Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 10:34 a.m.UPDATED 12:56 p.m.
By Benjamin Standig
Leonsis vs. Loverro
Using an online column written by ESPN980s Thom Loverro about a potential candidate for the Wizards coaching job not that Flip Saunders has been let go or anything as a launching point, Ted Leonsis slammed the AM sports talker for their coverage of all things non-Redskins on his blog Tuesday morning.
Loverros blog post conveyed the message that hiring current Kentucky coach John Calipari who guided Wizards rookie John Wall during his one season in college - would not be ideal, but would bring attention to the otherwise invisible franchise.Leonsis, owner of the Wizards and Capitals, responded.
I find it ironic that this station doesnt really cover the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards as they are owned by the local football team, Leonsis said. They have lost an entire generation of sports fans because of that lack of programming sensibility as I predicted. Media properties need to generate a big audience by covering a large swath of listener interest. This station and its personalities - for the most part - dont like hockey, pro basketball, baseball or soccer. They would never write an article like this about the football team. I doubt the writer would have the gumption to do so. And I find it ironic that an AM radio station - which I cant hear at night because of static - calls a fast growing NBA team invisible. That is funny.
ESPN980 is owned by Red Zebra Broadcasting, whose primary investor is Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.
During a season in which the scrutiny over his role was feverish in my puck head circles, Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau again directed Washington to the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Getting his squad to rally after a nasty mid-season tail spin is, perhaps Boudreaus virtuoso performance. (Washington Post)
The last time the Capitals and Rangers went for skate-to-skate in the postseason, it ended up being quite a circus. Heres an online look back at the highly contested seven-game series from the New York Times plus our video version.
NFC East talk
Prior to the start of the lockout, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told players that he wanted the team to emulate the Redskins. (Dallas Morning News)
Wisconsins J.J. Watt is a true defensive end, has tremendous strength and is a self-described tenacious and relentless defender. Yet is he truly an option for the Redskins with the 10th overall pick? (Washington Post)
Werth ready to show worth against former team
Jason Werth is ready to face his old team. On the flip side the Phillies will contend with pitching to their former slugging outfielder. (CSNwashington and Philly)
Maryland QB battle?
Danny OBrien is receiving pressure from backup quarterback C.J. Brown, said Marylands new football coach Randy Edsall. Really Randy, really? The reigning ACC rookie of the year that threw for 2,438 yards, 22 touchdowns with eight interceptions. That guy is getting pushed. Gotcha. (Washington Times)
Mystics ever changing personnel
The offseason following the best regular season in franchise has seen the Mystics change both coach and general manager, trade away their starting point guard, acquire both a veteran and rookie post-presence not to mention a rookie from Kentucky that John Wall knows well. And if those pesky Katie Smith trade rumors are accurate, it doesnt sound like new coachGM Trudi Lacey is done yet. As Frank Costanza might say, Stability now, stability now.
The Sports Junkies (106.7 The Fan): The fellas capped off Masters talk with golf author and television analyst John Feinstein, who is still projecting multiple major championships for the 21-year old Rory McIlroy despite that Greg Norman-esque collapse on Sunday.
As for one Tiger Woods, Eric Bickel asked for a quick therapy session with Dr. Feinstein. EB is troubled by his desire to root for Tiger (I love watching this guy play) while at the same time using a not-for-print four-letter word to describe his take on Woods the guy. Feinstein, who says Tiger is the greatest player of all time, said he is down with those mixed emotions. While I respect and admire the greatness, I have trouble enjoying the greatness, said Feinstein, focusing largely on issues beyond the golfers extramarital affairs. He treats people badly. Hes a bully. He reminds me in a way of Bob Knight. If anyone could make that comparison, Feinstein is the one.
Motocross legend Travis Pastrana, who will be competing in a race in Richmond later this month, also called in.
The Sports Fix (ESPN 980): Hockey analyst and noted mullet wearer Barry Melrose said, on paper, the deep and skilled Capitals are indeed the best team in the Eastern Conference. That means a lot of pressure for the top-seeded team and coach Bruce Boudreau. I think the Caps have to win the East, Melrose said. I just dont think they can get beat in the first round or the second round. They are too talented. They got too many great players. They made the trade at the deadline to get Jason Arnott. I think this team has to win. I think there is tremendous amount of pressure on Bruce Boudreau, probably more so than on any other coach in the NHL.
Melrose said the presence of New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist will make the opening-round series a lengthy one. With the uncertainty over the availability of Penquins star Sidney Crosby, Melrose selected the Flyers as the team that can give the Capitals the most fits, assuming Philadelphia has the services of injured star defenseman Chris Pronger.
In the end, Melrose has the Capitals reaching the Stanley Cup finals, but bowing out to Vancouver. Unfortunately for my buddy Bruce Boudreau, I got to go with Vancouver," Melrose said. "I think they are a little deeper, I think they are a little better in most areas and they have a proven goaltender in Roberto Luongo. The Caps dont.