POLL: Are You Even Excited That The Wizards Are In The Playoffs? | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

POLL: Are You Even Excited That The Wizards Are In The Playoffs?

Updated: April 14, 2014

PLAYOFFS? Meh, I’m just a kid.

Today I had to honor of participating in a roundtable discussion (in blog form) regarding why people don’t seem very excited that the Wizards are headed to the playoffs. This roundtable can be found on the Washington Post’s D.C. Sports Bog and includes ardent Wizards followers such as Ben Standig of CSN Washington, Mike Prada of Bullets Forever/SB Nation, Scott Jackson of ESPN 980, Mike Wise of the Washington Post, and myself.

Of course, it’s not totally true that people don’t care (or are not particularly excited). It’s partially completely false. I care, for one. I know people who read about the Wizards care. I know that even those fans who are somehow ‘OK’ with the Wizards losing, even perhaps hoping for such with the assumption that it would lead to a more extensively cleaned house inhabited by front office personnel, care. They do. Of course, all these people who care encapsulate a small niche, and not necessarily the generalist fan that Ted Leonsis needs to make a profit (and presumably use those profits to make the organization even better … presumably).

As inherently disenchanted (perhaps disenfranchised) that some Wizards fans have been conditioned toward being, deep down they all desire to see victory reflected by the scoreboard. ‘Tis a small penance for the time invested—even if the agony of defeat is sometimes a more emotionally jarring (and thus satisfactory event) than an inkling of a win en route to more uncertainty. People seem to like the horror movie genre, you know, and that certainly can translate to sports and its wizardry.

Indeed. Some people care. Some people don’t. You take the good, you take the bad … the facts of life. But what is palpable is the lack of buzz. For what it’s worth, the Wizards averaged 17,196 fans per game as they approached the playoffs in 2005 (14th in the NBA) but 16,942 this season (18th in the NBA)—not exactly a drastic difference. Plus, the realm of possibility exists that the buzz and excitement will reach a tipping point once reality sets in; for some, a Wizards playoff appearance is still a mirage until it can be tangibly quenched.

But the Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg has previously relayed (via Twitter) that Wizards-related Web traffic on the Washington Post’s website has been less than stellar considering the environment. And I can tell you that in TAI’s piece of the pixel pie, traffic via the arrival of and first season with John Wall significantly dwarfs traffic from the current season (and certainly hijinks and blog-worthy pixels of Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, and Gilbert Arenas played a role in such). So there’s that.

What. Is. The. Deal?

My portion of the D.C. Sports Bog roundtable is pasted below; I encourage you to go read the full slate of thoughts. Also, to gauge the temperature of TAI readers, please vote in the poll below on the most predominant reason for the lacking buzz about the Wizards heading into the 2013-14 postseason.




Your 2014 playoff-bound Wizards keep an eclectic company of bummers contributing to the perceived malaise of fans this time around.

Yes, there’s the adage about transience in a federal city, the increasingly enhanced home game-watching experience, and more and more fans focusing their efforts on individual talent instead of team loyalty. But in Washington there still remains a deep distrust from years as Les Boulez that four straight playoffs appearances from ’05 to ’08 did little to sway.

The Wiz only got to the second round once during that run, and injuries rendered the last two appearances mere tokens that would only work in a claw crane prize machine sitting somewhere along a dilapidated Fun Street. The dysfunction that came with the end of the Abe Pollin era, the Big 3′s run that never was, and the Gilbert Arenas grab-bag treating the Verizon Center as his own personal shark tank further polluted the water.

New ownership has stumbled through the unenviable task of rebuilding with the same company president who drowned them in debt and disenchanted stock holders. And ultimately, the stigma surrounding the name ‘Wizards’ and what it’s meant for so many years hangs over just the sixth over-.500 campaign since 1987, a year which marked the end of 19 playoff appearances in the team’s first 24 seasons as the Bullets and the beginning of a long, dark period that only Cézanne’s palette knife could appreciate.

People realize that John Wall is an All-Star and that there’s tons of artistry in Bradley Beal, but that’s not enough to make them believe. The simple joys of a first-round playoff win, and the national attention that comes with it, would be a good start. –K. Weidie


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • Arian

    My issue is more that its been clear all season that we are gonna make the playoffs but we still kind of suck, in other words there is no confidence that we are actually gonna do anythign in the playoffs. making to it to get pounced 4-0 doesnt really excite me.

  • Zach Arnold

    The fact that the Wiz Kids only had one winning streak of more than 3 games kinda speaks volumes, IMO. We’ve seen flashes, but the Wizards haven’t really put together a stretch of good basketball all season. The one time they did, on their 6 game win streak, Nene got hurt and was out for 6 weeks. This team has a very “one step forward, two steps backwards” kinda feel, and it’s tough to get excited for a team that still hasn’t put everything together.

    Maybe they’ll figure it all out in the playoffs, but I’m certainly not betting on it.

    • T Dot P-Dazzle

      I see it a little different. The wizards have had several small streaks which led to a Last 10 winning 7-3 or 8-2… but they all had losses before after or during to beatable teams SAC, CHA, MIL, BOS, DEN which is probably just as bad

  • LooseCannon13

    Even though distrust of team management AND the team name could have been a strong choice, along with bad coaching and inconsistent play, I still voted for 1,000% excited. I am pumped, exicted, happy they are in the playoffs, but also understand that if the B team Wizards shows up instead of the A team Wizards, we shouldn’t expect too much. Now if that A team shows up for the playoffs though….

  • LooseCannon13
  • T Dot P-Dazzle

    I’m 1000% excited. We could be on a path like OKC at the beginning of their run, or maybe more like the Arenas led Wiz teams which were good and competitive but were always a defensive stop from being GOOD. I think the Distrust of Team Management is a cop out because shit happens. Who knew Arenas would go nuclear and Mcghee and Young liked Cinnamon more than winning. Grunfeld effed it up plenty but he also got us where we are. Of course everyone will second guess this summer with Gortat getting overpaid and resigning OR relinquishing Ariza when you have Webster under contract and Porter waiting on the bench…
    Enjoy the moment. Only four teams can win the championship each year so enjoy your playoff run with your teams star or be a Lebron or KD groupie…

    PS – Durant to Wizards in 2016!!!