Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports

Jun 11, 2018

Washington Post Sports Columnist Tom Boswell answered your questions about the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, the NFL and more.

Past Ask Boswell chats

Why no talk of trading Bryce?

Because the Nats, who were rated the 5-6-7-8th best team in MLB before this season, just watched the Capitals, who were rated the 5-6-7-8th best team in the NHL before the season WIN THE CUP.

You don't break up a contending team just because it has a couple of ultra-depressing endings to its seasons in '16 and '17. The Nats lost in the first round twice, but to top teams and historic players Kershaw in relief in Game 5 in '16 and the defending champ Cubs in '17 in Game 5. The Caps lost in both those seasons to the Penguins who went on to win the Cup. Both teams decided to keep their core together for another run. They believed in their own internal judgment that they still had really outstanding teams that hadn't yet played their best at the right time or gotten the breaks. 

Trading Harper now would be as foolish as if the Caps had traded Backstrom last off-season. They're not identical because you're talking about a mid-season trade. 

My point: You don't give up on teams that are "close." Maybe not the favorite or as good as they were in their best season, but still "close."

The Lesson of the Caps, for me at least, is "Don't Give Up Too Soon."

It's okay for fans and media, including me, to think, "What a sad story. They NEVER made it with this team. That's such a shame, but they're done." The people who built the team have to believe in their own judgment to a degree that can't be expected of their fan base and which would require a far-too-rosy point of view from the media that covers them.

Time for that PARADE in D.C. that I've been asked a thousand times about, usually in the context of "it's never going to happen, right?"

It's tomorrow.

I always say that many of the titles come when they are least expected, like the '78 Bullets who were far from the best team in the NBA that year or the '92 Skins that Gibbs essentially gave-up and told the veterans you-run-the-team-'cause-I'm-out-of-ideas.

But even knowing that the shock result is a core part of sports, it STILL shocks us when it actually happens.

That's among the reasons why we still feel so happy 5 days later!!

Hi, Boz: Great win by the Caps. I can't believe it. I am a very long time fan of the Caps...since 1974. Its has taken a long time but... now we have the Cup! My question: After we you think Troz will be back next year? I think he did a great job this year. Thanks as always, for these chats.

Trotz will be back, I'd bet quite a bit on that. (But then I'd have bet quite a bit the Caps wouldn't win the Cup this year!)

After the win, GMBM said that Trotz would be back if he wanted to be back, or words to that effect. The last question of the Trotz press conference was, "Can you see yourself coaching the Caps again next year."

Trotz got a big smile and said, "ABSOLUTELY!"

That's not the same as getting a deal done. But it's pretty close!

There were two questions with Trotz. If the Caps didn't knock-'em-dead in the playoffs, would the Caps want him back? The back-to-back Pens loses, with totally loaded teams, were enough justification to fire him if you were super-hard-nosed and just ignored the two President's Trophies. The Caps took the more sensible approach to give him another year. He didn't deserve an extension after the '16-'17 season in my opinion.

GMBM DID deserve job security because he built exactly the roster that he was asked to construct for an "all-in" run at the Cup. The team and Trotz were the ones who came up short, especially in that awful spooked tight-as-a-drum G7 at home that they lost 2-0.

Now, everybody should just be happy. It doesn't seem like any fences need much mending. And Mr. Free Agent Trotz should get a great deal, couldn't happen to a better guy.

Trotz has spent 4 years deliberately trying to address the Caps problems in pressure games, their lack of consistent intensity on defense, their inability to free up and play an exuberant, rather than a tentative/worried game and several other flaws. I've talked with him about all these several times. "It takes time," he said, although he sure wishes it had taken a couple years less. 

But every Caps fan should know that this Cup is a DIRECT result of all the work Trotz did to change the Caps culture, do a bunch of goofy "bonding" things to bring them closer and finally, give them holy-hell on that flight back from Colorado 20 games into the season.

I'm proud of this column I wrote in early January because it's the point when I realized that the Caps were not going to roll up in a ball because of the Pens defeats and that they were really having a remarkable response to all their problems. I think (not certain) it's the first time Trotz talked about the tough-love clear-the-air meeting. We were talking in a hall long after a Caps game and I thought, "He really thinks this team has turned some kind of team-culture corner."

Then I'd look at stats, etc., and think, "Good luck with that" because they still seemed like a team that was winning every close game, which is unsustainable. Then, at the end of the season, they clicked and really played as well as they could. Anyway, it might be fun to look back at the early stages of "Why Haven't The Caps Quit? How Can They Be in First Place? What's Up?"


It sure seems like the Caps are determined to have a celebration as crazy as the playoffs. Is this normal for hockey? Could you imagine any other sports team doing something like this?

Hockey celebrations are "famous" for this.

No, you will not see a MLB, NFL or NBA team go on a three-day (or is it more now) Hydration Elation Tour like that. Or, at least, they will certainly not do it in public and WITH the public!

But you will also not see those teams, or their sports, root for a great brawl on the ice or several push-shoving, cussing, face-washing scums in a routine game, including several in the Stanley Cup Final. Also, NHL players take the ice with a level of pain and sometimes-grotesque injury that is TOTALLY beyond what you see in the NBA or MLB. The NFL can be pretty gruesome. I remember, and have mentioned before, watching Jack Youngblood play all of an NFL playoff game on a BROKEN leg. Afterward, the Rams' team buses waited, a long time, until Youngblood, sitting at his locker, cussing, moaning and trying over and over again, could stand the pain of putting his BOOT on that leg. 

Hockey players have, at least in my experience, the biggest reputation for "blowing off steam." There are always individuals in every sport that fall into this category. But the NHL probably leads the way. LONG ago, before the time of anybody who is currently on the team, before Ted owned the team, I was sitting next to a guy (All-Star game, WS, don't remember) and, after a while, because he told some wild stories, I asked, "What do you do?" He said, "I take care of the Whales in Las Vegas (for one of the casinos)." IOW, tend to the needs of the high-rollers. I asked if he ever saw any of the DC pro athletes. He said that several Capitals of that period (and they had very good teams then) were among the wild-and-crazy and big-gambling throw-money-around athletes who came to Vegas. That was a handful, not the whole team, but several. What struck me was that, even though he was a "Whale Watcher," he made it clear by his tone that he felt SORRY for those guys and didn't think their habits, when they were young and in-the-money, were going to lead to a good place for them over the rest of their lives. I thought he'd be "party hearty." Instead, his attitude was "some people don't know when to stop." Of course, that's all legal, out of season and entirely their own business.

As to the multi-day drinking, all up on the net instantly, I have mixed feelings about that. I'm nobody to throw stones. When I was about Ovi's age, my wife and I went to Indy 500 as fans, stayed with friends who lived in Indy, and, somewhere, there is a photo of me and a buddy, both of us grinning in "beer helmets, a beer can on either side of the helmet with tubes out of each can to drink from. It was a long hot day and I think somebody might have said that I went through 11 beers. (I suspect the Indy 500 "beer record" is a lot more than that.) But I've partied long enough and hard enough, long ago, as us perpetrators always say, that I can't talk. 

But, putting on my 'adult hat,' it does concern me some that in an era when binge drinking is such a problem with teens and college age (and beyond) that everybody is laughing along with the binge and romanticizing it.

I may be sensitive to this subject because alcoholism has always been a serious problem in MLB, maybe more so before "uppers" were banned (and tested for), because players would take "greenies" to get up for a game and then drink beer (a lot of it) after games to get back down. One Oriole pitcher from the '70's said, "I was never out-pitched. I was just out-greenied."

If any team ever needed to have a party, after so many years of gloom, it's the Caps. They're not doing anything "wrong." But I won't be one of the folks who cheer them on or say that it's "just good fun." It's dangerous fun. And when I hear sportscasters, etc., say, essentially, "Go for it, boys," it makes the hair go up on my neck, not in a good way.

Bottom line: It's THEIR business, not mine. I get it. Just so long as there's some context. Win the Stanley Cup, when the average age on the team is probably ~27,  means Party As You Choose. But, especially to all the people YOUNGER than the Caps, who may look at their behavior as the behavior of heroes,  the other 51 weeks a year you might be wise to apply different standards.


With all due respect to Walter Johnson and John Riggins and Wes Unseld, it's not even close anymore - Ovechkin is the greatest athlete in DC Sports history. The numbers support it. The journey supports it. The Cup seals it.

In my opinion, Ovechkin is the greatest Washington athlete in the last 50 years. I'll cut it off there since I got to the Post sports department in '69. But I was sports-crazed long before that, so "the last 70 years" might be more accurate, which would be a huge accolade.  And I don't think it's particularly close, though DC has had multiple HOFers in that time.

But Ovechkin is not as good as Walter Johnson. And THAT is not close.

IMO, Ovechkin is in a battle, a close one perhaps, with Sammy Baugh for 2d best DC athlete ever.

For starters, Ovechkin is a champion NOW. That's great. I love it. But when you talk about G.O.A.T in a city or a sport, you're looking at the whole career. Ovechkin has had a ton of talent around him in the 12 previous season. His immaturity in the early years contributed to the long delay in getting where the Caps are now. Maturity and figuring out how to be an unselfish player and team leader, it's wonderful. But it took him a long time. 

Johnson and Baugh are seminal players in their sports. Many say that Sammy Baugh INVENTED the forward pass, in the sense that, until he came along, nobody had any idea what a weapon it could be or what a GREAT passer even looked like. And the ball he had to throw in the early parts of his college and NFL career looks like a watermelon. However, Baugh's stats, great as they are, for leading the NFL in various categories, don't blow me away. It was his total impact on the Skins teams of '37-through-'45 which was so amazing. In that period, the Skins played for the NFL Championship FIVE times and won TWICE. Their record in those first 9 years with Baugh was 67-24-5.

Also, Baugh was a two-way player (defensive back) where he led the NFL in interceptions (11 in 10 games). Also, he led the NFL in punting FIVE times, including a season with 35 punts for an averaged of 51.4 yards. That's correct: 51.4 yds. A yard was still 36 inches long back in '40. (Yes, the "quick-kick" helped.) 

Want to win a bar bet? Who holds the NFL record, to this day, for longest average punting distance. It's Sammy: 45.1.

It is a great compliment to Ovechkin to put him even with Baugh. Plenty wouldn't, particularly since the NFL, in Baugh's day, was the No. 2 sport in America and drew tons of great athletes. The NHL gets lots of players from around the world.

IMO, Walter Johnson is STILL the most under-rated athlete in U.S. history, perhaps because he was so modest or because so many of his Senators teams were so bad. But he STILL pitched the Senators to two World Series, at ages 36 and 37, with records of 23-7 and 20-7. And he won Game Seven of the '24 World Series by pitching 4 innings of shutout ball on ONE day's rest. He's the best DC athletes by a lap, at least.

In his prime, in the '10's, from 1910 through 1919, the Washington Senators were -130 games UNDER .500 in any game in which Johnson did NOT get a decision. In the games with the Big Train, they were +124 games OVER .500.

Johnson is STILL the "winningest" pitcher in baseball since 1900 with 417 wins.

Everybody understands WAR now. For example, Max Scherzer's WAR has averaged 6.6 in his first three seasons with the Nats. This year may be a bit better. Johnson's AVERAGE WAR for the decade of the '10's was 10.9 WAR a year! And his 1.59 ERA for those years is not a Dead Ball Era fluke. His ERA+, which adjusts for era and ballparks, was 183! Or 83 percent better than the league average.

Johnson led the league in strikeouts 13 times and he fanned 313 and 303 men in a season in an era when it was considered a mortal sin to strikeout, ever. "You can't hit what you can't see." He pitched 110 shutouts.

But you probably have no "image" of what he looked like, how he threw and that he may have thrown 100 m.p.h more than a century ago. I asked Shirley Povich, who first saw him when he was old (35) and had lost some speed and Shirley still thought Johnson was roughly as fast as anybody he ever saw, and Shirley was still in the press box as recently as 1998.

So here is amazing footage of Game 7 in '24 which the Library of Congress unearthed a few years ago. The quality is perfect. It takes 4 minutes. If you don't watch it, many of you already have, you're really missing something. Look at the crowds at the start of the game and after the win when the entire field is wall-to-wall people. D.C. had huge crowds when the population of the area was less than 1/10th what it is now.

And watch Johnson's whiplash throwing motion.


First, congrats to your team at the Post for excellent coverage during and after the Capitals playoff run. With some quality Caps blogs out there writing excellent stories as well, the Post team keeps hitting it out of the ballpark. Many of us are still in celebration mode but Capitals management should be (and hopefully is) thinking about how to take advantage of this town’s excitement about the team and the sport. I attended four free viewing events during the past two weeks (two inside the arena and two outside) and what struck me was the broader demographic from the fans at most games. I saw far more fans at these events who were younger and less white than the average game attendee, all wearing Caps gear and cheering their heads off for DC. Maybe free events just attract a broader crowd but I don’t think that’s the only reason. This town – maybe any town – loves a winner and the Caps have filled a void that no other major DC sports team have filled. And when it comes to the Redskins, this town even loves a loser but that love has diminished a lot in recent years, leaving many fans with no place to put their sports passion. This town is also divided in many ways – politically and economically to name just two – so a team that brings us all together can draw support from all quarters. So how do the Caps take advantage of this situation? Following up on tomorrow’s parade, how do they turn these new fans into longtime fans and maybe, just maybe, bring people together in other ways as well? As a lifelong fan and analyst of the local sports scene, what do you think?

First, amen to everything you said.

I suspect that many casual or "general" sports fans in DC watched Game 7 vs Tampa Bay or all of the SCF games. I assume they would be SHOCKED at how thrilling NHL PLAYOFF hockey is compared to other sports they love. Some of the element of luck __deflections, "greasy" goals, etc__ that make the regular season seem somewhat fluky, just make the SCF more exciting. At ANY moment, the puck can be at one end of the ice and FIVE SECONDS later, it can be in the back of the net at the other end of the ice. Hockey is not "the best game" in my book, though it's outstanding, but the THRILL of hockey playoffs is addictive. I assume the Caps cannot AVOID gaining a lot of fans.

We had a good story on past DC crowds in the paper. Tuesday should be really interesting. I've been all the major parades, covering a couple of them. It's not a thing to be missed.

The estimate for the Skins parade after their second Super Bowl win, according to the assistant chief of DC police, was 600,000. After the first Super Bowl win it was guessed to be 500,000. It was a mob but it was a ton of fun, except for the rain at one of them. The third Skins crowd was only estimated at 75,000 and my story said, "Some people say that the crowd was nothing out of the ordinary...I say it's a lot of people in one place at one time if you aren't giving anything away."

My best memory was the 11-mile long parade after the Bullets win in '78. There was a 15-car caravan (I think 15 is correct). Abe in the first car I think and one player per car behind that. Wes Unseld, being humble, was in the 4th or 5th car (I think). They let me ride in the back seat of Unseld's parade car so I could report on the crowds first hand. It was amazing. There were people standing the entire 11 miles from the old CapCenter straight up what is now Central Avenue and East Capitol Street until it came close to the U.S. Capitol and then ended up I-forget-where in NW downtown! It's the RIDE that was so special, not the big crowd and speeches at the end of it. No, the crowds were not five deep for 11 miles. That's impossible. There were gaps, but you could always look ahead and see the next big crowd, often 2 or 3 deep, usually congregated near stop lights or intersections, though that parade wasn't going to stop for any red lights! As Bobby Dandridge has said, that parade went through every socio-economic and demographic part of Washington so EVERYBODY got to see it up close and engage.

We keep saying we want PARADES!!! So, we have one! And great weather predicted. So, show up, enjoy it and you will NOT forget it or be sorry that you went.

Mr. Boswell, I was at Nationals Park on Saturday when the Capitals brought the Stanley Cup to share with us. It was exhilarating as the love rained down upon our hockey team and I’m glad I was there to witness it firsthand. However, the Capitals emerged from their suite to raise the Cup skyward continually throughout the rest of the game while the ball was live. Of course the crowd roared (as would be expected) every single time. Raise the Cup between every inning? Sure!! Raise the Cup every half inning? Why not?? Raise the cup while the ball is in play? Ummmm. Yes, yes, I understand it has been a LONG dry spell since DC sports fans were able to celebrate a championship. But still. During the game? (I’ve been told more than once to “get off my lawn” for this opinion.)

Get off MY lawn.

Who do you see as the favorites heading into the U.S. Open this week? Dustin Johnson seems refocused. Justin Rose is having a fine under-the-radar season. Jordan Speith’s game seems off. Can Tiger put together four good rounds or is his putting no longer championship caliber? And I suppose with the tremendous influx of Young Guns there is likely another Brooks Koepka lurking out there.

I'm headed up there soon. Really looking forward to it.

I covered the previous Opens at Shinnecock Hills in '86, '95 and '04. Each time, my wife, who almost never goes to events with me, asked if Shinnecock Hills was close to anything that might make it fun for her to go with me. Each time I said, "That is one of the most boring places I have ever been. The course has that "links look" that everybody raves about but I think it just a bunch of knee-high grass. Tere's nothing nearby that I've ever seen. The media hotel is near Islip and you just take this dreary 50-60-minute bus ride each way. You can come, but I don't know why you'd want to." 

Once, I think she asked if it was "anywhere near the Hamptons." I said I didn't know but I didn't think so. Of course, I'd never "been to the Hamptons" or any similar place where the thieving Wall Street fleecers and the movie stars play in the summer.

Well, this year, my ignorance caught up with me. "My wife informed me that Shinnecock is SIX MILES from East Hampton which also happens to be on the Atlantic Ocean. In other words, a lot of people's idea of heaven. "You bo-bo," was, I think, her clinical term for me.

Sooooo, we have friends up there whom we're going to stay with. My wife can be found with them on the beach or (perhaps, just a wild guess) shopping. Each evening I suspect I will be given an opportunity to recount why this is the FIRST time we have ever "been to the Hamptons," rather than the FOURTH.

As you can see, I always make sure to keep up with the "in-crowd." That is, if I ever figure out, within 500 miles, where any of them actually are.

As for the Open, Shinnecock identifies a wide range of winners from Ray Floyd (long hitter, icy nerves when on the lead and a famous golf gambler who, when his game was on, was certain he could beat anybody), Corey Pavin (very short hitter, great fairway wood and long-iron player, very good scrambler that week) and Goosen, long hitter and very calm. 

So, it doesn't favor a "type" of player. I'd think any long hitter would like it there. Spieth may enjoy it. When last seen, Tiger was hitting it wonderfully but could hole a three-footer in a bathtub. If he fixed that... But how often does a big putting problem get fixed in two weeks? Okay, sometimes. He's a valid story. But so are at least a dozen others.

Golf has often had a ton of very good players. But I'm not sure it has EVER had a Top Dozen players of the same great-or-very-near-great quality that we see now. Should be a blast.

But it shows how unique the Caps Cup is when it makes the U.S. Open seem anti-climactic. Gimme a few days, I'll get revved up.   

Even though Max pitched well enough to win yesterday had he had some offensive support, he didn't look his best. I was at the game on Saturday and Gio labored and struggled to get through 4 innings. Stras has honestly not looked right to me since opening day and in the first inning on Friday he was clearly not himself. Obviously any pitcher has some bad ones, but is there concern that 80% of our starters seem to be going wobbly all at once? Is overuse from the first part of the season catching up? Or just more bad luck?

The DL trips by Madson, Strasburg, and Kintzler should be a red flag to the Nats, and especially Dave Martinez, that, for the sake of staying in-or-on the lead in the NL East, they have used both their starters and their four best relievers as if it were a September pennant race, but in April, May and June.

That needs to change. The Nats are in first place by a percentage point. But it's clear (to me) that the Phils (and Mets) are no threat this year. And I don't think the Braves are much of one. Others do. Maybe they're right. But I bet they don't win 88. In other words, it's time for the Nats/Martinez to chill a little. The arrival of Austin Miller faced 28 men, got 27 of them out, fanning 17!! The return of decent Matt Grace makes the middle relief look decent. So, protect Doolittle, Madson, Kintzler and Solis.

Today, Max, Gio, Stras and Roark are 1st, 2d, 8th and 15th in the NL in number of pitches thrown.

About a week ago, I looked up all their pitch totals in recent years. I was surprised. Two were higher than in the past, by a little. Two were lower, by a little. Only Strasburg looked, to me, like he was being pushed harder and longer, not a lot, but some more than in the past. I thought that was the only worry. Now he's on the DL.

There's one thing about Martinez's managing bothers me so far. "I wanted to get him a win if I could," has been said too much. I realize that I am a broken record on this subject, probably due to all the years covering Weaver's teams and his hatred of "sentimental managing," especially leaving in tiring pitchers so they could finish an inning and come out at a point when the team might score a few runs to break a tie or go ahead and still 'get them a win.' Martinez does it over and over. Partly because they don't score many runs (due to injuries) and, as a result, lots of games fall into this get-a-win category.

Fans and stat-heads may not care about "wins" but almost every pitcher still does. They want 'em. They like managers who give them chances to steal one. And they grumble about being taken out when they pitched well but trail, say 2-1, and can only lose if they come out in the middle of an inning.

All we're talking about here is, at most, an issue of about five pitches per game, on average. But I generally approve of the managers with the guts to hook starters at 97-to-107 pitches, not 107-to-117, especially when there are "inherited runners" who may still get tacked onto the star's ERA if the less-talented reliever fails to end the inning cleanly. 

Short version: The Nats are going to win the N.L. East, unless massive injuries derail them. You have no control over such levels of injury. But the Nats are NOT going to have a Caps-like deep playoff run unless Scherzer, Strasburg, Gio, Doolittle, Madson and Kintzler get to Oct 1 at very close to 100%. Not going to happen. Yes, Roark and Solis (best LH vs LHer on staff) matter, too. You have to manage long-term as well as short-term. It sounds like Martinez realizes it from his recent comments. But his pitchers certainly knew it before that, like a month ago. It shouldn't take three of those vital six guys on the DL at once to see the light. 

The Nats and Martinez are doing MANY things right. I'm impressed with him so far. This is my only nag, but I do think it matters. And I think he knows and may already have made the adjustment before any major damage was done. But we'll have to wait to see how Strasburg and Kintzler return before we'll KNOW that.


That's it for today, folks. What a GREAT week it's been since the last time we chatted! I started saying, and writing, in the spring of '15 that the worm was turning in D.C. sports and it was just a matter of time. However, the brutal endings to the Wiz season in '15, the Nats in '16 and '17 and the Caps in '16 and '17 sure made it feel like a "false spring."

But I'm going to say "I told you so," not to chatters here, a savvy group! But to those who've been having an orgy of gloom in recent years at the very time that the Caps had the best record in the NHL for the last ELEVEN years and the Nats had the best record in MLB in the last SEVEN years. When you have two extremely well-run organizations and a third (Wiz) with three building-block players, that's not the time to say "same old Washington sports." It's tough to get through the playoffs in every sport. It takes time. The Caps were blocked repeatedly by the Pens, like the Red Sox for generations trying to get past the Yankees in the A.L. The Nats lost two CLASSIC series in Game Five where the winner survived by inches.

There have been times when the Caps (several seasons) and Nats (especially '14) choked. But that stage has been behind them for a few years now. They are normal teams. One of them finally rose to the occasion, got a couple of breaks (but not many) and won it all!! 

Optimism, when warranted, is not a disease.

Seen any collective celebrations like this in D.C., including the Gibbs years???

Oh, yes. It was insane for the '78 Bullets. An 11-mile parade! Washington has always gone bonkers for winners. Look at the crowds for the old Senators in '24, they would be considered big today. The Gibbs' teams had parades with guesstimate crowd of 500,00 and 600,000.

In almost all cities that have three or four major sports, the public explosion is usually biggest for the NFL winners. But if the Nats ever won it would knock our socks off. I've covered every World Series game since '75 so I've been in a LOT of celebrations in a lot of cities. You think Chicago didn't go insane for the Cubs in '16!? The Nats would make this town nuts. How big relative to the Caps? Why guess, let's find out!   

I'm happy to see the Caps players enjoying their championship, and I don't think of myself as a prude. But as the weekend wore on, I got increasingly uneasy seeing their revelry spill over into a multi-day Bacchanalia of pubic drunkenness. Binge drinking is dangerous, unhealthy and a bad example to the young kids who look up to athletes as an example. The "boys will be boys" culture of pro sports has been reined in in some respects, but apparently not in terms of drinking responsibly. The NHL and our local franchise should take stock of that once the dust settles from this week's celebrations.

I have trouble casting stones. But your thoughts are sensible.

It bothers me some. It doesn't bother me a lot, in part because they are sharing the joy with their fans, side by side. It has a community-building aspect, but too much guzzling for too long isn't a good example to set. So far, I have not heard ONE example of bad behavior by ANY Cap player. They are having a GREAT time. I'm going to cut 'em some slack. 

Final note: The Washington Post has had fabulous coverage of the Caps. There's one more celebration of the Caps coming in a few days, a commemorative book (I wrote the introduction).

You can pre-order it here:

See everybody next week!

I am 41 years old and a lifelong Washingtonian and this run was truly a family bonding experience. We watched A LOT of hockey together over the last few months. I took my family to Game 2 against the Penguins and was also able to share many Thursday night with my 7 and 9-year-old (my daughter and I were partying until 1230 in the streets at the watch party) and my son, wife, and I happened upon the Capitals at the Georgetown Waterfront. What makes this so much more fun is that these are memories that we will be able to share forever. The best part for them, is they don't have to hear me talk about how it used to be when the Redskins won and DC was on Cloud 9 - now they know. What an amazing experience for families all over DC.

A LOT of us have those moments. I put out this tweet a few hours after the Caps won the Cup.


At 8 pm I called my son to talk Caps as we have for years.

"I'm wearing my #19," he said.

At 2 am, he called: "June 7 is the same date the Bullets won in '78."

I said, "Back then DC hadn't won a title in 36 yrs. I was 30 then. You're 31 now."

We each knew what the other felt. One more good bond. That's sports.


In This Chat
Thomas Boswell
A Washington Post columnist since 1984, Thomas Boswell is known for the many books he has written on baseball, including "How Life Imitates the World Series" and "Why Time Begins on Opening Day."
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