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

Dan Steinberg
Thursday, March 10, 2011; D02

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."

Q: Of all the outlandishly comical things that happened during Vinny Cerrato's insanely long appearance on 106.7 The Fan this week, which one likely caused the most involuntarily spitting?

A: I'll award it to the caller who, about an hour in, wanted to discuss Cerrato's claim that he would not draft Cam Newton.

"Yeah, I just wanted really quickly to say that the first thing I've [learned] so far is that I would recommend to anybody you draft Cam Newton," John from Bethesda said.

"You would draft him or would not?"Cerrato wondered.

"No, Vinny said that he would not draft Cam Newton, go ahead," said Mike Wise, the show's host and a Washington Post sports columnist.

"Yeah, I would draft him because Vinny said he wouldn't," John countered, as someone in the studio involuntarily spat. "Number 2, is it amazes me how smug Vinny can be sitting there knowing that he ruined a franchise that's been storied for 12 to 15 years, and that he has every excuse in the book for why he failed other than the fact that he either made the wrong decision or was a yes man for a guy that is just completely incompetent."

Other than that, how was the radio show, Mr. Cerrato?

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