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State of the Union

Addressing Professional Sports in Washington

20
August
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As some of you may have heard, the Washington Nationals signed 17 year old phenom, Bryce Harper, to a five-year, 9.9 million dollar contract. Harper was anointed as ?Baseball?s Chosen One? at 16 years old when he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. Harper even went as far as earning his GED after his sophomore year of high school in December of 2009, which would allow him to be eligible for this past June?s amateur draft. For this past season, Harper enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada which is in a league that uses wood bats in conference play. In 66 games, Harper hit 31 home runs, 98 RBIs while hitting for an average of .443. This is an impressive feat for somebody who should only be a junior in high school.

This signing got me thinking about Washington sports in general. Over the past several seasons, the only thing the Capitol City could hang their hat on was Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Captials. I?m sorry, but in the United States, that isn?t going to cut it. But luckily for Washington sports fans, the cavalry is on its way. Bryce Harper is only the latest to arrive. Last year around this time, the Washington Nationals were lucky enough to be able to draft and sign pitching phenom, Stephen Strasburg, who is already paying dividends by sporting a 2.97 ERA, 86 strikeouts and a 5-3 record with 11 career starts.

Next, this past June the Washington Wizards were fortunate to land the first pick in the NBA draft, John Wall, out of Kentucky. This 6-4 point guard is a freaky athlete who despite his high talent level, competes hard on every play. I was able to attend the Kentucky game at Madison Square Garden where he single-handedly beat what was believed to be a good UConn team. (later in the season their true colors were exposed) Wall has all the makings of an NBA star and the Wizards trip to the bottom of the NBA food chain will most likely be a brief one.



Finally and most importantly to those who live in D.C., is the arrival of Donovan McNabb and coach Mike Shanahan who are both proven winners in the NFL. These two men give the Redskins instant creditability as a team. For once in his life, Daniel Snyder actually made a smart football decision by taking a back seat and allowing newly-hired GM, Bruce Allen, to make the decisions. In a couple of short months on the job, Allen made a team that was the joke of the NFC East into a legitimate contender.

Thanks to these recent developments, at least one thing in Washington seems to be headed in the right direction.

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