Tired of hearing about Papelbon v. Harper? Tired of watching the Washington football team flop around in the NFC East while Brandon Weeden completes 84.6 percent of his passes for the Cowboys? Not ready to endure another disappointing season of Capitals hockey while waiting to see if the coach is going to be fired for the fourth time in five years?
Have no fear, the Wizards season is about to begin.
Yes, Washington sports fans, after years of adding to the laughing stock that is D.C. professional sports, the Wiz have — out of nowhere — become the most functional big-time franchise in town.
This is not to slight the other franchises in the area. The Mystics just finished another WNBA playoff run. Chrystal Dunn of the Washington Spirit was named the MVP of the National Women's Soccer League. D.C. United is currently fourth in the MLS Eastern Conference standings and the Kastles have won the World Team Tennis championship five straight times.
Those franchises have been stable and successful in their own right, but for the purposes of this discussion, we're talking about the four major leagues.
By and large, Washington has been a black hole of sports. I don't even have to start listing the ways in which the NFL team, the Nationals and Capitals have all been frustrating and have led fans to believe that there's truly a curse hanging over the nation's capital.
Now, years removed from Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton, from Jan Vesely air-balling free-throws, from Javale McGee making Shaqtin every night, from the "bruh" meme and the countless failed draft picks (Chris Singleton, McGee and Nick Young, to name a few), the Wizards are a bright spot in Washington.
Sports fans in D.C. can actually find solace in the Wizards in the same year that the football team seems destined to fire Jay Gruden and the baseball team is in danger of falling under .500 when it was picked by many to win the World Series. And that's something we should be appreciative of.
I'm not a fan of the Washington football team, but I am a lifelong Browns fan and I've been a Nats fan since I was in middle school and Livan Hernandez threw out the first pitch in the team's history. And both those teams make me ridiculously excited for basketball season to start.
It's one thing to sit and throw lobs at the Wizards all season. As soon as they blow a lead in the fourth quarter, fans will be throwing out #SoWizards on Twitter and will be making fun of Randy Wittman for being too safe of a coach or being poor at managing games late. Some of those things may be true — but appreciate what we have here.
The Wizards have their star, John Wall, under contract for the foreseeable future, and there's very little reason to think he'll ever play anywhere else but Washington.
Ernie Grunfeld has actually done a good job of managing the cap space and has put the Wizards in perfect position to pursue a big-name free agent in the offseason (aka Kevin Durant). One of their other bright stars, Bradley Beal, may or may not have a contract offer on the table, but he'll get his money soon enough.
And, believe it or not, a draft pick seems to be panning out in Otto Porter Jr., who came into his own toward the end of last season and in the playoffs, and he'll be taking on a much larger role this season with Paul Pierce gone.
Plus — they're actually winning! They've made the playoffs two years in a row now, and even in 2013 the Wizards played near-.500 basketball once John Wall returned from his knee injury (they finished the month of April that year with a record of 6-2).
This season, they're legitimate contenders to make the Eastern Conference finals and should once again compete for a top-four seed in the playoffs.
Even if the best-case scenario doesn't pan out and Durant doesn't come to the Wizards in free agency (but come on, it's happening) they have more than enough cap space to re-sign Beal and go after another big-name free agent (Al Horford?). It's not like the team is going to fall apart immediately if Durant doesn't sign — a la the Cavaliers and LeBron in 2010.
This is all far more than can be said for any of the other big four franchises in D.C.
The Nationals will likely lose Ian Desmond to free agency to the likes of Boston or New York (Yankees), their NL Manager of the Year is halfway out the door, and Bryce Harper is probably already salivating over how much he could make as a Yankee when he hits free agency.
The football team's cap situation is a disaster, and the track record of drafting and developing players has been awful under Dan Snyder.
The Caps have been just as successful as the Wizards recently and have a very talented roster, but their championship window is quickly closing with Alex Ovechkin crossing over into his 30s and Nicklas Backstrom getting up in age as well.
Wiz fans should have plenty of optimism heading into the season, which isn't a word that's thrown around often in D.C. (especially with a government shutdown looming — political jokes!).
Are there going to be times this year when Nene and Bradley Beal both have to miss 10 or 15 games? Probably. Will Wittman draw up an awful last-second play that just leads to a missed long two? Probably.
But instead of throwing a brick through your television, sit back, relax and enjoy the fact that the Washington Wizards are not just a functional franchise, but the most functional franchise in town at the moment.