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March 2, 2010

11:53
A.M.

D.C. Sports Bog Live: Olympics, Wizards, Capitals, the Atlantic 11, college basketball and more

Total Responses: 41

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Dan Steinberg

Dan Steinberg

Washington Post sports bogger and staff writer

About the topic

D.C. sports bogger Dan Steinberg took your questions about the Olympics, Wizards, Capitals, college basketball and all the area's breaking sports news.
Q.

Smith :

Hi everyone-

Dan should be here momentarily. We've just been having some log-in problems with the new system this a.m.

Have no fear, Senor Sports Bog himself will arrive any moment.

Q.

Dan Steinberg :

Hey all. This is my first week in our new Chat interface thing, and had a brief glitch getting on. Apologies. But everything should be working now, and I'm expecting a smooth chat, without anyone attempting to bait me into criticizing my beloved co-workers. Thanks.

Q.

Dan Steinberg :

Also, before I go forward, I kind of goofed on something during my last chat two weeks ago. I suggested that D.C. United's crowds were diverse only in a white/Hispanic sense. I've since been provided with demos on their self-identified fans: 52.9 percent white, 27.5 percent Hispanic, 12.5 percent black, 2.9 percent Asian, 4.2 percent other. That's a pretty good mix.

And it shows that you should never put anything in your chat without fact-checking first. Scary times.

Q.

sartorial splendor

Steinz, Would you get suspended for making fun of Amy Shipley's outfits (to pick a female staffer at random)? Would the four letter suspend Robin Givhan if she would have said the same thing as TK? Does anyone need to see someone wearing stiletto boots on Sportscenter?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Look, I think the suspension was as dumb as anyone, but I'm sure my bosses would not love it if I made fun of Amy Shipley's outfits, or of Barry Svrluga's outfits, in print, with a touch of meanness, depending on my relationship with the person in question.

And while I essentially agreed that Storm looked silly, others have disagreed. Plus, I don't really watch SportsCenter. All SportsNite for me. Has anyone seen Lisa Hillary's Xmas sweater? Michael Jenkins ridiculed her for it. He should be suspended for like six years.

– March 02, 2010 11:49 AM
Q.

Crosby-Ovi

Dan: Do you feel as I do that part of what causes media types like Wilbon to portray Ovechkin a certain way is to foster a particular storyline? With Magic and Bird, one guy was East Coast, the other West Coast, one was very quiet while the other was incredibly outgoing, and one was white, one was black. With Crosby and Ovechkin, it seems like the media often try to create that sort of difference between the two by labeling Crosby the cleancut good guy, and Ovi the cheap-shotting, over-celebrating villian. What do you think?

A.
Dan Steinberg :

It's not like Wilbon is trying to drum up interest for his extensive hockey coverage. I mean, he's ridiculously busy with his 17 jobs, and he really doesn't have time to be covering the Caps right now, but I don't think he's creating a false dichotomy to give himself a story line for one question per week in a chat.

I think enough people have drawn this distinction that there's got to be some degree of truth in it; Ovi is much more physical, much scarier looking (with the tooth and the scruff and the size), and much less concerned about hockey mores. Not good or bad things, just things. The camera incidents in Vancouver were the first things he did that actually qualified as villainous in my book; hope those aren't repeated.

 

– March 02, 2010 11:52 AM
Q.

Ovie and the press

Please pass the following links on to your pal wilbon who thinks nobody called out Ovie during the Olympics:

The Hockey News: Ovechkin shoving incident a suspendable act

ESPN: Where is Ovechkin? He's turned into an Olympic ghost

Thanks for your blog post calling him out.

A.
Dan Steinberg :

Well, not to turn this into a Wilbon defense, but I think he was talking more about a crush of national (non-hockey) columnists weighing in on specifically the camera incident. One column in The Hockey News is not what he had in mind. He's saying that if Kobe or A-Rod did something like that, every general-interest sports column would pile on. I'm not sure he's wrong on that point.

– March 02, 2010 11:55 AM
Q.

Wilbon v. Feinstein

What's your take on the smackdown between Wilbon and Feinstein? Mike called out Feinstein in yesterday's chat, and Junior responded today on his blog. Has success spoiled the Post Sports' Department?

The Chat House With Michael Wilbon (Washington Post, March 1)

'Championship Week’ was one brilliant idea from ESPN - March Madness starts tonight; Wilbon talk (Feinstein on the Brink, March 2)

 

A.
Dan Steinberg :

I haven't talked to those guys about it, and I'm still trying to find the original Feinstein audio that set Wilbon off, but my general opinion is meh.  Those guys are both extremely rich and successful and are friends. Three years from now, the only people who will remember this are them, because they both have bizarrely amazing memories.

But I'd also say, sadly, neither is primarily associated with The Post's sports department any more. Wilbon is fighting his guts out with WorldWideWilbon, but he's a TV guy now. And Feinstein writes more often for his non-Post blog than he does for our site.  You should worry more about our department when El-Bashir starts ripping Kilgore and Maese.

– March 02, 2010 11:58 AM
Q.

Garyland

Will you be at Comcast tomorrow night?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Haven't requested a credential yet, so probably not, I suppose. As with most things, I'm more likely to get good material at home. Except for Scheyer signs. TV doesn't always do a great job focusing in on those. Maybe I'll try to go after all.

– March 02, 2010 11:59 AM
Q.

Western New York Brother:

Any word on when we'll get a Tim Hortons in the DC area?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Maybe this is turning my back on my homeland, but I quite like Dunkin. I'm perfectly fine drinking their coffee and eating their donuts. Sorry.

– March 02, 2010 11:59 AM
Q.

Today's sports journalists

How much of the stuff like Wilbon's yesterday is due to the "everything is now" mentality? Everyone has to use over-the-top statements/positions because someone else is going to do it an hour from now, and man, I want mine to be remembered! Of course in Wilbon's case, too bad he couldn't erase that one about OV from less than a month ago.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

I guess you'd have to ask him, but think it's more the demand to answer these questions quickly and interestingly and keep the chat train moving. I doubt Wilbon entered that chat thinking "I'm going to lay into Ovechkin, and I'm going to do it with over the top language so that people will remember this chat transcript the rest of their lives!"

Also, there are some people--in and out of journalism--who really think team titles trump all else, always and forever. Andy Pollin was going on and on about Peyton Manning's diminished legacy after the Super Bowl loss. I'd still say Peyton is the best QB of his generation. Just a different opinion.

I just think relying on team accomplishments in the Olympics--where your "team" has existed for two weeks, has no chemistry and a possibly incompetent coach--is a pretty tough standard by which to judge NHL superstars. If Wilbon thought Ovechkin was the best player in the league two weeks ago, I can't believe Vancouver could seriously change that.

– March 02, 2010 12:02 PM
Q.

What's the difference between Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin?

2009: A Stanley Cup. 2010: A Stanley Cup and a gold medal.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Hey, the Cup will be rewarded again in a few months. Maybe you'll be able to say TWO Stanley Cups and a gold medal! Won't that be exciting?

– March 02, 2010 12:03 PM
Q.

Wilbon's column on Ovechkin

Great post debating Mr. Wilbon's criticism's of Ovechkin. Your measured, reasonable piece makes Wilbon's seem "out of control." I admire Wilbon mostly, and his columns are usually persuasive.

But if there is one criticism I would make of him, it is a tendency to reach opinions too quickly, and draw conclusions too broadly, with insufficient information on matters he knows little about. Whenever he opines on legal matters affecting sports figures (something I know about) he's is typically dead wrong, absurdly wrong. His criticism of Ovie are overreaching at best. It's ridiculous to say Crosby has "lapped" Ovechkin on the ground that Crosby's team won a Stanley Cup.

It's a TEAM sport, for goodness sakes. Ovechkin is doing something no one has ever been able to acheive, despite years of effort: converting DC into a hockey town..

A.
Dan Steinberg :

So this entire chat is gonna be about Wilbon, isn't it?

Here's the thing: More than 24 hours after his chat, people on here want to talk about Michael Wilbon's opinions more than they want to talk about my opinions, or even their own opinions. By some measure, that means he succeeded, even if he wasn't deliberately trying to rile up readers. Great columnists absolutely SHOULD draw broad conclusions and fire off strong opinions and get readers spittin mad. Whereas others of us transcribe radio interviews and then hit publish. I'm happy to fact check other people's work, but that's kind of a smaller calling than being the person everyone wants to talk about, no?

– March 02, 2010 12:05 PM
Q.

Wilbon

Have you noticed an increasing level of old man crotchetiness in Wilbon's writing? Go through a chat transcript some time ... dude goes out of his way to attack anyone who bothers to ask him a question. Weird.

A.
Dan Steinberg :

Sorry, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. Don't come up here, talking all this junk without the goods to back it up. I don't have any patience for that kind of garbage. [Random shot at D.C. athlete or D.C. fans] [Random praise of Northwestern.]

– March 02, 2010 12:10 PM
Q.

Dunn Transcript?

Or was the "talent level" line all that was worthwhile?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

No, I'll do it eventually. It's on my recorder. I just am gunshy with Nats items, fearing it will implode any traffic-building work I do the rest of the day.

Really, the numbers are terrifying. This is not meant at all to toot my horn, because the numbers are play here aren't big, but there were days during my vacation when I posted literally not one word on the Bog and still got higher traffic than Nats Journal. I mean, it's March. There's Strasburg in the air. Can't we have a little surge of interest? Do we really have to wait until the team's in first place?

– March 02, 2010 12:12 PM
Q.

Snyder

You teased a story about Danny Snyder partying with Cameron Diaz! We need more info!
A.
Dan Steinberg :

I don't really have more info. Just a photo I thought I was going to have access to but don't yet. We'll see.

– March 02, 2010 12:12 PM
Q.

ESPN Page 2

More hate from ESPN's Page 2 on DC sports. Though I tend to agree with them on this one...

Patrick Hruby: These banners really ought to be banned (ESPN, March 1)

A.
Dan Steinberg :

Plus Patrick's a D.C. guy. He gets a pass. And everyone in D.C. is ashamed of those.

– March 02, 2010 12:13 PM
Q.

I'm happy to talk about you

I really enjoy watching the master of manipulating crazy Pittsburgh fans at work. I can only imagine what posting anti-Crosby or anti-Pittsburgh material does to your page views. You play them like fiddles, and they've yet to catch on. Beautiful work.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

I don't know who links those things, but it must be someone in Pittsburgh, because without fail if I mention Crosby they show up, fingers typing away. It's just kind of enjoyable, since I can post 14 things about the Nats and get a total of 3 comments. I don't know if it helps page views, but it keeps the time moving.

By the way, this one Nats fan--Natsfan1a1aa--used to post on all my Nats items. Then I said something rude, and she got upset, and I said if you don't like it stop reading, and she hasn't posted a comment since. This was like a year ago. Please, if anyone knows her, ask her to return for me. I miss her.

– March 02, 2010 12:15 PM
Q.

World Cup TV

OK, the Olympics are over and they were great...except for NBC's prime time 'show.' The World Cup starts in about 100 days and every game will be shown LIVE as it happens on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2. How can we get Americans as interested in this as they were for Vancouver?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

People will go bonkers for this in America. Bonkers. Maybe not Olympics bonkers, because that serves much better as prime-time family-wide drama; the Olympics are a made-for-TV event, much more than actual sporting event. And the American dominance (or at least the chance for gold) keeps the records tumbling; look what happened with the U.S.-Canada match. No one really thinks that many people love hockey, or that many people would have watched Finland-Sweden. But great storylines involving Americans will blow up the meter.

The World Cup is just different, but every four years it's bigger in the U.S. than it was four years ago. And in D.C., as diverse as this place is, the WC is just huge. Not as schmaltzy prime time drama, but as sports.

(And yes, I turned down a chance to go. You never know, there might be something else big going on with D.C. sports in the first week of June. Something more important to my readers.)

– March 02, 2010 12:18 PM
Q.

The darn comparisons...

Steinz, I'm a life-long D.C. sports fan, homer to all local sports teams, good or bad. I do see the obvious skill in Crosby but still do not think he's worthy of what that game winning luck goal has the media annointing him as - the best hockey player period.

I was jumping up and down when we scored with 24 sec left in regulation. Then comes the goal ... I saw that and said to my buddies, "I would have rather had Miller accidentally kick that puck in the goal rather than Crosby score it!" for the sole point that the comparisons will be RAMPANT in the media! "Crosby has a cup and a gold" while Ovie has neither.

In my humble opinion, Ovie is a more dominant player on ice than Crosby ... it's in the stats.

A.
Dan Steinberg :

Obviously a lot of people agree with you. This, though, might be the time to just stay quiet and wait for the playoffs. D.C. sports fans know better than to seriously dream about world championships, but ... if ... then you won't have to worry about this stuff any more. And if Crosby manages to win another this spring, you and your pals really won't be allowed to talk. These guys are way, way too young to make team success the determining factor in judging their careers, but if one winds up with two Cups before the other reaches the Finals, it'll be tough sledding for the Ovi lovers.

– March 02, 2010 12:20 PM
Q.

Ovechkin v. Crosby

Why can't fans just enjoy watching both players? Root for Ovechkin when Crosby comes to town. Cheer when Ovechkin catches him with a hard, legal check. A lot of people used to enjoy watching Bird v. Magic, but they didn't have the vitriol in their voice that they now do when they talk about Crosby. Are we just becoming more boorish every year?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

I wasn't in the sports media during Magic-Bird, and I sure wasn't listening to sports talk radio. So I'm not sure if this is more vitriolic. I heard someone the other day talking about how much people hated the Showtime Lakers; is this true? Is it possible that every bit the boorishness would have existed in the '80s if there were blog commenting forms to fill out?

I generally don't believe that "we" change all that much, certainly not in 30 years. Although I've gained something like 15 pounds since my daughter was born, and that happened in a lot fewer than 30 years.

– March 02, 2010 12:21 PM
Q.

NCAA Tourney

How about a question that relates to you? What do think the chances are of ODU getting an at-large bid if they lose in the CAA Championship? Yes, they lost to Northern Iowa, but it was on Northern Iowa's home court. Do you think it will depend on other conferences and upsets in their tournaments?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

I'm not optimistic. Georgetown isn't helping matters. You'd like to see an RPI in the low 30s for a CAA hopeful; ODU is at 38. You see them as a 10 or 11 usually in brackets, so you figure any loss would push them down, and then other upsets will start taking away at-large spots. Clearly they'd have to lose in the final, and they'd probably have to lose to Northeastern.

– March 02, 2010 12:25 PM
Q.

You play them like fiddles, and they've yet to catch on. Beautiful work.

See also: Wilbon, Michael, Caps fans and chips on shoulders.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Oh. Wait. You're right.

And I fell right into his trap!

Curses, Wilbon! You foiled me again!

– March 02, 2010 12:26 PM
Q.

Ovechkin

Of course if A-rod or Lebron pulled a similar move the press would jump all over it. But that's more of a result of the NHL vs MLB/NBA. That is, the NHL doesn't measure, for better or worse, in national coverage so the big stars don't face the same scrutiny.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

And this is also true. But in D.C., it's pretty much universally acknowledged that Ovechkin is our biggest start. Maybe Wilbon wanted to see one of his columnist peers take on Ovi. Maybe I should have done it. Fortunately, I was on vacation and didn't have to make that call.

– March 02, 2010 12:27 PM
Q.

Championships Trump All

I agree with Wilbon that championships are the most important criterion when evaluating the relative merits of players. This is why I think Trent Dilfer is so far ahead of Dan Marino, he can't even see him with a telescope, and that Bobby Bonilla is worlds ahead of Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, and Ernie Banks.

A.
Dan Steinberg :

It's the obvious point to make.

And Wilbon's obvious rejoinder is, look, Duffman, we're comparing the two best players in the world, not one of the best players in the world and whatever random name you can pull out. When two guys are both so skilled and successful, but one has seen his team crush the other's team the two biggest times they've met, you'd be nuts to ignore those results.

And at some point you guys would have a stalemate, and would either agree to disagree or would start hitting each other on the head with folding chairs.

By the way, are you related to TheRealDuffman, or do I just have two Duffmen posting regular comments on my blog?

– March 02, 2010 12:29 PM
Q.

Hannah Storm looked hot....

but thats just TK's shtick. Not two days before that he was blasting one of the US Bobsledders for looking like a "sausage casing" as a fat guy in his tight suit. Whats up with that? I guess if you make fun of a woman you can get suspended but if you make fun of a guy, well, we're still making money on you so keep on keeping on? What a joke.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Did the bobsledder work for ESPN?

As I said, I think the suspension was garbage, and I have no idea what might have been involved behind the scenes, but ESPN's public explanation was that they do indeed use a different standard when people are ripping their co-workers as opposed to random sliding athletes.

– March 02, 2010 12:31 PM
Q.

June

Dan Steinberg writes: You never know, there might be something else big going on with D.C. sports in the first week of June. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh visit NatsTown, and Strasburg starts one of the games?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Close. I was thinking John Wall comes to Verizon Center for a pre-draft workout.

– March 02, 2010 12:31 PM
Q.

South Buffalo, NY

By the way, and this won't sit well here in Washington with Steinberg fans, but Tim Hortons is so far ahead of Dunkin Donuts right now, Dunkin would need a telescope to see them. Tim Hortons has lapped Dunkin Donuts.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

I learned my lesson. I will not be baited with overenthusiastic language.

Also, it's been a long time since I've been to a Tim Horton's. I might require them to send me some samples to make an accurate assessment.

(/Kornheiser'd)

– March 02, 2010 12:33 PM
Q.

Ballston Dude

Wilbon is out of line, not Ovi. Wilbon is nothing more than a sports pundit. Sitting in his chair at a desk or in front of a tv camera. He gets to say what he wants with out backing it up (like that dork on Fox news comparing Obama to Hitler, makes the comment, doesn't back it up) Its just a bunch of fluff journalism made to draw attention for the moment before the next topic puts it out of its misery/runs its course.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

I said what I wanted to about Wilbon, but I don't understand what you mean about "backing it up." His blog post was a pretty thorough explanation of why he feels the way he does. I don't agree, and I think he made some errors in there, but he "backed it up" as much as you can ever back up an opinion about two athletes. It certainly is not like comparing Obama to Hitler, that I can tell.

And I will never, ever attack anyone for fluff journalism, not 24 hours after basing a blog post on the supposed resemblance between Mike Rizzo and Eddie Guardado. Seriously, those guys look so similar in some photos. It gets me every time.

– March 02, 2010 12:35 PM
Q.

Crocodile Danny

If jesus didn't want people to make desks out of Alligators, why did he make their skin so versatile?

D.C. Sports Bog: Daniel Snyder's alligator skin desks (Washington Post, March 2)

A.
Dan Steinberg :

The Redskins, for the record, are categorically denying that Daniel Snyder or anyone else from the Redskins ordered any fancy desks made of dead alligators. This will qualify as the oddest D.C. sports story of the week, I'm guessing.

But yeah,  I'm with you, I had no idea people made desks out of dead alligators.

– March 02, 2010 12:36 PM
Q.

Vacation

Dan, what was the highlight of your vacation?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Mom? Dad? Who is this?

I'll assume that all American Idol and Olympic television events are off the table?

You know, I'd say going to the beach with my three-year old for the first time. Last time we tried it, she was terrified of the sand. Since then, she's told us that she's going to go to the beach "when I get bigger." This time, she suddenly realized she loved it, and we spent like an hour picking up sand and throwing it into the ocean, which probably contributed to soil erosion, but whatever. Then she said "I wike the beach, I wike the beach," and we all smiled through our massive sunburns.

But that wasn't really about sports. From a sports standpoint, it was watching the video where Jim Bowden admires his lady friend's chest.

– March 02, 2010 12:39 PM
Q.

Dumb Hockey Question

I watched several of the hockey games during the Olympics and didn't see a single fight break out on the ice. Yet it seems that nearly every NHL game results in fisticuffs. What's the difference? The Olympics don't tolerate fights? If so, why doesn't the NHL do the same? It's nice seeing a game that isn't stalled because the refs have to break up scrums.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

I mean, it's not exactly a "dumb" question. More than a few people would agree with you.

Obviously, a whole lot of longtime NHL fans enjoy the fighting, both because of the violence and for nobler reasons, like tradition and respect and whatever else. It doesn't do much for me, but neither do a lot of things.

And there were certainly post-whistle scrums at the Olympics, with shoving and shouting and all that.

– March 02, 2010 12:41 PM
Q.

Wilbon -- should he / will he admit an error here?

It is patently obvious that Wilbon is guilty of hyperbole here. That's understandable -- it's a live chat, etc. Hard to justify his following it up with a long blog post, and it makes one wonder if he's just trying to rationalize the irrational to himself.

Isn't this one of those situations, though -- and I'm sure you've had them before -- where the columnist just needs to retract things, at least somewhat?

A.
Dan Steinberg :

Well, if it were me, and I realized that three weeks in the past I had called one guy the best player in the NHL, and three weeks later I was saying he couldn't see the best player with a telescope, I'd want to explain how my views changed so quickly.

By avoiding giving opinions, I've largely voided contradicting myself. Though I think if you look through everything I've written on Gilbert's gunz, you could find plenty of inconsistencies. My opinion on that whole fiasco has changed so many times I can't keep track. I really don't know what I think about it any more.

– March 02, 2010 12:43 PM
Q.

Ovechkin

Wouldn't you say that much of the recent media storm that has been relentlessly bashing Ovechkin is strongly related to the fact that he is a Russian, and he plays for a southern team with a traditionally small market? I imagine if Crosby were exactly in his place (poor Olympic performance, camera incident) the storm would not be blowing as strong. Do you agree?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Would the Canadian media have responded differently? Sure. But the media blackout never could have happened with Crosby; remember, there were still Ovechkin quotes coming out in Russian newspapers.

Here's the more interesting question to me: if Crosby had been eliminated in the quarterfinals, had played poorly in the final loss, and had then gotten involved in two incidents of camera shoving, how would Caps fans have reacted? Be honest. You have 30 minutes to compose your response.

But that's fine. This is sports. No one's saying you have to be relentlessly fair in your rooting interests. There's a reason that people in D.C. and Pittsburgh interpret everything those two guys do in diametrically opposed ways: because they're not trying to be reasonable, they're trying to be fans.

– March 02, 2010 12:46 PM
Q.

The S-word

It's weird having a phenom like Strasburg. You want to read something about him every few minutes but at the same time you don't want the kid to drown in unrealistic expectations. Sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders and is taking it all pretty well so far. Riggleman's experience with Kerry Wood should be helpful as well. Tickets to his first game in June/July could be a tad expensive on Stubhub
A.
Dan Steinberg :

I still want to know where Strasburg's debut ranks in the list of 2010 sports moments. Obviously it depends on how he does in retrospect, but looking at it now, would you rather see that than an early-season non-conference Skins game? I think so, and that's saying quite a bit.

– March 02, 2010 12:47 PM
Q.

Big South Championship Week

Radford will likely play Coastal Carolina on Saturday for the Big South Championship with the winner getting an automatic berth to the Big Dance. Can we get a little love for the Highlanders who play maybe 10 miles from Va Tech? Will they again crack the Atlantic11?
A.
Dan Steinberg :

I stopped voting, but I'd have voted for Radford this week. Don't see voting for George Mason or GW over them. Don't see voting for George Mason over GW either, by the way.

 

– March 02, 2010 12:48 PM
Q.

Nats fans

So, you have a die hard Nats fan (we're few, but we're proud). You're rude to her, you tell her if she doesn't like it to stop reading. She does as you ask and (presumably stops reading) and stops posting, now you want her back? Really? Why? So you can be rude to her again? "By the way, this one Nats fan--Natsfan1a1aa--used to post on all my Nats items. Then I said something rude, and she got upset, and I said if you don't like it stop reading, and she hasn't posted a comment since. This was like a year ago. Please, if anyone knows her, ask her to return for me. I miss her."
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Actually, I don't remember what I said. It might not have really been rude. I try not to be rude.

Point is, forgive and forget, right? it's been like a year. Cmon.

– March 02, 2010 12:51 PM
Q.

Uncle Teddy

I found the chat with Leonsis pretty interesting. I do think that this guy has a fantastic PR department as I'm really perplexed as to how he has this Uncle Teddy reputation and perception amongst so many of the fans. A 32 percent ticket increase seems a bit Snyderian and to say that he doesn't think that increase is excessive is very telling. I'm glad that he has developed a winner but I think that he is getting a bit of a free pass on his attitude and treatment of fans.

Washington Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis (Washington Post, Feb. 25)

A.
Dan Steinberg :

Well, I'd be more concerned about things like OptionIt (read Dave McKenna's piece in City Paper) than the ticket increase. A lot of these seats are only this year catching up to pre-lockout levels, and the Caps--with one of the league's most exciting teams, in one of the league's richest markets--are still in the bottom third for average ticket price.

Now, 32 percent increases annually into forever would be troubling, but at some point you're allowed to meet market demand, which is as big right now as it's ever been.

– March 02, 2010 12:54 PM
Q.

Will the real G-town please stand up?

The Hoyas looked terrible on Saturday, couldn't defend, couldn't rebound, couldn't pass. They ran the worst press I've ever seen at the end of the game, giving up two easy home run passes for dunks (on one of them, there were two open guys behind all five Hoyas who could have gone to the basket undefended). Then WVa blows them out on Monday. What happened to the team that was looking at a No. 3 seed?

A.
Dan Steinberg :

The stomach flu?

I'm not sure, but you don't necessarily want to get a rep for cratering in March every year. It's hard to believe the team that could just dominate against Duke could also lose to some of the opponents Georgetown has lost to in the past three weeks.

I like the Terps Insider poll this AM about which team deserves a higher seed between Maryland and the Hoyas.

– March 02, 2010 12:56 PM
Q.

U-S-A-, U-S-A

That is all Virginia Tech had to chant at Vasquez?? Pretty, pretty, pretty weak
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Rubs me wrong every time. Virginia Tech message boards have had some pretty heated discussions about whether such a chant is tasteless or not. I say it's tasteless but not racist. I sure wouldn't want to be the one chanting it, especially if I wanted my school ever to be an attractive choice for foreign athletes.

And, regardless of taste, it sure seems to make Greivis play better. So I'd call that off.

– March 02, 2010 12:58 PM
Q.

Holy Cow you can see our Names?

I didn't know that! Did you just accidentally spill some giant secret? Or am I dense? Because If you can see our names if we're signed-In to other parts of the site, I'm going to have to start logging into a different browser for anonymous chat comment spamming. Also, I'm not related to that other Duffman. He is a hack.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Ha, that didn't even occur to me. This is my first time in the new chat format, and yes, we can see your login name in addition to the fake name thing you all use to precede your questions. Hope that wasn't a state secret.

– March 02, 2010 12:59 PM
Q.

WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON

WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON CROSBY WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON KORNHEISER WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON STRASBURG WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON WILBON Look, I just summed up this chat!
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Didn't I mention my daughter at some point?

– March 02, 2010 1:00 PM
Q.

Sidny and Alex

Do you think Ale Ovexchin is going to be the Dan Marino of the NHL? a great player with no championships to show for.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Um, no?

I sure don't think his 24th year is the time to decide that one way or the other. Gosh, we're really getting ahead of ourselves here.

– March 02, 2010 1:06 PM
Q.

Leonsis

I tend to agree with the other poster. Leonsis DOES get a free pass in this town. I mean, this is a guy who physically attacked one of his fans. But he's outgoing, smoozes the media types and likes to be interviewed.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

Well, there's something to be said for being outgoing and liking to be interviewed, when that includes interacting with fans, inviting them up into your box, trying to be honest with them about the state of your franchise, answering their emails, etc. Has he made mistakes? Absolutely. Does he hide from them? I think mostly not. He talks at great length about the incident you mention in his book; no one made him do that.

All that said, the tenor of Leonsis coverage would be completely different if the Caps were losing. Completely. It's one thing to be "honest with your fans" when you have the most points in the NHL; it's another to do so when you've just lost 103 games. No one cares about your honesty if your team stinks, and I'm sure Leonsis remembers that from when his team stank.

Fact is, it's just hard to think of many negative things to write right now. Like I said, I don't think ticket prices is one of them. The game day experience you're getting for your money is outstanding, and the product on the ice is terrific, so prices SHOULD go up, at least to some extent.

– March 02, 2010 1:09 PM
Q.

"Would the Canadian media have responded differently? Sure."

Wow, I had no idea the Canadian media was not a diverse group of print, TV and new media journalists, but in fact are a monolith that acted in lock step with one another. Thanks for clearing that up for me. If you meant to imply that they as a group are never critical of Crosby, then you have never heard of Don Cherry or many other hockey media commentators who often criticised Crosby for his hot-dog antics.
A.
Dan Steinberg :

This is definitely the point to end this chat. Tune in next week, when we get to find objectionable things from Monday's Mike Wilbon chat and answer 73 questions about them, attempting to piggyback onto Wilbon's fame and fortune.

Seriously, last word on this, I think Wilbon got it wrong on Ovechkin, but I don't like what some of you have been saying about him. Whether he's a hockey expert is irrelevant; I'm not a hockey expert and many of you read what I write about the sport. He's a terrific writer and a terrific columnist, and if you disagree with him on this, or on Sean Taylor, or on anything else, express your disagreement and move on. He's still well worth reading, every time.

– March 02, 2010 1:11 PM
Q.

 

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