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Handing Out Awards for the Best In DC Sports

Hollywood award season is in full swing, and with the sports calendar hitting a bit of a lull, now’s a good time to hand out trophies of our own.

Robert Griffin III, Mike Shanahan, Mike Rizzo, and Katie Ledecky are among the award winners in the DC sports scene. Photograph of Griffin by Brian Garfinkel/AP Images. Photograph of Shanahan by Evan Vucci/AP Images. Photograph of Rizzo and Ledecky by Nick Wass/AP Images.

Best Team: Washington Nationals

RG3 mania aside, the Nats were the ones with the best record in their sport. This should be a nice consolation for that thing that happened in the playoffs that we will now agree never to discuss again.

Most Popular Team: Washington Redskins

Of course, record isn’t everything, and even a Nationals World Series banner wouldn’t put much of a dent in the Skins’ lead in this category. Such is life in Washington for non-football franchises.

Best Athlete in a Leading Role: Robert Griffin III

As if there were any doubt. RG3 is the king of DC. If he moved to Ward 8, he could unseat Marion Barry with ease.

Tyler Clippard. Photograph by David J. Phillip/AP Images.

Best Athlete in a Supporting Role: Tyler Clippard

This one goes to the best bench player in Washington. While the Nats’ starting rotation received plenty of love, Clip anchored a stellar bullpen. He was invaluable in his setup role, and when the team had no other choice, he transitioned into an effective closer.

Best Director: Mike Shanahan

Shanahan seemed to have this one wrapped up. He managed to prove his genius by guiding the Redskins to seven straight wins. The long-awaited NFC East crown was secured, and all he had to do was not cost the Skins a chance to win a playoff game while at the same time subjecting the franchise’s savior to further injury. He did both, and now everyone hates him. So the award should go to Davey Johnson, who had an excellent season as manager of the Nationals without setting his accrued goodwill on fire at the last minute.

Best Editing: Mike Rizzo

The architect of the city’s best team probably lost out on MLB’s Executive of the Year award for his controversial handling of Stephen Strasburg. However, Rizzo has far more supporters than critics in Washington.

Best Short: Washington Kastles

It can be easy to forget about World TeamTennis and, by extension, our own Kastles. However, that would be doing a disservice to the area’s most dominant franchise. The Kastles are the only team in town that’s won any hardware lately, and it’s been more than two seasons since they last dropped a match. If you haven’t caught them live, you should head to the Wharf this summer.

Teddy of the Racing Presidents. Photograph by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Images.

Best Costume Design: The Racing Presidents

Sometimes I find myself wondering if Screech, the official mascot of the Nats, feels slighted by all the attention paid to George, Abe, Thomas, and Teddy. Then I remember that Screech is terrible.

Best Group Performance: The Nationals’ Starting Rotation

The most effective quintet in baseball was the driving force behind the team’s incredible season.

Best Solo Performance: Katie Ledecky

The 15-going-on-16-year-old was easily the area’s most dominant athlete in the past year. When not attending Stone Ridge School, she enjoys dominating the 800-meter freestyle at the Olympics and listening to One Direction—probably.

Best Broadcast Booth: Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier

Buck’s signature “Dagger” will always be better than Bob Carpenter’s “Jammage.” There’s no argument here.

This article appears in the February 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.

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