and still found a way to fall apart in the playoffs. At what point is enough, enough?

The fans are here, the fans are passionate, so give us something to be passionate about. No more excuses, no more drama... just go play ball. The future is too long to wait for us fans, the time is now for DC. The time has come and gone for other cities. In a city that has gone through political turmoil for years, let our sports teams bring us all together and maybe, just maybe, the rest of the city will fall into place. So as I sign off, I challenge our teams to unite and bring us home a championship.

Cover Image Credit: The Redskins Blog

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.

I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time

Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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