On May 20th, some of the writers of the Washington Post made a list of their top five most popular DC sports athletes. With school officially over, I now have the time to make my list of the top five most popular DC sports athletes.
If I was making my list based on how well the athletes play and their contribution to their team this would had been my top five players.
Top 5 DC sports Athletes based on performance
- Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
- Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
- John Wall, Washington Wizards
- Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
- Ryan Kerrigan, Washington Redskins
Since my story isn’t about this list, I won’t go into detail on why I placed each player where they are at. Below is my list of who I think are the top five most popular DC sports athletes. This list is based on the attention they receive, and how they affected their team and the area. Some of the players that were on my first list won’t show up on this one.
Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals
Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Ryan Kerrigan, Washington Redskins
1. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
The things the 22 year old outfielder has done this season, there is no question he is at the top of my list. Bryce Harper has a .331 batting average. He’s hit 18 home runs and driven in 43 RBI’s. Not to mention he is leading the National league in home runs, RBI’s, walks, and All-Star votes. If the season would have ended today, Bryce Harper would likely win the National League MVP award. Since Harper made his Major League debut back in April of 2012, he has been one of the top young baseball players but injuries have kept him from doing what he is doing now. Harper is fully healthy as of right now and he is showing the baseball world what he is truly capable of.
Another reason why Harper is number one on my list is because of the Nationals success this season. The team is 28-19 and they have recently won their ninth consecutive series against the Chicago Cubs. The primary reason the Nationals are where they are now is because of Bryce. If the Nationals keep playing the way they are and Bryce playing the way he has, there could be a good chance we will see Bryce Harper and the Nationals in the World Series.
2. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
If I was making this list based on how well a player impacts a team, Robert Griffin III wouldn’t be on my list. But since it’s the list is base on popularity, RGIII takes the second spot on my list. Robert has been one of the most talked about sports figures in the Washington DC area since the night he was drafted to the Redskins. In his first year with the Redskins, RGIII was playing out of his mind and became a player everyone wanted to watch. That same year he won rookie of the year and lead the Skins to the playoffs.
But everything went downhill after he tore his ACL in the playoff game against Seattle. Robert has never been the same. In his second year, he struggled the entire year and ended the season on the bench. Last season, most thought Robert would turn things around since he was fully healthy and the Redskins got a new coach but things got worse. Robert broke his ankle in week 2 and when he came back he continued having a hard time running the Redskins offense. He had problems with Jay Gruden and was benched for a few games.
The reason why the so-called face of the Washington Redskins is second on my list is because how much fans and the media talk about him. Robert went from being called the savior of DC to the reason why the Skins can’t find a way to win more than four games. There are always articles about something Robert said in a press conference or why he shouldn’t be a starter. Radio always finds a way to bring up RGIII. Love or hate Robert Griffin III, he will always is a popular figure in the area as long as he wears a Redskins jersey and finds way to make headlines in the paper.
3. John Wall, Washington Wizards
Despite being overlooked by the NBA, John Wall is one of the top point guards in the league. The two time All-Star has led Wizards from rock bottom to one of the top five teams in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards two straight playoff appearances and made it to game 6 of the second round in both tries. John Wall is not the only reason why the Wizards have turned things around but he is a big part of it. John Wall had an amazing season and play incredibly well in the playoffs despite getting injured. Wall has risen to be one of the elite players in the league and continues to improve right before our eyes. The backcourt duo of him and Bradley Beal is probably the second best duo in the NBA. Even though the Wizards season is over, the fan base is starting to pick back up. Wall has given Wizards fans a reason to be proud that they are a fan and high hopes for what is to come down the road.
4. Paul Pierce, Washington Wizards
If it wasn’t for Paul Pierce game tying shot in Game 6 against the Hawks not counting, and the Wizards being eliminated, Pierce would have been number two on my list. Paul Pierce performance in the Playoffs put the future Hall of Famer in the fourth spot. The playoffs made Paul Pierce a superstar in the district. The Truth helped the Wizards sweep the Raptors a team they struggled against during the regular season. But his popularity in the area skyrocketed when he hit that game winning shot in-game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and said “I called game,” when being interviewed by ESPN’s Chris Broussard. There have been talks as of late about Pierce leaving the Wizards and finishing his career out as a Clipper. But it would be great if he could stick around for one more year.
5. Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Ovechkin has been one of the best hockey players in the NHL. He has a total of 475 goals in his career. Ovechkin won 3 Hart Memorial Award and he was nominated for the award this year. Alex led the league in goals with 53 and helped the Capitals get back in the playoffs. When a person thinks of the Caps, the first thing that comes to mind is Alexander Ovechkin. Alex has more than just a great hockey player. He is one of the most iconic DC sports figures.
Ryan McFadden is a senior at DeMatha Catholic High School and the President of Inside The Locker Room. He was the sports writer for the DeMatha Stagline and a commentator on DM Stags Television. Ryan will be attending IONA College in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @RMcFadden15
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