Broken Tackle's Blog
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Things haven't started off too smoothly for the new ownership group of the Washington Nationals. Ticket sales are slowed down in general, including season ticket sales, and many season ticket holders are complaining about slow deliveries of their ticket packages (some are even concerned they won't get their tickets before opening day). Team President Stan Kasten has said he's determined to have the final season opener at RFK be a sell-out, but it looks like it won't even be close.

It's no secret that RFK sucks and this Nats team sucks even worse. Could anyone outside the D.C. area name five guys on this team? Could anyone in the D.C. area name five guys on this team? It's not an easy sell for these guys, trying to pass off a team rebuilding on a city that has no choice but to feel like a bandwagon fan (these things happen when a team is dumped on you after 35 years without baseball in your city). 2007 has the obvious feel of a placeholder year for the Nats before moving into their new stadium in 2008 and maybe then building a respectable team.

Last night, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins symbolically skated into town and put a fitting epitaph on the '06/'07 season for the Washington Capitals, with a 4-2 win. In the 8th battle between the potential Bird-and-Magic of the NHL, Crosby came up with a memorable behind-the-net goal in the 2nd period, and added an assist to increase his NHL scoring lead. Alex Ovechkin, meanwhile, came up with an early assist but was otherwise held in check, further frustrated by the lackadaisical efforts of his teammates.

There's no question the Penguins are doing a much better job building around Crosby than the Capitals are doing building around Ovechkin. With the win, the Pens clinched their first playoff berth since 2001. Washington, meanwhile, is mired with the second worst record in the Eastern Conference and will miss the playoffs for the third straight season. Similar to Lebron in Cleveland or Johan Santana in Minnesota, fans have to wonder how long Ovechkin will be willing to put up with subpar teammates, subpar coaching and subpar ownership/general management.

By the way, in eight meetings since they both joined the league, Crosby's Penguins have beaten Ovechkin's Capitals seven times. Not quite Magic-and-Bird yet.

After losing four out of the five games on their West Coast swing, the Washington Wizards have now fallen behind the surging Miami Heat in the Southeast standings, and have tumbled from the East's 3-seed to the East's 6-seed. They hope to get things back on track tonight with a home game against the Philadelphia 76ers, as the oft-injured Caron Butler is expected to return from a left knee contusion.

Gilbert Arenas played pretty well on the road trip, all things considered, but his blog on nba.com has been suspiciously quiet ever since his "talking to" from the league for making a $10 bet with a Portland fan during the game. Could it be that an athlete's online blog is being compromised by the very company that employs him and hosts his blog on their website? Who would've thunk it.

Unfortunately for the Wizards, they're only the second most beloved basketball team in town right now, as the Georgetown Hoyas prepare for Saturday's Final 4 match-up with Ohio State. The team, coached by John Thompson's son and featuring Patrick Ewing's son off the bench, has tapped back into the college hoops soul of the nation's capitol, similar to Maryland's Final 4 runs in 2001 and 2002.

One statistic Georgetown has going for them: no Big East team has ever lost a national semifinals game against a non-Big East team. Georgetown is the 13th Big East team to reach the Final 4, and 9 of those 13 teams won their semifinal game against teams from another conference. The only time a Big East team has lost in this round of the tournament is when facing another Big East team (Georgetown beat St. John's in '85 and Syracuse beat Providence in '87).

And finally, the Washington Redskins are looking to add yet another overpaid linebacker to the team, as they continue trade talks with the Chicago Bears for the disgruntled Lance Briggs. If the trade goes through, the Redskins will give up their #6 overall draft pick in exchange for the Bears' #31 overall pick. Keep in mind they've already traded away their 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks. It's as if Dan Snyder and Joe Gibbs know they only have a couple years left to live and couldn't care less about the franchise's future. There's probably a good joke in there somewhere, but the reality is enough of a joke.

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