SNIDER: Nothing minor about Washington

Rick Snider
May 14, 2018 - 1:57 pm

Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA


Washington is a major-league sports town.

Oh, maybe not quite as much as Boston and New York, but certainly no backwater like Jacksonville. However, contrary to my longtime friend Michael Wilbon's opinion, celebrating the Capitals' second-round win over their nemesis Pittsburgh was not bush league.

It's about being happy. Remember that? Back on the playgrounds when celebrating a victory over the crosstown boys club? Yeah, those rich guys that always seem to end up with fancy cars. Beating those guys was fun.

So remember sports are supposed to be fun, and when your team wins, enjoy it. And celebrate it. And don’t give a damn what other people think.

After all, since when did Washingtonians care what the rest of the country thinks? We're the capital city. We're the straw that stirs the drink, no matter what Twitter trolls think.

Do Redskins fans care what outsiders think about the team name supposedly being racist? Mostly, Washingtonians do not. Maybe the name should be changed and maybe it will be one day, but that will be decided by the people of Washington and not somebody trying to look all sympathetic to others when it costs them nothing to do so. I've seen plenty of writers say and write Redskins when covering the team suddenly have religion once exiting town with no repercussions to fear. Their opinion is irrelevant.

So who cares if others don’t think Washingtonians aren't major-league fans. It's not true.

Certainly, Washington is a unique city. Thomas Jefferson wanted the capital to be an international city, and 200-plus years later it becomes more so every day. It has always been a place where locals are outnumbered by those arriving for jobs. The joke for many years was Washingtonians were from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia. Since 9/11, we can add New York, as five percent of the city's population now hails from the Empire State.

We're used to the enemy within, the local Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New York fans who relocated here for government jobs. Mostly, those fans are respectful in the stands, knowing they're not leaving town afterward, but sitting on the same Metro in the morning going to work.

But outsiders calling Washingtonians minor league just for celebrating a long-awaited victory? Well, they can just go blow their nose.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks