Posts Tagged ‘Nats’

Washington, D.C. is not just a Redskins town – it’s a great sports city

October 31, 2011

The Caps have been the most underachieving playoff team of all time in any major North American sport, yet the games are all sold out for the third year in a row. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

Washington, D.C. may not be the best sports town in the country, but it deserves a lot more credit than it usually gets.  In fact, D.C. is an excellent sports town that supports more teams in more sports than just about any city in the U.S.

The Washington Post, a marketing machine that bores its tentacles further and further into the belly of local radio, TV, and the internet all the time, recently had the gall to call D.C. a “mediocre” sports town.

Don’t pay attention to such drivel, though, because the writers behind the series for the most part, namely Dan Steinberg and Mike Wise, have only been in town for a few years, and they overlook many of the aspects of D.C. sports fandom that make D.C. sports fans unique. Virtually none of the columnists who criticize D.C. as a sports town, many of whom live off the reputation of the once great Post, hail from the area.

D.C. sports fans shouldn’t be judged on their teams’ lack of recent championships or blamed because people want to live here. Examine the loyalty of fans through good times and bad, and you’ll find that D.C. stacks up well with almost any major city.  Washington hasn’t won a major pro sports championship in 20 years other than the four Major League Soccer trophies DC United took home between 1996 and 2004.  Yet D.C. fans are remarkably passionate in supporting their teams.

How many cities have the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, plus major college basketball and football? Not many.  We have the Redskins, Wizards, Caps, Nats, D.C. United, Maryland and Georgetown basketball, Terps football, and a whole lot more. Given what we’ve had to cheer for, D.C. has turned out to be a great sports city.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

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2010 DC sports year in review: great regular season for Caps, not much else to cheer about

January 7, 2011

Stephen Strasburg struck out 14 in his major league debut in 2010. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

2010 was another typical year for D.C. area sports teams. That is to say, there wasn’t a whole lot to cheer about, other than a great regular season by the Capitals and some above-average seasons by local college teams.

2011 may end up being brighter for the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, D.C. United, Maryland and Georgetown, but first Examiner.com takes a look back at the year in D.C. sports that was 2010.

Redskins

It was a disappointing debut for coach Mike Shanahan, whose Redskins finished 6-10, losing seven of their last nine games.  Shanahan traded a second and a fourth-round pick to Philadelphia for Donovan McNabb, who had his worst season since his rookie year.

Capitals

The Caps won the President’s Trophy for the most points in the NHL during the regular season, but then crashed and burned in the playoffs, losing to the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens in seven games.

Nationals

The Nats finished with a losing record (69-93) for the fifth time in their six-season existence.  Rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg did not disappoint, striking out 14 in his major league debut en route to a record of 5-3 and an ERA of 2.91 with 92 strikeouts in 68 innings.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

Nationals blow 5-1 lead, fall to Milwaukee Brewers 7-5 despite two homers by Michael Morse

July 24, 2010

The Nationals blew a 5-1 lead and wasted two home runs by Michael Morse as Washington fell to the Brewers, 7-5 at Miller Park in Milwaukee Friday.

The Nats gave starter Craig Stammen a 3-1 lead in the second inning when Michael Morse hit a three-run home run off Chris Narveson off the top of the left field wall. Earlier in the inning, Adam Dunn was hit by a pitch and Josh Willingham singled.

Morse hit a solo shot to left center field in the fourth inning, giving the Nats a 5-1 lead, five more runs than they gave Stammen in a loss last Sunday to Florida.

To see the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

Washington, D.C. Sports Headlines Examiner – Examiner.com

February 6, 2010

I’m the new Washington, D.C. Sports Headlines Examiner for Examiner.com.  Basically, I write short articles about local sports events.  In a typical week, I might do an article on a Caps game, Wizards game, either Maryland or Georgetown basketball game, and a fourth miscellaneous item.  Right now I’ll do more Caps games because they’re doing so well.  And of course, in the spring, I’ll be doing some Nats and D.C. United games, and of course Redskins news as it comes in.

See http://www.examiner.com/x-37753-DC-Sports-Headlines-Examiner for my articles.  If you click on “subscribe” to the right of my name and then enter your email address, you’ll get email alerts whenever I do an article.  Subscribing is free, and in a typical week, I’ll probably do about four articles.  If you’re a local sports fan, it’s worth it just to find out what happened to the local teams, and just as important, to hear about any major breaking news.  A perfect example of this is former Redskin Russ Grimm making the Hall of Fame, which just happened today.  Also, I get paid per page click — each time one of my articles gets read.

Examiner.com is not affiliated with the Examiner newspapers. Examiner.com has reporters, or “Examiners” all over the country and emphasizes local news and sports.

As long as I’m promoting myself, I might as well cut and paste my bio here:

Mike Frandsen is a free-lance writer who has worked as a local sports reporter covering the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Orioles. Mike also teaches kids with autism (www.coachmike.net) and works as an advocate for kidney donor awareness. He blogs about subjects as varied as sports, autism, and kidney disease at www.mikefrandsen.org.

Thanks for reading.

New Rule: Washington D.C. residents need to know the names of the local NBA, NHL, and MLB teams (Wizards, Caps, Nats)

January 13, 2010

I’m making a new rule.  If you live in the Washington, D.C. metro area, you need to know that the Wizards are the area’s pro basketball team, the Capitals are the hockey team, and the Nationals are the baseball team.  (Everybody knows that the Redskins are the football team, and unfortunately, it’s too much to ask for people to know that the soccer team is D.C. United).

Last night I met a woman who didn’t know who the Wizards were.  When I told her they were Washington’s NBA team, she laughed and said, “Oh yeah, but they’re new – they’re an expansion team.”  Then I told her that, no, the Wizards were the Bullets before that, and they won the NBA championship in 1978 and appeared in the finals three other times in the 70s.  Both the Wizards and the Caps franchises have been in D.C. for nearly 40 years, and the Bullets were in Baltimore before that.

(The current state of the Wizards is irrelevant.  I predicted disaster for this team in my blogs before the season began).

This has happened now almost 10 times to my estimation – someone doesn’t know who the Wizards are, doesn’t know who the Caps are, or mixes them both up.  This isn’t like the 140-question test on football that one of the characters in the movie “Diner” gave to his fiancé.  Just know the basics.  The names of the teams.  If you don’t, it’s disrespectful.  Disrespectful to yourself, to Washington, to your country, and disrespectful to God.

It’s like with the news.  I may not be an expert, but I can at least tell you the very basics.  I also think people who live here should know the very basics about area geography.

One time I mentioned to a lifelong area resident something about the Caps.  “Oh, they’re the basketball team, right?”  “No, they’re the hockey team,” I said.

A month later, I mentioned something about the Wizards and Caps.  “Which one is the basketball team?” she said.

About another month later, she still didn’t know the difference between the Wizards and the Caps.

Is it too much to ask that you know who the local sports teams are?  I’d never expect anyone to know that D.C. United is the pro soccer team, though it’d be nice.  The Nationals have only been around for five seasons so not knowing them might be slightly less egregious.

The Bullets had two of the NBA’s all-time greatest players – Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld.  Hayes was known as the “Big E.”  The crowd at the Capital Centre used to say, “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…” when he went up for one of his patented fadeaway jumpers.  He was also a great rebounder and shot blocker.  Unseld was a center who played great defense and was an excellent rebounder.  He won the Rookie of the Year award and the MVP award in the same season.  His specialty was the outlet pass over his head all the way down the court.  I know, nobody cares.  I’ll probably save this stuff for another blog post.

The Caps made the Stanley Cup finals in 1998 and the semifinals twice, in 1990 and last year.  They have the greatest player in the world in Alex Ovechkin.

Just like local residents should know about the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and the museums, you should also at least know who the local sports teams are.