“The Washington Post jinx?” Ted Leonsis asked on his blog, after we published an item about Alex Ovechkin’s scoring pace. “Will we see it in action?”
Well, I don’t really believe in jinxes, and I assume he doesn’t either. But if we did, we might take a look at another one. Let’s call it the Ted’s Take Jinx.
Consider: On Dec. 6, Leonsis blogged about the injuries that have slowed down players the Wizards have traded away:
Basically – Arenas (no longer in NBA) for Lewis. Lewis (now in Miami) for Ariza and Okafor. Okafor (on IR and traded to Phoenix ) with a conditional pick, for Gortat. Nene from Denver for McGee (out with a stress fracture). Nene, Gortat and Ariza all in starting line up for Wizards. An interesting set of transactions with the Wizards gaining 3 veteran starters.
Later that night, Martell Webster aggravated a sprained left ankle, Nene aggravated his right Achilles’ injury, Kevin Seraphin was sidelined with swelling in his right knee, and the Wizards announced that Al Harrington had a setback with his right knee injury. That’s a lot of injuries in one day.
Fast forward to New Year’s Eve, when Leonsis blogged about some recent strong play from the Wizards.
Since starting the season at 2 and 7, the Wizards are now 12 and 7 in our last 19 games. Should we be able to keep that pace up – we could possibly win 47 games or so this season.
After that item was published, the Wizards lost three straight games — two at home — by a combined 38 points. Should they keep up that pace, they could possibly lose 82 games or so.
Now, I still believe the Wizards are a fine, up-and-coming team with a superb backcourt that will be a major threat to win a playoff series this spring. But I’m just saying: the Ted’s Take Jinx is strong.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
After a terrible third quarter, the Wizards lost to the Warriors Sunday night. That led to this.
Warriors forward Marreese Speights as he left the locker: “RIP Wizards!”
— Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) January 6, 2014
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
I was actually at that game, sitting in the 400-level. When things looked bleakest, the scoreboard had a blip and stopped showing the score. So the PA guy started announcing the score instead, and the Wizards actually briefly rallied with the scoreboard blank, as I recall. There were definitely people yelling for them to keep the scoreboard blank.
BAGS OF APPLES My pal Rick Maese and assorted colleagues produced a Sunday A1 piece on the Dan Snyder era, which was a good and balanced read. The most blogged about passage, though, was this:
Around Redskins Park, the team’s headquarters in Ashburn, turnover is not limited to the team’s coaching staff, particularly in recent years. The team’s media guide in 2008 listed 143 team employees not related to football operations. Five years later, fewer than 20 remain. There are myriad reasons. While the Redskins have never been shy to pay millions to football players, former employees who’ve also worked elsewhere in the NFL say salaries for the rest of the operation lag behind many teams. Ex-staffers reported cutbacks during the recent recession — multiple employees reported receiving bags of apples one year in lieu of holiday bonuses — but Tony Wyllie, the Redskins’ senior vice president of communications, noted that a lot of companies tightened their belts during the recession. “The Washington Redskins at that point as well as now have one of the largest staffs in all of sports,” Wyllie said.
As I wrote on Twitter, I personally would rather have apples than nothing. I love apples.
Via Reader Mike (and the rest of the Internet), Mikhail Grabovski had another spelling blip on his jersey Saturday night in Minnesota.
D.C. SPORTS-THEMED HOMEBREW OF THE DAY
I only had one nomination for this category.
— Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN) January 3, 2014
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
Maryland is at Pitt at 7 on ESPNU. The BCS national title game is on ESPN at 8:30 or so. All radio and TV listings are here.