Washington’s Monumental Season

The Washington basketball and hockey teams have large fan bases
The Washington basketball and hockey teams have large fan bases
Courtesy of Google Images

Despite being the capital of the United States, Washington D.C is anything but the capital of championships. Thus, being a Washington sports fan has been a struggle for the past few years. Limited postseason appearances and choking in the playoffs have been a consistent occurrence for the D.C. teams. The Wizards have not been successful in recent years, but have been slowly acquiring talent and building their roster. This year, for the first time ever, both teams are on top of their divisions at the same time. The Capitals have entered the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs as a top seed multiple times, but never seem to make it past the second round.

The Washington Wizards trophy case is not expansive. In their 55 year history, they have only won one National Basketball Association (NBA) championship, which was in 1978. Although making it to the postseason a decent amount, the Wizards has not made a real run at the title since the late 1970s. In 2012, the Wizards had the 3rd pick in the NBA draft after finishing 2nd to last in the NBA.

“It’s exciting to see us [Washington D.C.] do so well in basketball and John Wall and the coaches have led us to a great record for how young our team is,” junior Nick Carrig said.

The key to the Wizards’ success was the acquisition of talented players such as point guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal. Wall is widely considered to be one of the best players in the NBA. When asked who their favorite Wizards player, Carrig answered Wall.

“He has the mentality of a scorer and gives 100% every time he plays. You can tell he wants to win and he wants this team to be great,” Carrig said.

Sophomore Maggie Shipley also preached her admiration for Wall.

“He’s a great playmaker. He can get a basket at any time,” Shipley said.

The other factor that has been crucial to their turnaround has been the play of Beal. Even after a great first half of the season, Beal was not voted into the annual NBA All Star Game. This angered many Wizards fans.

“I feel that he should have made the All Star Game but things don’t always go your way. This snub should give him more fire to make the All Star Game next year,” sophomore Matt Herrlein said.

Meanwhile on the ice rink, the Capitals have enjoyed success for the best part of the past decade. They have one of the NHL’s best players on their roster: Alex Ovechkin. They are continually at the top of the Metropolitan division, and have received the number one seed in the conference six out of the past nine years. Despite these high seedings, they have not even made it past the conference semifinals on any of those occasions. They have been labeled as “chokers” due to their lack of success in the playoffs. Many hockey pundits have predicted the Capitals to choke again this year. Of course, all the Caps fans are hoping to reach higher heights.

“I predict the Washington Capitals win the championship and bring back Washington’s first title trophy of my lifetime,” Shipley said.

Other students are not as optimistic.

“I predict we lose in the second round of the playoffs. Nobody on our team knows what it’s like to go far in the playoffs. That experience is crucial to a playoff run and we do not have that experience,” sophomore Rhett Styles said.

In sports, talk is cheap, and both franchises must continue to produce results in order to challenge the other elite teams in their respective leagues. After so many years, this could be the year when the trophy case in the nation’s capital is finally filled.

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