The Future is Bright
By Kevin Green
As I gaze through the unique September issue of ESPN the magazine, which claims that Boston is America’s most dominant sports city, I am in awe of how consistently good Boston teams have been for the past decade. In ten years, Boston has claimed 7 total titles between four teams: the Patriots, Red Sox, The Celtics, and the Bruins, The Patriots sparked the winning ways in Boston in 2001, when they won Boston’s first championship of the decade. Then, from 2003 to 2004, the Patriots completed one of the hardest feats to accomplish in sports: back-to-back championships. Also, if not for the miraculous comeback by the Giants, the Patriots would have won their fourth Super Bowl in seven years, and completed one of two perfect seasons.
Arguably the second best team in Boston, the Red Sox, has won two championships this decade. In 2004, the Red Sox pulled off the impossible: breaking the curse of the Bambino. The Red Sox went 86 years without winning a World Series, until the 2004 season; and on top of that, the Red Sox went on the win the World Series in 2007.
As for the Celtics, their success did not arise until the offseason following the 2007 season. In that offseason, the Celtics acquired perennial All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. The Celtics went on to win the NBA finals in 2008. Since then, the Celtics have won four straight division titles, and returned to the NBA finals in 2010.
Lastly, the Bruins, the “worst” of the four dynasties in Boston, who have been considered a good team in the NHL for the past ten years, have finally reached stardom in Boston, winning the only Boston championship in 2011.
As a Washington sports fan, it seems unfair to settle cheering for the routinely dismal Redskins, Wizards, and Nationals, with an exception of the recent success of the Capitals. From when I was born in 1994, I have had the pleasure of experiencing a whopping zero championships in any of the four Washington sports teams. That’s right, in my seventeen years of being a diehard fan of Washington sports teams; I have never witnessed a championship. While Boston Sports fans have experienced seven championships in ten years, I am still waiting for my first.
Although Washington has had some teams go to the playoffs periodically, in the last decade, Washington has been among the worst sports cities in professional sports. Washington boasts a dismal one championship in the last decade by the Washington Redskins In 1991. Out of all four teams in Washington, the combined total of championships in the city of Washington is a jaw-dropping four. Boston has more championships under its belt in ten years than Washington has in more than seven decades.
Despite these depressing numbers, the future is very bright for Washington. On all of the four teams in Washington, the upcoming decade looks promising.
Although the Washington Nationals finished one game under .500 this season at 80-81, the Nationals have two of the brightest stars of the future of the MLB in their system. First is right-hander Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg returned to the team from injury earlier than expected, and finished the season 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA. Along with Strasburg, in their double-A farm associate team, is the famed Bryce Harper. Harper was featured on a Sports Illustrated cover as “The Chosen One.” Although only 18 years old, he left high school early to pursue his professional career, and is alreadyon his way to the majors.
Similar to the Nationals, the Wizards have a bright future led by a popular young star John Wall, drafted first overall in the 2010 draft. In his first professional season, Wall led all rookies in assists with 8.3 a game, and second in scoring with an impressive 16.4 ppg. Although the Wizards ended the season as the fourth worst team in the NBA, John Wall will lead a young team bound for success.
The Capitals are already considered to be Washington’s best team. Picked to win the Stanley Cup by many analysts, the Capitals had a disappointing loss in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Led by 26 year-old Alex Ovechkin, already a rookie of the year and MVP winner in his famed career, the capitals best players are Ovechkin (26), Mike Green (25), Alexander Semin (27), and Nikolas Backstrom (23). Like the wizards and Nationals, this young team is bound to win multiple championships in the future.
As for the Redskins, the most famed Washington sports team in history with the most championships and playoff appearances, have started the 2011 season 2-1. Led by veteran Rex Grossman, and 25-year-old running back Tim Hightower, the Redskins look to surprise many people in the 2011 season, and finally propel back to the top of the NFC East.
Hopefully, years from now, I will be looking at an ESPN magazine of the best sports town. Ironically, Washington will be on the cover, and I will just smile in satisfaction and say, “I told you so.”