capitals hockey, Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Oh Look, an Apology (Sort of)

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison
Ted Leonsis
courtesy of Keith Allison

Oh look, Ted apologized.

Two things. First, where was this on Sunday? Why wasn’t this the email sent out? Not that this is all that much better, mind. (I’m bemused by the fact it’s actually entitled “A Note of Apology and Empathy.”)

Second, I find it interesting it comes out in the wake of other team notifications regarding some of the promos offered and first steps being taken to rebuild burned (nuked?) bridges. I’ve got to say, the timing on this is just…really, really poor.

I think what really irritates me most is this particular statement in Leonsis’ post:

It is now incumbent upon us to be a first-class partner not only with our players but also with our fans. It is time to move forward in the best way we can, together.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but why is it only now ‘they’ (I’m assuming the ownership group) recognize the necessity to partner with the fans? It’s a little late for that light bulb illumination. This tidbit of revelation would’ve been better served coming any day prior to September 15, 2012…

Business and Money, capitals hockey, Downtown, Penn Quarter, Sports Fix, The Features

Hockey’s Back – Should We Care?

Photo courtesy of deejayqueue
Empty Verizon Center
courtesy of deejayqueue

In case you missed it among the news of yet another Washington sports team’s playoff collapse, the NHL lockout is over. Which means the Capitals will soon be plying their trade at the Verizon Center.

We’ve had a few people ask over the last few months why we’ve not posted any lockout news here on WeLoveDC. It’s a reasonable question, considering we’ve been covering the Caps pretty solidly since our site debut. But we’ll be honest: we just didn’t feel like it.

On Sunday, messages from various teams around the NHL hit fan inboxes. Around here, the missive from Caps (and Wizards) owner Ted Leonsis sparked a flurry of conversation between Tom, Addison, and myself. Rather than keep it to ourselves, we felt it only right to vent our collective frustration here. After the jump, we break our silence and share our thoughts on the lockout, the league, the Caps’ coming season…and what it means to be a hockey fan in a crumbling hockey town.

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Entertainment, Sports Fix, The Features

On Ted Leonsis, Wizards Bloggers, and Why I Haven’t Written About The Team Recently

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison
Ted Leonsis
courtesy of Keith Allison

It’s weird when my friends and co-workers walk up to me eager to talk about basketball and the Washington Wizards, because two years ago I didn’t really pay much attention to the team.

Now my interest in basketball has risen faster than Jeremy Lin’s jersey sales.

In a city where the Hockey, Football, and Baseball teams reign supreme, the Washington Professional Basketball Team has been an afterthought among the locals. Now in their fourth straight year of sub .400 play, the only memorable item that pops in most minds is the never ending argument that the team should change their name back to the Bullets. When WeLoveDC’s fearless leader gave me the assignment to provide coverage of the team for WLDC, I took it on as an opportunity to learn about the game and a team that doesn’t get as much attention in the D.C. Sports Scene. The beat was also another hat to wear among many. Besides holding down a 9-5 to pay the bills, I also cover theatre for the site as well.

Blogging isn’t as glamorous  you would think. Unless it is a full-time gig, it is often a job of passion.

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Sports Fix

Sports Fix Special: A Day for Wicked Pixels

Photo courtesy of philliefan99
one way FAIL
courtesy of philliefan99

Boy, what a morning.

First up was Alex Ovechkin, who today opted out of the All-Star Game, citing a lack of passion brought on by a 3-game suspension for an off-his-feet hit on the Penguins Zbynek Michalek during Sunday’s game. I can understand his frustration with the league for a 3-game suspension when Michalek was cleared of a similar hit in the exact same game. It can be hard to be a professional hockey player. That is also why he’s paid $9.5M on average per season. As Don Draper says, “That’s what the money is for!” I suppose that he’ll instead be chilling in his new house in McLean, valued at $4.2M.

In acting the petulant teenager, Ovechkin hurts the fans and the league, when he’s really just angry that his team can’t seem to feed him the puck up close to the net. Look, Ovi, I know you’re having a rough go of it right now, but the answer here is to buckle down and do more not do less, especially in the face of criticism. There’s a lot of concern out there for the team’s work ethic, and that there’s no combined leadership on the ice. By opting out and saying that you’re just not feeling it, well, I have to wonder – have you felt it at all this season? I know you’re hitting like crazy, and your game against Pittsburgh this week saw you with 3 points, but I’m not seeing the leader that I was hoping for.

The Capitals, in standing by their star, are at least giving him an “honorable” out, and given the lack of discipline for Michalek, that seems to be at least justified in part. In doing so, aren’t the Capitals doing more to hurt the hockey capital’s enthusiasm for the sport as a whole? I had thought that this was an organization dedicated toward hockey as a whole, but this latest set of actions seem to belie that isn’t the case always.

And now on to the firing of Flip Saunders, first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  The Wizards have started the year at a lovely 2-15, including a 20-point loss in Philly last night, a game in which they trailed by 30 at the half, which is something I was pretty sure was only possible when a JV team plays the varsity at DeMatha. Sadly, it’s not likely that the elevation of assistant Randy Wittman to the head coach, even temporarily, is going to change the slide of the Wizards – not that they can slide much further down the charts.

I can’t remember a more terrible day for Monumental Sports in the new era, and though it feels like piling on, the state of DC sports is fairly deplorable, given the Redskins’ back to back 6-10 seasons, the Wizards seemingly-perpetual last place position, and the Capitals struggles amid an abundance of talented players. How terrible is it that a .500 season from the Nationals seems to be the brightest spot in the DC Sports world right now?

So yes, Uncle Ted, this is a day for wicked pixels, but it’s hard to dodge these as just being the words of some pajama-clad bloggers when it’s the whole of the sports media with their head in their hands wondering what could possibly be going on.

The Daily Feed

Mystics Attendance Banners Taken Down

Photo courtesy of
‘Washington Wizards Vs. Nuggets feb 6,2008′
courtesy of ‘Bari D’

Capitals Owner (and soon-to-be Wizards and Verizon Center full owner) Ted Leonsis has made a small change to the interior of the Phone Booth. As of Friday, the three banners recognizing the Mystics and fans for leading the WNBA in attendance in 1998, 1999 and 2002 have been taken down. Lenosis discussed the change in a post to his own blog:

“So to all of the folks who have emailed me your thoughts over the years about the attendance banners– as a heads up know they are no longer up in the rafters. I hope we can put up some real championship banners based on team performance soon.”

The banners had been a little bit of a point of humor for some local (and national) scribes, and it hopefully is among other things Leonsis will be making over as he gains control of all the clubs that play in the downtown arena. As a first move, this is far from surprising given Leonsis’ commitment to winning – something that hopefully catches on quickly around the rest of the District’s sports franchises.

capitals hockey, Sports Fix, The Features

An Open Letter to the Washington Capitals

DSC_5948

Dear Ted, George, Bruce, and Alex:

I know right now you’re dealing with a lot of crap from pretty much every corner because of Wednesday’s loss. So I just wanted to toss in two words you may not have heard much over the last 48 hours:

Thank you.

Those two words are pretty well drowned out right now, given that in true DC fashion, everyone’s getting busy on offering their opinions on what went wrong and what you guys need to do to fix things. And don’t misunderstand me – I have my opinions on the matter as well, but now’s not really the time to list them. I really just wanted to take a moment during all of the hubbub and let you know how I feel as things settle down. They’re simple words, but they need said.

THANK. YOU. Continue reading

People, The Daily Feed

Our Ovie, Full of Grace…

Photo courtesy of
‘sky’
courtesy of ‘volcanojw’

So Washington Capitals owner and bazillionaire Ted Leonsis spills the beans that he had Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople (cue TMBG!) bless himself and the Great Eight last night at a private event at Vice President Joe Biden’s home.

Now, I know there’s some concern that the Caps may well falter without their primary offensive force…so I guess why not employ some Holy Back-up, just in case? Especially since the Devils (out of New Jersey) showed the Caps last night just how much they need Ovechkin.

So does this mean Ovie’s up for sainthood if the Caps win the Cup?