Why is the DC Sports-sphere So Friggin Soft?
When compared to cities that are generally of similar size, location and population (Boston, Philly and to a lesser extent New York), can anyone explain to me why DC sportsfans and local media "personalities" are such pansies?
Over the last 15 years, you can make an argument that DC has one of the five most impressive records of sports futility of any large multi-sport town. The Redskins have spent the majority of that time firmly entrenched in the "laughingstock" column, save for three brief playoff appearances since 1992. The Capitals have, in that time, transformed from perennial playoff contender (actually making it to the Stanley Cup Finals (briefly) in '98) into one of the leagues worst franchises...though they seem to be on the way back to respectability. The Bullets/Wizards went something along the lines of 20 years without winning a playoff series, and while they've made it to the postseason three years running, they've failed to truly scare anyone of consequence. And the Nats...well, they get a pass...but the recent confluence of Elijah Dukes, Blastings Thrilledge and Dimitri Young doesn't exactly have the rest of the NL East looking for an answer...though the local constabulary took note.
Skipping ahead to my point--where's the outrage? Abe Pollin, up until he hired Ernie Grunfeld, ran the Wizlets about as poorly as can be done. Remember the two season period where the Bullets crunch time go to guy was Ladell Eackles?
For reasons that escape understanding, Ted Leonsis is generally beloved in DC...yet its hard to argue that his impact on this team (until recently) hasn't been somewhere between "negative" and "criminally negligent."
Then there's Daniel Fucking Snyder. That case has been made here repeatedly, with extreme prejudice, salty language and, let's be honest...a few tears. Yet, the hiring of Jim Zorn failed to take the severe beating it so richly deserved. You're telling me you took weeks and weeks to drag out a scattershot, rudderless coaching search and the wheel ended up on the Seahawks QB coach who had never been so much as a coordinator? The result is borderline indefensible, but the process was worse. Yet, save for Sally Jenkins (who is now uniformly dismissed as a "Snyder-hater") the local media reaction was (annoyingly) measured and could almost be classified as "positive." What the hell is that? The idea was to hire the best head coaching prospect in the league...and this numbnuts couldn't even get the best coaching prospect in Seattle...though he tried and failed in his pursuit of Jim Mora: Reloaded...who also was a bad choice, by the way.
If something of this nature happened in Philly there'd be sweatshirted angry mobs with torches, bags of feces and extremely contagious STDs storming the Link. New York would have already made Zorn cry three times and Snyder's face would have been on the back of the NY Post every day with the 32 point fonted "EXCREMENT!!!!" headline under it. In Boston, Shaughnessy and Ryan would have already demanded Zorn be fired and the entire town would have already gone back to not caring about the Patriots again. But in DC, people not only failed to express the appropriate outrage...they defended the choice. Sally Jenkins goes after Snyder and people have the audacity to accuse her of having an agenda. What agenda? A nefarious underhanded mission to call a spade a spade? Daniel Snyder is incompetent. That's not an accusation or opinion. It's a fact. Steve Czaban goes on the radio and mocks Snyder's regime, Cerrato's impossibly dumb promotion and the Zorn hire...and he gets a hundred calls telling him he's a bad fan.
I don't get it. How is this town, supposedly known for ruthlessly self-serving narcissists and a "win at all costs" political mentality so content to sit blithely by and watch a duplicitous, mistrustful Napoleon feed them a series of (increasingly expensive) turd sandwiches.
With respect to the Redskins, the "kid gloves" from the local media could be attributed to Snyder's choke-hold on the flow of all Redskins related news. I mean, when you own the fan message board and the radio station that broadcasts your games...and you threaten the local cable sports outfit with decreased (or the total elimination of) access if the coverage is not this your liking...that certainly can and will impact your take on the news of the day. But this same treatment is applied to the Wiz and Caps. Sure, maybe you'll get the occasional rip job on Abe Pollin or Ted Leonsis...but I bet I can count every occurrence of such over the last 5 years on one hand.
What am I missing? Where's the fan and/or media outrage? Where's the journalistic desire to be a self-aggrandizing prick?