Talk to Washingtonians about most things--how's the President doing, what do you think of Congress--and you get fairly logical answers--a few kooky ones, but mostly not. Talk about the city's favorite sports team--the NFL's Washington Redskins--and all that changes. Wild optimism erupts.
I've seen two headlines in local sports pages this week about the "undefeated" 'Skins. True, sure, but silly. They've played just two, count 'em, two games. Fourteen to go. "Undefeated?" Give me a break. The Skins do sometimes win. The baseball team, the Nationals, doesn't. Its predecessor, the Senators, had an unofficial slogan: ''Washington, first in war, first in peace, last in the American League." Most years, they lived up to it.
The Redskins have won, of course. The 1988 and 1992 Super Bowls come to mind. And sports is full of longer losing streaks. I grew up in Chicago rooting for the Chicago Cubs, who last won the World Series in--are you ready?--1908.