Is there a better way to re enter the blogosphere than an official D.C. sports power rankings list? Don't think so, you guys. So we present to you, the official rankings of our local professional teams (and the Redskins):
6. Washington Redskins
I've made the argument over the past few months, that at this time, the Redskins are arguably the worst franchise in the sport. I cringe when someone disagrees, to be honest. Sure, the Jaguars, Titans, Bucs, and Raiders finished with worse records in '14, the Jets are terds, and the Bills haven't made the playoffs in 15 years. But they ALL are infinitely better franchises today and moving forward.
The Redskins define dysfunction. They have since 2000, when Snyder officially put his ass wipe stamp on the franchise with a ridiculous fantasy football spending spree. Hiring and firing Marty Shottenheimer after 1 year when the culture appeared to be changing. Hiring Steve Spurrier (5-11, not too good!). Hiring Jim Zorn (side note: maybe funniest and most Redskin thing ever when Zorn's wife is heard by media on phone saying, "No, he's going to be the head coach!"). The RG3/Shanaclan utter fiasco.
I couldn't give two shits that they hired a "potentially brilliant GM". It's the Redskins. It's Dan Snyder. Talking, writing, even thinking about this franchise is nauseating.
5. Washington Kastles
World Team Tennis. There are 7 franchises. I know one thing about the Washington Kastles: They are better than the Redskins.
4. D.C. United
Also better than the Redskins.
3. Washington Capitals
This one was tough. I was inclined to put the Capitals in the 2 spot, but just couldn't pull the trigger. The "choking dogs" Caps will be until a cup is raised. What new head coach Barry Trotz has done in his first year has been outstanding. Watching the Caps on a regular basis, there seems to actually be a complete system here. I'm not sure the Caps have really had a "complete system" in place in the Ovi era. They play offense, defense, and goal tend well. Imagine that. Trotz has been able to implement the defenseman creating offense while not getting burned defensively. Ovechkin has clearly bought in and is a plus goal differential player again. Johansson and Beagle have improved drastically. Holtby is a top 5 goalie. What's missing? Well, this is the regular season. The term "Choking dogs" doesn't get tossed around until Mid April.
2. Washington Nationals
The greatest starting rotation in history? Perhaps. Still a shaky bullpen and anemic playoff hitting? Yes! I do agree with every baseball pundit who states the Nats are a better team with the signing of Scherzer. I mean, how could they not? Assuming the rotation remains intact for '15, Gio Gonzalez would be the fifth starter. Dude won 20 games 3 years ago. There won't even be room for Tanner Roark, who won 15 games a season ago with a 2.85 ERA. That's insane. The move makes sense, really. Scherzer is the ultimate insurance for a likely Zimmermann departure. But rolling in to 2015 with Scherzer, Zimmermann, Fister, and Strasburg is downright scary.
My issues are pretty simple why the Nats are number two in D.C. And that is what I saw in the '12 and '14 playoffs. Drew Storen's utter collapse in '12, with another equally shitty performance in '14 (and he still appears to be the closer). They scored 9 runs in 45 innings against the Giants. That's almost not possible. The lineup has talent, but there are too many free swingers. I've watched enough baseball to know that is not a formula for playoff success. (Example, KC Royals offense finished '14 with fewest strikeouts, 1 game away from title). Not to mention their best reliever of the past 5 seasons, Clippard, has been shipped.
I still think they own the NL East, regardless of any subsequent transactions. They can ride with a superb staff, Rendon, Harper, Zimmerman, and Werth for the next few seasons and hopefully make some upgrades along the way.
1. Washington Wizards
The transformation of the Wizards franchise has been downright startling in a matter of 5 years. Speaking of 5 years ago, the Wizards employed Gilbert Arenas on a massive contract, who decided to go bat shit crazy and bring guns into the locker room for a fake face-off with future convicted murderer Javaris Crittenton. They also employed the "knuckleheads", (thanks Charles Barkley). Andray Blatche, Nick Young, and Javale McGee. Amazingly enough, all 3 are employed elsewhere across the association, but sure enough, they are all on shitty teams.
During those dark times, the Wiz were a joke, and GM Ernie Grunfeld seemed lost. One draft lottery win, followed by the dumping of the knuckleheads, followed by Brad Beal, followed by selective veteran acquisitions, and the Zards nearly sit atop the Eastern Conference half way through '14. Just amazing, really.
It is a weird feeling watching Wizards games today expecting victory. It still defies logic after where this franchise was 5 years ago. The Wizards are a legitimate threat to win the East. And, well, if Durant (OMG) comes calling in '16, depending on the league surroundings, the Wizards could be championship favorites. That is unfathomable.