Friday, March 27, 2009

Young Set to Win Second Comeback Award

Dmitri Young is evidentally set to join the Nationals’ 40-man roster, per a good old fashioned handshake agreement with the dearly departed Jim Bowden.

Young, of course, thrilled we lovers of optimism with his stirring 2007 season, earning himself all-star honors (and a subsequent snubbing) and a richly deserved Comeback Player of the Year Award.

While the 2008 season was essentially lost to Young because of various health problems, we at DCO are heartened by his return this year, which should ultimately earn him a Grover-Cleveland-like second non-consecutive Comeback Award. Look for Grover to be added to the Presidents’ Race next season in honor of this accomplishment.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The DCO Salutes T.O.

With the amount of T.O. news getting ready to bludgeon the public in the coming hours, we here at the DCO would like to take the time to thank the former 'boy, and former iggle for all of his contributions. While many have bemoaned Terrell Owens' presence in the hallowed halls of the National Football League for his flamboyance, his demand for attention and passes, and his carousing with Desperate Housewives, we here at the DC Optimist think one of his more unheralded contributions has gone unlawfully unnoticed. Owens, by the grace of god, single-handedly destroyed both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys playoff chances during his reigns in their respective uniforms, and for that, he cannot be thanked enough.

It all began with his celebrated tenure in Philadelphia. Working like a secret undercover agent, Owens decimated morale in the Eagles' locker room, belittled fellow diva Donovan McNabb into choking at every opportunity, took to camera whoring when his enormous contract seemingly wasn't enormous enough, and then, when it seemed like the world would completely implode on itself and the Eagles might win the Super Bowl, forced his way out, leaving the team's receiver core still without it's most productive target, and thus impotent and failure-prone. In the process, he enraged the admittedly easily-enraged Iggles fanbase, something we here at the DCO strive to do with every post. Owens work made the Eagles look cheap in the eyes of potential free agents, and naturally, players of his ilk stayed as far away as possible from that decrepit city, like many of the more sensible individuals in this country.

Naturally, Owens' problems with co-workers was lost on the bumbling Jerry Jones, who couldn't possibly see what a destructive force Owens was and like the inept personnel director he is, happily lead T.O. into Dallas so he could continue his masterwork of crushing locker room jollyness. While the earth was revolting at the sight of Tony Romo winking with his hat backwards, Owens went to work making sure that scourge of football was properly reminded that he isn't s**t. Romo was lambasted by Owens in every glorious opportunity, especially during Romo's impressively epic failures, like every playoff game number 9 ever suited up for and bungled.

It was the presence of T.O. combined with the natural unintended comedic brilliance of Jerry Jones' personnel moves that lead HBO to once again film Hark Knocks in the Cowboys' locker room. This development has always lead to the profiled team completely ruining itself, as the hour long in-depth scouting reports aired weekly often showed things to teams that couldn't be found studying game film. Although viewing Hard Knocks was especially troubling for this blogger, as it is strange watching a program where you wish every participant would suddenly become debilliatingly injured, it was hard not to notice the seeds of destruction that Owens had planted. Rookies looking to make T.O.-like money, have T.O.-esque commercials, etc., looked up to the receiver and his highly publicized tantrums. Why wouldn't they rally against their awful quarterback? And if HBO cameras weren't enough to parlay, Owens usually took his act to the pressers, including the undeniably fantastic "That's my Co' Back" post-playoff flameout that has been the finest post-football game press conference ever assembled. These seeds, combined with the Cowboys own drafted and acquired free agents, amounted to their suckiness.

With Owens now hitting the free agent market, many teams may be taking another look at his sort-of productive numbers, and possibly taking him and his brilliant destructive ways into their locker room. We hear the Giants may be looking for a replacement for the also-troubled Plaxico Burress. Wouldn't T.O. enjoy ripping apart another NFC East team from its insides? We'll be waiting to find out; with our popcorn of course.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Sweet merciful 'tism, a couple of lackluster non-wins, a little patented McPhee silence leading up to a trade deadline, and in some quarters you'd think the Caps were battling it out with the Islanders for draft position. The Caps will be fine, well secured in their first-round home-ice-advantage position of Division Leader. We're not looking at a Mets-like collapse here by any means, or even a Broncos-like collapse. The lead is 11 points, perfectly solid.
As for the trading, McPhee wisely continues to look long term. No need to deal a first-round pick + for someone like Olli Jokinen. Oops, sorry Flames.
Relax. Everything's going to be fine.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Honoring One GM, Awaiting the Latest Brilliance of Another

As mentioned in the most positive DC-sports-related twitter feed available on the right, we at DCO salute recently departed Nationals’ general manager Jim Bowden, he who literally put his own health aside to tend to this fledgling franchise, and hope that when the Nationals reach their full potential he is recognized for his role in assembling this team.

No team-assembling action is closer to this blog’s heart, of course, than Bowden’s hiring of this man:

Manny may ultimately be the legacy of Jim Bowden, in the way Bobby Beathard gave us Joe Gibbs. The Master of ‘Tism is DCO’s spiritual inspiration, reminding us all that the power of optimism can accomplish things as great as keeping a lowly regarded and injury riddled 2007 team from plummeting to the depths of historical badness, to things as subtle as helping alleged malcontents like Elijah Dukes become true MLB superstars someday. Federal investigations aside, Bowden has left us this lasting gift.

We salute this departed GM as we await more trading deadline aplomb from the offices of George McPhee. GMGM of course drives speculative sportswriters, bloggers, and blog commentators mad with his signature non-disclosure of in-the-work thievings trades. Who foresaw last year’s complete and utter fleecing of other professional-level hockey teams to acquire division championship-delivering goaltender Cristobal Huet, mentoring wise veteran (and object of a blogger’s wife’s affections) Sergei Fedorov, and noted pugilist Matt Cooke (now sadly wasting away in playoff-grasping Pittsburgh)?

The silence is typically overwhelming this time around. What difference maker(s) will be had for a song (perhaps the controversial “hockey song”?) either today or tomorrow? We've already seen one Verizon Center team exercise good trade deadline judgment. Is there any doubt the Caps will follow suit?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Caps' Success is Begetting Bitterness, Lunacy

A curious thing may be developing here as the Capitals continue to slay dragons atop various division and conference standings: they are drawing some ire. It’s as if the team is supposed to be a perennial punching-bag, a franchise everyone else can comfortably turn up their noses at, and lazily bring them up as a candidate for contraction. Now that such talk can no longer conveniently be turned to whenever the team’s name comes up, some people are throwing daggers and slinging mud.

First, let’s look at Boston coach Claude Julien, and his pouting after Alex Semin beat the Bruins with a slapshot from well beyond the blue line: “I've heard them say that they're in our heads. They do a lot of talking. They're one-goal games. They could have gone either way. By all means, I don't think they scare us.” The simple fact is three out of the four games between the two went the Caps’ way. Sounds like perhaps some overreaction to Brooks Laich’s comments prior to the game about a victory over the Bruins scoring some psychological points should the teams meet in the playoffs: "Maybe they finish ahead of, maybe they don't. But now they're wondering, you know, 'We can't beat those guys.’” Maybe we wonder about Julien’s coaching acumen if he chose to complain about Laich’s apt analysis after the game instead of maybe using it as a means to try to coax his team with the shrinking first-place lead into actually beating the Caps in regulation for once.

As it is, his little rave-out after yet another loss to the Caps reminds us of Donovan McNabb’s equally insane insistence that the Eagles were better than the Redskins despite the latter’s sweep of the former in the season series. The after-the-fact bitterness in both cases illustrates the animosity our teams can expect to face as they rise (or prepare to rise) to heights the rest of the sports world seems to think they should not.

Speaking of such sentiment, by now we all know about Don Cherry’s insane Ovie-related rant. The bald absurdity of it all is self-apparent, and the motive behind it all even more so with the mentioning of poor down-and-out Sidney Crosby immediately before the Ovechkin celebration bashing began. People are on to the overrated-ness of Sid, realizing the greatness of Ovechkin, and Cherry and other Sid anointers are unable to deal with it.

It’s interesting that Cherry held up soccer players for ridicule because of some of their goal celebrations and then likened Ovehckin’s celebrations to those. We think a far more telling comparison between the two sports would be comparing this:

To this:

Now we get the analogy. Thanks, Don.

As has been pointed out pretty much universally since this nonsense hit the airwaves, the timing of Cherry’s idiocy is curious, coming at a time when Ovechkin’s star is very much on the rise and the sheen is coming off Sid exponentially as his whining, tantrum-throwing, and baffling suspension-less cheap-shotting increase (also curious that many of the Ovie clips shown have been around for at least a couple of years, and only now apparently has the outrage come forth in Cherry’s Canadian-centric mind). NHL players, at the very least, are starting to fully embrace the anti-Sid movement. Hopefully NHL marketers will come to their senses as well, and maybe even NBC will start to show a few more games not featuring the Penguins.

In the end, we at DCO are heartened by these anti-Caps developments, as it indicates that the Capitals will likely not be inundated with irritating darling-ism, such as been heaped upon every Penguins’ team since Cherry’s Messiah broke into the league and lost the Calder trophy to Ovechkin. Maybe they’ll just be allowed to go about their business bringing a Cup to DC, and to making the town a permanent residence for other trophies with names like Hart, Richard, Ross, Adams, Norris, etc.