Wizards: garbage name, good team

Chad T. Jones, Public Affairs Officer

Tonight at the NFL draft, the world’s elite will welcome 32 new millionaires to its ranks. And if I’m lucky, the Cowboys will add either cornerback Jourdan Lewis or stud Jabrill Peppers to its roster.

On Friday, the Boys could finally find their replacement for future Hall-of-Famer Jason Witten in the form of Michigan tight end Jake Butt.

The prospect of Michigan men joining the soon-to-be Super Bowl Champion Cowboys is almost too much awesomeness for this man to take. It makes me want to climb the flag pole on McGlachlin and scream “Hail to the Victors” until the firefighters pull me down like a blubbery, bearded, feral kitten stuck in a tree.

If not that, I certainly would want to write about it — more than I already have — but alas, I’m nothing if not loyal to the wishes of Jabber nation, and apparently, they want to talk about the Washington Wizards.

Our friends Bob Johnson from the Post Museum, Tim Hooten from the NEC (computer guy) and three or four other people stopped me at last week’s Earth Day celebration (See Pages 10-11) and asked the same question: When are you going to write about the Wizards?

Before I get into any conversation about Washington’s NBA team, I owe it to all self-respecting sports fans to point out that “Wizards” is the dumbest nickname in all professional sports.

There’s nothing intimidating about Gandalf. Sure, he got all big and loud when he made Bilbo Baggins give up his ring, but at no point did I think he was going to swoop down the lane and destroy the rim with a massive two-handed tomahawk dunk. I bet he can’t even dribble with his left hand.

“Wizards” also represents the worst example of nonsensical PC in the history of sports. If you remember, Washington was originally named the Bullets.

Being a historian, our friend Bob will go back even further to when the team was the Baltimore Bullets. Being a Chicago fan, Bob may go back even further to 1961 when the then Chicago Packers became the NBA’s first expansion team. The Packers moved to Baltimore in 1963

Either way, the Bullets had a storied history with great players like Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes. The two Hall-of-Famers led the Bullets to its only championship in 1978. Then the team stunk for a while. Then in 1995, team owner Abe Pollin thought changing the name from Bullets to Wizards would somehow reduce D.C.’s crime rate.

The team responded to the horrible name by playing equally horrible basketball. Even the signing of Michael Jordan couldn’t help.

That is until 2012.

Led by guards John Wall and Bradley Beal, the current version of the Wizards is good fun to watch and a perennial playoff contender.

As of Wednesday, they are tied 2-2 in their first-round playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks.

My NBA game is a bit rusty, but it doesn’t take much to see that Wall and Beal make up one of the best backcourts in the NBA. Forward Otto Porter and center Marcin Gortat are also legit NBA players.

So Wizards fans should be able to hold serve against Atlanta, and based on how Boston is playing, they could pull off some magic and take down the top-seeded Celtics.

Of course, all things in the Eastern Conference begin and end with LeBron and the Cavaliers, which means there is nothing the Wizards can pull out of their pointy hat to get them to the finals.

But at least they don’t stink anymore, and with Wall and Beal, they probably won’t for a minute.

Now, who wants to talk about all those Wolverines going to Dallas?

If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones.civ@mail.mil or hit me up on Twitter @CTJibber.

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