A Weekend to Forget

10Nov09

Jim Zorn longs for these days

As far as sports weekends go, you could say that this past weekend ranked in the pantheon for shitty sports weekends for anyone who is a Virginia fan, a Redskins fan, and a Wizards fan (or a fan of my 4 fantasy football teams!). I hesitate to give it a “worst sports weekend” medal for the simple fact that both UVa and Redskins fans had given up hope on the season long ago and it is entirely possible likely that both teams don’t win one more game for the rest of the season.

Note: As much as this weekend sucked, I will always remember the weekend of November 24-25, 2007 as the worst ever. A weekend flanked by Thanksgiving and the twenty-first anniversary of my birth should never be disappointing, right? WRONG. After coming back to school early on Friday night, I witnessed the last chance for my precious Wahoos to beat arch-rivals Virginia Tech in my four years of college, only to watch us lose and along with that, give up any chance to go to the ACC Championship game. I wish that was the worst part of the weekend. Following the game, I came home to watch the UVa basketball team (fresh off an NCAA tournament berth) get pummeled by an average Seton Hall squad. (Seton Hall hasn’t really recovered from Eddie Griffin and Eddie Griffin hasn’t really recovered from getting hit by a train. Too soon? Not when you get arrested for masturbating while driving. Do yourself a favor and read his wikipedia page. He was like a not-as-good, less-transcendent, douche-ier Len Bias.) Now, you might say to yourself…losing one college basketball game in a season isn’t really worse than losing to your arch-rival in football and you would be right, however; that is not where the true awfulness of the weekend comes. On Monday morning, I checked my phone to see that I had over 15 text messages on that, the day of my birth. My original thought was: “Damn, I have a lot of friends or one really psycho friend.” What I did not expect to see was “Sean Taylor was shot.” Only a day later did I fully realize that we had just lost my favorite athlete of my lifetime. (Did I mention that the Redskins also lost that weekend to the Bucs? No? Well, that also happened.) But I digress….

Here is a look at the rest of the season for the Hoos: They have to play a resurgent BC at home, followed by games at Clemson and at home against Virginia Tech. Couple that with a coach who is more done than Ladainian Tomlinson, and we have a 3-9 record staring down our throats.

Spiller will thank the Hoos for giving his Heisman campaign some hope

The Redskins meanwhile are playing the toughest remaining schedule in the National Football League. The team’s two wins were against a Rams team whose only win was against the Lions and a Tampa Bay team whose only win came this past weekend. Oh, and the total margin of victory? Five. I remember walking out of FedEx field in September after the 9-7 victory over the Rams thinking that I just walked out of a stadium of a losing team. Little did I know at the time that this would serve to be one of two bright spots for the whole year. The defense that everyone has been touting as the only good part of the team? Not sure what happened to it on Sunday. An out of position Laron Landry (who might soon be moved back to Strong Safety if you believe reports on radio stations, which I don’t) looked foolish trying to tackle low while Deangelo Hall was too busy giving his best matador act as Michael Turner single handedly annihalated the defense. Deangelo Hall also tried to fight the whole Falcons team whom it appears he left with zero friends (Must read: Dan Steinberg’s take on the skirmish, full with pictures). The only winnable game left on the schedule is the game at Oakland, which is no gimme.

Most disappointing out of the three teams, however, has been the Wizards. We’ve known for weeks now that Grohrn (Yes, Jim Zorn and Al Groh are married) should have their homes up for sale, but who predicted that the Zards would stumble out of the gate 2-5 and worse yet, look really bad in those 5 losses. At times during the game, I had to look at the sideline to make sure that Ed Tapscott still wasn’t the coach. Wizards fans are holding out hope that this disconcerting start to the season is a result of a few things:

A) Antawn Jamison has yet to play a game and losing Mike Miller for a week to 10 days actually is more problematic than we probably thought at first;

B) The schedule to open the season includes a majority of road games and teams that made the playoffs last year (although half the NBA makes the playoffs); and

C) Gilbert Arenas is still finding his legs.

Will the days of Hibachi ever return?

I am hoping this is the case. I did figure the Wizards to finish in the 4-7 range in the East this year and lucky for the fans, the season is 82 games and not 16. Still, you can’t help but notice the offensive struggles that are evident on this team. Here are the point totals, assist totals, and turnover totals for the seven games this season:
Game 1 (at Dallas) W: 102, 19, 9 *Great all around game*

Game 2 (at Atlanta) L: 89, 19, 14

Game 3 (vs New Jersey) W: 123, 28, 13

Game 4 (at Cleveland) L: 90, 12, 13

Game 5 (vs Miami) L: 89, 15, 12

Game 6 (at Indiana) L: 86, 16, 19….Pause, Tyler Hansbrough put up 13 and 5 in 13 minutes on an NBA team.

Game 7 (vs Phoenix) L: 90, 15, 17

In the 5 losses, the team hasn’t broken 90 points and had more turnovers than assists three times. Gilbert Arenas’ A/TO ratio in the 7 games are: 9/3, 4/7, 7/3, 5/3, 3/3, 5/3, 6/4. He has at least 3 turnovers in every game. Agent 0 Gilbert is going to have to manage the game better or I can see Randy Foye used as the point with Gilbert at the 2. The problem with this approach is that Randy Foye is more Gilbert Arenas than Walt Frazier in his decision making ability. I am not going to give up on this season. We all know how premature that is and that the season is still young, but there are some reasons of real concern for the Wizards brass and fans. The next five games feature a game at Miami, vs Cleveland and at San Antonio. This team could easily be 4-8 by the time Antawn Jamison returns. Not the start that most Wizards fans were hoping for.

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