Friday, January 16, 2009

Mr. President-Elect, with all due respect...

Howard Kurtz publishes a daily online column -- "Media Notes" -- in the Washington Post. In yesterday's column he reported on President-Elect Barack Obama's visit to the Washington Post newsroom, and this quote from Washington's newest sports fan left us troubled...
"Where are the sportswriters? I want to ask about the Redskins, Nationals and Wizards."
You do? Really? Teams that in their current or most recently completed seasons are a combined 74-141?

Mr. President-Elect, you won your election in the Electoral College by a 365-173 margin (.678 winning percentage). And you're inquiring about these teams? When right now, there is another team in Washington with a winning record comparable to your own?...The Capitals' record of 28-14-3 (.656) far exceeds that of the collective mediocrities that are the other Washington professional sports teams. Besides, hockey's better, and here are a few reasons why...

- Basketball has speed and quickness, football has strength, baseball has anticipation. Hockey has them all -- it is faster, requires strength while perched on the thinnest of platforms (a skate blade), and has the anticipation coming from plays unfolding dozens of times a game at a breakneck pace.

- Ten skaters, two goalies, four on-ice officials, and two goals in the area of play. Plus, walls that are in play. The geometry of the game should appeal to your cerebral bent.

- The crowds are big, loud, and proud. You haven't been to a Nats game yet. Lovely ball park, but we think it's a requirement that fans arrive dressed as empty seats. And have you tried to park at Fed-Ex Field? OK, bad example -- you have your own parking space, if you want it. But don't think The Danny isn't going to try to charge you for it.

- Inclusiveness. The NHL, according to its website, has had almost 900 players representing 35 countries dress for games this year. The Caps alone have had 34 players representing seven countries skate on the Verizon Center ice. And conflicts are settled efficiently -- sometimes players exchange unpleasantries, spend a couple of minutes alone to sort it all out, then get on with their business. Might be an example helpful to look at in these dangerous times.

- Transparency. You could go to a Nats game, see Ryan Zimmerman knock one into the seats, watch him circle the bases, and at the end of it, look at him fist bump the next player coming to the plate. Yawn. You could watch a Redskin score a touchdown and go through some rehearsed celebration in the end zone. Meh. Now, when Alex Ovechkin scores a goal, there isn't any doubt in the world about it -- he's thrilled! Every single time. A leap into the glass, hugs with his teammates, fist bumps all down the bench. And then...he wants more. The kind of transparent joy a child gets on Christmas morning and seeing the gift he wanted under the tree.

Mr. President-Elect, with all due respect, you really need to be asking about the Capitals. They're entertaining, play in front of better crowds (think "Denver acceptance speech," only all dressed in red), and they're winners. And even if they're just about sold out for the rest of the season, we're betting Ted can get you a good seat.

6 comments:

this space for rent said...

Peerless, with all due respect, our President-elect can leave the Capitals exactly as they are. :) (Though how one comes from Chicago and neglects hockey, one isn't sure.) I for one have no desire whatsoever to see Barack Obama at a Caps game, and the reason why has nothing to do with politics. The presence of the Secret Service at any function has an unparalleled ability to cause chaos and headaches for everyone else attending due to the security requirements and measures put into place. My initial guess is that no bags of any kind would be permitted into the Verizon Center, we'd all be passing through metal detectors, and they'd probably close the Gallery Place metro stop. And that's for starters.

Besides, the amount of sheer sycophantic bullsh!t surrounding this guy is unbelievable. I understand the whole hope and change thing, but the media is kissing his @ss like it's the second coming of Christ and ... yeesh. Expect the presence of Barack Obama to utterly disrupt any game he attends simply due to the media circus around it.

Thanks, I'll pass. Give me my hockey and leave the political figures out of it.

Jed said...

I have to say, I've been to many a baseball game over the years where the president was attending... the experience was not hampered in the least by secret service. Just relax. If he does come to a game, and I hope he does, the game will still happen, and that's all that matters! If the commute takes an extra 20 minutes you'll still get home.

Joe said...

President Obama,
Don't be a douche. Respect the red.
Regards,
Caps Nation

Dougeb said...

I wish the new POTUS all the best and I never disrespect a sitting President; even one that I didn't vote for.

I'm not happy over the thought of Secret Service taking over the Phone Booth for a Caps game. Even with my Season Tickets in hand, I would not attend the grand event.

TJ said...

I was at a game a few years ago when Bill Clinton was still in office. Had no idea he was there until they showed him on the big screen in Ted's box. His presence had zero impact on my getting to the game on time.

Pattie A. said...

I remember the game Clinton attended (I saw the game on TV and he was interviewed). He positively gushed about how much better hockey is live (vs. TV) and he hoped to come to another Caps game (though I don't think he did). That kind of quote never hurts attendance.
Now that we're post-9/11, the sitting president's attendance at a game might cause more security headaches than Clinton's game, but I would think the Secret Service would prefer to keep his visit under wraps until the president is actually in the building, so maybe not.