Romney offends Londoners with Olympic comment

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Romney offends Londoners with Olympic comment

From Comcast SportsNet

LONDON (AP) -- Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, on a trip already marked by his misstep of calling some of London's Olympics issues "disconcerting," has an Olympic history of his own that could prove problematic: His management of the 2002 Winter Games was not without controversy.

Romney was set to attend Friday's opening ceremony of the London Games on the first part of a three-nation tour that will take him to Israel and Poland. The itinerary is designed to test Romney's diplomatic skills and political strengths as he challenges President Barack Obama in the November election.

Romney's political career was born out of his leading role at the Salt Lake City Games, which were plagued by scandal before he was chosen to take over.

On Friday, he said "it looks to me like London is ready," although he observed in an NBC interview that "it is hard to put on the Games in a major metropolitan area."

Romney has been trying to soften his earlier criticism of London's preparation for the games, in which he called problems such as late-developing security issues "disconcerting." British leaders jumped on the remark, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying, "Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."

London Mayor Boris Johnson told tens of thousands gathered in Hyde Park: "There's a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!"

Former U.S. gold medalist Carl Lewis told The Independent newspaper, "I swear, sometimes I think some Americans shouldn't leave the country."

Asked Friday about the stir his remarks caused, Romney replied, "I'm absolutely convinced that the people here are ready for the Games, and in just a few moments, all the things the politicians say will be swept away" by excitement over the competition.

The Olympic focus also brought fresh attention to Romney's actions in Utah a decade ago.

"The country is in need of a turnaround. The Olympics was a turnaround," Romney told CNN in an interview broadcast as London slept early Friday morning. "The attacks that come by people who are trying to knock down my business career, or my Olympic experience, or our success, those attacks are not going to be successful."

Such attacks have been plentiful in recent months. Democrats and even some Republicans have criticized Romney for taking credit for the 2002 games' success while relying on federal funding to help cover costs as the Salt Lake Olympics sought to recover from financial mismanagement and corruption.

"One of the things he talks about most is how he heroically showed up on the scene and bailed out and resolved the problems of the Salt Lake City Olympic Games," Rick Santorum, now a Romney supporter, said in February when he opposed Romney for the Republican nomination. "He heroically bailed out the Salt Lake City Olympic Games by heroically going to Congress and asking them for tens of millions of dollars to bail out the Salt Lake Games -- in an earmark."

By Romney's account, the government spent about 600 million helping the Salt Lake Olympic Committee. He has made himself the very public face of the effort, claiming that he personally cut millions from the budget, wooed major companies and won sponsorships himself and pulled the whole endeavor back from the brink of failure. His record in Salt Lake was the cornerstone of his run for governor in Massachusetts, a campaign he announced just weeks after the games concluded.

Romney, who promises to slash federal spending if elected president, rarely acknowledges the federal support for the 2002 games on the campaign trail. His aides say much of it was for increased security costs after the 2001 terrorist attacks, which occurred about five months earlier.

Romney doesn't elaborate on his role in persuading congressional appropriators and critics to give the games more money.

In the 2004 book he wrote about the games, "Turnaround," Romney mentioned one of the lessons he learned: "If you work at it long enough, there is always another way to get the help you need in Washington."

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Game 74: Capitals vs. Coyotes date, time, how to watch, game thread

Game 74: Capitals vs. Coyotes date, time, how to watch, game thread

After a four-game losing streak, the Caps are back with three straight wins and a five-game point streak. On Saturday they face an absolute must-win game against the lowly Arizona CoyotesMaintaining a sense of urgency down the stretch of the season was a problem for Washington last year, but a tight race in the Metropolitan Division means the Caps need points to maintain first place. That means they can't afford to leave two points on the table against a scuffling team like the Coyotes.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Arizona Coyotes

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET. (Capitals GameTime gets things started at 6:30 p.m. ET)

How to Watch: Capitals vs. Coyotes will be broadcast on CSN Plus. (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals vs. Coyotes game on CSN's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-COYOTES GAME?

The Capitals (48-17-8) take on the Coyotes (27-38-9) Saturday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Verizon Center.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-COYOTES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Coyotes game will be broadcast on CSN Plus. Capitals GameTime gets things started at 6:30 p.m. ET with Capitals Extra recapping the all the action following the game. (CSN channel Finder)

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-COYOTES GAME?

The Capitals-Coyotes game, as well as the pre and postgame shows, is available to stream live here through CSN's live stream page and is available to authenticated CSN Mid-Atlantic subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

WHAT ARE THE LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-COYOTES GAME?

Here are the projected lines based on Friday's practice:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Defense

Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Kevin Shattenkirk

Goalies
Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches
Paul Carey, Nate Schmidt, Taylor Chorney

CAPITALS-COYOTES OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan and the CSN Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and CSN's Facebook page.

Keep up with all the action here with Capitals GameZone and join in on the conversation here with Capitals Pulse.

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Brooklyn Nets

5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Brooklyn Nets

Here are five plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 129-108 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night at the Verizon Center that are worth revisiting...

1. The Wizards' night ended much better than it began. Early in the afternoon John Wall was dealing with a migraine headache, as reported by CSN. His status for the game was considered questionable.

But then he showed up and was cleared to start. And very early he showed everyone that he was good to go.

Wall finished with 22 points and nine assists, two of those points coming on this vicious attack of the basket past a helpless Jeremy Lin:

2. This was Wall's best highlight of the night. He drove and scooped in a pretty layup off the glass:

3. As mentioned above, Wall had nine assists, none better than this dish to Marcin Gortat that followed some nifty dribble moves:

4. This was the best play of the night. Bradley Beal used a hesitation move to get to the rim and finish with a gorgeous layup on an and-1:

Beal ended up with 19 points, 15 of them in the third quarter alone. 

5. One of the biggest stories of the night was the bench, which combined to score 70 points. Two of those came on this alley-oop from Brandon Jennings to Kelly Oubre, Jr.:

Jennings had 18 points and nine assists and Oubre added nine points, his highest scoring output since Feb. 6. Add it all up and the Wizards are officially heading back to the playoffs for the first time in two years.

[RELATED: Wizards clinch playoff spot for third time in four years]