October 25, 2016

Who To Boo

About a decade ago, Washington Wizards fans were pioneers. Before Boston fans, Detroit fans or any other team's fans booed LeBron James, me and my fellow home team fans at Verizon Center booed LeBron mercilessly every time he touched the ball. Without exception. And what did this get us? A 12-7 regular season home record against LeBron's teams over the last ten years. Yes, I know LeBron didn't play in all those games and the playoff record was just 1-4 over that span but the point is the crowd was into it in a serious way. Wizards fans were worked up into a frenzy for those games and the relentless booing paid off big time.

Now lately I've noticed a disturbing trend. Last year I booed LeBron every time he touched the ball in the one game he participated in at VC but the most of the folks sitting around me remained quiet. What the heck is going on here? Do we care anymore about booing the opponents? The answer there of course is maybe not. John Wall got booed at the free throw line during the Los Angeles Lakers' annual trip to Verizon Center last year and hometown former hero Kevin Durant disparaged Washington's fans for their lack of support for the home team before blowing the Wizards off completely in the offseason.

Well I've had enough and so should every self-respecting Wizards fan (but especially the season ticket holders) out there. We need to show up and we need to be loud. I'm not talking piped-in-crowd-noise-in-Miami-or-Boston-loud. I mean LOUD!!!!! Like DeShawn-Stevenson-Soulja-Boy loud. And when I say show up, I mean SHOW UP. I mean don't blow off Tuesday games against Milwaukee because you've had a tough day at work and don't sell your Warriors tickets because you can make a quick buck. Get your butts in some seats and yell.

So here's my proposal: let's pick one guy on the opposing team for the big games (meaning those that are likely to have "fans" of the other team show up) and boo him every time he touches the ball. All of us. Together. Whether the Wizards are ahead or behind. Pour all your frustrations, love of the Wizards or whatever else you need to into making as much noise as possible when that one player touches the ball for whatever amount of time. Come on, Wizards fans. I know you can do this. After all, by concentrating on one villain, this is the only way we seem to have made a bunch of noise in the past.

Our home opener is one week from tomorrow night. In the interest of getting a coordinated effort going here, below are my proposed booees for the big games this season. We have to start out hot this year and we have to throw all our support behind this team from the home opener. Please. When the guys listed below touch the ball, boo like your lives depend on it. And yes, I thought about listing a target booee for the home opener against the Toronto Raptors but I figured (a) nobody really cares that much about any of the Raps' players to boo heartily (plus the last time we played really important basketball against Toronto it was a playoff sweep) and (b) if our crowd can't make a little noise for the opener, we are in real trouble crowd-wise.

Friday, November 4 / Wednesday March 22: Atlanta Hawks (Home Games 2 & 38)
Who: Dwight Howard
Is there any more fun guy to boo than Dwight Howard? Not for my money, there isn't. Dwight's a guy who behaves in a way to make absolutely nobody like him and seems to get upset any time anyone doesn't love him. He's a complicated guy for sure. And an easy target for some booing. And let's face it, there's nobody else on the Hawks even remotely unlikeable now that playoff Wizard killer Al Horford has bolted Atlanta. We'll get to Horford. Quickly. Let's let Dwight know that we don't like him in Washington. Let's hurt his feelings enough that he going to devolve into a passive player on the offensive end and an even worse free throw shooter than he is usually.

Monday, November 7: Houston Rockets (Home Game 3)
Who: James Harden
There's something really offensive about Harden's game to me. Yes, he can fill it up like almost every game but his absolute refusal to play any sort of defense (and this is not a hyperbole, he literally just refuses to pay any sort of attention) and his incessant flopping drive me absolutely crazy. The fact that Harden actually got somewhat offended by his not winning the 2014-15 NBA MVP award is amazing to me. So of course, I love to boo James Harden because yes, he's good at some parts of the game but he sees that part of his game as his only responsibility to the game and his teammates. There should be some trash talking to go with this one from folks sitting closer to the court than I do. Need to get on Harden for the embarrassment that he is on the defensive end.

Wednesday, November 9 / Tuesday, January 24: Boston Celtics (Home Games 4 &  25)
Who: Al Horford
Why do we dis-like Al Horford, a dude that has been singularly unremarkable from an opponent fan hating perspective his entire career? Well quite simply because he told the world (just like Kevin Durant and don't worry we'll get to Mr. DC very soon) that Wizards fans, the people sitting in the stands at Verizon Center, suck. 

Now if that's not an affront enough to Wizards fans sitting in Verizon Center every game, I don't know what is. This is bulletin board material, folks. The Celtics (yes, Jae Crowder I'm looking at you) think they own the Wizards because they swept us last year. Let's prove that wrong this year, Wizards fans. Yes, I get that the Cs seemingly put as many fans in seats at VC as the Wizards do but come on, we know that's not true. Get upset a bit here folks. Let's make Al Horford feel hated like he never has before. Put two hands tougher and booooooo!!!!!

Friday, November 11 / Monday, February 6: Cleveland Cavaliers (Home Games 5 & 29)
Who: LeBron James
If you are a Wizards fan and don't know why you need to boo LeBron James when he's in Verizon Center, then you are not a Wizards fan. Enough said here. Let's move on.

Monday, November 28: Sacramento Kings (Home Game 10)
DeMarcus Cousins
I know what you are thinking here. Why should I as a Wizards season ticket holder be concerned about booing a team that is continually near the bottom of their conference and is arguably the most dysfunctional team in the entire league? Well quite honestly because we need every win we can get and on a list of guys most likely to get a technical foul, DeMarcus Cousins is about number one on that list. So why not try to goad him into one or two, right? I mean the booing can't hurt, which I think is sort of a point of this entire post.

Now if you really need a legit reason to hate DMC in this game, he got into it in the preseason with Kelly Oubre, Jr. when the two swapped an elbow exchange (not caught on film apparently). Just boo when Cousins touches the ball, would you?

Sunday, December 18: Los Angeles Clippers (Home Game #16)
Who: Blake Griffin
If Dwight Howard is the most fun guy to boo in the NBA, Blake Griffin might be the second. Both have a complex of sorts but whereas Dwight can't stand being not liked, Blake seems to object to everyone thinking he's a flopper and a crybaby. And let's make no mistake about it: he is for sure. He's whiny and petty and insistent on casting himself as a victim. And if you needed any other reason, let's not forget the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest. It's rare that I ever claim JaVale McGee is in the right but there's no way Blake beat Big Daddy Wookie in that dunk contest. Do this one for JaVale if you need that motivation.

Tuesday, January 10 / Friday, March 17: Chicago Bulls (Home Games 21 & 37)
Jimmy Butler
If there's a guy on this list that's about as uncontroversial as it gets, it's Al Horford. After that comes Jimmy Butler. I mean what's not to like about this guy's story? The absolute last first round pick in his draft class, a guy who made his reputation in the NBA on hawking defense who's now blossomed through hard work and dedication to be the two-way star on one of the most popular teams in the NBA? Well, because of the 2014 playoffs, I don't like Jimmy Butler. 

Yes, there may be other villains on the Bulls' roster worth jeering like Dwayne Wade (remember the Heat sweep of the Wizards in the second round in 2004?) and Rajon Rondo (the James Harden of assists), Jimmy Butler's my guy for this post. And if you don't remember, it was Butler who got off scott free while Nenê drew a one game suspension in the '14 playoffs. Didn't matter. We won that game anyway while Ted Leonsis led the chant of "Free Nenê!" in his number 42 jersey from the owners' seats. It's time to boo Butler on January 10 and March 17 (when I am sure Chicago will be sporting those obnoxious St. Patrick's Day unis).

Monday, February 13: Oklahoma City Thunder (Home Game 31)
Russell Westbrook
So I realize the last five or so years against the Thunder have been pretty good at Verizon Center. I mean who can forget Bradley Beal sinking that last second or so bucket against Oklahoma City in his rookie year? But the last couple of years? We've lost to the Thunder in Washington, including last year in embarrassing fashion. I mean we really stood no chance last year because Russell Westbrook bullied his way into a victory via 22 points (and a +23 overall) in just 27 minutes. Let's stop this nonsense this year and boo Westbrook into submission, please.

Tuesday, February 28: Golden State Warriors (Home Game 33)
Kevin Durant
First of all, let go of the image above. Like forever. It's photoshopped after all anyway.

This whole fan support controversy, if you can call it that, might have started with Kevin Durant. That's right. Tired of getting cheered in his hometown (God forbid), KD took a swing at the Verizon Center faithful before his trip here last season, calling us fans "disrespectful" for cheering him and saying "I wouldn't like it if I was on that team." Notwithstanding the fact that I and a whole bunch of other Wizards fans have NEVER rooted for an opponent in Verizon Center (the polite applause for former Wizards doesn't count), we did KD proud when he visited Washington last November and booed him off the court.

Now we have to do the same when he comes here with his new super team the Golden State Warriors. And I mean like really loud, guys. I thought Verizon Center made a good amount of noise when both eh Thunder and the Dubs came to town last year in support of the Wizards. Let's make our voices really heard this year by booing Kevin Durant mercilessly whenever he touches the ball. Let's make him feel respected as an opponent. And look, for those of you who plan on showing up to that game and rooting for the Warriors because somehow you've always been a Golden State fan or you "went to school with Steph" (I'm talking to the two dudes in front of us last year who happened to matriculate at Davidson while Curry was in school there) you didn't care about that team before a couple of years ago. So drop it. 

There are 13 games listed in this post. That's less than a third of the total home games this year. If we are serious about really having a home court advantage for our team, we have to do something this year other than let the one quarter of the arena's worth of Celtics or Cavaliers fans drown us out. If booing one person gets us there, I'm all for it. Let's show every one of the guys listed in this post what it means to visit Verizon Center and take on the Wizards. Maybe the next thing someone like Kevin Durant will say about our home crowd will be something positive. It's up to us, Wizards fans.

October 13, 2016

Free Stuff! 2016-2017 Edition

Welcome to my fifth annual preview of the Washington Wizards season promotional schedule. Go check out the Wizards website right now and you won't find this information anywhere on there. This is an exclusive scoop. Sort of. Tell everyone you know who cares about this stuff that you read it here first. OK, so honestly, it's not like I have some inside connection in the Wizards organization. I know this stuff because I picked up one of those little paper fold out schedules at tonight's preseason Wizards - Philadelphia 76ers game. Nonetheless, here's the scoop. Of sorts.

It seems like the Wizards are making this post easier to write every year because they have insisted over the last few years on minimizing the amount of giveaway games. I'm serious. Check out the track record. Four seasons ago, there were six giveaway games. The next season, five. Two years ago they cut it back to four giveaway games and they managed to hold steady at that number last year too. This year? Three. That's it. Despite the number of sponsors' logos affixed to the Verizon Center walls near the main entrance getting bigger every year, the dedicated Wizards faithful get less and less free stuff each year. I guess Capital One deserves a little kudos here because they are the only one of VC's sponsors helping with a freebie this year. Not a good trend.

Given the small amount of promotional nights, you'd think I would be upset. I mean, I love stocking my shelves at home with free Wiz swag. But I'm not as upset as I could be, which you know means there must be at least one bobblehead on the schedule. Spoiler alert: there is! Let's take a look at what's available this season. It won't take long I promise. And as usual, I include my take on how important these items should be in your lives. Nowhere else, folks.

As an aside before we get to the list, if you can call it that, check out the Milwaukee Bucks' and Golden State Warriors' promotional schedule pages. Multiple bobbleheads and multiple sponsors. These guys are pretty much the gold standard for in-game giveaways. Anyway, let's get to our three.

Schedule Magnet (Essential)
November 2 vs. Toronto
Ahhh...the schedule magnet. A home opener tradition unlike any other. It's the perfect way to get the season going. Slap it on your fridge the night after the game (if we win) or the next morning or weekend or whenever (if we lose) and keep it there all season long to act as an essential planning tool. I can't imagine what I'd do without this giveaway each and every season.

Do not miss out on this, folks! Although honestly, these things tend to kick around the building for those who can't make it to the season opener. Of all the in-game giveaways, you are more likely to pick one of these up somehow after this game than any other freebie. When I get mine this year, I'll be taking last year's (shown above) off my refrigerator and sticking it in the box that holds all the other ones I own. Don't ask why I save this stuff; I just do.

Kelly Oubre, Jr. Bobblehead (Essential)
March 3 vs. Toronto
I guess when the Raptors show up at Verizon Center this regular season, we get something worthwhile handed to us at the door.

So this is it. THE bobblehead for the 2016-2017 season. DO NOT miss this game, people. My active Wizards players bobblehead collection is down to just three players in John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter so getting a fourth to start to resemble a starting lineup will be good. I can insert my Marcin Gortat action figure in there if I feel I really need to.

I honestly thought KOJ would end up as the G Wiz Kids' Club bobblehead this year since he's been the designated second player (along with Otto) to attend the kids' halloween party the last couple of years. I take his insertion into the regular season as a sign that there will be no bobblehead offered with the Kids Club membership this year, although I may just be a glass half empty guy on this one.

Now the only question is...will Kelly's bobblehead have short shorts?

Team Poster (PASS!)
March 5 vs. Orlando
So there are only three giveaway nights and two of them are two days apart? That's right. But it doesn't matter. For me, the team poster is one of those things I just don't pick up at the door. I just wave it off like I'm too adult for handouts at the door while knowing all along it's just not true. I just don't want a poster.

And just like that, we're at the end of this post. That didn't take long, did it? Feel better about the low number of giveaways now? Nope, me either.

Pick up the fold out schedule at a game in the near future and you'll find a whole list of promotional nights including Social Media Night, Polish Heritage Night, Kids Night, Kids Day, Faith and Family Night and Monumental Sports Network Night (way to self promote here). Don't be fooled. These are schemes to sell more tickets, not give more stuff away. I'm circling March 3 on my magnetic schedule when I pick it up. Unfortunately, getting the good free stuff this year is easy. Maybe next year...

October 8, 2016

Monumental Rewards Changes

With the start of the NBA season now less than three weeks away, it will soon be time for Wizards season ticket holders to start paying attention again to the team's Monumental Rewards program in a more serious way. That is, assuming we still see any substantial value in this program at all. For those of us who do or are still maintaining hope, it looks like there are some changes either implemented or in store.

Since this program was introduced by the team prior to the 2013-2014 season, I've had an up and down relationship with it. I loved it at first because it got me into the VIP lounges a whole bunch of times in the first year it was implemented; loved it less the next year when they cut that experience back to just once each month; became disillusioned with the program when they deleted that benefit entirely and replaced it with a once a year much higher priced shared suite experience; then maybe saw an uptick this summer with a Capitals exclusive edition bobblehead and some Mystics benefits I was able to take advantage of. Now the program is entering its fourth year. Let's take a look at some implemented and potential changes before we get this season kicked off. We'll look at this thing in three parts.

The Current Catalog
When I'm dealing with the items available now on the Monumental Rewards site, I'm really talking about items and experiences related to the Wizards, not the entire available inventory. Last year my opinion of the items available for purchase here was pretty low. Like literally there was nothing I wanted except a couple of tickets to a suite game, which (again) the team limited to a single purchase.

So what's available right now? Here's the current list, with points value and some snarky comments.
  • Wizards Portfolio Notebook (5,000 points): Depending on the size I could actually use one of these. I've been using the same notebook at work for about 20 years now.
  • Wizards Moscow Mule Mug Set (60,000 points): Don't drink Moscow mules and I own glasses that work already if I did. By the way I have no idea why this item even exists. Are Moscow mules a big thing? They must be, right? Excuse me if I'm out of touch here.
  • Wizards Shooting Sleeve (5,000 points): Why? Why would I ever need this. There is a limit of two on this item due to limited availability. Again...why? Who even wants ONE of these?
  • Wizards Umbrella (20,000 points): I'm of the opinion that you can never have too many umbrellas.
  • Wizards Shot Glass (15,000 points): Seems a bit high priced but OK. Not really a shots at home guy, though.
  • Wizards Beach Towel (15,000 points): OK. Fine.
  • Wizards Travel Bag (45,000 points): This was the season ticket holder gift last year. Already have one that I haven't used.
  • Wizards DC Rising T Shirt (1,000 points): Leftover in game giveaway. There are made in XL only. I am not XL.
  • John Wall 2015 All Star Frame (5,000 points): Already have one. It's in the back of my closet.
  • Wizards Aluminum Water Bottle (5,000 points): Already have one that I haven't used.
I'm not pumped about the current catalog in case that wasn't obvious. Now in their defense Monumental Sports has added new items this summer to about double the available items and they just added the portfolio in the last week. Maybe there's more to come. Or maybe I better just get more optimistic about what's already available. I might not have any choice on this last point. Shooting sleeve, anyone?

Earning and Using Points
The big news for me on earning and using points which broke this past month is that you can no longer hang on to your Monumental Rewards points forever. Yep, that's right. These things now expire. I currently have about 140,000 points and according the my last Monumental Rewards statement, 44,347 of them are going to disappear on December 31 of this year. This is too bad because I had some sort of grand vision of stockpiling an enormous amount of points for some future auction of concert tickets or something like that because right now I'm just not competitive on most auctions (we'll get to auctions in a minute or two). Now I'm going to be forced to buy something I don't want or just give up the points. Unless something good is posted in the next month or so, I may end up with an umbrella, a portfolio, a beach towel and a shooting sleeve (because why not?). Christmas presents maybe?

The smaller news on the earning side is that it appears the 125 point credit for posting each of our season tickets on Ticketmaster re-sale site (with an added 125 per ticket for a sale) has disappeared. This was a great deal and it's too bad it's gone because this was a great way to rack up some points in a system that only really handed out a significant amount of points for dollars spent on season tickets. Even if we didn't intend to sell our tickets, we could earn a few extra points by posting tickets; the points didn't expire with an expired listing. Now those of us who spend relatively little on season tickets have less of a way to get more points to compete with those who pay a lot. The rich get richer is the message here. On the other hand, if the catalog doesn't change and points are going to expire, I'm not sure I care about losing this way of getting more points.

Translating the Current Capitals Catalog to the Wizards
So what's in store in the future? Well, if I waited a couple of weeks to post this, I could probably tell you point by point but where's the fun in that when I actually have the opportunity to hopefully speculate by looking at items recently added to the Washington Capitals category of the catalog.

The Caps catalog right now is way better than the Wizards catalog. There's a big reason for that: the team just added a whole bunch of items to the stockroom. Within the last couple of weeks, they have added some clothing, suite tickets, an insulated lunchbox and some other things like a riding the zamboni experience. They have also added a brand new bobblehead of T.J. Oshie to go with last season's Monumental Rewards only Andre Burakovsky bobblehead (which interestingly has recently had it's price slashed in half to just 15,000 points). I'm hoping this means similar items will be added to the Wiz side of the store, although I'm wondering if the price cut on the Burakovsky bobble means there's no demand and the team will abandon my personal dream of Monumental Rewards-only Wizards bobbleheads. Please, no!!!

So about those suite tickets... As I mentioned earlier in this post, last year suite tickets were available for purchase on a once per season type offer. The suite tickets were set at a lump sum price which varied by opponent (I paid more for suite tickets against the Celtics than my buddy Stephen did for the same item vs. the Pistons for example). If the Caps catalog is any indicator, this same deal won't stand this year.

Right now there are three sets of suite tickets available on the Monumental Rewards site for October (these are shown in the picture above). They include four (rather than two last year) tickets so that's an improvement. Well, unless you don't need four tickets of course. They are also no longer fixed price but instead are offered at auction. And that's very bad for fans like me and those who spend less than me per season. Of the three auctions, I'm already priced out of two of them and would have to pretty much go all in if I wanted to bid on the third.

Why is this bad? Well, it's because of the way points are earned. Auctions favor those who spend the most on tickets. Season ticket holders earn five points for each dollar spent on season tickets. That means someone like me who spends $9,350 on season tickets get awarded 46,750 points each year. That seems like a lot but not if anything valuable on the site is selling at auction for over 100,000 points and you can't save your points from year to year. 

Now let's say you buy VIP tickets (which already gets you club access and free food and drinks every game) at the cheapest level, which is $186 per seat. Buying two season tickets gets you just shy of 80,000 points, which still doesn't win you an auction for suite tickets. Buy a pair of cheap seats on the side of the court inside the hockey boards ($320 per game by the way) and those come with 136,000 points. NOW you can start buying up items at auction. There are maybe 300 accounts in this price range and they can buy all the good stuff if they really want to, leaving the rest of us to wonder why we own two Wizards shooting sleeves.

Are you tired of me complaining? I am. I hate complaining. I hate complaining even more about a program that is an added benefit just within the last four years with no increase in cost. Well, except for the steadily rising cost of attending games to watch a team that hasn't raised any banner since 1979 that is. Maybe the bar was set too high the first year. Maybe since it's an advertised benefit, I am annoyed that the program value really has diminished to nothing. Or maybe I should just stop paying attention to Monumental Rewards because it's too upsetting.

I still maintain some sort of hope that something good will come out of this site in the future. But I'm also prepared to buy a couple of umbrellas and not get anything substantial this year. It's too bad. It was a great idea. Once.

October 2, 2016

47 Wins? (Revisited)

It's October, which means it's finally time for some hoops games that mean something. But not quite yet. Training camp ended yesterday, the first preseason game is Tuesday night at Verizon Center and we have six more of those before the season opener on October 27. We'll have to wait until November 2 to see the Wizards play a meaningful game in the District. Get excited, kids!

Four years ago, I wrote a post on this blog lamenting the Washington Wizards' distinct lack of success since I became a season ticket holder in the year 2000. Among the miserable statistics cited in that post were the second lowest average win total in the NBA; being tied for the most number of sub-20 win seasons in the league; the fourth lowest number of playoff appearances; zero titles of any sort (tied with eight other teams); and being one of only two teams (along with the then Charlotte Bobcats) not to win at least 47 games in a single season.
It was this last point that represented my hope at the beginning of each season. Maybe, just maybe, I've thought each October for the past several years, this might be the year the Wizards make it to 47 wins in a single campaign. They came close two years ago, posting a 36 year high win total of 46 but they failed to make it to the promised land. Note I'm not even talking about winning a division title, or an NBA Championship, I'm just hoping for a .573 winning percentage. Almost everyone else had done it in the first 12 years I paid money for a full season of Wizards tickets. Why can't we???
So it's four years later and I thought I'd check to see how my favorite team is doing since I got roped into this season ticket holder gig. Strap in, folks. This one is going to sting (again). I promise. And yes, if you want to infer a pun there, it's intended.

Wins Per Season
Over the past 16 seasons, the Washington Wizards have posted an average wins per season number of 33.6. That's up 2.2 games over the last four seasons and good for third worst in the NBA over that span. Yes, in the last four years, we managed to pass the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that hasn't made the playoffs in a dozen years. So we now stand ahead of the T-Wolves and the Charlotte Hornets, who five seasons ago set an NBA historical worst mark for winning percentage in a season. Good company, right?
There's some good news over the last four years though: there have been no sub-20 win seasons in that period for Wizards fans, which means the total number of those abominations over my season ticket tenure remains at two. That's still tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets over that period but it's actually no longer the worst in the NBA. That distinction goes to the Timberwolves (again, Minnesota is saving us) and the Philadelphia 76ers, who have accomplished that dubious feat three times in the last three seasons. Feeling good about that? Don't. Just don't. And not just because the hated Cavs just won it all.
So then there's that 47 wins thing. I have bad news for Wizards fans. We are no longer one of two teams to fail to win 47 games in a single season since I became a season ticket holder because last year the Hornets took themselves out of that club by winning not just 47 but 48 games. So now every team in the NBA has won 48 games in the 21st century except one: my beloved Washington Wizards. Told you this would sting. Let's keep going shall we?

Playoff Wins Per Season

Over the past 16 years, the Washington Wizards have made six playoff appearances. That total is good for sixth worst in the NBA over that span (woo hoo! up two spots), although it might as well be fifth worst because we are actually ahead of the Golden State Warriors who of course won a title two seasons ago (d'oh!). We're tied with the Clippers here and ahead of (in addition to the Dubs) Sacramento, New York, Minnesota and Charlotte. Quick: name a well run franchise among those four. Sadly, I think you might have to say Charlotte. Playoff appearances not good for the Wiz.
However, when we make the playoffs, we have been winning, thanks in part to Randy Wittman's possum tactics relative to the regular season. Yep, in the two appearances the team has made in the last four years, they have won six games in each try and have a winning record in each of those appearances, although both flamed out in the second round. When considering average wins per playoff appearance over the last 16 years, the Wizards are actually tied for ninth worst in the league, which might make you feel good. Isn't it amazing that being tied for 21st place is a source of pride for me? The bar is so low for this team for me.

Division Titles, Conference Titles and NBA Championships

So this is the category where you actually win something. And by that I mean the team doesn't sell shirts if they win 50, 55 or 60 games (although honestly I might custom commission a 47 wins Wizards shirt if we ever get there) but they do sell Division, Conference or League champions merch.

Four years after my initial assessment of the Wizards having won nothing, they have still won nothing. Despite that apparent lack of movement, we have actually moved backwards in this category because some of the other teams that hadn't won anything four years ago actually have now. So the list of teams that has not won anything in the last 16 NBA seasons stands at just three: the Charlotte Hornets, the Memphis Grizzlies and (drumroll please...) the Washington Wizards. In the last four years, the other teams who lacked a division title four years ago, namely the Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers, have all won one. I'm officially depressed now.
This was not a fun post to write on a Sunday morning that is supposed to be relaxing. I am now entering my seventeenth year as Wizards season ticket holder. Over that period of time I've been treated to the third worst winning percentage in the league, the sixth fewest playoff appearances in the NBA, zero titles and no 47 win seasons, which is dead last in the NBA over that span. Oh, and some ticket price hikes the last few years, but that's another story.
So what do I hope for this season? Well ever the optimist I continue to hope for those elusive 47 wins (although I should really raise the bar to 48) and I can't believe we don't have a shot at the Southeast Division this year (since the Miami Heat won it last year with 48 Ws). Don't tell me I'm fooling myself; I'll find out soon enough. Let's go Wizards!