dcsportsAs a Division I school, Georgetown provides no shortage of entertainment options for sports fans. But for those that want to witness some high-level competition beyond the Hilltop, Washington provides plenty of options. Though none of the local teams have been especially successful lately, the District boasts five professional sports teams.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

National Football League

The Redskins compete in the NFC East — perennially one of the League’s toughest divisions — and have struggled of late, putting together only one winning season in the last five years. Last season saw constant drama between Head Coach Mike Shanahan and several of his players and included an embarrassing 59-28 loss to rival Philadelphia. After shipping off frustrating defensive tackle AlbertHaynesworth, oft-injured running back Clinton Portis and disappointing quarterback Donovan McNabb this offseason, Shanahan and the Redskins front offi ce are clearly looking to rebuild in 2011. They shored up the defensive line in the draft and have a strong backfi eldanchored by Tim Hightower, but concerns remain about the inconsistent Rex Grossman as a long-term solution at quarterback. The Redskins play at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. — not an easy trip for Georgetown students. But if you can score a ticket, a ‘Skins-Eagles showdown is quite an experience.

WASHINGTON WIZARDS

National Basketball Association

Aside from exciting but short playoff runs in 2005 and 2006, the Washington Wizards franchise has struggled to elevate itself from the Eastern Conference basement in the last decade. However, it looks like all that might change soon. 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall had a stellar rookie year while healthy and should receive scoring help from veteran forwards Josh Howard and Rashard Lewis. Add in the continued improvement of shooting guard and forward Nick Young, center JaVale McGee and forward Andray Blatche, and the Wizards appear to have a bright future. DC sports enthusiasts will also be glad to hear that this season the franchise will be ditching its current color in favor of the red, white and blue it wore up until 1997, when the name was changed to the Wizards. The Wizards play in downtown D.C. at the Verizon Center, where Georgetown men’s basketball games are held.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Major League Baseball

Since relocating from Montreal in 2005, the Nationals have not fi nished a season above the .500 mark or better than fourth in their division, the National League East. But like their basketball counterparts, the franchise has hope for the future. Right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the 2009 No. 1 draft pick, has been sidelined for much of the 2010 and 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2010. However, the much-hyped rookie set a team record for strikeouts in his fi rst ever start last season and is expected to return to the fi eld this August or September. Similarly hyped outfi elder Bryce Harper, the No. 1 draft pick in 2010, probably won’t be called up for at least another year, but can be counted on to make an impact whenever he makes it to the big leagues. Games are held at the Metro-accessible Nationals Park on the Anacostia River. Tickets are relatively inexpensive (and you can usually have your pick of upper-deck seats once you’ve gotten into the stadium) and a student ID will land you a 50 percent discount at many games.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

National Hockey League

The Capitals are by far the most successful of the District’s professional sports teams in recent years, capturing the NHL’s Southeast Division title in each of the last four seasons. Star winger AlexanderOvechkin has been among the scoring leaders in the NHL since his rookie year in 2004, and centerNicklas Backstrom joined him in lighting up opponents in 2007. However, the Caps’ regularseasonsuccess and potent offense hasn’t translated to postseason success yet. The Caps share the Verizon Center with the Wizards and may be the only pro attraction there this year if the NBA is locked out.

DC UNITED

Major League Soccer

The most successful club in MLS history and winners of three of the fi rst four MLS Cups, DC United have fallen on harder times recently. United has just one title in the past decade, no other fi nalsappearances during that span, and fi nished dead last in the MLS last year. This year has been marginally better as United sit in sixth in the Eastern conference and are led by this year’s feel-good story in Charlie Davies and veteran playmaker Dwayne de Rosario, who has bagged six goals in just six appearances for the team. The team plays its home games at RFK stadium and should only get more exciting to watch as Davies comes closer to recovering the form that made him a starter for the US National team before an October 2009 car crash threatened to end his career.

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