This has been one hell of a week for Washington D.C natives and their fanbase. Wednesday was supposed to be a new era for them, one where the Capitals finally get over their mental hurdle with the Pittsburgh Penguins and one where the Wizards seize control of their series. Yet it was anything but that, with the Caps’ losing another Game 7 to their archnemesis and the Wizards haphazardly losing to the Celtics in a lifeless manner. This weekend though may have finally been what they needed. The Washington faithful may have finally found their much awaited new beginning.
In case you didn’t already know, being a D.C. fan isn’t exactly all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, not one of their sports franchises has made it to a conference final in 66 consecutive seasons. That is by far the longest streak in all of the major league sports and you don’t have to remind that to the natives of Washington. Long gone are the 80’s where the Redskins held supremacy under the Joe Gibbs era alongside Joe Theisman. The new era Washington consists of teams and players that collapse like a deck of hard in the wind, see the Capitals & RG3. Friday night looked like more of the same for Washington after an Avery Bradley jumper put Boston ahead by 2 with just 7 seconds to go. BUT enter superhuman John Wall-he wasn’t letting them go down without a fight. Wall rose up from deep over Bradley and nailed a 3 inevitably giving Washington the huge emotional victory.
Before Friday night Washington was 0-9 in their last nine elimination games at home. Geeze talk about treacherous. That statement sums up how it is being a Washington fan. Friday night didn’t win this series for the Wizards but it gave their fans hope. As dominant as the home teams have been in this series they have a punchers chance with Wall and Beal. John Wall is the heart of this city right now and after the win proclaimed “Don’t come to my city, wearing black, talking about a funeral.” Washington I give you your messiah.
The real messiah for Washington was supposed to be Bryce Harper. Both he and the Nationals have underperformed based on high expectations over the past years. But this year the Nats (23-12) and Harper are getting down to business, literally. The Nats inked Harper to a one-year deal worth $21.625 million in 2018 avoiding arbitration. This a small win but nonetheless a win for the city, locking him up one more year minimum. My guess is if the Nationals don’t at least make the NL championship game in one of these two seasons he’ll be sporting pinstripes in 2019. I mean shit I can’t blame him the guy wants to win and they easily have had the talent to do it ever since he’s been in the league. But at least it buys them time and a small victory.
This weekend was full of victories for Washington. Not too long after, Harper came to bat in the bottom of the ninth with two out and two on just to deliver a three run BOMB to dead center. Harper said after the game “I tried to go John Wall…walk em’ off a bit.” This guy FUCKS! Even as a Met fan you can’t deny Harper has swagger and doesn’t give a fuck. He’s underperformed for sure but just because he is held to a God-like Babe Ruth standard. His ceiling is just unmatched to any player in the league maybe only to Mike Trout, Harper is still just 24 years young.
So is Washington really headed away from the gloom and doom and ready to emerge as a serious force in the sports world? We will know Monday night, Game 7 when the Wizards travel to the ever hostile TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics. We know John Wall will bring it, it’s just a matter if the others follow suit. What a tremendous story it would be for them to stomp on the hearts of the Boston faithful on their home turf. Expect an energetic desperate effort on behalf of the Wizards, and if not? Washington might have to wait for October to see if they can conquer their bloody curse the malignant politicians have cast upon their city.