The curse of terrible owners who harmed local sports teams in the Washington area has been a constant in my life since I was a child. It’s rare for an owner to be truly an ‘F’, both in terms of overseeing a team and as a person. But my generation hit the jackpot.

In the 1950s, Washington faced a pair of overt racists: Calvin Griffith and George Preston Marshall, who owned the city’s MLB and NFL franchises. Their data was as bad as their ethics. Then, in the ’60s, we got flickering scalawag Bob Short, who moved the expansion Senators to Texas. Many DC fans, including myself, have cursed the Rangers; they would never win a championship before Washington had a World Series parade. And it worked!

We young people did not suspect that putting up with these incompetent owners, who were also greedy lice, was just a foreplay.

Has our nightmare of bad owners dating back to World War II finally come to an end?

Finally, with Daniel M. Snyder’s flight to the high seas and the death of Peter G. Angelos on Sunday — after his decades-long efforts to thwart and destroy baseball in D.C. — it’s possible that a terrible, multi-generational era will be upon us has ended.

It’s hard to get promoted on your Wikipedia page, but Snyder has succeeded: he is “widely considered one of the worst owners in the history of professional sports, with the team making just two playoff appearances in his 24 years.” wins and six play-off appearances. . Snyder’s ownership was also marred by enabling a toxic workplace culture, financial improprieties and allegations of sexual misconduct.” Wow, Dan achieved the Triple Crown.

They say, “Don’t speak evil of the dead,” which limits me to Angelos, who died at the age of 94. Many in baseball who were harmed by him came to me to share the details. A mild example: A former Orioles executive told me that to understand what it was like to work for Angelos, I would have to see the movie “The Devil’s Advocate.” A young lawyer works for a practice where the head of the firm, played by Al Pacino, intimidates, seduces or corrupts everyone. That boss is the devil. “I got chills watching it,” the GM said.

Washington fans are not out of the woods yet. For years I considered Ted Leonsis an innocent “C” of an owner. Unfortunately, Leonsis has turned into a sports-arena-as-casino, District dump “D,” working on his “F” resume. Money-loving double-talking blowhards are so common in sports ownership that DC-area fans should probably expect to see a Leonsis on site. At least he’s just distasteful, not despicable.

I choose to see the bright side. The Commanders now have a new owner in Josh Harris, who has already made perhaps his most important decision: choosing his general manager, Adam Peters. The demolition and rapid reconstruction of the roster that Peters has already achieved this season seems so sensible, coherent and promising that for the first time in more than twenty years I don’t feel like a fool looking forward to the team’s draft in April and its season in September.

My adult son, who I may have enticed into becoming a Washington NFL fan just as my father did with me, can hardly believe the list of credible additions, and none of them have blown the budget. Among them are future Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Wagner, who led the NFL in tackles last year (183); pass-rushing linebacker Frankie Luvu, versatile running back Austin Ekeler and two much-needed offensive linemen who should be instant starters, center Tyler Biadasz and guard Nick Allegretti, who were valuable in Dallas and Kansas City.

Oh, and Peters also signed – all with decent to pretty good credentials – two defensive ends, three defensive backs, a tight end, a solid backup quarterback, a kicker and a long snapper. What can’t he do? Apparently Peters couldn’t find a buyer for Snyder’s hideous $49 million mansion, located on deforested shores, which Dan took off the market and gave to charity for the tax break.

“A long, long time ago, Washington had good football general managers,” I told my son, “but you’re barely old enough to remember. You’re only 37.”

There is also less happy news for local sports fans, but it is certainly not disastrous. The Lerner family – “C’s” for sure – still runs the Nationals. You could do better. But Washington almost did a lot worse last year when Leonsis offered more than $2 billion to buy the team. Sometimes you don’t know the bullet has missed your head until it hits the wall behind you.

Now Leonsis’ main partner in that Nats takeover plan, David Rubenstein, is instead buying the Baltimore Orioles from the fragrant Angeloses.

See how this is all falling into place? It’s not fantastic, but it’s good. The Commanders and O’s can now have average or even ultimate beneficiaries. And Leonsis, now distrusted to the point of contempt in both Alexandria and DC for his double-team-moving grift, will likely never get his DraftKings gloves against the Nats.

Who owns the Orioles is important not only to Baltimore fans, but also to Nats fans, who have watched the Angelos family try to financially strangle the Washington franchise by walking slowly and litigating in bad faith over every centimeter of the MASN agreement between the teams.

The spirit of the original TV rights deal is odious enough, from the Nats’ perspective, but the Orioles haven’t even been willing to pay for what everyone in the baseball world knows they owe. The O’s used every legal trick to hold off the Nats for five years – or is it now 10 years? – and avoid paying tens of millions to the Washington team.

If MLB commissioner Rob Manfred can help sort out the MASN mess, that, along with cutting 24 minutes off last season’s average playing time, could help the are figure. Manfred needs all the extra points he can get, because he doesn’t seem to care whether eight-year-olds will one day soon be able to place bets from their chairs on whether the next throw will be a ball or a strike.

Spring is the time for optimism, especially when the Commanders have the second pick in the draft to grab their next quarterback and Nats prospects Dylan Crews and James Wood look like they could have as much early-career success as Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman.

There are also false feathers. It takes time to turn terrible, no good, very bad situations into pleasant ones. Both the Commanders, who are learning to breathe without Snyder’s fingers around their throats, and the Nats, who have been in last place four years in a row, are in the midst of a total rebuild.

We have waited decades for the dark clouds to clear. Let’s not reach for those sunglasses too quickly. But soon it will probably become so bright that we will need those shades.

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