by February 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

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


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.

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by November 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,420 0

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


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.

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