As most of you can attest, the Baltimore-Washington sports rivalry is a strange one.
At different times over the last 100 years, the two cities have shared teams (Redskins 1984-1996, Orioles 1971-2005, Capitals forever-present), moved teams (Baltimore Bullets/Capital Bullets/Washington Bullets/Washington Wizards), and gone along with dramatic, media-driven rivalries (anything involving Beltway dramatizations).
Are they sporting brethren? Are they sporting rivals? It might depend on who you ask.
It also may depend on the sport, as the Redskins and Ravens look to find out in a charitable Celebrity Basketball Game between the two teams this Friday at Stafford High School.
And from the sounds of it, the Redskins are going to bring their fast-break team to the hardwood.
Team captain and event host Anthony Armstrong swung through the facilities late last week to talk some hoops and lay out a gameplan for his team.
Just don’t ask him to be the statistical star of the show.
Armstrong freely admitted that it’s been a few years since he played ball with any sort of seriousness. “It may not be obvious, but basketball is not my main sport,” he said with a small grin. “It’s been a few year. It’s been a few years.”
Does his role as game host mean he’ll be the team leader in scores? Will No. 13 land the buzzer-beater for the win?
“Noo, not necessarily,” he said slowly.
Armstrong reported that he will be joined by teammates Brandon Banks (a noted friend of the Wizards’ John Wall, if basketball talent rubs off on people), Josh Wilson, Niles Paul, Robert Quinn and Aldrick Robinson. That’s a pretty quick team, if the game comes down to wind sprints to break a tie.
“I like to hustle, get rebounds, and jump really high,” Armstrong explained. “But apparently Josh plays a lot, so we may have to lean on him quite a bit out there.”
“We can run the fast-break or whatever, but it should be fun.”
Armstrong’s co-host for the event is Ravens receiver Torrey Smith, who went to Stafford and ran the event last year, and shares a charity coordinator with Armstrong.
“We came up with the idea of linking it together and getting that Redskins vs. Ravens type of a vibe,” Armstrong explained. “It works out well because Fredericksburg is Redskins Country, and he’s from there, so Ravens fans will go there as well.
His assessment for Smith’s basketball game? Still TBD, but Armstrong will make sure the game stays clean.
“I just know that he’s a little bit taller than me, so he’ll have a natural reach advantage,” Armstrong said. “And this is a friendly game. I’ll save the physical stuff for the season.”
Unless the Ravens instigate it.
Anyone interested in attending the game can order tickets now, or buy tickets (if available) at the door.There is also a VIP Meet & Greet Opportunity for you to be an Honorary Coach of the team of your choice. Donations will also be accepted, and all proceeds will benefit Armstrong’s Lucky 13 Foundation and Smith’s Torrey Smith Foundation.
Here are all the details in brief:
Date: Friday, March 30, 2012
Venue: Stafford High School
Address: 33 Stafford Indians Lane, Fredericksburg, VA 22405
Game Starts: 7:30 p.m.
Doors Open: 6:30 p.m.