Sports Day-ly: D.C.'s Curse

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By: Denton Day

A few years ago I was not the kind of guy to believe in any sort of sports curse. The idea was silly to me.

Yes I recognized that the Cubs had not won a World Series in a century and that Cleveland had not won a championship in over 50 years.

I still did not believe. Funny how your opinion can so easily change once something has a direct impact on you.

October 12 had the potential to be a fantastic day for me. The previous night the Washington Nationals won game four of a five game series against the Chicago Cubs to force game five at home.

I thought to myself, "this could be the year we break the curse."

Washington D.C. sports teams have not performed well in the playoffs as of late. In fact they've all been pretty bad. None of the major four sports teams (Capitals, Wizards, Redskins and Nationals) have reached a conference championship since 1998. I turned three-years old in the middle of that series.

For some reason this day felt different.

Jefferson Forest had a volleyball game that night that I was covering so I missed the first part of the game but thankfully my dad was texting me updates. As soon as the game ended I sprinted to my car so I could get home. Michael A. Taylor had just blasted a three-run shot to put the Nationals up 4-1.

This is it, this is finally going to be the year we make it past the first round.

When I got home the Cubs had gotten a few back and the score was 4-3. My confidence was still sky high because Max Scherzer was warming up.

It was the perfect scenario. Scherzer would come in for innings five through eight and give Chicago the business and Sean Doolittle would finish off the ninth.

Scherzer retired the first two batters and had Wilson Contreras looking at an 0-2 count. What happen next was an implosion so catastrophic that it could only happen to a team from D.C.

Contreras singled, Ben Zobrist singled, Addison Russell doubled to score both. Jason Heyward was intentionally walked. Báez struck out swinging, Matt Wieters dropped the ball then made an error throwing over to first. Russell Scored.

At this point I'm thinking, "there is no way this could get worse." Oh, but it did.

Tommy La Stella reached base on a catchers error and loaded the bases. Scherzer then hit Jon Jay to score another run. The onslaught ended there but not before the Cubs took a lead they would keep the rest of the game.

I'm not a huge baseball historian so I didn't realize how bizarre that sequence was. Thankfully in 2017 the internet was there to educate me and in this case make the wound hurt a lot worse.

According to BaseballReference.com in over 2.73 million half-innings that they have data on the Cubs became the first team to ever reach base on an intentional walk, a passed-ball strike, catcher's interference and hit by pitch.

That melt down made the 2012 meltdown against the Cardinals look like a child's play.

There has to be some sort of bigger picturesque scenario going on that I can't see or God just hates D.C. sports. It is one of the two.

If it is the second option i just want to know what we can do to fix it. If we get rid of the Redskins name will we win again?

I'll ditch the name in less than a second if it means these teams can win.

Washington D.C. is a city filled with politics, which is great if you like politics. I hate politics so when I lived there I relied on the sports to keep me sane. I know plenty of others did as well.

Who knows, maybe if the DC sports curse is broken it might bring politicians together and they can actually make our country better instead of just arguing about it. (Don't count on this one.)

Please, if you feel called, join me in praying that somehow this curse will end soon. That one of these teams goes on a miraculous playoff run. And that Lebron James ditches Cleveland and instead of going to Los Angeles he decides to team up with John Wall.

Every prayer helps.