Sports: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Caps Fall To Avalanche, Area HS Hoop Results, B-Ball Tonight

TONIGHT…CLARKE VISITS STRASBURG. AIR TIME 7:20 WITH RYAN RUTHERFORD ON 1450.

IN BOYS BASKETBALL LAST NIGHT…

HANDLEY SMASHED LIBERTY 66-43

MILLBROOK BEAT KETTLE RUN 77-57

TURNER ASHBY GOT PAST LURAY 40-33

CHELSEA ROUTED TRINITY 88-54

IN GIRLS HOOP…

MERIDIAN DEFEATED SKYLINE 50-24

WOOD ROUTED FAUQIER 65-24

HANDLEY RAN PAST LIBERTY 69-38

LURAY BEAT TURNER ASHBY 40-33

CHRIST CHAPEL DEFEATED WAKEFIELD 51-26

THE CAPS DROPPED A 3-2 DECISION TO COLORADO LAST NIGHT. THE CAPITALS FELL BEHIND 2-0 AND COULDN’T CATCH UP AS THEY LOST FOR THE 3RD TIME IN 4 GAMES. ALEX OVECHKIN HAD ONE OF THE 2 GOALS FOR THE CAPS, WHO RETURN HOME TO FACE TORONTO TOMORROW NIGHT…AIR TIME IS 6:45 ON FOX SPORTS RADIO 1450…

IN THE NBA…WSH NIPPED DALLAS 127-126

 

 

Palookaville

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Greetings from The Booth!

I want to start this week’s blog by sending thoughts and prayers to the people of Florida, who endured incredible devastation from Hurricane Ian last week. Many of us have some connection to the Sunshine State, whether it’s a family trip to Disneyworld, having relatives who live there, or just living vicariously in Florida through Jimmy Buffett’s songs. I’ve been to Key West three times, and once you’ve been there, it becomes a part of you. The rain we experienced this past weekend in the Shenandoah Valley was merely an annoyance, as compared to those who have lost everything. In some cases, entire barrier islands have been wiped away. The recovery effort will take years. Here’s to better Floridays ahead…

Changing gears, I came across one of the great movies of all time the other night, 1954’s “On The Waterfront,” starring Marlon Brando. The film won eight Oscars, including a Best Actor Academy Award for Brando. His character, a washed-up prizefighter, utters the line late in the movie, “what did I  get? A one way ticket to Palookaville.” I looked up Palookaville in the dictionary, and it’s defined as a state or situation of obscurity or failure. I immediately thought of Washington, DC, as it relates to sports.

How did Washington become Palookaville? In 2019 the Washington Nationals won the World Series. Just a few short years later they are finishing a 107-loss season. Let that sink in. It’s said that in a 162-game season a major league baseball team will win 54, lose 54, and how good they are will depend on the other  54 games. Using that equation, the Nats are 1-53 in those games. Ouch. In two short seasons, GM Mike Rizzo gutted the team of it’s championship core and committed to a rebuild. How patient the fans are remains to be seen, but it’s easy to get to a Nationals game now–just park at the Vienna Metro stop and take the Orange line to Palookaville station.

Then, there are the Commanders, formerly the Washington Football Team, formerly the Redskins. Their ineptitude under owner Dan Snyder is well documented. There have been brief periods of success like the NFC East titles in 2012 and 2020, only to be followed by immediate returns to failure. The 20-plus years of the Snyder era have been filled with bad draft choices, free agents past their prime, numerous coaches and quarterbacks, terrible on and off-the-field decisions, one of the worst game day experiences in the NFL, Fed-Ex Field filled with opposing-team fans, and a toxic workplace culture. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

The Washington Wizards are just perennially mediocre. Their last NBA title was 1977-78. Enough said.

And we come to the Washington Capitals, who won the Stanley Cup in 2018. Since then, they’ve been ousted in the first round of the playoffs every year, despite having one of the best players to ever lace up the skates in Alex Ovechkin. The Caps tease us each year with lots of regular season wins, only to make their tee times in early April.

And there you have it. But take heart, Washington sports fans. There’s always next year in Palookaville.

Until the next visit from the Booth…GO FLORIDA!

RW

 

 

 

 

Closing The Deal

Greetings From The Booth!

I’m writing this week’s blog only because I didn’t put anything down on Rich Strike in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Shoulda, coulda, woulda…

Then, there was one…

Most of Shenandoah University’s athletic teams have finished up their Spring seasons, except for some last chance qualifiers for Track & Field, and of course, Baseball. The number 21/28 Hornets are now 31-10-1 after sweeping Hampden-Sydney in their first-round ODAC tournament series. It’s now on to High Point, NC, for the 4-team double elimination ODAC Championship. Good luck to Kevin Anderson’s Hornets this weekend!

Well, the Washington Capitals let one slip away Monday night, and it very well may come back to bite them in the you-know-where. Leading top-seeded Florida 2-games-to-1 in their best of seven opening round Stanley Cup playoff series, and leading Game 4 2-1 in the third period, the Caps gave up a late goal in regulation, and then lost in OT 3-2. The series is now tied at 2 and headed back to Florida for pivotal Game 5.

Should the Caps go on to lose the series and do what they’ve done every season since winning the Stanley Cup–lose in the first round–they can look back to the heartbreaking end of Game 4, when they were seconds away from taking a commanding 3-1 lead. The Panthers knotted the game at 2 on a man-advantage goal after pulling the goaltender, a low percentage desperation move that almost never works. With the air sucked out of Cap One Arena, the Panthers scored just 4:57 into overtime, and have new life going back to the Sunshine State.

That being said, the Capitals are one of the best road teams in the NHL, and with 2 of the last 3 games away from DC, they will have to be. I have no stats to back me up, but I also think that home (ice) advantage matters least in hockey. In the playoffs, my theory is that often times games are decided by “puck luck,” an odd bounce of the biscuit or crazy deflection. A hot goaltender can also take you a long way, and Ilya Samsonov has performed well for the good guys.

And, of course, the Caps have The Great 8, Alex Ovechkin, arguably one of the 2 or 3 best players to ever lace up the skates. As each game in the series becomes more crucial, what he does will be magnified.  As a team leader, Ovechkin will need to get his team past a possible letdown after Monday’s loss.

Bottom line…great teams know how to close the deal when the opposition is on the ropes. Game 5 will tell us a lot about how great the 2021-22 Capitals are. Catch the action with John Walton on Sports Radio 1450.

Until the next visit from The Booth, #ALL CAPS…#GO HORNETS!

RW