Defining “the Curse”

Defeating the Curse. It’s the name of this humble little site. It’s also a hope and dream to us here. Constant texts and discussions about the moves made, the games played, and the money spent regarding all four of Washington D.C’s major sports teams. To anyone that may stumble across our site, the title either makes perfect sense, or they’ll question what the hell we mean. Before we can DEFEAT the curse, we must first DEFINE it. Seems simple enough doesn’t it? Sure…until you take a look at the past few seasons. Doesn’t matter the sport, the curse applies to every team.

Listen to any sports radio show after any loss here in DC and you’ll hear the same underlining theme: “We’re cursed. We’ll never be a successful franchise. We need to fire the coaching staff and start all over! What the hell were they thinking!?”This happens literally after every. single. loss. Why can’t the fans here in DC handle a loss? Well it’s kind of complicated. The past few seasons helped open everyone’s eyes to the curse.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about Washington D.C. The city where 2 of the 4 major sports teams, the Capitals and Nationals, are CONSTANTLY at the top of the win column each and every season for the past 3-5 years. Two “successful” franchises that have no problems winning. Getting into the playoffs is never the concern. Hell, getting past the first round is barely a concern. The Nationals are one of the best teams in the MLB for the past 3 seasons. The Capitals are usually ranked in the top 10 for the past decade. As of last season and this season, we’re ranked number 1.

The curse part? Well let’s start with the Caps. In the last 9 seasons, we’ve missed the playoffs once. Worse than that? We’ve lost in the second round 5 times. Including last year, when we were also ranked number 1 for the regular season. The Nationals last year won the N.L East only to choke and lose the NLDS. Sounds like 2014…oh and 2012. Cursed. The horrific part, are these are two of the more successful teams! The ones that generate national headlines and actually fill the seats with loyal and passionate fans week in and week out! Which isn’t that easy considering the play approximately 948 million games a season.

Next let’s take a look at the Washington Wizards. A team that nobody knows how’ll they do until its already happening. Including the players. This season started off horribly. Games were unwatchable. As loyal as we are at this site, it was getting harder and harder to sit through some of those games. Then, somehow, we decided to not suck. The bench began to help out and our defense became pretty damn legit. It was probably a Christmas miracle. Especially when you consider that since December 1st we’ve been one of the best teams in the NBA. Better than the defending champs might I add. We’re stringing along home wins and now road wins. Want to know how the curse plays into all of this? As I’m typing this article, I’m worried and convinced that I am simultaneously jinxing our team. Going back to the 2013-2014 season, the Wizards won the first round of playoffs only to lose conference semifinals. It’s only natural for me to feel like all the success is too good to be true.

Finally comes the Washington Redskins. The definition of cursed. From 1999 when Snyder bought the team, we’ve went through coaches and staff and players like a kids at a candy store. Spending money and bringing in the ones that looked the most appetizing. The Gibbs 2.0 era worked for a little bit. Until he retired to go race cars or something (Cursed.) Replaced with Jim Zorn. Curse. Then we bring in a nice, appetizing, “successful” coach; Mr. Crab himself, Mike Shanahan. From there the curse would have a field day. Albert Haynesworth, Donovan McNabb, RG3, the list goes on.

Then you take a look at the competition. The Giants somehow go from having a trash defense last year, to a great one this year. The Eagles go from the Chip Kelly debacle, only to turn it around in less than 2 years with a franchise QB and competent head coach. Our only saving grace was that the Cowboys were going to keep Tony Romo behind center and give us all a fighting chance. Until the curse decided to injure him, and have an out of nowhere QB come in and not suck (thanks to a rookie NFL leading rushing RB). All this and I haven’t even gone into our current roster, its issues and how the curse made Aaron Rodgers realize he was good at being a QB until the second quarter of our playoff game last year.

So what is the curse? It’s simply that Washington DC, in all 4 of the major sports, has the ability to be great, but finds a way to choke when it’s all on the line. We are on the cusp of having no championships to easily attaining 4. Each time is able to turn that page and become truly great. Dynasty mode. It may just be because I’m a homer and think our teams are the best. If you were to realistically take a look at where each of the franchises are, you’ll see that they are all trending up. Right now we’re riding the Caps and Wizards to hopefully break the curse and bring home a trophy.


DC Better than Both Super Bowl Cities?

That’s right, you read it right! Is Washington D.C. better than both Boston and Atlanta? YES!!! In basketball that is. The Wizards beat both the Celtics and the Hawks this week. Not only did the Wizards beat them but you can say they put a beat down on them.

The Wizards are arguably playing their best basketball of the season right now. Is that what matters right now? Probably not, it matters most in April, May and June. Is it sustainable? That remains to be seen. The Wizards starters are playing a lot, and averaging minutes near the highest in the league. The Wizards bench can be suspect at times, but Jason Smith, Kelly Oubre, Trey Burke, and Tomas Satoransky have been stepping up in key moments. I think you can credit Wizards head coach and coaching staff put together by Scott Brooks for the improvement of players and the improvement of the team, specifically Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre.

We know that the Wizards can win at home, going on a 14 game win streak. The question really remains is that can the Wizards improve on the road at only 7-14? I think its really a tough road with teams like the Cleveland Cavs and Toronto Raptors ahead of them, but I think it’s possible. The Wizards have been playing lights out since December but is it really sustainable??? I believe the Wizards are eventually going to need a little bit more of bench help. The hope that I am holding onto is that players like Oubre, Satoransky, Burke will come through. Over those players I am really hoping that the Wizards rim protector, Ian Mahinmi, who they thought will be able to contribute when they signed him to a 4 year 64 million dollar contract, will be able to play in the second half of the season.

Earlier this week John Wall said the ultimate goal of this season is to reach the Eastern Conference finals. I think John was pretty reasonable with the team goal but the team needs help from the bench and I think Scott Brooks knows that. Whether Grunfeld knows that or not seems to be seen, with the trade deadline approaching.

In my opinion the Wizards can reach their goal of Eastern Conference finals but it will take a total team effort to include the bench. The Wizards need to find bench help at little cost to the team and to the future of the team or they need some improvement from their current bench (Ahem Ian Mahinmi) to reach their goal.

For now let’s just celebrate John Wall’s 4th all star appearance and the Wizards 14 game home win steak.

What happens if Jay Gruden calls plays?

The LA Rams have a new coach, a new cross town rival, and eventually a new stadium. Newly hired HC Sean McVay is being praised by everyone for how he is getting respect from his players, some older than him, and how composed and excited he seems to be with being the leagues youngest coach. He will no doubt make an excellent head coach. However, I for one will miss him, and his play calling.

The offense was always Jay Grudens design. He game planned, he did the hard work, but it was McVay who was in Kirks ear. It was McVay that helped our offense become efficient. The three headed monster that was Gruden,McVay and Callahan when it came to play calling become a tamed beast once McVay was THE play caller.

We went from a middle of the pack offense to an all of a sudden explosive one in the second half of 2015. Once the 2016 season kicked off , you could see how efficient we had become. We were moving up and down the field with the best of them. Commentators would finally mention the Redskins in the same breath as the Patriots and Packers and Falcons. We were a mini-me of the elites. Trying our best to mimic the true greats. 3rd and 8? No problem! Bubble screen to Chris Thompson for 14! Crowd goes wild. 1st and 10? Easy! 50-yard bomb to D.Jax. Kirk Cousins was dropping dimes left and right. Jordan Reed was making defenses sweat. Sean McVay was showing his true brilliance…

Now we all face uncertainty. What will Jay Gruden do now? With McVay going to the Rams, the Redskins have promoted Matt Cavanaugh from QB Coach to Offensive Coordinator. People have already started asking Gruden if he will take over play-calling, or if that job will stay with his new OC. Here are the main reasons why Jay calling the plays could be a double-edged sword:

The positive is that this is Jay’s system. He should be the one with the most knowledge about what works best, and when to call certain plays. Also, with Jay calling the plays, HOPEFULLY somebody else will begin to help him more with game and time management, since he is ABSOLUTELY ATROCIOUS at it. Someone else taking over could finally mean we end the half and games with grace. Wouldn’t that be something new…The negative about Jay calling plays is that it adds another thing for him to focus on on top of head coaching plate that already includes more than just the aforementioned game and time management. If for some reason they don’t allocate someone to help him, it could very well have a negative impact on all his responsibilities.

All I’m asking for is an efficient offense that is not predictable, doesn’t abandon the run and shows signs of urgency at the appropriate times. Oh, and calling a time out at the right time couldn’t hurt either.

What the Redskins can learn from Superbowl LI

The Superbowl is fast approaching. In 11 days two of the most prolific offenses this season will battle it out in Houston. Starring a soon to be Hall of Fame QB, who is showing age is nothing but a number, and an up and coming QB who has battled the legacy of “choke artist” his whole career. Most people probably aren’t that surprised the Falcons and Patriots have made it this far. Highest scoring offense, most efficient when it comes to 20+ yard passes, the stats are there. What may surprise people is if you take a look at the offensive stats this year…you’ll find the Redskins sitting comfortably in between the Falcons and Patriots in most if not all of those offensive categories.

Shocking I know. So why didn’t we make it to the big game? Why couldn’t we even make it into the playoffs? Defense. That cliche line of “Defense wins championships” holds true. Hear that Scot? Defense…wins…championships. So far we are doing a good job. The move to promote in house and make Manusky our defensive coordinator is a smart play. Continuity is never a bad thing if you aren’t willing to spend the money on a whole new roster. Then we bring in Tomsula who has been quoted as a “guru” when it comes to designing run fronts…something everyone can agree the Redskins struggled with.

Speaking of Coach Tomsula….who doesn’t love an ex-head coach now as a position coach. I’m pretty confident in his abilities. Not to mention he has a pretty awesome theme song:


So what else do the Redskins need to do to make a Superbowl run? Continuity on offense. We already discussed why we should commit to Cousins. You know…that QB that replaced the NFC QB this weekend in the pro bowl. The guy who helped get our offense ranked as high the two Superbowl contenders. On top of that, we NEED to make sure Pierre Garcon comes back. Kirk would appreciate it, I know I would, as well as the rest of the fan base.

Until Doctson proves he is able to get healthy, which I don’t see happening anytime soon, we need to maintain our offense to the best of our ability. Although he did go for a run in the pool…nice progress (I’m joking…its been almost a whole year….lets go buddy). Now with all this talk about the 49ers being interested in Cousins, it sure would be nice to tell him his most trusted WR will be back to help him out.

Next step – the Draft. RB is a need. Literally the entire defense is in a need. Interior offense line is a need. Thankfully, these are all positions where you can draft an immediate impact player. Do you take Fournette in this first round? I say yes. If for some reason he falls into our lap, you take him. Give me a head turning, legit, running back and our passing offense and I’ll be a happy fan. HOWEVER, those remaining draft picks better be to fill in our glaring needs.




John Wallstar – A True All Star

johnwallIn a week where we, D.C. sports fans, have been impatiently waiting to hear who the Redskins hire as their offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator, I have been severely distracted. Distracted by the one, John Wall, point guard for your Washington Wizards.

The wizards have had an incredible week! Starting with the pure domination of a show against the Portland Trailblazers, followed by wins at home against the Memphis Grizzlies and in the legendary MSG. John Wall’s numbers haven’t been Russell Westbrook good but I would make the biased case that John Wall is a better pure point guard. Per John scored 24, with 7 assists against Portland, 25 and 13 against Memphis and 29 and 13 in MSG. Wall also racked up 2 steals in each the Portland and Memphis game and had 3 in the Knicks game.

At this point I am not going to try to convince you that John Wall is a better point guard than Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, James Harden, or Kyrie Irving because to me that is pointless, there are many great NBA players. My point is John Wall is the best pure point guard to me. What makes him the best? The energy he plays with, his ability to make his team competitive in every game, and finally his ability to MAKE PLAYERS BETTER! Sure Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, and Marcin Gortat are very good players but at times John Wall makes his teammates elevate their game to ultimately help the Wizards win. To me that’s what matters. Take a look around the league there are plenty of great players who don’t make their team better, point proven in today’s game against the Knicks. What has Melo done to make his TEAM better? Sure he racks up the numbers but what does that matter if they can’t win the game?

The NBA All-Star game, sure it’s a more credible “all-star” game than the NFL pro-bowl but is it really a showcase of the most valuable players or the best players in a ranked order? Or is it just a popularity contest? In a comparison between the guy who beat John Wall to become Eastern Conference All Star starter, Kyrie Irving, did Kyrie make the Cavs better before Lebron James and his superstar crew joined the Cavs?

My point is that John Wall, the Wallstar, has elevated his game to greatness the past few weeks. Oh and despite his wrist sprain and having two fingers wrapped. For a team that was struggling early and started off just 2-8 John Wall has made an impact, brought this team together, elevated the play of his teammates and his own and brought this team back to 23-19, a top eastern conference team in the past month, and should earn his right to a fourth all-star appearance.

Oh and by the way, who cares if he is a Cowgirls fan??? Do you think Oakland is mad that Kevin Durant is a Redskins fan? Oh wait Oakland won’t have a NFL team for much longer.