Hope And Change: A Portrait Of A Washington, DC Sports Fan


Hope and change is a never-ending love affair.

No, I’m not talking politics. The city is Washington, DC, but the topic is sports.

Hope and change may as well apply to life as a DC sports fan – always hopeful, there is always potential, and we constantly expect things to change for the better.

The Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl when I was 3-years-old. I have no memory of it because I was 3. The football hype train returns each year to DC. In 2012, I saw Robert Griffin III take us to 10-6 only to lose early to the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card game. Then, RGIII went down, we went 3-13, and there has been quarterback drama ever since. We beat Dallas with third-string QB Colt McCoy and the town went wild. Never before had I been this excited for a 3-5 team. Pure joy washed over DC yet again and hope remained strong… until we lost to the 1-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and now sit at the bottom of the division. There is always next year. Hope remains.

I sit here writing, thinking about the recent Washington Nationals’ season. It was our year. The Nationals had the best pitchers in baseball. They even pitched well in the playoffs, but the offense didn’t hit and the team made a swift and uneventful exit – an exit not at all unfamiliar in recent years to their fellow DC teams. The Washington Wizards are improving. But, they too made an unfortunate exit from the playoffs last season.

I could not have been more excited for the Wizards’ 2014-2015 season until LeBron James, decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sure, the Heat were in the same division as the Wizards, but now, when we ultimately make the playoffs yet again, we have a better chance of facing James in the first round as a Cav. I’ve seen it before in 2006, and watched James take us out 4-2 in the first round. Now, we have to be that much better. Paul Pierce is in town though, Beal is recovering, and John Wall looks good. Hope remains.

Oh yes, the Washington Capitals started up again. In the 26 years that I’ve been on this earth, the Caps have won the division 8 times. They have won the Stanley Cup 0 times (in franchise history too). But, we have Ovechkin and a new coach. Hope remains.

Plenty of cities go through the same struggle. DC is not alone in it, for the struggle is real. If I can say one thing about my city and the countless others vying for greatness though, it is that we are glass half full people. We are optimistic and I like it that way.

We may criticize ownership, coaches, trades, and draft picks, but we find a way to justify every move made and spin it in our favor – regardless if we agree with it or not (we will make ourselves believe it’s the right move no matter what). The end result does not always matchup with our rationalized spin on things but we remain hopeful in the end.

I love watching the teams play for my city. I love believing that this is our year. We have plenty of hope in DC. One of these days though, we are going to be right, and the change will happen.