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Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 01/19/2012

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By PostSports editors  |  11:25 AM ET, 01/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:08 PM ET, 01/09/2012

The 2011 Redskins in review

London Fletcher and the Redskins would like to put 2011 behind them, but will 2012 be any better? (Evan Vucci - AP)
Let us take a quick look back at the “afraid-to-say-rebuilding” 5-11, 2011 Washington Redskins.

Shattering ESPN’s prediction of winning only three games the over-achieving Redskins won five. Mike Shanahan recorded the longest losing streak of his career and his worst overall record ever. It’s now been four years since the franchise has produced a winning season or reached the playoffs.

Now onto the awards section of our program....

The MVP Award and the Defensive Award go to London Fletcher: the NFL’s energizer bunny and tackling machine. Any Redskins defensive player who finished the last two seasons on IR should talk to Fletch about his personal maintenance. I’m guessing it doesn’t involve eight hours of daily weight-lifting.

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By Evan Bliss  |  03:08 PM ET, 01/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Redskins, Evan Bliss

Posted at 03:08 PM ET, 01/06/2012

Caps approach philanthropy as a group effort

Followers of Caps philanthropy and community relations are incredibly spoiled. The team’s initiatives benefit everyone from military families, to patients at Children’s Hospital, to D.C. public school students.

The initiatives grow local youth hockey and build a more diverse and devoted fan base, so that in the future, if the Caps are unfortunate enough to suffer a slump that lasts for years, fans will still turn out in droves because we love the team and love the sport. Think the Redskins, but with ownership the fans adore rather than ownership that causes controversy.

One of the greatest aspects of these Caps initiatives is the large number of players who participate. By my count, and from limited knowledge, the vast majority of players on the active roster have already participated in community relations events this season, with almost a dozen turning out for multiple events.

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By Nicole Weissman  |  03:08 PM ET, 01/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Capitals, Nicole Weissman

Posted at 09:56 AM ET, 01/06/2012

New Wizards head gear proves hard to find

The new Wizards logo is a big improvement — too bad it’s so hard to find. (Evan Vucci - AP)
When Ted Leonsis bought the Washington Wizards, he didn’t pretend to be an expert in basketball. He just asked fans for patience as his basketball folks worked to rebuild the team.

What he did sell himself as was a great marketer and brander, someone who could broaden the fan base. Most Wizards fans in the D.C. area shared my optimism that with a better product on the court, and some sophisticated marketing savvy off it, the Wizards would move up from their third-class sports citizenship in the Washington region. Like most Wizards fans, I was thrilled that one of his first major decisions was a redesign of the juvenile Wizards logo and uniforms. In November and December, I started shopping for a new Wizards hat for the season figuring six months was enough time for them to get some product into the stores. I was wrong.

Let me start off with the caveat that I know next to nothing about the apparel industry outside of what they talk about in “How to Make it in America”. I don’t know how sports team apparel is licensed, how it’s made or how it makes it into stores. I just know that over six months after its introduction, and during the height of the holiday shopping season, you could find practically no new Wizards merchandise in local stores. I know I could have easily gone online, but if you are a sports team who doesn’t cater to fans shopping in brick and mortar stores in 2011, you are missing out on a significant portion of your customer base. Here is the story of a fan’s attempt to buy a Wizards hat.

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By Lee Friedman  |  09:56 AM ET, 01/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 12/22/2011

Wizards 2012 season preview: Will new year bring new results?

John Wall should be more polished in his second NBA season. (John McDonnell - THE WASHINGTON POST)
The Wizards are set to embark on Year 2 ½ of their rebuilding project with a team that is heavy on potential and light on experience. The expectations are higher this season although no one but the most optimistic fans think this is a playoff-worthy team. Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Nick Young and John Wall will be expected to take the next step in their respective developments.

Here’s a quick player-by-player look at what the Wizards have this season, and what to expect from each guy on the team.

John Wall: By far the most important piece to this team, he isn’t to the point yet where he can single-handedly carry the team, but that will come in time. One thing I think you see is that with a year under his belt he’s going to start getting more calls from the officials on drives to the hoop with contact. Referees are going to be more familiar with his game and he’s going to be smarter about what calls he can get in the NBA. Assuming he stays injury-free, I think he makes the jump from his rookie year average of 16 points and eight assists per game to at least 18 and nine, with a chance at 20 and 10 if his supporting cast shows up.

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By Lee Friedman  |  12:38 PM ET, 12/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Wizards, Lee Friedman

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