I mean, sometimes your process fails so dramatically and publicly and harshly that you’re forced to take a reckoning of what you’re doing, to figure out how this happened, and to think about how to make sure it never happens again.
I have to assume that Washingtonian had such a reckoning this month, when its annual “Best Of Washington” issue came out. The issue, of course, has a (much smaller) “Worst,” section, which included a “Worst Local Athlete” blurb. And the “winner” was Alex Ovechkin.
“Voted local hero just a year ago in this same poll, the Great 8 has apparently lost points both on and off the ice,” reads the text.
I mean, yes, he had a down year. Yes, his contract might not be looking so great. Yes, many people suggested that he was no longer the best player on his team.
BUT HE IS NOT THE WORST ATHLETE IN WASHINGTON. I mean, sorry, he’s not a worse athlete than, say, Xavier Nady. And no offense is intended to Xavier Nady here. I think you could make a strong argument that Ovechkin is also not worse than Jan Vesely, or Aldrick Robinson, or Dennis Wideman. I could keep going, and get Mr. Ovechkin out of the Bottom 5 pretty quickly.
(Blatche, at least, made “Also Unpopular” for the second year in a row. That isn’t a bad choice.)
So seriously, Washingtonian, however you set up this year’s poll, it didn’t work. This answer makes it all void.
And while the winner of the “Best Local Sportswriter” category was dead-on — (Thomas Boswell: you can’t get much more local than Boswell; the Washingtonian has been with the Post his entire career) — both of the “Also Popular” entries were highly suspect. (Sally Jenkins, and me. Seriously, what the hell?)
Among the “Also unpopular” names for “Worst Local Columnist,” though, was Mike Wise for the second straight year. Decent selection.
(That’s a joke. I love Wise. The whole thing was weird.)
Washingtonian’s 2011 sports poll results
Washingtonian breaks Redskins quarterback news