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Tag Archive | "DC sports teams"

District Ink, Tattoo Me


From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.

"Tattoo"

Tattoo me. (Luis Gomez Photos)

You’re a huge sports fan. More specifically, you’re a huge DC sports fan. You’re ready to show the world just how passionate you are about your favorite local team. So what do you do?

You could buy a jersey, but whatever player you choose won’t be playing forever. You could buy season tickets and dress up for the game, but that’s expensive and you run the risk of looking like this guy.

If you’re as hardcore about your team as you say you are, there’s only one choice. A tattoo. What follows is the good, the bad, and the truly ugly of DC sports tattoos.

The Nationals

  • The Good – When in doubt, stick with the Curly W. The Nats don’t have a long storied history like many of the other baseball teams, but they do have a nice classic looking logo. Keep it clean and simple.
  • The Bad – Messing with the Curly W. The only way to ruin a nice logo is to add stuff to it. Especially when that stuff is a microphone and some poorly written text.
  • The Ugly – Teddy. Okay so this isn’t actually a Nats tattoo, but it should serve as a warning to anyone who wants to immortalize our 26th president on their skin. We’re all big Teddy fans when we’re at the stadium, but if you want to celebrate Teddy stick with the t-shirt.

The Redskins

  • The Good – A tribute to a fallen player. You can never go wrong with a nice tribute to a life taken too soon (in this case Sean Taylor). Portraits can be tough, so you may want to stick with a jersey number.
  • The Bad – The Native American. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last six months, you probably know that there is a growing movement to get the Redskins to change their name. This is a particularly offensive example, but either way you’re better off steering clear of anything that may be looked at as disrespectful.
  • The Ugly –Too Much. Taken individually, none of these tattoos are THAT bad. But in this case, there is definitely too much of a (not so) good thing.

The Capitals

  • The Good – The logo. Like the Nationals, the Caps have a nice, clean, classic looking logo. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • The Bad – The Goalie. Human figures are notoriously difficult to tattoo. Throw in a jersey, padding, a mask, and a stick, and that’s a lot to get right. Don’t even try it.
  • The Ugly – Possibly Tattoo’ed by a 4th Grader. In addition to having way too much going on, the stars and numbers are pretty uneven. The idea is ok, but the execution just isn’t there.

The Wizards

  • The Ugly – The Wizard. This was one of the only Wizards tattoos I could find, which leads me to believe that anyone else thinking about getting a Wizards tattoo saw this and thought better of it. Let’s hold off on the Wizards ink for now.

Ready to get your DC sports tattoo? Head to one of these local shops:

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How Is Your District Team Doing So Far?


From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.

"District"

How is your team doing? (Luis Gomez Photos)

2012 was a landmark year for Districts sports teams. Rookie stars Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris carried the Redskins to an unexpected (but much celebrated) division title. Bryce Harper did the same with the Nationals. DC United returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and fell just short of hosting the MLS Cup.

And, while none of our beloved teams were able to bring a championship back to the District, 2012 was still a very welcome change from recent years of futility.

So how is 2013 shaping up?  Well, it’s a mixed bag so far. Here’s where we stand going into May.

Wizards

The Wizards stumbled out of the gate in 2012, largely because superstar John Wall watched from the bench with a knee injury. When he returned in early January, they sat at the bottom of the league with a record of 5-28. Wall’s return provided the spark the team needed as they won almost half of their remaining games. When the 2013-2014 season picks up later this year the Wizards won’t be championship contenders, but a return to the playoffs is a reasonable goal.

Redskins

I won’t spend much time on the 2013 Redskins as memories of watching RG3 tear ligaments in his knee might drive many of you to tears. The good news is that by all accounts his recovery is going smoothly and he intends to be in the week 1 starting lineup. Regardless of RG3’s knee, the biggest Redskins 2013 storyline might end up being when we start calling them the Redtails.

Nationals

After their surprise run to the division title last year, sportswriters and fans alike have high expectations for the 2013 Nationals. So far, not much has changed from the 2012 version. They shipped Michael Morse off to Seattle but he left A-ha behind, Brycer Harper is still swinging a big bat, and Stephen Strasburg is rounding into form after a couple of rough starts. They’ll need to pick up the pace if they want to match last year’s win total and catch the division leading Braves, but they still have the look of a team that could bring World Series baseball to the District this fall.

DC United

Oh, where to begin? Unable to build off of last year’s magical postseason run, my beloved black and red are off to the worst start in the league. If I focus on the bad I’m going to get depressed, so instead I’ll point out some positives. Attendance is already up 5% over last year (and we haven’t gotten to the warm weather games yet), rumors abound about a possible deal for a new stadium, and you can still find the Bada Bing and Doug the Food Dude trucks in Lot 8 before just about every game.

Capitals

After a lengthy lockout threatened cancellation of the entire season, hockey finally returned to the Verizon Center in January. The extra time off didn’t do the team any favors as they won only 2 of their first 11 games. But unlike the Wizards, the Caps shook off the rust and edged out Winnipeg for the division title. They current hold a 2-1 lead in the opening round best of 7 series against the New York Rangers. Game 4 will be played tonight at 7:30 pm at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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Lebodome: Football is Back in DC


From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.

"Football"

Robert Griffin III, Lord of The Redskins. (Original picture by Chris Covatta, photographed from Athlon Sports by Luis Gomez)

The heat has subsided. The local colleges are starting to fill up with annoying freshmen. The interns are gone. Fall is coming, and with the autumn leaves comes FOOTBALL!

Over the course of the next few months, for a sizable portion of America (according to all kinds of polls and data that I don’t feel like retrieving) football will consume them in the manner of watching, gambling and fantasy football.

In the last decade, the NFL has become the major powerhouse of America’s sports enjoyment to the point that even in June, one of the most sports packed months of the calendar, ESPN was still using football headlines to anchor their shows.

I have been patiently waiting for a chance to see my New York Football Giants defend their Super Bowl title. There are also lots of great story lines for this upcoming season, and one of the major ones resides in our very backyard. Here are some of the good ones:

All Hail Robert Griffin III, Lord of the Redskins. I have mentioned this guy’s name in the past four posts I have written to  subtly embed his name in every Borderstan reader. Most football experts say that to win in the modern game, no matter how good your team is all around, without an elite quarterback you will never win a Super Bowl. RG3 is hopefully that guy.

The Redskins gave up a lot to draft Baylor’s Heisman Trophy winner and are hoping he leads the ‘Skins to the promised land. He is a nimble, run-and-gun kind of QB which will lead to a lot of exciting plays but also some hard hits and plenty of rookie mistakes. I recommend keeping your expectations in check, but be ready for something special. This guy is about to take DC by storm.

The Return of Peyton Manning. He missed all of last season due to a shoulder/neck injury but is back on the field (and in all our commercials) and ready take back his mantle of best in the game. The NFL is better with this guy back in pads and seeing him in a Denver Broncos uniform will only be a small adjustment. Question is though, can he regain his old form and how fragile will he be?

The Replacements. A bit under the radar, but as of right now, the NFL is planning to use replacement referees for the season because the league is locking out the officials’ union. Here are the details but expect this issue to come out often as the games will miss the seasoned and professional touch of veteran officials. How will I enjoy games without Mike Carey and Ed Hochuli?

There are plenty of other story lines and this should be another great season. Every team had plenty of time to practice and rearrange their lineup without a lockout this summer. The local division of the NFC East is loaded and thus every week will be a great matchup. If I had to pick my Super Bowl finalists, I would have to say Packers over Texans.

Last season I enjoyed only some of the great places in Borderstan to watch games and I hope to be back to that as the season rolls along. Please feel free to recommend any great spots in the area that you think are good for game watching. Otherwise good luck to your teams and enjoy the season!

On another note… something to look forward to: PLAYOFF BASEBALL is (very likely) coming to the district! How will we handle all this Natitude??

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Old Sportscenter commercials. Always a good watch.
  • Andy Roddick is calling it a career. US Open finals this weekend.
  • Poor UofMaryland football. Glad to see college football is back.

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Lebodome: Time to Meet RG3, the Next D.C. Sensation


"Borderstan"

Baylor Quarterback Robert Griffin III “RG3″ is everywhere. We even found this magazine photo of him in Logan Circle. (Original photo by Chris Covatta, photographed from Athlon Sports by Luis Gomez)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.

Washington, D.C., is in a very unique class of cities. It is one of 12 cities that have all four four major sports leagues. We even have soccer, although the MLS is not on the same financial level as the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB. Something that is often discussed in these cities is what is the most popular sport, or better what kind of sports town are you.

For a city such as Chicago, the limelight is very-well shared as every team has won a championship in the recent past and have winning traditions (Cubs excluded, of course). When it comes to Washington, this town has been —and I feel always will be — a football town. No other type of sports team in town gets even near the same kind of love and dedication of fans (D.C. residents drive to Maryland just to watch them) as the Redskins.

Sadly though, the Redskins have been a bit lost for the last, let’s say 15 to 20 years, and just can’t seem to get all the wheels going in the right direction. Last season they went 7-9, but were able to beat the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, showing that maybe they can compete.

Well Borderstanis, times are about to change. D.C. we will get a brand new celebrity who will blow away the Cap’s Alex Ovechkin in popularity and expectations. On Thursday night, during the NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins using the No.2 pick (they gave up a lot of valuable assets to be picking that high) will select last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Baylor University Quarterback Robert Griffin III.

As noted by the immensely higher paychecks they receive than their contemporaries, the quarterback position is the MOST important on the field and teams with average ones very rarely win championships. The Redskins are making it clear to the city; we are in it to win.

Prepare for a New D.C. Celebrity

Let’s prepare for a new city celebrity. I guarantee this will be the kind of guy who, wherever he goes or whatever he does, it will make news — similar to Ovechkin’s beginning in D.C. when he was drinking all over town. Here are some things to expect and watch for.

Run & Gun: Think Michael Vick and Cam Newton. RG3 (yes, this is his nickname, learn it) makes his living on a strong arm but also his ability to run all over and throw while moving (this is not done by everyone). There will be exciting plays, trick plays, long runs and, hopefully, a good touchdown dance.

He is Still New: The last few years have spoiled football fans with rookie quarterbacks leading their teams to the playoffs (Andy Dalton, ’10 and Joe Flacco ’08) but this usually does not happen. There will be growing pains, awful interceptions, and probably some gruesome hits when he decides running will be better than passing. The ‘Skins will have nice weapons around him, and the schedule isn’t too brutal. But remember everyone, he is still new.

If They Start Winning: He will be more popular than President Obama is in D.C. I said it. Winning quarterbacks always poll better than leaders of the free world, especially in D.C.

He isn’t very tall, but his face will start appearing everywhere. This could be the start of something great for the Redskins. Or, he is a huge bust, a college talent that can’t translate to the NFL, and I will have wasted a whole column on him. Either way, if you see him (which our writers have already done last week in Logan Circle), say hi and protect him from incoming linebackers; D.C. needs him.

What’s Grinding My Gears

NBA playoffs start next week. Can’t say I care that much, this whole season was tough to enjoy. Will watch the conference finals and championship though.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links

  • Stephen Strasburg of the Nats throws really hard. Just ask this umpire’s sensitive area. Warning: males may struggle watching this.
  • The scale of the universe. Created by two 14-year-old kids from California. Amazing work.
  • Mother’s Day is May 13. Here is a great way to get your mom a card and help a great cause at the same time.

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Springtime: Cherry Blossoms, Rooftops and Nationals Baseball


"Borderstan" "Nationals"

Nationals Park: Ready to play! (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.

It’s official. Winter is over. Yup, that was way too easy. I think I only wore my winter boots once and, frankly, I definitely did it for the sake of wearing them (knowing my luck, we’ll get 10 inches in mid-April).  For those who aren’t sure that our planet’s climate is changing, you obviously live under a rock.

For everyone else in Borderstan, spring means renewal, fresh flowers, and of course, DC kickball (got a new team this season, new offense name, and I am excited). BTW, if you missed it check out In the Lebodome: The Five People You Meet at DC Kickball.

One other spring activity that comes to mind is America’s first pastime, baseball. If you haven’t heard, and judging by last year attendance and the general stature of the team you probably haven’t, our good old Washington Nationals are finally ready to be a team worth mentioning.

They’ve got some pitching, a few bats for the middle of the order, and actual defense.  Most importantly, the division seems in flux. With baseball’s new playoff system, there is actually a slim chance that DC could see it’s first-ever October baseball! As someone who watched their inaugural season at RFK for $5 a seat, this is quite a step up.  Sure, the Phillies and the newly named Miami Marlins will be good, but this baseball season, anything can happen.

Opening day in DC is April 12 against the Cinncinati Reds but they also have a home exhibition game April 5 against the Boston Red Sox. Tickets are always available, its right on the green line, and the food/drinks are quite tasty/bit pricey. So, dust off your “W” hat, look up Navy Yard on your Metro map app, and get excited because baseball will be back soon.

In case you were curious how the rest of the town is doing…

Capitals, Hockey: Ovi is still Ovi but this team is hanging on the edge between playoffs and going golfing in April. If they do somehow make it, expect a first round blowout to the dominant New York Rangers or Sidney Crosby’s revived Pittsburgh Penguins. On the bright side, Ovi has a humerous March Madness bracket.

Wizards, Basketball: Woof. No doubt that the best basketball team in the district this year was the Georgetown Hoyas. Just read this article from USA Today describing Washington as the place where coaches come to get fired. Quite telling, I thought.

Redskins, Football: DC is already getting excited for their franchise quarterback.   And who knows? Maybe with all of the new talent they signed, and Rex Grossman not running the offense, they may compete. As every local fan tells me, they did beat the Super Bowl champion Giants twice last season. I thought this small scandal was a bit strange, unsure how to react. Would love a fresh take on this…

D.C. United, Soccer: Saw this. Trying to get excited. Looking to see a game soon, review to come.

What’s on My Mind

I saw Hunger Games (didn’t read the book) and liked it. As long as this series doesn’t become the next Harry Potter in terms of fandom, I’m looking forward to more movies.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • The next great foodtruck is coming soon.
  • Great “60 Minutes” piece on the best tennis player on Earth, Novak Djokovic
  • I had 3 out of 4 Final Four teams, not bad. Enjoy the finals this weekend

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