Thursday, October 04, 2012

DC Not A "Sports Town?!?" Says Who??

On any given day, at any hour, you will normally find my radio tuned to NPR (National Public Radio)--I'm getting older and crankier, and I don't have patience for a lot of commercial hoisted blabbering. However, I tuned to my local sports jock station (WJFK 106.7 FM - "The Fan") early Wednesday morning to see if I could catch some talk about "Teddy," of the Washington Nationals' "Racing Presidents," who finally won a race after seven years of 5th inning racing for the Nats. However, what I got was a blast of commentary about an article written by Michael Wilbon (ESPN) trashing Washington, DC, as either being a "terrible" sports town, or not being a sports town at all!

When I came home from work that evening, my radio was blowing up with talk about Wilbon. I didn't listen too intently, figuring it'd blow off. But a day later (today) The FAN is still talking about it and it's really got Lavar Arrington back up. Well tonight, I listened, and I'm damn hot about Wilbon's comments.
By him calling my hometown a "terrible" sports town, I want to run out and kick him straight in the eggs! By the time I got MY back up, ready to zing out this blog post, I was ready to dig into a lot of statistical details to show "him" how dead wrong he is. But I decided not to do that--it wouldn't make any difference. So, being true to my handle ("DC Homer"), here's what I have to say about Wilbon's comments: Opinions are like assholes--everybody's got one, and they usually stink. Although he gets
paid pretty nicely for his 2-minute drill flatulance, I think he's a terrible sportscaster (if that's what you call it). Okay--I'm done throwing aspersions.

Washington, DC, is a unique city in this great nation of ours, but that uniqueness doesn't make our sports franchises stand out from any other town. But I think it's wholly unfair to blast DC as being a terrible sports town, presumably because we have a lot of transient residents. But if you look at it--seriously--every one of the "major" NFL markets that most folks will absolutely declare ARE "great" sports towns (Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Filthadelphia)--they, too, are "transient" cities. Neither their populations nor their fan bases are 100% born and raised in that town. No sir. It's clear to me that Wilbon's definition of a "sports" town is based solely on the number (and recent) championships they've won. But so what!?! Just because the Yankees have won a bunch of World Series, that makes the whole of New York City a "sports town?" NYC could easily have NOT won those championships, but would that still make NYC a sports town because it's a BIG town?

So, exactly what defines a "sports town?" Let's break it down:

     - A large number of professional championships?
     - A city with a professional franchise from each major sport?
     - A large city?
     - A small % of transient residents who root for teams other than the home team?
     - A large number of colleges with (a lot) of D-I championships?

How many of those towns I mentioned above have all of those characteristics? Ummmm....let's see.....NONE! Cities like Boston and New York are rare. In fact, I'd say they are probably the only true "sports towns" by Wilbon's definition. Who follows hockey in Dallas? LA can't keep an NFL team, having lost it four times! How many Lombardi Trophies reside in Philly? Montreal has won 23 Stanley Cups--the closest contender is Toronto with 13 (Boston only has 6). Does that make Montreal or Toronto "sports towns?"

HELL NO! I've been to Dallas, and there are a LOT of Redskins fans there, also a lot of Raiders fans, and Broncos fans! This holds true for any major city, even "minor" cities! Washington, DC, is a great place to live--even with the traffic (no one's going to tell me DC traffic is worse than New York, Boston, LA, Atlanta, Chicago, or even Dallas--it's not). DC has all of the major sports teams, and is surrounded by a lot of great colleges, who produce a BUNCH of professional athletes! The high school sports programs here are top rate, and everywhere you look you see DC residents engaged in all kinds of sports--name one sport that you won't see played in the DC area on a regular basis?? Wanna challenge DC to some bacci ball or lawn darts?
Bring it, sumbitch!

Michael Wilbon: EAT MY SHORTS, and go back to whatever "sports town" you came from! You spend years jocking Michael Jordan to get where you are just so you can trash my hometown? Oh, and I heard, that with Fruit of the Loom waistband elastic still stuck between his teeth, Wilbon has backed off on his "terrile" comment, now saying: It's a pretty good sports town.but not great..."


In the words of Vincent (Vinny) LaGuardia "Bag of Donoughnuts" Gambini: "I'm through with DIS guy!"


Anonymous said...

Saying Washington DC isn't a sports town is like saying San Diego isn't a beach city. What was Wilbon thinking?

Zebster said...

Wilbon's from Chicago. Good sports town but not much hardware to brag about. Great rant, G. My experience attending games down there for 3/4 of the franchises tells me it's a sports town.

DC Homer said...

I think towns like Boston, NY, Chicago, et al, are great spits towns, but even in those towns when the "team" is playing poorly, fans don't spend a lot of money going to the games. Didn't see a lot if fans in Fenway the later part of this Sox season--so just because Wizards fans do the same thing doesn't make DC less of a sports town because of fan ambivalence; you're not going to tell me Bears fans are packing Soldier Field in December in a 3-13 season!! Im not saying DC compairs 1:1 to NY, LA or Chicago, but "terrible sports town" is an inappropriate lable. If you want to know a truly terrible American sports town, go to Honolulu!!!!!