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Another Shutdown in D.C.

December 11, 2013 - Al Stephenson
Sports fans in the nation's capital may be used to the idea by now. After watching the Washington Nationals shut down ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg as the team headed to the playoffs a year ago, now Redskins fans have gotten the news that quarterback Robert Griffin III is heading to the sidelines. There are some similarities in the two situations. Strasburg makes a ton of money as does RG III. Both are the face of their respective franchises. Both were coming off serious injuries and the decision to sit them down prior to the postseason was for precautionary health reasons.

There are also differences in the two situations. Strasburg was shut down before the Nationals started postseason play. He was apparently healthy, but there was concern with overworking his valuable right arm. Do you risk short term championship hopes for long term health? The Nationals apparently thought doing so was a bad idea. How many Nationals fans agreed with that is open to question. The Nats didn't last long in the playoffs. Would they have fared better with Strasburg? We'll never know.

The Redskins are not going to the playoffs. That much has already been determined. Do you risk RG III's legs (in his case the legs are as important as his arm) for a seemingly meaningless three more games? The Redskins decided it was not worth the risk. Do Redskin fans agree? I'm guessing most of them do, though some season ticket holders might like a refund for not getting to see him play.

The view from my seat suggests that it has to be tough to be a sports fan in D.C. these days. You don't often face losing the best player on your team to serious injuries only to see them shut down when healthy a year later. Then again if you live in or near the site of our federal government, living with a shutdown seems to be commonplace!


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