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.
World Cup 2018 has started! LP and Joe are joined by Dan, Sam, Sany and Mat the Met to break down every group and discuss who may be there when the dust settles in a few weeks. Does Spain need a manager? Can Messi or CR7 carry their teams to the promised land? Does the youth movement in England have enough to challenge the super-powers? Which African teams are most likely to get out of their groups? … and why is the FoxSports broadcast so poor!? This is one crazy extended show you don’t want to miss! Thanks for hosting Russia… but we still don’t trust you!
Well, that was not interesting at all. The Warriors defeated the Cavs in straight sets to win the NBA Finals and bring the NBA season to a close. In DC, we have been consumed by all things NHL and Capitals to the point that many of us didn’t actually watch Game 4 of the NBA Finals until several days after it actually happened… but did anyone really see this ending differently? Justin “JusBlaze” joins Joe to put a bow on the NBA season and talk a little but about what could have been and what may be by the time the summer ends and the new season begins. Are the Warriors a dynasty? Is there such a thing in the modern NBA? Could Durant leave the Bay Area for LA? Might Paul George, LeBron, or a few Spurs join him there? Listen and let us know your thoughts!