What city has the worst pro sports teams?

I am sure many folks would love to  recommend their own city for this honor, but the choice is clear.

My own hometown of Washington DC has the worst pro franchises in the country. For the sake of argument, we will leave the NHL out. There are two reasons for this; its the least popular of the big four and Washington’s hockey team is quite good.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish the District had solid pro franchises, but as we sit, right now, they do not. Looking at the current NBA season, the upcoming NFL (maybe) and MLB seasons, winning is not, nor will be a regular occurrence.

Where should we start? Lets start with the Washington Wizards since they are currently engaged in regular season play. We start at the top with the owner Ted Leonsis. Leonsis assumed  ownership of the team less than a year ago. I will give Leonsis credit, he is biting the bullet as the club is undergoing a total rebuild. Gone are the contracts of Brendan Hawyood, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and most recently Gilbert Arenas. The team’s PR efforts have been lauding the “Six first round picks” from the 2010 and upcoming 2011 drafts. John Wall and this year’s high lottery pick are legit, but lets face it, late round selections are far from a certainty.  The Wizards rebuild stalled in 2009 when the team traded the 5th pick overall to Minnesota for Randy Foy and Mike Miller. A steep price for a one year rental of both. With that pick, the team could have added names like Brandon Jennings or Stephen Curry to name two. If Washington is fortunate enough to land Arizona forward Derek Williams or North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes this summer they will be on their way. With lots of cap room the future looks bright, but its going to be a while. Back to back to back high lottery picks says it all.

Baseball spring training is winding down and everyone has hope, right?  No. Any hope of a Cinderella season went out the window when pitcher Stephen Strasburg underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his billion dollar arm. What did the Nationals do in the off-season? They signed a 31 year outfielder to a 126-million, seven year contract. Hey, a nice gesture and certainly a golden parachute for the Werth family, but wow!  There is no salary cap in baseball, so I guess its not that bad.  The team is owned by the Lerner family, real estate tycoons for generations in the DC area. The ExposNationals were owned by Major League Baseball from 2002 to 2006 until the Lerner’s took full control. Are we on a five year plan? If so, this is the year! Seriously, the current owners took over a disastrous situation and a very long term plan continues. Outfielder Bryce Harper is at least a year away and brings hope not unlike Strasburg. Kudos for efforts to bring in Zac Greinke in the off season, but puzzling the reluctance to resign the very popular and productive Adam Dunn. After back to back years having the #1 overall pick in the Amateur draft, the Nats will be picking sixth in June. I guess that’s progress.

Last, the beloved Washington Redskins. Most want to point the finger at owner Dan Snyder. Horror stories are well documented, but its not all his fault. I am sure franchises with cheap owners would love to  have a free spending billionaire ala Steinbrenner controlling the team’s budget. What I do not understand is the total disregard for the NFL draft. I realize it worked under the legendary George Allen, I watched it myself as a kid. But free agency has changed the game, and the Skins have been the #1 customer. Lets talk about the now. We start at quarterback, where the team gave away Jason Campbell for a quickly aging  Donovan McNabb (34). The Skins also gave up even more premiere draft picks to acquire a 30 year old right  tackle (Jamaal Brown) who was coming off a injury filled season. Now, the Redskins enter the 2011 draft like a donut (nothing in the middle). The team has no quarterback, needs running backs, receivers and interior lineman. The defense you ask?  Well, 31st in the NFL last season led by Albert Haynesworth. Well, not really as he doesn’t like the coach, the scheme, only the pay checks.  Fortunately, Brian Orakpo fell in their lap two years ago and Laron Landry is a quality strong safety. DeAngelo Hall had a fine season, but London Fletcher will soon hit the wall and there are plenty of holes to  fill.  First in War, First in Peace, last in the NFC East… again.

Author: Tom Blaz

Tom is our featured columnist on FantasySP with more than 25 years of media experience in Radio and TV. You may know his work as a beat reporter for the Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland. He also reported LIVE from the Summer Olympics in Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta. He is an avid Auburn fan, and writes for The Recruiting Eagle, a website focusing on Auburn athletics.

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