The news about Jason Collins brought the Wizards their largest burst of positive national publicity in years. When was the last time SI put a Wizard on its cover? When was the last time hundreds if not thousands of people across the country wrote of their intentions to buy a Wizards jersey? When was the last time CNN and “Good Morning America” wanted to talk to a Wizards player?
But of course, this also meant that late-night comics would be talking, and they were perhaps less kind to D.C.’s pro basketball franchise.
“Today Jason Collins of the Washington Wizards announced he is gay,” Conan O’Brien began. “That’s a big story. Big story. He said ‘I don’t know what’s been tougher on my family, announcing that I’m gay or announcing that I play for the Washington Wizards.’ ”
And Stephen Colbert also had a go.
“He came out as black and gay,” Colbert said. “Even more shocking, he came out as a player for the Washington Wizards. You’ve got to wonder how his parents took it.”
Both comics also made other sportsy jokes.
“Now the Lakers want to sign him so they’ll have someone who knows how to score with men,” O’Brien said.
“Folks, this is my worst sports nightmare,” Colbert said. “I knew once we allowed Major League Soccer, it would turn all the other sports gay.”
Anyhow, be proud, Wizards fans. You’re on the map again.
VIDEO OF THE NIGHT
This random person lip-syncing to Charlie Slowes’s memorable call of Jayson Werth’s Game 4 home run against the Cardinals is mesmerizing. I’ve watched it no fewer than five times. Via @CharlieSlowes, obviously.
DREAD-INDUCING WORST-CASE FREAKOUT OF THE NIGHT
“Stephen Strasburg is dealing with right forearm tightness, according to Manager Davey Johnson,” James Wagner wrote. “Stephen Strasburg left an Aug. 21 game against the Phillies with forearm tightness,” a wire service wrote in the summer of 2010. “I felt good out there,” Strasburg said on Monday, insisting that he would not need to miss a start. “By the time we got out there, he said, you know, ‘I feel good. I don’t even feel anything. Let me keep pitching,’ ” Jim Riggleman said in the summer of 2010.
NOTE: I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND AM REALLY JUST BEING A JERK, EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Barry Svrluga with a terrific look at three Caps coaches who were teammates in 1998 and are now leading the resurgent franchise. “For all the franchise’s changing fortunes and growing following, only one Capitals team has advanced to the finals: that group back in 1998, when Oates dished out pucks and Johansson held the blue line and Kolzig manned the crease,” he wrote.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Pretty sure Martell Webster’s reaction to the Jason Collins news was the best reaction in the world:
@jasoncillins34 you have made sports what it should be and that’s “OPEN” proud of you for being you. That’s jump shot is still weak lol.
— Martell Webster (@MartellWebster) April 29, 2013
PHOTOSHOP OF THE NIGHT
In a single weekend, the Redskins drafted college football’s 2012 interceptions leader (Phillip Thomas), and college football’s 2011 interceptions leader (David Amerson), and the guy who finished second in 2011 (Baccari Rambo). Which led to this, from @soupfx.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Nats are in Atlanta at 7 on MASN. The Bryce Harper film Bryce Begins is on at 9 on ESPN. All TV and radio listings are here.