Seasons Not in the Sun
by
Apr 29, 2010 -- 11:55am

  Since January first comes in the middle of hockey and basketball seasons and at the start of the NFL playoffs, the sports calendar really needs to be viewed as the period between the beginning of the NFL season and whenever the local hockey and basketball teams are eliminated.  With the Caps' stunning loss to Montreal in the first round of the playoffs, sadly, the sports calendar has ended.  Yes the Nats are playing well, but its a long season and even if by some miracle they manage to get in the pennant race, a new sports calendar will have been flipped over with the start of another NFL season in September.  That said, here is where the 2009-2010 sports calendar ranks over the last 40 years.  Teams included: Redskins, Bullets/Wizards, Caps and Maryland and Georgetown basketball.  The rankings are least worst to worst.

 
10.  1975-76
Redskins 8-6 - The season included back-to-back overtime losses.  They were robbed in St. Louis when Mel Gray dropped a touchdown pass that the referees ruled was a catch and lost the following week on an overtime field goal to 48-year-old George Blanda and the Raiders.
Bullets 48-34 - Coming off an appearance in the NBA finals with Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld in their primes, they lost in the first round of the playoffs in seven games to Cleveland on a buzzer-beater from Dick Snyder.
Caps 11-59-10 - This was only the second year of the franchise and they were still awful.
Georgetown 21-7 - John Thompson was building a powerhouse, but they went out in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Maryland 22-6 - Nice record, but with the NCAA taking only 32 teams, the Terps stayed home.
 
9.  2000-2001
Redskins 8-8 - These were the fortune 500 Redskins.  They cost a fortune and finished .500.  In his first full year of ownership, Dan Snyder signed Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith and Jeff George.  It didn't work.
Wizards 19-63 - The year of "Desk Jordan" was a disaster.  Leonard Hamilton proved unfit to be an NBA coach.  After the season, Michael Jordan decided to do what he did best - play.
Caps - Made the playoffs, but lost in the first round to Pittsburgh in six.
Georgetown - Craig Esherick's one good season as head coach.  The Hoyas lost to Maryland in the Sweet 16.
Maryland - Made the Final Four, but blew a 22 point lead and lost to Duke.
 
8.  1994-1995
Redskins 3-13 - This was Norv Turner's first year.  It was a rebuilding season that was expected to be bad, but maybe not this bad.
Bullets 21-61 - Despite an early-season trade to aquire Chris Webber and reunite him with Fab Five college teammate Juwan Howard, the season went south when Webber dislocated his shoulder early in the year.
Caps - Stop me if you've heard this before - blew a 3-1 first round lead against Pittsburgh.  The Caps were outscored 10-1 in the last two games.
Georgetown - lost to North Carolina in the Sweet 16.
Maryland - lost to Connecticut in the Sweet 16.
 
7.  1980 - 81
Redskins 6-10 - A year after the crushing season-ending loss in Dallas that knocked them out of the playoffs, the Skins collapsed under coach Jack Pardee who was fired at the end of the season.
Bullets 39-43 - The Hayes and Unseld era came to an end as the Bullets missed the playoffs.  After the season, Elvin was traded back to Houston and Unseld retired.
Caps 26-36-18 - Rod Langway had yet to arrive and save the franchise.
Georgetown - With Patrick Ewing still finishing high school, the Hoyas were knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the first round by James Madison.
Maryland - Although the Terps had two high first-round NBA draft picks in the Albert King and Buck Williams, they lost to eventual champion Indiana by 35 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
 
6.  1970 - 71
Redskins 6-8 - Coach Vince Lombardi died of cancer just before the opener, leaving Bill Austin in charge until George Allen arrived after the sad season ended.
Bullets 42-40 - They were still the Baltimore Bullets in those days, but the closest thing we had to our own NBA team.  Despite the mediocre regular season record, they won the Central Division and upset the Knicks in seven in the Eastern Conference finals.  Unfortunately they were no match for the Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson Milwaukee Bucks who swept them in the finals.
Maryland and Georgetown had yet to garner much college basketball interest, but it was the last year of the Washington Senators.  After losing 96 games, including 22 by washed-up Denny McLain, the team moved to Texas at the end of the season.
 
5.  1985-86
Redskins 10-6 - Joe Theismann suffered that gruesome broken leg in November and John Riggins reached the end of the line. 
Bullets 39-43 - Made the playoffs, but went out in the first round against Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Caps 50-23-7 - Blew a 2-1 series lead and lost to the Rangers in six in the second round of the playoffs.
Georgetown 24-8 - Impressive year in the first post-Ewing season, but the Hoyas lost to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Maryland - Len Bias.  Enough said.
 
4.  2004-2005
Redskins 6-10 - Joe Gibbs was back, but that old offensive magic clearly wasn't. 
Bullets - Made the playoffs for only the second time in 17 years and won a first-round series against Chicago.  Second round wasn't good.  They were swept by Miami.
Caps - No season.  Lockout.
Georgetown - In their first season under John Thomson III, they Hoyas made the NIT and lost in the third round.
Maryland - Despite sweeping Duke during the regular season, the Terps missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in 13 years.  They made the NIT Final Four, but lost to South Carolina.
 
3.  1993-94
Redskins 4-12 - Despite new coach Richie Petitbon's claim that it would be, "business as usual" after replacing Joe Gibbs in March, the aging team went south early and never recovered.  Richie was fired at the end of the season.
Bullets 24-58 - Rookie Tom Gugliata was impressive, but the rest of the team was terrible.
Caps - Lost to the Rangers in five in the second round of the playoffs.
Georgetown - Lost to eventual national champion Arkansas in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Maryland - With unexpected superstar freshman Joe Smith, the Terps lost to Michigan in the Sweet 16.
 
2.  2009-2010
Redskins 4-12 - In one of the biggest jokes of an NFL season in history, Jim Zorn was stripped of his play-calling duties and replaced by bingo-caller Sherman Lewis.  Vice President of football operations/talk show host Vinny Cerrato was fired with three games to go.  He lost the radio gig as well.
Wizards 26-56 - After the death of owner Abe Pollin in November, Gilbert Arenas set the season on fire by playing what he thought was a gun joke in the locker room.  Gilbert was suspended and pleaded guilty to a felony and the team was dismantled.
Caps - Despite the best record in the league, they pulled an historic choke, blowing a 3-1 series lead to 8th seed Montreal.
Georgetown- With talent that some thought was capable of making a run at the NCAA championship, the Hoyas went out with a lackluster effort in the first round against Ohio University.
Maryland - With a chance to add to a better-than-expected season, they lost a heartbreaker to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
 
1.  1988-89
Redskins 7-9 - A year after winning the Super Bowl, the Skins laid an egg and missed the playoffs.
Bullets 40-42 - Missed the playoffs despite All Star Bernard King.
Caps 41-29-10 - Yet another year where the Caps blew a series lead, falling to the Flyers in six after leading 2-1 in the first round.
Georgetown - With Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutumbo, the Hoyas were considered the number one seed of the entire NCAA tournament.  They dodged a bullet by beating Princeton by one in the first round and eventually lost to Duke in the Final 8.
Maryland 9-20, 1-13 in the ACC - After this one it was goodbye Bob Wade.
George Washington 1-27 - Without question, one of the worst seasons in NCAA history.  The coach was John Kuester, who now coaches the Pistons.  Go figure.
 
 


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