by Borderstan.com May 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

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.

Get an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories or subscribe to Borderstan’s daily email newsletter. 

by Borderstan.com March 6, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

"Hockey"

Hockey on your mind? (Luis Gomez Photos)

As some of you may know, I am adamant enthusiast when it comes to goofy non-serious DC sports leagues — whether its indoor bocce, shuffleboard, or this city’s favorite, kickball. Of course, I am signed up for April; more to come.

You may not realize it, but there is actually a pretty strong undercurrent of serious competitive sports too, ranging from the College Alumni Network leagues to the less well known ice hockey leagues. I am currently playing co-ed basketball and we have been having a good season so far.

Hockey in DC

Now, as DC is a city of out-of-towners, all the transients from cold places (Upper Midwest, New England, states that border Canada) are the backbone of the many competitive ice hockey leagues. Yes, the only rink in the city is where the Washington Capitals play, but outside the district there are a slew of leagues that you can play in.

I warn, though, this is not for the average fan or ice skater, this is a real league with some serious competition. A good friend of mine, Kevin, plays in one such league and I asked him about his experiences over the last few years of playing. Some thoughts….

Lebodome: What are average players like? Age? Important or average Joes?

Kevin: The people vary greatly. Some are married with kids, others recent college grads. For jobs, a lot in various business, a handful of criminal attorneys at the pickup games, construction, real estate, finance, government agencies, the works. Although I don’t know if I’ve ever played with any Hill staffers…

Lebodome: How physical is the game? I used to dominate driveway roller hockey, could I play?

Kevin: Not normal-hockey-physical. Body checks will get you a penalty, more than one they may show you the door. Moderate pushing and shoving is common and expected. Only seen one fight in a little over a year. I think they’ll suspend you, not positive.  Some really good players, depending on the league. Top league has former D-1 players, mine has some former college club players who are real solid. There are about five leagues at Kettler organized by general skill level.

Lebodome: A one-line description of your experience?

Kevin: Serious and competitive on the ice, relaxed and slightly buzzed off the ice.

If watching the Capitals (play poorly) has gotten you excited for some real hockey, there is a lot of choice out there. If you got the equipment and means to get to a rink outside the city, then this is the kind of league for you.

What’s Grinding my Gears

Sequester. I liked not knowing what this word meant. Now I hear it and just roll my eyes.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Washington Nationals cut a guy mid game during spring training. Ouch
  • Bit long, but very cool. Video games themes, middle eastern musicians/instruments
  • Best current U.S. diplomat; the best rebounder in the history of the NBA, Dennis Rodman.

Get an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories or subscribe to Borderstan’s daily email newsletter.

 

by Borderstan.com February 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

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

"Love"

Love your sport. (Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s that time of year again. Love is in the air, romantic dinners are being planned and employees at Russell Stover, 1-800-Flowers, and Victoria’s Secret are working overtime.

Valentines Day is the designated time of year to show that special someone in your life just how much you care about them. But what if you’re single, or just don’t feel like overpaying for chocolates, flowers and a prix fixe dinner? Embrace and celebrate your love of sports instead.

Are sports perfect? Not even close. They frustrate us, make us argue, complain, shout and, occasionally, even drive us to tears. But so do our husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends.

So Consider This…

  • Sports don’t expect you to cook dinner or do and fold all the laundry.
  • Sports never ask us to do the dishes, vacuum the floor or make the bed.
  • Sports don’t nag, ask you to cuddle or beg for sex when you clearly aren’t in the mood.

If you’re ready to swap the roses and truffles for the love of the game, here’s what the local teams are up to on or around Valentines Day 2013:

  • The resurgent Wizards are on a road trip until next week, but if you don’t mind celebrating a little late you can head to the Verizon Center on Tuesday, February 19, to see the team take on the Toronto Raptors.
  • Just because the Capitals are off to a slow start doesn’t mean you can’t forego a romantic candlelight dinner for a couple of hot dogs and some beer while you watch the team take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, February 14 at 7:30 pm. The team won’t be back in the District until late next week, but you can still give your significant other a taste of the team by ordering him/her a Slapshot Valentine’s Day Gram.
  • Spring Training games don’t get underway until later this month, but Nationals fans will be in the mood to celebrate on Wednesday, February 13 when pitchers and catchers report to Viera Florida to kick off the season.
  • D.C. United is currently down in Florida taking part in the Walt Disney World Pro Classic. After defeating the Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-0 last weekend, they take on Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, February 13 and the Montreal Impact on Saturday, February 16.  Both matches can be streamed live on the official Major League Soccer website.

Get an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories or subscribe to Borderstan’s daily email newsleter.

by Borderstan.com January 16, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

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

"DC'

What kind of fan are you? (Luis Gomez Photos)

Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty sports fan? Few would dispute the fact that 2012 was a game-changing year for the DC sports scene, as four out of our five major teams made the playoffs. But how you truly feel about what happened this year depends on how you answer that initial question.

Optimist or Pessimist?

  • The optimistic Nationals fan spent the summer with a serious case of “Natitude,” and watched the team coast to its first division title and the best record in Major League Baseball.
  • The pessimistic Nationals fan is still in shock that the team blew a four-run ninth inning lead and lost to the Cardinals. Moreover, fans can’t stop wondering what could have been if the team didn’t elect to shut down star pitcher Stephen Strasburg before the playoffs even started.
  • The optimistic DC United fan was thrilled that the team ended a five-year playoff drought and only lost one match at RFK Stadium all season long. More importantly, they’re excited that the new ownership group is dedicated to keeping the team in the District for years to come.
  • The pessimistic DC United fan is disappointed that the team fell just short of reaching the MLS Cup and continues to wonder when/if the team will finally announce some concrete progress in the ongoing quest for a new stadium.
  • The optimistic Redskins fan is still riding high from the victory over the Cowboys in the regular season finale that propelled the team to its first division title since last millennium.
  • The pessimistic Redskins fan wishes they could have read about RG3 in the previous paragraph, but instead wonders what the future holds for their superstar quarterback after he tore his ACL and LCL in last week’s playoff game against the Seahawks.
  • The optimistic Borderstan sports fan constantly celebrates the fact that our neighborhood has the best selection of bars in the city where you can catch the big game.
  • The pessimistic Borderstan sports fan needs to get up and get another drink.

If you’re a glass half-full sports fan, 2012 was undoubtedly a fantastic year.  District teams were finally relevant again, attendance rose and hundreds of thousands of local fans had much to celebrate.

If you’re a glass half-empty fan… well… at least the Caps are back this weekend.

Get an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories or subscribe to Borderstan’s daily email newsletter.

by Borderstan.com November 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

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

"sports"

The Verizon Center on 7th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for District sports fans. Cold weather means it’s time for some hockey and basketball! The Capitals and the Wizards! Or maybe just the Wizards…

For the fourth time in the last 20 years, the National Hockey League (NHL) is in the midst of a work stoppage. Each year, Alexander Ovechkin, Niklas Backstrom, and the rest of your favorite Capitals take the ice under a contract called a “collective bargaining agreement” between the players and the owners. This agreement covers things like salary structure, revenue sharing and player health and safety standards.

These agreements run for a set period of time and must be renegotiated before they expire in order to avoid a work stoppage. Unfortunately, the latest deal expired on September 15th and the players and owners have yet to agree on a new one. The result? A lockout.

So what does this mean for the District? Most obviously it means hundreds of thousands of disappointed hockey fans. The Capitals are consistently among the NHL’s elite, and have made the playoffs each of the last five seasons.

More problematic is the potential impact on local businesses. The Capitals play one or two games at the Verizon Center almost every week between mid-October and mid-April. As long as the lockout continues that’s 18,000 to 35,000 fewer potential customers spending money in restaurants, bars and other local shops — and that’s thousands of dollars of revenue District business owners can’t get back.

While the Verizon Center may seem like it’s a far reach from Borderstan, the economic impact is one that affects our neighborhood. Not only is the Verizon Center just south of Shaw, an area that is under constant development, but imagine how many fans venture up to the 14th and U Street areas before and after a game for a bite to eat or a post-game celebration.

Owners and players are tentatively scheduled to meet at the negotiating table this week, but experts are not optimistic that a deal is close. For now local sports fans are to rally around the Wizards, who are off to a league-worst 0-8 start to the season.

If things keep-up as they are, it won’t be such a wonderful time of year for District sports fans or the city’s budget.

Get an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories or subscribe to Borderstan’s daily email newsletter.

by Borderstan.com March 18, 2011 at 4:15 am 1,001 0

News from Dupont-Logan-U Street (mostly).

From Michelle Lancaster. You read me to find out what you missed, so please tell me what I missed. You may mock me @michlancaster on Twitter.

St. Paddy’s Day and March Madness

Nah, I don’t think  you missed it. Hopefully you avoided the green beer, culturally insensitive, but delicious car bombs and irritating Irish people by incorrectly spelling it “St. Patty’s Day” (as our editor did yesterday before fixing it at the behest of an irate reader). Get in the spirit with festive animal photos from the Zoo, brought to you by DCist. You may be missing work today, and I know you didn’t do much yesterday as the NCAA basketball tournament kicked off. Don’t worry — if your bracket is already toast, at least know you can make Morehead State jokes instead.

Elementary Students Exposed to Cocaine

The students at Thomson Elementary weren’t feeling well, and went to the nurse. It was discovered then, TBD reports, that several students had either ingested or sniffed cocaine. School officials are investigating, but it appears a child brought it into school.

(more…)

×

Subscribe to our mailing list