It was a lost season for the Redskins and Albert Haynesworth (left). Photo by Mike Frandsen.

2010 was another typical year for D.C. area sports teams. That is to say, there wasn’t a whole lot to cheer about, other than a great regular season by the Capitals and some above-average seasons by local college teams.

2011 may end up being brighter for the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, D.C. United, Maryland and Georgetown, but first takes a look back at the year in D.C. sports that was 2010.


It was a disappointing debut for coach Mike Shanahan, whose Redskins finished 6-10, losing seven of their last nine games.  Shanahan traded a second and a fourth-round pick to Philadelphia for Donovan McNabb, who had his worst season since his rookie year.

While McNabb didn’t live up to expectations, Shanahan tried to fit McNabb into his son Kyle’s system rather than building the scheme around McNabb’s talents. Shanahan benched the six-time Pro Bowl quarterback at the end of a loss to Detroit, mishandling the situation by lying about it.

Even with everything that went wrong, the Redskins could have won with McNabb had Shanahan made better coaching and personnel decisions.  One of those blunders was his handling of the Albert Haynesworth situation.

Shanahan became embroiled in a season-long controversy with Haynesworth, who didn’t want to play in the team’s new 3-4 defense.  It started when Shanahan made Haynesworth repeat a conditioning test in training camp to the point of embarrassment, and it ended when Shanahan suspended Haynesworth for the final four games of the season.

It was Shanahan’s responsibility to get the most out of the talented but temperamental and sensitive player, but Haynesworth ended up playing mainly on third downs, and was deactivated for several games.  Without Haynesworth playing regularly, the Redskins finished 31st in total defense.

Ironically, if the Redskins had signed Michael Vick two seasons ago, they might have been in a better situation.  However, few people thought Vick was the answer.

There was some good news for the Redskins.  Former Hog Russ Grimm made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  At least Redskins fans can always look to the past.


The Caps won the President’s Trophy for the most points in the NHL during the regular season, but then crashed and burned in the playoffs, losing to the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens in seven games.

To see the rest of my article on, click here.