D.C. Sports Bog

Ovechkin's two-dimensional twin makes a prime-time appearance

Dan Steinberg
Thursday, March 10, 2011

Even more questions and answers about D.C. sports, while wondering whether Bryce Harper's "I'm feeling hitterish" is destined to be the "en Fuego" of 2011.

Q: Say, what was with that giant cardboard cutout of Alex Ovechkin I saw during prime time on Fox on Tuesday evening?

A: Well, that was just "Raising Hope" creator Greg Garcia getting one step closer to his ultimate goal of having Ovechkin on his sitcom.

Garcia, as I've previously noted, is a Virginia native whose son Nathan is a devoted Capitals fan. Garcia told me that he wants "Ovechkin to come play the wacky Russian neighbor for an episode, so my son can meet him," though an in-person appearance has not yet been planned.

And so, enter cardboard Ovi. This week's episode featured J.K. Simmons chasing Garret Dillahunt around a mattress store while carrying a life-size model of Ovechkin wearing a crown, while Dillahunt shouted either "put the Ovechkin down" or "put the Ovechking down." Eventually, the cutout was smashed, and during the resulting dialogue, the top half of the broken Ovechkin got a good 30 seconds of face time. Look, it's not the Stanley Cup, but it's something.

Q: What did Matt Hendricks's father say when the winger called home to announce news of his new one-way contract with the Capitals?

A: "Oh, we're eating dinner, can I call you back?" Hendricks recounted, via producer Gemma Hooley, who is focusing the latest installment of her "Hockey Diaries" documentary in part on Hendricks.

"No, no, I've got to tell you now," replied Hendricks, who had never before signed a one-way contract in the NHL.

His mom was worried that the contract wasn't official until Hendricks signed it, but his dad was still willing to interrupt dinner to celebrate.

"For him, it was great," Hendricks told Hooley, in audio she posted on her Tumblr site. "He's been the guy that's always thought I could be here. He's the one that always told me, 'You just need a break, you just need a break, you're gonna get it, you've got to keep working.' You know, sometimes I think it was ignorance that I kept listening to him all the time, but lo and behold, it paid off. So there's a sense of pride in his voice right now."

Hooley also asked Hendricks whether he used a special pen to sign the contract.

"Whatever pen they had up there I used," Hendricks said. "I didn't really care. I just wanted to make sure it was permanent ink."

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