Monday, April 13, 2009

To Be or Not to Be: Ups and Downs of a DC Sports Fan

Snark can be a terrible thing. It makes scoffing at a bumbling, bad news bears of a baseball team easy. It makes laughing off a fool of a football team owner seem natural. And it makes one skeptical of an $111 million dollar bench warming star of a basketball player. But in the end, a true fan supports her/his team. Fly or fail. So, I will be supporting both the Nationals and the Capitals this year, as I do every year. One is at the top of the game. (For those of you living under a rock, that's the Capitals) The other is, well, in a bad place.

But I support the team all the same. Today the Nationals are playing the first game of the season in Nationals Park. They have yet to win a game, the last team in the MLB with that dubious distinction. But look, the bad years make the good years to come worth it. Ask the Capitals fans and ownership. They are on Cloud 9 now after some shaky years. Hopefully the Nationals are on that path. The current plan doesn't appear to be reaping any benefits that are analogous with the word "win." But neither did the Phillies' plan for much of the 90s and 2000s, and they are World Champions now.

So, win/loose/draw I will support the Nationals. And the Wizards, and the Capitals. Just like a good home team fan should. 6-0 or 0-6. See you at the Nats' game. The home opener begins at 3:05pm today. Sad to say, tickets are still available of this writing. (re: NFL; I'm a closet Miami Dolphins fan)

While we're at it, some more sports news from the District.

College Hockey. College Hockey?
What a treat the Frozen Four was. The amazing drama of the championship game, the surprising visit by the upstart Beavers, thousands of visitors to downtown and a great face put on by the city in general. DC has now logged it's first NCAA championship contest and hopefully there will be more to come. Now, if we can work on hosting a World Series or Stanley Cup Final...

World Cup!
This could be more than a decade away, but I'm bobbing up and down in my seat just thinking about it: DC may host a World Cup soccer match. We're talking way off; in 2018 or 2022. And that's if the U.S. is even selected by FIFA to host the games. The potential sites are, of course, Fed Ex Field and RFK Stadium, if its even around at that point. If the U.S. hosts the Cup in either of those years, count on the DC region getting a game somewhere. The best attended World Cup ever was hosted in the U.S. in 1994.

DC's "Arena" Football Team
Who knew? We have an "arena" football team. The DC Armor play at the DC Armory, naturally. The team is part of the American Indoor Football Association. The AIFA was formed in 2006 and is modeled after the Arena Football League and other indoor football leagues. The AFL is taking a year off to restructure, but the AFL2 season is in progress. It looks as if the AIFA is just a step below AFL2 in league structure, marketing and promotion.

The AIFA is made up of 10 teams, broken up into two divisions. DC Armor play in a division with the Baltimore Mariners (guess where they play their games) and three Pennsylvania teams; Harrisburg, Erie and Reading. The Armor played their first home game last week and have another tonight starting at 7:00 pm. Here's to minor league sports!