Sunday, March 20, 2011

Owner's Series: The Man Who is Changing The Game

….in the most powerful city in the world, our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. is a man bigger than the Washington Monument.  His pedigree boasts a stint as senior executive for America Online (perhaps you’ve heard of it) filmmaker, philanthropist, and current owner of the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards.  This mountain of a man is none other than Theodore Leonsis, aka “Teddy Owner’s Box”, henceforth known as The Notorious T.O.B. 

This article is so important and the magnitude of this man’s greatness is so immeasurable, we here at the Battle of the Beltway deem it necessary that we combine our literary talents into one mind-melting, thought-bending, nipple-hardening exposé on the one, the only, T.O.B.

When T.O.B. purchased the C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS, the team was successful and in the midst of a mini Southeast Division dynasty.  However, this squad was aging and about to expire like old milk.  T.O.B. had a vision and a blueprint of trading these olde but valuable parts in for draft picks and younger fresher legs.  The man to execute this plan was none other than General Manager and talent evaluator extraordinaire, George McPhee.  McPhee helped show these older players to the door in favor of draft picks and youth.  Early returns were less than desirable, but the light at the end of the tunnel was brighter than the sequins on Elton John’s pants-suit.  That light was manifested in the form of “The Great 8”, Alex Ovechkin.  Since this day Ovie and the Caps have launched a full on offensive for the Stanley Cup; anyone who stands in their way will be treated to a worse reception than Muammar Ghaddafi at U.N. benefit dinner.  (Quick sidebar: We wonder what 100 cruise missiles feels like in one day’s work…it can’t tickle. )  Ovie has not done it alone; Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, and Alexander Semin have all been integral parts in the revival of the Washington Capitals.  McPhee is the coal that drives this rejuvenated Capitals train, and Leonsis is the conductor.  The Capitals had a terrific 2010 season under the direction of head coach Bruce “BBQ Sauce” Boudreau.  Not to demean the man who has led the Capitals to three straight Southeast Division Titles, (soon to be four!) but can someone get homeboy a wet nap.  (Bruce, do not ever leave this town, we love you.)  The Capitals however were bounced from the Stanley Cup Playoffs faster than Jimmer Fredette on his wedding night.  Back to the drawing board they went, and the 2011 model was forged on defense and toughness.  This plan was met with skepticism and disbelief from die hard, and possibly misinformed Capitals fans.

The first half of the season did not go as scripted.  The defense was stout, however the vaunted and explosive offense that we Caps fans have come to expect was harder to find than Tim Tebow in a strip club.  An eight game losing streak was a red flag to those who did not have faith.  However, those of us who have deeply sunburnt by the light at the end of the tunnel have been vindicated and validated by the recent surge by our beloved Capitals.  The Capitals currently find themselves at 2nd place in the Eastern Conference with 94 points, two points behind the Filthadelphia Flyers…and closing.  Check your rear view mirrors Philly, cuz we are closing in on you like John Kruk on a buffet line.  The Flyers come to town on Tuesday clinging to their conference lead of two points like a Philly hooker to her crack rock.  The city will be rocking its red, and will be at a fever pitch eagerly awaiting the puck to drop.  This game is huge.  This game is as big as any game the Capitals have played in this season.  The Capitals need the entire DMV to stand up and be counted.

T.O.B. has seen how starved this area is for winner, and took it upon himself to purchase a franchise in desperate need of an overhaul.  This group is none other than the team formerly known as the Washington Bullets.  T.O.B. took over the franchise after the passing of another D.C. sports luminary, “Mr. Re-Gentrification of China Town”, Abe Pollin.  Since the purchase T.O.B. has made cost-cutting and youth driven moves to become younger, faster, and sexier.  Is it me or is T.O.B. operating this team like a 50 year old man with E.D. who just bought a Ford mustang?  T.O.B. has cast aside the elderly like Ben Stiller in Happy Gillmore, in favor of youth.  T.O.B’s first order of business was to oversee the drafting of the transcendent talent that is John Wall.  DMV residents, D.C. sports fanatics, listen the eff up! Do you fully comprehend the talent and greatness of this young man?  John Wall cannot legally drink yet, but that has not stopped him from getting 15 points and 10 assists in his sleep.  I am afraid that many of you have tuned out the Wizards simply because they are not winning.  John Wall will be a top 5 point guard in this league and you will be able to watch him develop and grow right here in our own backyard!  Please, I am begging you all as a collective fan base, do not let this man walk away without you fully appreciating his talents and supporting him.  This young man eats, sleeps, and breathes hoop, and wants nothing more than to bring a winner to D.C.    

The blueprint for the Wizards is identical to that of the Capitals, NBA you have been warned.  T.O.B. has a plan to build through youth and the draft and he has placed experienced professionals in the proper positions in order to execute his vision.  He does not meddle, he does not interfere, and he does not get in the way of winning…………………..Mr. Snyder, with all due respect, are you listening?

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