Author Archive for Dave McKenna

Ben’s Cat Stays In the Barn While Lesser Horses Split $1 Million Breeders’ Cup Purse

The $1 million Breeder's Cup Turf Sprint, the race that Ben's Cat shoulda woulda coulda won, was run without him on Saturday.
Regally Easy, a 2-1 favorite, hit the wire 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Country Day and Perfect Officer at Churchill Downs as the racing world watched.
Ben's Cat had beaten all of the top [...]

Friday Night Knights (Cont.): Friendship Collegiate v. H.D. Woodson in ‘the Real Turkey Bowl’!

Friendship Collegiate faces H.D. Woodson tonight in what's being billed as The Real Turkey Bowl.
The game has scads of story lines. The most dramatic: Woodson is the past; Friendship is the future.
Woodson is the defending public schools champion. They've got a new state of the art stadium and new state of the art school building [...]

The Jo Jo Hunter Story: Vintage D.C. Ballers Try to Give His Tragic Tale a Happy Ending

For the older, wiser print version of Washington City Paper, I wrote this week about Jo Jo Hunter. He was a god among boys on the local playgrounds and on prep hoops courts in the 1970s.
He's in jail now.
For the last 15 years, he's been locked up for jewelry store robberies. A lot of the [...]

Brit Ambassador Hypes Title Fight By Talking Smack About Burning Down White House—After Only 197 Years!

Who says the Brits are stiff?
It was announced today that tickets for the title bout between English light welterweight Amir Khan and D.C.'s own Lamont Peterson will go on sale Friday.
Khan will put his WBA and IBF belts up for grabs in the fight, which will take place Dec. 10 downtown at the Walter E. Washington [...]

There Goes the Movie and Book Deals: Ben’s Cat Will Not Run in Breeders’ Cup!

In the end, nobody ponied up.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced today that King Leatherbury did not find an investor/gambler to pay the $100,000 supplemental fee to enter his horse, Ben's Cat, in this year's Breeders' Cup. The deadline for payment was yesterday.
Official entries for the Turf Sprint will be announced tomorrow.
So Ben's Cat, a homebred [...]

It Takes More Than 43,000 Beers to Fill Up the Fuel Tanks on Dan Snyder’s Boat?

For the carbon footprinting press that is the paper version of Washington City Paper, I compared the pollution reductions offered by the much-hyped solar energy installation at Dan Snyder's FedEx Field with the pollution contributions of the new-to-him $70 million toy, the mega-yacht Lady Anne.
After converting litres to gallons and metric tons to pounds, [...]

Elgin Baylor Was Here! Really!

Elgin Baylor, likely the greatest athlete this city ever produced, has no presence in his hometown.
When he left for Idaho in 1954, he really left. The NBA All-Timer, Spingarn hero and D.C. playground legend almost never makes appearances in a place where men of a certain age and race regard him as a superhero.
So I [...]

Breaking News: Redskins Read City Desk, Replace One Castaway With Three Castaways!

Who says the Redskins aren't on top of things?
After reading in this space yesterday that Donovan McNabb is no longer on the team, somebody removed the deposed QB from the home page of, the search engine touted on the Washington Redskins official web site.
Alas, the same genius who kept McNabb on the home page [...]

Redskins Still Using Donovan McNabb and Devin Thomas to Foster Brand Loyalty?

If you're looking to find all the news about yesterday's Donovan McNabb demotion by the Vikings, what better search engine to use than MyRedskinsSearch, found on the Washington Redskins home page and endorsed by the team that, well, demoted McNabb a year ago.
McNabb, of course, was shipped outta town after his benching here.
But apparently somebody [...]

Friday Night Knights (Cont.): Friendship Collegiate Beats Up On $34,289-a-Year Private School!

Just as we hoped they would for the purpose of continuing this blog serial, the Knights of Friendship Collegiate have quickly rebounded from their first loss of the year to ecclesiastical New Jersey football factory Bergen Catholic.
Regular readers will remember that Friendship couldn't overcome Bergen Catholic's passing game and unfair Constitutional advantage over our Knights [...]

More on the 1962 City Title Football Game

For the black and white and read all over print edition of Washington City Paper, I wrote this week about the 1962 City Title game and riot. It's among the more amazing and ugly chapters in D.C.'s athletic and anthropological histories. Pick up a copy. Read the story. Love thy brother.
Essentially, at the end of [...]

Not to Worry, Skateboarders: RFK Says Maloof Cup Park Not Disappearing

Have you heard about the new skatepark at RFK already being torn down? Yeah, us too.
Strictly a rumor, say the stadium folks.
"No, no, no," says Teri Washington, spokesperson for DC Events, which controls the stadium and its grounds. "Not true."
Washington was responding to an inquiry from Washington City Paper inspired by an anonymous tipster who [...]

Sam Huff Brings His Worldview to Print

Around 2007, I predicted the end was near for Sam Huff's media career.  I was nowhere near right.
Huff, who turned 77 last week, was only getting started. He's branched into newspapering.
My dire prognosis came after I noticed how Huff, a Hall of Fame linebacker and member of the Washington Redskins radio broadcasting crew that I've [...]

“Friday Night Knights” (Cont.): Friendship Collegiate, Constitutionally Unable to Feel State Pride, Whupped By Jersey Boys!

Dang if "Crusader Crazy" wasn't right!
Friendship Collegiate Academy indeed entered a "world of hurt"up North over the weekend, suffering through a come-from-ahead loss on the road to Bergen Catholic.
Crusader C. instructed readers and the author of the last installment of "Friday Night Knights" that Bergen Catholic was a whole lot better than its 2-2 record, [...]

In Gay Softball, If They Ask, Don’t Tell

For the flamboyantly fabulous print edition of Washington City Paper, I wrote this week about the 2013 Gay Softball World Series just being awarded to our city.
I was impressed, in a "We've-Come-a-Long-Way-Baby!" sort of way, by the mundanity of the announcement, that the awarding was a business matter and not a gay business matter. The [...]