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Ben Zweifach

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Keep Hating on Washington, D.C. We've Got Things to Root For.

Posted: 04/26/2012 5:51 pm

Good lord, people hate Washington. With trust in government at all-time lows, politicians are attacking my hometown like it's Mordor. If you haven't heard, the District's the center of all things wicked, a modern Gomorrah responsible for debt, financial ruin, and Metta World Peace's elbow, and it's taking fire from those happy few still brave enough to stand up. Renegade outsiders on town square soapboxes, you're on!

"In Washington, more spending and more debt is business as usual," said Speaker John Boehner. "Well, I've got news for Washington: those days are over."

Fighting words. I bet they left the monuments cracking down to their foundations and the reflecting pool trembling like the water in Jurassic Park. Hide your women and lobbyists, D.C. elites. The JB-Rex is coming, and he knows your insider ways, having lived here for twenty years.

The hate's bipartisan. President Obama's been running around slamming us too: "People are fed up with [this] town;" Americans have seen "the same partisan, three-ring circus here in Washington" and "shouldn't become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare."

Where do these guys think they live? Don't they like the cherry blossoms? Sure, it's an election year, and we Washingtonians know the rhetoric's not directed at us, but, honestly, fellas -- if we're pricked, do we not bleed? Where's a D.C. representative when we need one?!

It certainly hasn't helped staunch the wounds that we've had so little to cheer for in so long. District pride is a delicate thing. In fact, I would submit that Washington, D.C. has been the least exciting major American sports city in recent history. There hasn't been a D.C. championship team in two decades -- and frankly, our sports franchises have spent most of the time being heinously dreadful. (Settle down, D.C. United. I said sports. And you're not going to change my mind by faking an injury.)

Due respect, I refuse to watch a sport where this is encouraged.

Then, April 26, 2012 happened. There hasn't been a brighter day for a D.C. sports fan in many administrations. Last night, the Capitals dethroned the defending champion Boston Bruins in a Game 7 overtime playoff thriller in Beantown (see here. Epic). If you're unfamiliar with the Capitals, I can assure you that this doesn't happen. The Capitals always blow it when it matters. It's like when the playoffs start, Alex Ovechkin is suddenly overcome by anxiety about losing his last four or five teeth. Not last night -- the boys pulled it together and denied Boston its thirty-seventh title of the 2000s. Boo-hoo.

And then there are the Redskins (apologies, Native Americans... truly the most racist name in sports; it's a good thing the city changed the name of the Bullets to the Wizards; we wouldn't want to be insensitive). I imagine that one day, aliens will land on earth, and, as they learn our history, become befuddled at the special ability of Dan Snyder's organization to spend money faster than the federal government, while still managing to fail on a consistent basis. Forget earmarks; if you want to learn about appallingly wasteful spending, go to Landover, Maryland. The Skins share this special talent with the New York Mets; it's a rare gift. The only question is which collection of idiots the Martians will choose to study.

And yet, TONIGHT, D.C. will be drafting the freakishly athletic and sweet-haired quarterback sensation Robert Griffin III -- or RG3, since we have to abbreviate everyone's names now in order to tweet incomprehensible jibberish like "@BenZwei pmped 4 RG3 2night btw skins gna b btter nxteyar #luvinitlikeMcDs!" True, the team had to send everything but FedEx Field's lawnmower to the St. Louis Rams to get him, but we finally have an exciting quarterback in town. (I'm assured this gentleman is a sure thing, and that we won't have a Ryan Leaf situation on our hands, come kickoff. For the sake of those District taxpayers sure to set themselves on fire outside the owner's box if Mr. Griffin turns into JaMarcus Russell-with-braids, I hope this is true.)

Summer is nearly upon us, however, and those of us who prefer inhaling hot dogs at the ballpark are equally psyched. Not only are the Nationals decent so far; they're certifiably filthy. With three legitimate aces in the starting rotation, the team has managed to go a shocking 14-4, despite hitting like a bunch of kindergartners. Said hotdogs are being choked on left and right. Yeah, it's still early, but the Nats' two best offensive players haven't even played yet, and an absolute beast of a phenom is on his way up from the minors. Experts are saying this is for real.

Many of you will find this crowing over fourteen wins, a draft prospect, and a playoff victory to be hilariously pathetic. Trust me, so do I. The self-awareness is as suffocating as the city's imminent, summer humidity. But as long as we can't turn on cable news without hearing our president, our representatives (if we had one), or our neighbor-who's-also-a-pundit crap on Washington, it's nice to have something to change the channel to.

Oh, and the Wizards still suck. Let's not get greedy.

 

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