D.C. sports fans are the most tortured souls in sports fandom. I know this, because I’ve spent many nights, sitting on my couch, befuddled at life itself. Nothing really matters. It all dies anyways.
With Cleveland’s title last summer, D.C. sports took claim to the saddest sports city in America. It’s different being a D.C. kid in a town like Athens, especially when fans hail from Cleveland, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Here’s the worst five moments since the turn of the century in D.C:
5: Gilbert brings guns to the locker room
After brief success in the middle-2000s, the Wizards were dying. Gilbert Arenas had bad knees and was faltering, Antwan Jamison and Caron Butler were growing weary, and the Cavaliers couldn’t be stopped. Then in the 2009-10 season, Arenas brought unloaded guns to the locker room. After an argument with a teammate, Arenas allegedly threatened to shoot Javaris Crittenton. Arenas was suspended for the remainder of the season and traded a year later.
4: LeBron psyches out Agent Zero
The Wizards were up two against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Playoffs. With just two free throws in overtime, Gilbert Arenas, a new league sensation, would have sent the Wizards and Cavs to Game 7. LeBron walked up to Arenas, and historically said “miss these, you’re going home.” Arenas missed both free throws, and Damon Jones hit a 3-pointer as time ran out for the Cavaliers.
3: Nationals blow lead against the Cardinals
After fighting for a baseball team for decades, the Nationals finally had made playoffs after seven long years. The Nationals were up 6-0 in Game 5, and were on track to be the first D.C. sports team to make a conference final since 1998. They blew the lead, gave up four runs in the ninth inning, and lost. The Cardinals were down to their last strike twice. Still, no D.C. sports team has made a conference final since 1998.
2: RG3’s knee explodes
The Redskins had him. The quarterback designed to lead the team to the promised land. Playing on an injured knee, Robert Griffin III led the Redskins to a 14-0 lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the playoffs. Then, disaster. A bad snap forced RG3’s knee to bend and every major ligament in his knee to snap. The fallout forced an entire coaching staff, and Griffin, out of Washington three years later.
1: Any Capitals playoff loss
The most tortured team in hockey history, the Capitals started blowing 3-1 leads before it was cool. The team has made the playoffs all but seven times since 1982, and still has only made the conference finals once. President’s Trophies don’t seem to matter for the “choking dogs,” who each and every year find a way to blow a once promising season. It’s a running joke.