Not Just Another Sorry, No-Account Sports Blog
Home | What Is This? | Columns and Chats | PTI | RSS Feed

In Wilbon's World

Something to cheer about

Historically, there was never any viable alternative to the Redskins. But perhaps people will feel differently if the Capitals and Wizards continue to play well while the Redskins act as if life cannot go on without them while they stink up the joint week after week.

This was never more evident than the 24-hour period from Monday night to Tuesday night. Monday's Eagles-Redskins game was an artistic flop and the home team was impotent again. Meanwhile, the Capitals on Tuesday came from a goal two goals down to beat the Flyers here at Verizon Center.

The Capitals have the third-highest point total in the Eastern Conference, and they're tied for second in the league in most goals, underscoring how exciting offensively they are to watch. The Capitals have the biggest lead (seven points) of any division leader in the NHL. And you get to see arguably the most exciting player in the league, Alexander Ovechkin.

While it's no surprise that the Capitals have gotten off to a great start, let me admit to being plenty surprised that the Wizards went down to Dallas Tuesday night and beat the Mavericks to start the NBA season.

Yes, it's one game ... against a team that won't challenge the Lakers and Spurs in the Western Conference. Still, the Wizards at least for one night justified what seemed to be misplaced optimism from some of my media colleagues (Yes, Mike Wise, this means you!).

The most encouraging thing of the night, even more than the victory if you're thinking big picture, had to be Gilbert Arenas's performance. The 29 points and nine assists were great; the way Arenas exploded to the basket aggressively was even better. I don't know what was more shocking, Andray Blatche putting up 20 and seven or the Wizards holding Dallas to 39.5 percent shooting? It looked and smelled something like scrambling defense.

There were subtle contributions from Mike Miller and Fabricio Oberto, who came over to the Wizards this summer, and a not-so-subtle 19 points in 30 minutes from the third new player, Randy Foye. The Wizards had more rebounds than Dallas, more assists.

Look, the NBA and NHL aren't going to replace the Redskins around here, even if the Capitals and Wizards were to reach the championship rounds of their respective leagues. But I got an e-mail from a Redskins fan Monday who sincerely wanted to know what alternative there was to being angry over the Redskins. Well, here are two.

The Capitals are further along than the Wizards, obviously, in terms of building a contender. But the Wizards start the season with goodwill and a fan base that doesn't feel it is being bullied by the owner. I wonder how a ticket kiosk for the Caps and Wizards would do if it was set up in the Redskins parking lot ... Ooops, I forgot.

By

Michael Wilbon

 |  October 28, 2009; 9:05 AM ET  |  Category:  NBA , Wizards Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: NFL report card: Week 7 | Next: Censorship at FedEx

Comments

Please report offensive comments below.



I've been following the Caps since the "Save the Caps Days". There have been some lean years but now the Caps game experience is awesome! VC is easy to get to from the Metro. Restaurants are aplenty in Chinatown and the Caps are an excellent young team with a lot of promise who have a fan friendly owner as well as a "I have a clue" GM. Check out a game...You won't be disappointed!

Posted by: JCB9 | October 30, 2009 3:07 PM
Report Offensive Comment

GO WIZ AND CAPS!!!!!!

Posted by: Maur1ceNdc | October 30, 2009 11:46 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Go WIZ & CAP!

Posted by: Maur1ceNdc | October 30, 2009 11:44 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Skins who? For 30 plus years, I NEVER missed a Redskins game. Now, I don't even pay attention to the score. Same goes for the Wiz. How I miss the days of Wes, Kevin and the Big E. What do the Skins and Wiz have most in common? Crappy owners! Ted, please hurry up and buy the Wiz so that I have a reason to watch them again! Dan, please go away and sell the team to someone that cares more about winning and tradition than making money!

Let's Go CAPS!!

Posted by: jimk351c | October 30, 2009 8:36 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Mike,

Honestly, keep to basketball and football and leave hockey alone. Your ignorance of the game of Hockey is astonishing. The Caps have been winning for the last 2 full seasons plus the start of this season, and you bundle them up with a one win Wizard team???? Its one game, write your love letters about the Wizards when they are 8-2. In the meantime, leave the Caps alone and obsess over the Redskins and Wizards.

Posted by: mireskan | October 29, 2009 6:37 PM
Report Offensive Comment

God Help me. Can they change the name back to the Bullets?

Posted by: Meepo | October 29, 2009 4:07 PM
Report Offensive Comment

When I was a kid the worst day in the world was a Sunday when I'd procrastinated on my homework all weekend, and the 'Skins played at 4, and I watched the whole game only to see them lose, and there I was bummed out at 7:30 Sunday night with all my homework to do. Arghhhhhhhhhhhh.

I thought you'd have to go a pretty long way to make me not care about the Washington Redskins, but Snyder et al. have done it. I still get nervous every time the Caps play (my wife hates me during the playoffs) but the 'Skins? I honestly don't even check the score any more.

Posted by: Bass1 | October 29, 2009 8:38 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Cities with the highest concentrations of blue collar worker are always going to be big sports towns. Blue collar people are the base of all major team sports. They are the ones that stick with them in good times and bad. It has little to do with growing up. Washington just doesn't have the blue collar population to bouy three sports teams through the bad times.

Posted by: akmzrazor | October 29, 2009 8:37 AM
Report Offensive Comment

I love Washington and deem the Caps the real deal, but let's be honest, Mike: If you were working in Chicago and the Bears were this dreadful, would you have to tell fans the Blackhawks or Bulls were alternatives? No -- fans would just focus on them until the Sox and Cubs began spring training. They wouldn't need to be told these things, unlike one-dimensional D.C. fans. As a real sports town on the level of Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Boston or Detroit, Washington still has plenty of growing up to do.
Posted by: VPaterno | October 28, 2009 4:11 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Seems to me that the Capitals have been packing the Verizon Center for quite some time now. Get off the fans my man. A winning team regardless of the city that team plays in is the real deal. And if you think sports is that important in life than maybe it is you who needs to grow up.

Posted by: hessone | October 29, 2009 6:53 AM
Report Offensive Comment

No offense Mikey, but you don't like the Capitals, hockey or their fans. As a Capitals fan, let me be the first one to help you off the Capitals bandwagon.


Have a nice day.

P.S. Be sure to take Kornheiser with you :)

Posted by: OustedSoul | October 29, 2009 5:55 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Mike,

You better move the Wiz up on that playoff list of yours. Your buddies on the NBA show tonight have them 4th in the East.

The biggest thing from last nights Wiz game: the Wiz looked BETTER then the Mavs.

You know how the Wiz had to always play "flawless" in order to compete with the top teams? Last night they were the better team. They took the Mavs best shot and actually KEPT the lead.

The Wiz are for real. I can think of only two teams right now that can give them issues: Lakers and Spurs.

They can match up well with everyone in the East, including Boston who they swept just a couple of seasons ago.

It's a long season, but I think the Wiz are last years Caps.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 28, 2009 11:44 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Ovie is absolutely the most exciting player in hockey. He touches the puck and everyone knows something incredible can happen at any second that will take your breath away.

The only other contenders right now in American sports are Adrian Petersen and Tiger Woods.

Posted by: InTheMiddle | October 28, 2009 6:26 PM
Report Offensive Comment

I guess it's not worth mentioning the other teams in town...like the WNBA Washington Mystics who made it to the playoffs this year, or, the DC Divas women's football team that went undeafeated this season, won the division playoffs and went to the Championship game this summer. I know, I know they're nothing compared to the Deadskins but, at least their winning games.

Posted by: Vintage1974 | October 28, 2009 4:23 PM
Report Offensive Comment

I guess it's not worth mentioning the other teams in town...like the WNBA Washington Mystics who made it to the playoffs this year, or, the DC Divas women's football team that went undeafeated this season, won the division playoffs and went to the Championship game this summer. I know, I know they're nothing compared to the Deadskins but, at least their winning games.

Posted by: Vintage1974 | October 28, 2009 4:21 PM
Report Offensive Comment

I love Washington and deem the Caps the real deal, but let's be honest, Mike: If you were working in Chicago and the Bears were this dreadful, would you have to tell fans the Blackhawks or Bulls were alternatives? No -- fans would just focus on them until the Sox and Cubs began spring training. They wouldn't need to be told these things, unlike one-dimensional D.C. fans. As a real sports town on the level of Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Boston or Detroit, Washington still has plenty of growing up to do.

Posted by: VPaterno | October 28, 2009 4:11 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Almost every team in Washington looks to be better:
1. The Wizards will be better with Arenas, as long as he stays healthy.
2. The Caps should go to the Stanley Cup playoffs. No excuses this time.
3. The Nats will be better next year. We have some studs like Zimmerman and Dunn, now all we need is some better starting pitching.

The only team that is going downhill are the Skins. At this point, I'd rather see a Bowie Baysox game than go to FedEx Field. I don't blame Zorn or Lewis or Cerrato. If only we could fire the owner...

Posted by: ecglotfelty | October 28, 2009 4:10 PM
Report Offensive Comment

I never thought I would see most of DC so mad about the Redskins. Snyder says he has dreamed of owning the skins...a dream?

Well his dream has turned into a nightmare!! Question is, will he be smart enough to get some therapy?

It is a good thing DC has the Caps, and maybe
The Wizards. Bloggers hit the nail on the head in pointing out the big differences between the management teams of the Caps, the Wiz, and the Deadskins. No one has mentioned how bad the Nats are..but they are also really bad.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | October 28, 2009 3:48 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Memo to Dan Snyder: Your ham-handed operation has slipped to about.............oh, seventh place on my list of live sporting events I'd want to attend in the metro area. If I couldn't get a ticket to a Caps, Wizards, Nats, Hoyas, Patriots or Colonials event, I might stroll on over to FedEx. Except the parking, travel in and out, tailgating rules and censorship all stink. Don't fret though, when you start treating your fan base in a decent, professional manner, and you install some adult supervision in the upstairs offices at Ashburn, I'll resume supporting you with my sports dollars. Still love the team, but no more bucks for you Daniel.

Posted by: prestoj | October 28, 2009 3:37 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Anybody who has gone to a Caps game, especially the playoffs last year, KNOWS the fever pitch and electricity in the air surrounding the Caps. IT is equal or better then any experience i've had watching the Skins at FedEx or RFK in 25 years. They are a team on the rise, an exciting team and DC is in a prolonged Honeymoon w the Caps. The Wiz may get there, and it has always been a big bball town here as well. The skins are a distant 3rd, and falling.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: gs12 | October 28, 2009 2:57 PM
Report Offensive Comment

If given the choice of going to a Redskins game for free or paying to see the Caps or Wizards, I'd do the later in a second. Not only is the entertainment value greater, but both are teams that are properly structured with owners who put the fans first. Leonsis is the top owner in town, but Abe Pollin has let Grunfeld develop, build, and hire the personnel and coaches to be a winner....the Redskins are owned by a tyrant who has alienated the fanbase, made a top franchise a laughing stock, and made their fans look elsewhere.

BTW, this comes from a lifelong Redskin fan who has been attending games for almost 40 years and bleeds burgondy and gold.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 28, 2009 2:56 PM
Report Offensive Comment

The caps are winners during the regular season, the Wiz, well it was just a game, let's see at the end....

Posted by: alfredoj012 | October 28, 2009 2:21 PM
Report Offensive Comment

"arguably the most exciting player in the league, Alexander Ovechkin" ???

Mike, there is no doubt that Ovechkin is THE most exciting player in the league. It's not even close.

The only plausible argument is whether he is the most exciting player in ANY sport.

Posted by: vt901 | October 28, 2009 2:19 PM
Report Offensive Comment

The Caps are going to win a Stanley Cup soon, and hopefully the Wiz will realize playing defense is a requirement in the NBA if you want to be more than .500.

I remember how DC almost became a hockey town the last time the Caps made it to the Stanley Cup finals, and hopefully that will happen again.

With Mike Rizzo running the show for the Nats, they might even be competitive before the Redskins are. Jack Kent Cooke should haunt Snyder every night for the rest of his life.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | October 28, 2009 1:28 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Redskins are now bottom-feeders of the DC sports hiearchy. Go Wiz, Caps, and Nats!

Posted by: richs91 | October 28, 2009 1:21 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Oops -- my bad! Double-posted.

Posted by: tfirey | October 28, 2009 1:16 PM
Report Offensive Comment

With George McPhee's talent at drafting and Ernie Grunfeld's talent at trades and free agent signings, I wonder if they could co-run the Redskins front office in their free time.

Posted by: tfirey | October 28, 2009 1:14 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Given George McPhee's talent for drafting and Ernie Grunfeld's talent for trades and free-agent signings, I wonder if they could co-run the Redskins front office in their spare time?

Posted by: tfirey | October 28, 2009 1:11 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Little off-topic, but commenting on your point in chat yesterday saying George Steinbrenner "got it right": 1) Steinbrenner inherited a bad team and organization, unlike Snyder 2) He won for a very few years in late '70s - exciting, but chaotic, no model for management 3)chaos followed by nearly 15 years of meddling and mediocrity 4)finally, in mid-90s, he gave up a lot of control, and they won 5)after 30+ years as owner, he became too ill to be a presence. Let's hope for Redskins fans (I'm not one) that Snyder doesn't follow the same long, sad trajectory.

Posted by: ryneduren | October 28, 2009 12:52 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Miserable Skins fan here like most of you, but I went to the Caps game last night vs. Philly and it was awesome! If you want to be happy about sports again, stop reading about the awful Redskins and start watching the two great sports teams we have at Verizon Center. I hadn't felt joy at a live sports event in a long time..then to watch this Wiz win...by 2012 the Nati'nals could be a contender? Who knows?! But I can say this - so long FedEx! Who wants to go experience that crap anymore? I love the Redskins but it's really hard to have a good time at the games without getting blackout drunk and forgetting you even went!

Posted by: JBuss | October 28, 2009 12:47 PM
Report Offensive Comment

I don't know about Wiz tickets, but the Caps have very few, if any season tickets available.

Posted by: billd2 | October 28, 2009 11:13 AM
Report Offensive Comment

So Wilbon. Do you even bother to do ANY research when you write? Or is "close enough" good enough for the Post nowadays?

Posted by: Greg S. | October 28, 2009 11:02 AM
Report Offensive Comment

dcsportsfan1 and CF11555:

Thanks for catching the mistake, we have corrected it now.

Jon DeNunzio

Posted by: Jon DeNunzio | October 28, 2009 11:01 AM
Report Offensive Comment

I am a Redskin season ticket holder and I am seriously considering giving my money to the Capitals instead. I like the Wizards as well but the others in my family don't like basketball so my money can't go there. Go Wiz and Rock the Red!

Posted by: blackandred777 | October 28, 2009 10:57 AM
Report Offensive Comment

agreed. the caps came from 2 down to beat the flyers, not one.

don't worry - i know you would never bother to actually watch a Caps game.

you're welcome on the bandwagon nonetheless........

Posted by: CF11555 | October 28, 2009 10:28 AM
Report Offensive Comment

I am one fan who is looking into these two options. I don't have season tickets but now when fans of other teams talk trash about the Redskins, I can at least say "Hey, the Wiz Kids and Red Machine are my teams right now! What Deadskins?" Looking to the future, I know I will be taking my kids to a Wizards or Capitals game before I take them to a Redskins game. I've already been to a Mystics game!

Posted by: haycoach | October 28, 2009 10:21 AM
Report Offensive Comment

um, mike. the caps came back from being down two goals last night. but you probably have directv and didnt get to see it. i'm pretty sure it was in all the newspapers though....

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 28, 2009 10:13 AM
Report Offensive Comment

HAIL TO THE WIZARDS AND CAPS! WHAT YOU THOUGHT I WOULD CHEER FOR THE TEAM AT FEDEX?! LET'S GO HOYAS!

Posted by: classicskins | October 28, 2009 10:13 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Wilbon is right on the money here. And what's the difference between these 2 organizations and the Redskins? The Caps and Wizs have technocrats running things. You have Ernie Grunfeld who has built winning teams running the Wizards and the coach, while not the flashiest coach, has a very strong record of winning. The redskins have Vinny Cerrato, Dan Snyder and Jim Zorn at the top. These is why the Redskins will never have a history of winning with Snyder. Every win will be accident while each loss will be further indictment of their incompetence and utter arrogance.

Posted by: tundey | October 28, 2009 9:55 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Hope you didn't watch CSN on Monday night when half the panel picked the Wiz to win the East. I'm sure your head would have exploded from such blind homerism. This is a 50 win team talent wise but we all know Jamison,Arenas and Butler will all get hurt.

Posted by: bukaki23 | October 28, 2009 9:39 AM
Report Offensive Comment

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company