After seeing the Washington Capitals bring a championship to DC for the first time since 1992, it’s only natural for athletes from some of the city’s other sports to think about what their championship celebration would be like. Evidently, Bryce Harper has had these thoughts and he thinks a World Series would be bigger than winning the Stanley Cup.
About 10-times bigger.
In the wake of Harper’s Home Run Derby win, Harper was interviewed by ESPN’s Karl Ravech and talked about what a Nationals championship would be like.
Nothing against the Caps at all, but I think if we brought a title back to this town in DC, it would be unbelievably huge and about 10 times better. Winning the Stanley Cup is something that is insanely incredible, everybody sees that when you watch a hockey playoff game, and to be able to win that Sir Stanley, it’s very, very impressive. But to bring back a title to DC, it would be incredible.
I don’t want to trash Harper because ultimately if you’re a Washington sports fan, you want to see him prove it and win it all. His entire life has been about baseball so it’s understandable why to him a World Series would be a bigger deal than a Cup run.
Let’s face it, baseball is a bigger sport in America than hockey is, but there are two things that Harper is not really taking into consideration.
First, this city was starving for a championship after 26 long years. Every championship can spark civic pride among people who are not normally fans, but considering how long it had been since Washington got a taste of sports glory, the 2018 Stanley Cup felt very much like the people’s Cup.
It’s not the Capitals’ Cup, it’s Washington’s. It’s ours.
The Caps realized that and that’s the second factor Harper is not considering. The Stanley Cup is different from the Commissioner’s Trophy in that it is revered and yet meant to be shared.
There have been plenty of jokes about how much the Caps celebrated in the wake of their win, but they did something teams from other professional leagues don’t do. They brought their celebration to the people. They brought the Cup to bars in Arlington, they had it while swimming in a fountain in Georgetown, it was outside of Kettler for fans to take a picture with during development camp and it was even at Nationals Park.
No matter what Harper does, no matter how many championships the Nationals win during his tenure with the team – which hopefully will not end after this season – a World Series win is not going to end 26 years of futility. The city will not embrace it in the same way it did the Caps and the nature and culture of the Commissioner's Trophy will not allow the Nationals to include the fans in the same way the Caps were able to.
The Stanley Cup is just different from other trophies. To be able to bring it to the fans and celebrate with the fans in the wake of the championship after a 26-year drought, it’s hard to top that.
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