After Monday Night Football at FedEx Field, I know it is difficult to see a silver lining with professional sports in the area. The Redskins dismal season start is quite the shock to everyone. Going into NFL Week 4, there isn’t much to look forward to other than Jonathan Allen assuring everyone in his Monday Night post game speech that they are going to get this right. His passionate and direct words after another gut-wrenching primetime loss is exactly what everyone needed to hear.
However, if you pay too much attention to what’s going wrong in DC Sports, you might miss everything that’s going right.
For the second year in a row, the Washington Mystics are headed back to the WNBA finals. They've coined the phrase “#RunItBack” as a reminder that they are back on their quest to win a championship they didn’t get last year. The Stics took Aces’ star Liz Cambage “get in the weight room or get out of the post” trash talk literally in giving a heavy dose of offense and tough defense to seal the deal back to the finals. This Mystics team has been impressive all season. Here are just a few of their accolades this year:
Ariel Atkins was named to the 2019 WNBA All-Defensive second team.
Emma Messeman, who has been on FIRE this postseason, surpassed 2000 career points during the regular season.
Natasha Cloud became the franchise’s all-time assists leader and was also named to the 2019 WNBA All- Defensive second team.
Elena Delle Donne is the first WNBA player to join 50/40/90 club. This elite club of basketball players are for the few who have hit 50 percent of their shot from the field, 40 percent from three and 90 percent of their free throws. Delle Donne made 51.5 percent of her field goals, 43 percent of her three-point shots and 97 percent of her free throws. There are only seven other players in this club: Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash. Delle Donne is also the 2019 WNBA Most Valuable Player.
The team finished the regular season with a franchise record 26 wins.
Above all, these ladies are a close-knit group that will not be satisfied until they bring the WNBA Championship to DC. Led by Coach Mike Thibault, it is truly championship or bust for them heading into Sunday’s Game One versus the Connecticut Sun.
Another reason DC sports fans can feel free to get excited are the Washington Nationals. I will be the first to admit that on May 24th, when the team was 19-31, I figured there was no way they would make the postseason. I mean how on earth could they accomplish coming anywhere close to the postseason being 12 games down from .500?
Well, they did it.
Four months later on September 24th, they clinched a Wild Card berth. After going 69 – 38 since the end of May, the Nats are now the 9th team in MLB history to come back from 12 games under .500 to make it to the post season. They’ve been the best team in baseball since May. What a story of perseverance. The Nats still have their bullpen challenges no doubt, but we have to take a moment to let this sink in. What we have witnessed is history. It’s impressive. It’s moving for any sports fan to watch. Not to mention it happens on the day Bryce Harper gets to watch from the visiting bullpen after his Phillies have just been eliminated from playoff contention by the Nats.
Tuesday night in DC Sports was a sweet one. Real sweet.
Here’s to continued success for the Mystics and Nats and, hopefully, better days ahead for the Redskins.