5 Biggest Sports Disappointments in Washington, D.C. History

Washington, D.C. , is not typically cited as one of the most long-suffering sports cities in the country, however, it could certainly fit that billing. Apart from D.C. United, which has been one of the most successful MLS franchises, in the four major sports, there has not been a championship in 20 years, dating back to the 1991 Washington Redskins . With a track record like that, there have been plenty of major sports disappointments, busts, and failures along the way. This is a collection of the most notorious sports disappointments in Washington, D.C., history.

1. Greg Joly

Greg Joly was the first pick ever for the Washington Capitals and was the No. 1 pick in the 1974 NHL draft. The Capitals were trying to capitalize on a player in the mold of Bobby Orr, who was in the midst of electrifying the league. How’d that work out for them? Joly played two seasons with the club, scoring just nine goals in 98 games and putting up a robust +/- figure of -46 in the 1975-1976 season.

2. Haynesworth, Sanders, and Shuler, oh my

Instead of listing just one major disappointment or bust here, the Redskins warrant their own complete list. There was the seven-year, $100 million contract for Albert Haynesworth, which netted the Redskins just 20 games and 6.5 sacks, failed conditioning tests, suspensions, and finally a mere fifth-round draft pick in return. There was the seven-year, $56 million deal given to Deion Sanders in 2000 and the $56 million doled out to Dana Stubbfield in 1997. The No. 4 pick in the 1994 draft was used on quarterback Heath Shuler … and it keeps on going from there.

3. Kwame Brown

Routinely cited as one of the worst NBA draft picks ever , Kwame Brown was selected by the Washington Wizards and then-GM Michael Jordan as the No. 1 pick in the 2001 draft, straight out of high school. He lasted only four seasons with the club, and in his career has averaged just 6.8 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game.

4. Capitals postseason woes

The Capitals have been regular season kings and postseason flubs for several years running. In 2010-2011, they were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and were swept out of the conference semifinals by the Lightning. In 2009-2010, they won the Presidents’ Trophy with 121 points and lost in the first round of the playoffs. They won their division in both 2007-2008 and 2008-2009, but didn’t make it as far as the conference finals on either occasion.

5. Freddy Adu

After moving to the United States, Freddy Adu spent much of his childhood in Rockville, Maryland. In 2004, at the age of 14, the DC United MLS franchise drafted the homegrown teenage phenom and made him the face of the league. He was the youngest American athlete to sign a professional sports contract in over 100 years. Adu never lived up to the hype and never developed a complete game to match his great one-on-one skills. He played three seasons for DC United and scored just 11 goals. Today, he’s finally rebounding with his career and trying to carve out a niche for himself on the U.S. national soccer team.

This story was first published by Jake Emen on Yahoo! News on October 11, 2011

Author: Jake Emen

I’m Jake, and I’m your host on this journey. I'm the man doing the eating and the talking around here. I’m a writer based outside of Washington, D.C., and I'm also talking whiskey, local events, travel, and other assorted misadventures. Follow me on the Tweet Machine - @ManTalkFood, or send an email to jake [at] mantalkfood.com.

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