The World Cup Finale is just days away and the roundtable is back to talk about the entire event spanning the last month and share opinions on who is likely to win and why. France is loaded with talent, but Croatia seems to rise to every occasion! John, Dan, Sam, Mat, and Joe also discuss the rising and falling stars in the world of soccer, expectations for the third place contest on Saturday and if Wayne Rooney will have a positive impact on our local team here in DC with the opening of their new venue just days away. The boys also debate why their favorite league is the best (La Liga vs EPL is always and intense screaming match) and share some thoughts on what we can all do to fill our time when the soccer ends.
Stevie and Joe are back from vacation and getting caught up on all things sports and all things DC! This episode of the podcast includes a recap of the past two weeks specific to the Nationals and the pitching woes (0-12min), plus All Star Weekend preperations (16-20). The boys talk briefly about LA-Bron, PG, and the NBA free agency period (21-28) before shifting into World Cup, Wayne Rooney, and a brisk soccer convo (31-36). The highlight of this weeks non-sports story for Joe is the Thai Cave Rescue (38-42) which ended earlier today while Steve wanted to focus on POTUS and his Supreme Court nomination (42-46). The final thoughts from both lads includes a discussion on the NFL and the terrible job the Commish is doing at executing punishments (46-50)… all that plus more on this extended weeks-in-review episode of the DTC podcast!
The WorldCup knockout rounds begin, and LP and Joe talk about the highlights and the lowlights of the firsst two weeks plus make a few predictions too. In local soccer news Wayne Rooney signs with United, DC United that is, and not much is really expected of him accept to score and fill the seats at the new stadium downtown… right? And to cap the show, is there is a really chance that Lebron would come play for the Wizards or is that just nonsense to fill the airwaves becuse the Nationals are playing some terrible baseball? … Quick show, get caught up, then share!
LP, FP, and Joe are back talking sports as the #ALLCAPS hangover finally comes to an end… by the way the Caps bent the cup!? But a lot has happened in the past two weeks with Trotz leaving (5:30), Johnny C staying (10:45), and DSP getting a one year extension too (12:30). But there is more happening around the DC on the Wizards side with a strange draft ending (18:25), a trade bringing in Austin Rivers (24:30), and NBA free agency is just around the corner (31:00). Welcome back to the show!
From coming back from 0-2 against Columbus to defeating their arch rivals in Pittsburgh to beating the hottest team in hockey in the Golden Knights to more recently finding their homes/beds after a 24 hour bender across the DC area, these Capitals have shown they are up for every challenge that comes their way. And as the Hurricane Ovechkin party tour winds down and these players go their separate ways for the offseason, they leave behind a city that has now tasted victory and wants more of it. So the real question for this Capitals team is this: can they transform this city into the “District of Champions”?
To do so, they would have to have left some of that championship mojo back at Nats Park after celebrating with the Cup (and a few dozen beers) at Saturday’s game. The Caps Stanley Cup championship coupled with this iteration of a powerhouse roster for the Nats give this city its best chance at back to back titles in the 4 major professional sports. Could the Nationals do the unthinkable and hoist the World Series trophy only 6 months after DC hoists the Stanley Cup? It’s very possible but in order to do so, the Nats will have needed to learn a few things from their drunken compadres on the ice.
The first lesson from this Stanley Cup run is that stars need to play like stars when it counts most. For all the talk of Ovechkin disappearing in big games, he, along with Kuzy, Backstrom, and Wilson, were all over the stat sheet throughout the playoff run and specifically the series against the Golden Knights. The Nats will need their superstars to step up come playoff time, meaning Max Scherzer will need to make up for last year’s disastrous Game 5 showing against Chicago and Bryce will need to bat better than his current .231 average.
Secondly, coaches must coach to win and not just to not lose. No decision made more of an impact in this playoff run than Barry Trotz’s decision to bench goalie Philip Grubhauer for backup Braden Holtby. Holtby rewarded the coach’s gutsy decision with incredible performances, including back to back shutouts against Tampa Bay to save that series. In years past, Nats managers, riddled with crazy high expectations, have coached scared, not willing to shake things up when things seemed perilous. In order to win the big one, Davey Martinez and his staff will need to make tough calls and be wiling to shake things up when need be.
Finally, the greatest lesson from the Capitals playoff run is just how much this city will get behind a championship team. For all of the haters and naysayers (looking at you Wilbon) that call DC a “minor league sports town”, this Stanley Cup run showed just how hungry this city is for a winner and the lengths we are willing to go to root them on and carry them to victory. So the Nats would be wise to remember that come October, that if they can get over the proverbial hump (insert Camel joke here), then they will be showered with the most insane love and gratitude and loyalty that this city has to offer. And for a city not known for its loyalty, that ain’t nothing.