Nature Herself this week is condemning local media, freezing hard and fast our Canal and urging us to recreate outside, far away from media’s maelstrom of malfeasance. Once again, burgundy and gold incompetence is being feted and celebrated by the local press. Our hockey team’s captain was traded a week ago and hardly any of them have noticed. May even more of them go out of business in 2010.
Returning from a holiday out of town, I was stuck within Beltway brutality before 7:00 yesterday morning, and out of morbid curiosity, (and being without satellite radio), I tuned in to local sports radio the morning after a 4-12 Deadskins’ season. I should have known better. (I did, actually, but my iPod charge was low.) Apparently the head coach was canned in the middle of the night; apparently he was security-escorted out of the team office soon thereafter; no he wasn’t; yes he was; maybe he was; better go bloated remote there the rest of the day. Some sycophant scribes even took to photographing their bloated presence at the Ashburn park and publishing the pics on social media. It was pornography against professionalism.
We in HockeyWashington are to respond by taking up arms. Sticks, rather. Sticks for shinny. It is as if Mother Nature even cannot suffer our local media fools, and is taking up the cause of converting Washington into a Tier I hockey town with this early January deep freeze: the ice on the Canal is thickening fast. Get the little feet of your little kiddies snuggled into skates, get them outfitted in their new red hockey sweaters left by Santa, and get them out on the Canal this weekend. The hyperventilating over Jim Zorn will still be there when you’re through.
We are also to tune in to the NHL Network, which is broadcasting big, authentic news: no small portion of the future of American hockey will earn either a gold or silver medal tonight in Saskatchewan.
There is manufactured buzz, created by the press, in self-fulfilling prophecy, and then there is a real and authentic one emanating from ice: Washington’s hockey team and its virtually guaranteed participation in the very next Winter Classic; the 2010 Winter Classic was TV-ratings injured by the slight against the Caps; an altogether unexpected American uprising is taking place at the World Junior Championships up in Canada, which features a bedrock of the Capitals’ blueline in the new decade ahead, John Carlson; Mike Green was snubbed by Team Canada; the Hershey Bears are auditioning for promotion to the National League.
Should each major local sports outlet, the moment the United States shocked all of Canada with its New Years’ Eve performance against the five-time champion hosts, have dispatched at least a single reporter to frontier Canada — or at least sought out a stringer there? But of course. Many local media pegged their lead training camp storylines on John Carlson nearly four months ago. Now he’s enjoying the greatest success of his young hockey career, and they’re missing it. But at least we have Larry Michael’s pearls of dispassionate wisdom.
Here is another timely storyline worthy of pursuit by professional media, were they here: is it possible that the Capitals actually miss Mathieu Perreault?
The entire local sports page for the past week-plus ought to have looked like one published in Minneapolis or Toronto. Instead, it’s looked like Groundhog Day, circa ’92.
The dichotomy couldn’t be starker: it is one of celebrity and controversy versus actual accomplishment. Dan Snyder is a celebrity, an agent of controversy (it is his commerce). Ted Leonsis has actually served as architect over a revolutionary accomplishment in this town. If only his athletes would carry firearms into their lockers.
He, too, has noticed the malfeasance.
” . . . we made a trade - a smart one for our team - that added a big left winger and cut some salary for us to have “optionality” at the trade deadline and for future use to keep our young core of players together. But we did trade a great man; a great player; and our captain . . . I think our team was over confident playing Carolina at home and we were still a buzz around the trade. I will miss Chris Clark and thank him and his family for everything they did for our franchise. Then while the league was gearing up for the wonderful Winter Classic, we went out on a crazy two game West Coast swing over New Year’s break. We were as far away from Boston as possible, weren’t we? And Mike Green was left off the Canadian Olympic team which I think was the wrong decision by their team management. I believe Mike Green is a unique and spectacular talent and one of the top D men in the NHL. We have Mike’s back. We believe in him. I know this snub will motivate Mike for the rest of the season. We as a franchise sometimes don’t get the respect we have earned [emphasis OFB's] yet but the only way to right that wrong I believe is to win a Stanley Cup. We get the joke. We have collective chip on our shoulder.”
I have friends flying in from Maine today to attend tonight’s Caps’-Habs’ game. How often do seriously out-of-towners fly in to D.C. in mid-week to attend Buzzards’ games? I asked them if they were anxious about air travel in light of recent, freshly frightening circumstances.
“We are more concerned about accidentally entering the Wizards’ locker room,” one chum replied. Each morning they read hockey blogs to get the news and analysis that matters to them.