Our youngest turned one on Friday. To celebrate, we took a group of fifteen people to the Verizon Center to watch the Washington Mystics host the Connecticut Sun.
Official attendance was 6,975. The game was so truly awful that counting the others suffering through it in the stadium was a welcome relief. Two or three thousand more accurately reflects the people at the game. The attendance was more depressing than the game.
Fifteen years. The Mystics are celebrating fifteen years in the WNBA; the attendance banners have come down from the rafters at Verizon and the once proud franchise has alienated even its most sympathetic fans.
Rather than a celebration, the setting was funereal.
It is a strange setting to watch the denouement of an enterprise that everyone seems invested in failing. We did not see the end coming for the Washington Freedom -- either time -- but it seems more cruel to have the promise of women's professional sports snuffed out by the franchise itself rather than external factors that could not be tamed.
My daughter turned one Friday. In fifteen years, maybe it will be a different story.