Washington D.C. is a transient town, I get it. When you go to a Washington D.C. sporting event, you will see every jersey known to man regardless of the team or sometimes even the sport being played.
I have no issue going to the Capitals game and seeing a decent amount of opposing rival fans just trying to get a rise out of the home team crowd. I have no big issue with going to a Redskins game and getting heckled by other NFC East teams.
At these games, the fans of the good guys always outweigh the fans of the bad guys from my point of view.
But for the Verizon Center during a Washington Wizards game, it’s starting to become shameful to be wearing Wizards gear amongst the plethora of away team jerseys.
The Kobe Bryants and Lebron James of the league are always going to bring in away team fans due to their superstardom and undeniable talent in this league. But when teams in the Association (most recently Boston) that don’t have one mega superstar visit the Verizon Center, it is a sobering atmosphere for the very few Wizards fans in the building.
On Sunday, as the crowd for the game versus Boston began to trickle in, it was clear that it was going to be a home game for Boston. It wouldn’t be outlandish to say that about eight of every ten people in attendance had some form of Boston Celtics gear on.
When the Celtics scored, the crowd delivered a more raucous roar than when the Wizards did. If you were out in the concourse getting a beer and heard the noise, you would think John Wall threw a half-court lob to Javale McGee for a 360-degree dunk.
Nope. Kevin Garnett took a jump shot from 18 feet.
Now most of this isn’t breaking news to many. The Wizards have had this issue for quite some time now; but when you watch the Wizards, you have to see that they aren’t playing with much intensity and believe that it could be due to the fact that only 20% of the crowd is there to see them play.
I applaud the Wizards organization in their efforts to bring in more of a crowd: the family packs, the college student night, the fan fest, etc…but it’s all to no avail.
Even with two horrendous seasons, the Washington Redskins find a way to bring in their hometown crowd with years-long season ticket waits, outlandish prices for concessions, and absurd parking rates.
So why can’t the Wizards be even half as successful?
The lack of wins is the obvious answer, but there has to be some solution.
I have no concrete ideas, but then again, I don’t get paid to do so. What I do pay for are tickets, and I have faith and hope that next season I’ll be sitting in the Phone Booth, not T.D. Garden D.C.