August 28, 2016

On the retirement of District Sports Page

“When it’s time, it’s time. And it’s time…” Jim Leyland, on his retirement in 2013.

After much deliberation, it is with mixed emotions that I have decided to retire District Sports Page, effective at the end of the NHL and NBA seasons. We will continue to cover the Capitals and Wizards until their respective seasons conclude, whenever that may be, and update Redskins news through the NFL Draft, then we’ll sign off. We will not pick up Nationals or DC United this spring.

Here’s hoping the last thing this website does is write about a Stanley Cup finals or NBA Championship series.

Also, I’m happy to announce that I will be joining the staff of SBNation’s Federal Baseball to cover the Nationals this season, and thanks to editor Patrick Reddington for the opportunity.

I hope to find an outlet to continue to cover the Capitals next season.

This was a very difficult decision, one I did not take lightly. Even now, I’m having a hard time believing that I’m typing the words. This website and its predecessors have afforded me some incredible experiences and memories, and to be surrendering it willingly was at one point unthinkable. But the time and effort to run it is considerable, and it’s now time to put that time to other uses.

I am very proud of the track record DSP has in the market, and especially proud of the fact that of the 40 writers that have contributed to District Sports Page over 4 ½ years, 15 have gone on to paying gigs in the sports media industry, myself included, either at newspapers, websites, television or cable stations or with the teams themselves. I have no doubt that several on the current staff will do the same.

To the current staff, and all the former staff: Thank you. Thank you for all the hard work and dedication you put toward this website, for nothing in return other than the experience of covering the local teams, with credentials, and a place to publish your efforts.

To the teams: Thank you. Thank you for the access and support you provided this website for 4 ½ years, and to its predecessors, Nats News Network and Caps News Network, for the four years prior to that.

In today’s modern media, it’s commonplace to have independents in the press box and locker rooms shoulder-to-shoulder with traditional media; that was not the case eight years ago and the Caps (especially Mr. Leonsis and Nate Ewell) understood that. In large part they are responsible for the access that electronic media has not just in this market, but across the country.

Thanks also to Stan Kasten, John Dever and Mike Gazda — all formerly of the Nats — for creating and cultivating the first pool of credentialed bloggers in MLB history, and for allowing me to participate in the process.

Thanks to the current staffs of the Caps, Nats, Wizards, Mystics, United and University of Maryland for continuing to provide access to independent media.

And thank you to my editor, Cheryl, for allowing me the freedom and providing encouragement to pursue this endeavor. It takes a lot of time and energy to start a second career and even more to run a website like this, and her unending support and contributions were critical to its success.

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Lastly, and most importantly, thanks to all of you for reading the work on this website. With so much of traditional media now in partnerships with the teams they cover, it’s more important than ever that there are independent media covering the teams and sports we love so much.

There’s great writing and analysis being done independently on the national and local levels, you just gotta look for it. If you’re reading this, you probably know already. But so many sports fans only get their “news” force-fed to them by a newspaper that has corporate cross-sponsorship with the teams they cover, or from the broadcasting partner — whose announcers the team hires and pays, or from the leagues themselves who control or obfuscate the message, or even worse, from a marketing department disguised as a worldwide sports network.

Please seek out these independent voices. Read them. Educate yourself about the teams and sports you follow. Be an informed consumer. Don’t be blindly led by entities trying to control the message or sell you something. Knowledge is power.

Until next time,

Cheers, and thanks again for reading.

Dave Nichols
Editor-in-Chief
District Sports Page

Maryland Basketball: Terps Land 4-Star SG Kevin Huerter

Kevin Huerter (6′ 5”-180) is the 12th ranked shooting guard in the nation and fourth best prospect out of the state of New York. He committed to Maryland today on Labor Day after a campus visit last Friday when the Maryland men’s soccer team upset #1 ranked UCLA.

https://twitter.com/KevinHuerter/status/640943842154422272

According to 247sports, Huerter is the 64th best player in the country while ESPN ranks the sharp shooter at 41. The Terps beat out the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame, and Virginia for the rights to Huerter after being heavily recruited by assistant coach Dustin Clark.

[Read more…]

Virginia football: Hoos stumble out of opening gate at No. 13 UCLA

At the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Saturday afternoon, two programs met with an eye on the future. The hosting UCLA Bruins featured a true freshman at quarterback and looked to prove their status as a dark horse contender for the Pac 12 championship, if not a College Football Playoff spot. Visiting Virginia also had a new starter at quarterback, a junior whose poise and promise had Wahoo fans dreaming of a potential upset, or at least some competitive fire against a quality opponent.

[Read more…]

Maryland Football: Terps get off on the good foot with big win over Richmond

Brandon Ross rushed for a career-high 150 yards and a touchdown to lead Maryland over Richmond 50-21 in the opener for both teams on Saturday at Byrd Stadium.

Ross wasn’t the only Terp to have a big day. Punt returner William Likely set a Big Ten record with 233 return yards, including a 67-yard touchdown. [Read more…]

District Sports Daily Feb. 4: Caps shut out Kings, Mystics re-sign two

CAPITALS: The Caps shut out defending Stanley Cup champ Los Angeles Kings, though the Kings looked a shell of their once-dominant selves. (DSP Gamer, 3 Stars)

Jay Beagle didn’t skate with the top line Tuesday night, but he has frequently this season. Good or bad (rhetorical question alert)? (DSP take)

MYSTICS: The Mystics make some offseason noise, exercising options on Tayler Hill and Emma Meeseman. (DSP)

NATIONALS: The Nats announced their Spring Training broadcast and radio schedule. Personally, I think the radio guys should work all spring long — sorry Dave & Charlie. (DSP)

WIZARDS: Bradley Beal echos what everyone else is saying about the Wizards right now: they’re soft on defense. (WaPo)

REDSKINS: Now that Super Bowl is past, key offseason dates for the Redskins and the rest of the league. (WaPo)

UNITED: DCU tied Swedish second division club Jonkopings 0-0 in Bradenton, Florida in a training camp match. (DCUnited.com)

District Sports Daily Feb. 3: Wiz dropped by Hornets; Akey in DC; Ovi 1st Star

WIZARDS: The Wizards are slumping hard, and Monday night they lost to a struggling and injured Charlotte Hornets team. All-Star break, hurry! (DSP Gamer)

CAPITALS: Alex Ovechkin was named First Star for the month of January by the league. He had 12 goals, tops in the league for the time period. (NHL.com)

NATIONALS: West Palm Beach okays concept for shared spring training stadium for Nats and Houston Astros. I’ll believe it when I see it. (PalmBeachPost)

REDSKINS: Rob Akey, former head coach at the University of Idaho, was hired as Defensive Line coach, the same position he filled for the Minnesota Vikings last season. (WaPo)

District Sports Daily, Feb. 2: Caps lose again, Nats Insider anniversary

CAPITALS: The Caps can’t win the second of back-to-back games, ever. Alex Ovechkin scores twice, Karl Alzner got one (and some stitches), but Justin Peters can’t bail ‘em out and the Caps lost to St. Louis Blues 4-3. (DSP Gamer, 3 Stars).

WIZARDS: The Wizards are only sending one player to the All-Star festivities, but that’s probably a good thing right now. (Bullets Forever)

NATIONALS: Nats Insider, Mark Zuckerman’s blog, turned five years old. If you remember the circumstances behind how that happened, or why it’s a big deal, or contributed money to the cause, then give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate five great years with the guy that’s been there since the beginning. (Nats Insider)

REDSKINS: From Friday, but still worth a click if you missed, the always entertaining John Riggins joined Chick Hernandez on CSNWashington’s Sports Talk Live on the 32nd anniversary of, as Chick said, “using Don McNeil as a hood ornament.” (CSNWashington)

District Sports Daily Feb. 1: Caps and Wiz both fall in OT, Giolito makes another list

CAPITALS: Braden Holtby was excellent again but the Caps ping iron three times in the second and lose to Montreal 1-0 in overtime. (DSP Gamer, 3 Stars, RMNB)

WIZARDS: Wiz force overtime with strong fourth quarter — and John Wall finished with 28 points, 12 assists and eight boards playing through migraines — but get dumped by Toronto in overtime. (DSP Gamer)

NATIONALS: More accolades for Lucas Giolito, as he’s named No. 6 overall minor league prospect by MLB.com. (Federal Baseball)

 

District Sports Daily Jan. 30: Werth gets jail, Redskins hire Grimm (not that one)

NATIONALS: Jayson Werth drops appeal of circuit court conviction for reckless driving, pleas out to five days in jail. (WaPo)

Nats have No. 9 system and six players land on ESPN.com’s Keith Law’s Top 100 Prospects, led by Lucas Giolito at No. 8 overall, and first pitcher on the list. (Federal Baseball)

CAPITALS: Caps have a lot of decisions coming about regarding free agents, both restricted and unrestricted. Who should stay and who should go? (DSP Take, RMNB)

REDSKINS: Redskins hire Russ Grimm’s son Chad as Defensive Quality Control coach. Yeah. (WaPo)

WIZARDS: Otto Porter had a nice night in the Wiz los to Phoenix Wednesday. Should he be getting more playing time? (Truth About It)

District Sports Daily: Caps blank Pens, Wiz lose in Phoenix

CAPITALS: Behind two goals from Alex Ovechkin and 27 saves from Braden Holtby, the Caps blanked the Penguins 4-0 at Verizon Center. (DSP Gamer, DSP Three Stars)

WIZARDS: Garrett Temple spurred fourth quarter comeback falls short as Wizards lose in Phoenix 106-98 as Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat scored 14 points apiece. (DSP Gamer)

NATIONALS: Nats sign veteran reliever Casey Janssen to help cover Tyler Clippard’s late-game innings. (DSP Take, Fangraphs)

Nats potential new spring training home faces hurdles about water pollution concerns. (WaPo)

REDSKINS: Redskins try a novel idea, hire Matt Cavanaugh as quarterback coach. Skins were just one of two NFL teams without one last year. (WaPo)

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