Alex Ovechkin’s almost-SI cover

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This, surely, is the most interesting week of national magazine covers in D.C. sports history.

RGIII got an ESPN the Magazine cover. So did Bryce Harper. And Jason Collins got a Sports Illustrated cover.

That accounts for the Redskins, the Nats and the Wizards. So what about the Caps? See above.

“How under wraps was Collins story? I thought I was getting my 1st cover,” joked SI hockey writer Sarah Kwak, underneath this image. “Alas, happy to be Argo of SI this week.”

Would this actually have been the cover, absent the Collins story? There’s no way to tell for sure. A magazine cover is “not a cover until it’s a cover,” as industry people say, meaning something could always change before the printers get involved. Sports Illustrated makes a number of cover mockups every week, and a spokesman said it’s impossible to identify a “second-place” cover.

However, Kwak does indeed have a lengthy Ovechkin feature in this week’s issue, which likely would have been the magazine’s lead story in a normal spring week. So “Ovechkin’s Argo Cover” isn’t a bad way to think of this image.

The Caps, as my friend Jamie Mottram noted, have never been the subject of an SI cover, although Caps players have been secondary figures on long-ago covers. How ironic that a possible first appearance was negated by a player from the team’s corporate cousin.

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