- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

You want to know a major reason why sports are so much fun? Here’s one: You never, ever know.

That’s why they play the games and all that. The safest predictions sometimes aren’t that safe. Things change, quickly.

The perfect example lies right here in our fair metropolitan area. Look no further than the area’s entrants in the big four of professional sports.

You never know.

Let’s say a year or so ago, if someone had written the Wizards would be at the top of the heap among those teams, it would have triggered a good chuckle. The woeful Wizards, now looking down with grins at the Nationals, Capitals and Redskins.

The Nationals were coming off a season in which they won more regular season games than any team in baseball. They were set up to make the playoffs for years to come.

The Capitals were coming off a lockout-shortened season, their first under coach Adam Oates and one that saw Alex Ovechkin win his third MVP award. Ovi was rejuvenated and great things were going to happen.

The Redskins were coming off an NFC East championship and, despite a knee injury suffered by quarterback Robert Griffin III, looked ready to become consistent Super Bowl contenders.

The Wizards? They finished 29-53 and, as had become their habit, out of the playoffs.

Let’s fast-forward to now and take another snapshot.

The Nationals missed the playoffs in 2013. A couple of injuries combined with some bad baseball led to a deficit that a very strong finish could not overcome.

Though the 2014 season is only two weeks old, the Nats have more injury problems and still can’t figure out how to beat the Braves.

The Capitals are a bit of a train wreck, despite the fact that Ovechkin led the league in goals. They missed the playoffs and no one seems to know if George McPhee will return as general manager or Oates will return as coach. The team needs to figure out a lot of things before anyone considers it a Stanley Cup contender again.

As for the Redskins, RG3 rarely looked right on that surgically repaired knee and the 2013 season was 100 times as disappointing as the previous season was exciting. They finished 3-13, coach Mike Shanahan got fired and Jay Gruden was brought in to oversee the overhaul. For some salt in the wound, that first-round pick sent to St. Louis to get in position to draft RG3 is now the second pick in next month’s NFL Draft.

Story Continues →