BY PETER HAILEY
The past handful of days have had radio listeners and social media users asking the same question as that old lady from those 1980s Wendy’s commercials: “Where’s the beef?”
That's because the ongoing battle between rappers Drake and Meek Mill has totally taken over the Internet as of late. The dispute started when Meek Mill accused Drake of not writing his own lyrics, and went on to spawn three diss tracks that were greeted with various levels of excitement. (A full summary of the Drake/Meek Mill feud can be found here).
Besides forcing us to check Twitter every six minutes and causing us to look at the deeper, deeper meaning of every lyric from the two artists, the fight between Drake and Meek Mill got us thinking: What have been some of the most notable beefs in recent D.C. sports history?
Below, we answer that question by examining some of the best beefs involving each of the four major sports teams in the nation’s capital over the past year. These issues may not have involved Nicki Minaj or ghostwriting, but they still mattered quite a bit to fans from the DMV.
DeSean Jackson vs. Basic people
That awful Bucs game from last year didn’t just ruffle the feathers of Gruden: it sparked a feud between DeSean Jackson and people who are ordinary, too.
After the game, Jackson took to Instagram and posted this picture to (presumably) call out his teammates after their dismal effort against one of the NFL's worst groups. Nothing really came of it in the end, though, except for the realization that #11 doesn’t get along well with basic people.
This beef may very well resurface if Washington gets off to a slow start this year, however, so 'Skins supporters must be wary of that.
Paul Pierce vs. Drake
As it turns out, Toronto’s favorite rapper doesn’t limit his beefs to those inside the rap game; he got into it a bit with Pierce during a February contest between the Wizards and the Raptors, too.
Before the game’s final play, Drake tried to get all buddy-buddy with Pierce on the sidelines as #34 prepared to throw an inbounds pass. The Truth, however, wasn’t in the mood for fun and games, and he gave the rapper a nice shove to let him know he was too busy to joke around.
Keep an eye on all Clippers-Raptors matchups next year to see where this feud goes next.
The Wizards backcourt vs. The Cavaliers backcourt
Before the 2014 NBA season, an argument between Washington’s John Wall and Bradley Beal and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters broke out over one subject: Who is the league’s best backcourt?
It began when Beal said him and Wall were the Association’s premier guard pairing. But Waiters disagreed with that statement, and called it “nonsense.” Wall came back with a vengeance, though, and ended the beef with a terrific response: “You gotta win a playoff game first before you can talk. You gotta be a starter first.”
Chalk that one up to the Wizards.
Bryce Harper vs. Every MLB homeplate umpire
The Nationals’ stud right fielder and the guys behind homeplate have been going at it all year long: Harper’s been ejected three separate times for arguing balls and strikes, and each time he got the thumb from the umpire responsible for judging the strikezone.
Watching Harper get in the faces of the umps is pretty exciting, but in the end, this is a beef that needs to stop -- with the NL East race now as tight as ever, #34 can’t keep getting thrown out and leaving his teammates hanging.
Nationals fans vs. Jose Tabata
Back in late June, Max Scherzer had gotten himself within one out of throwing the 24th perfect game in major league history. But Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata -- and his elbow -- prevented the Nats’ ace from completing the feat on a very controversial hit-by-pitch.
There was much debate about Tabata’s actions -- did he make enough of an effort to get out of the way? -- but there’s no debating this: he’ll be the enemy of Washington baseball fans for the rest of his career. The very next day proved that fact, as Tabata was booed heavily every time he came up to hit or made a play in the field.
Scherzer said he had no issue with what Tabata did, but it’s obvious that his fans don’t feel the same way. This beef could last a long time.
Tom Wilson vs. New York players, media and fans
Back in the Capitals’ first round playoff series against the Islanders, Tom Wilson delivered a hit on New York defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky that fired up just about everyone associated with the Islanders’ organization.
The hit -- which was deemed worthy of a charging minor but nothing more -- knocked Visnovsky out of the rest of the playoffs, and led to Islanders players calling Wilson an “idiot” and many media members questioning Wilson’s integrity. Wilson, meanwhile, defended the hit, and did a good job of not pouring too much more fuel on the fire.
With that being said, there’s a decent chance that Wilson gets the Tabata treatment from Islanders fans the next time the two teams play -- and every time after that as well.