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Akron Columnist Dismisses Wiz Fans

This just keeps getting better and better. Jay-Z cutting a special track for the club, ripping on DeShawn Stevenson? Allegations of DeShawn and Damon Jones "jaw-jacking" at Park? Unreal. I'm choosing to believe all are approaching this in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, and that Game 4 won't forever be known as "Bad Moon Risin' at Verizon."

And now an Akron columnist is chucking barbs at Wiz fans?

Now, this Washington crowd cheers for its team, and it wore white T-shirts and all that, but it's hardly among the louder or more rowdy crowds in sports.

It's, shall we say, governmental.

Yes, they make noise.

Yes, they cheer. But the Roman Coliseum it isn't.

So when maybe one-half of a crowd of 20,000 -- not sure if Colin Powell was chanting -- yells overrated, it's pretty a governmental kind of way.

Yeah, and Northeastern Ohio is pretty an Applebee's and asphalt kind of way. I mean, look, I've been the first to say that D.C. crowds often stink, but I'd venture it's not because of excessive governmental employees. Excessive lobbyists, maybe. But seriously, is there something in the charter of the SEC that prohibits making noise at sporting events? If you prick FDA employees, do they not bleed? And is Akron gonna sue if the Wiz pass out 20,000 copies tomorrow?

Anyhow, then this columnist person I've never heard of named Patrick McManamon decides to pass judgment on DeShawn Stevenson's quality as a human being.

Stevenson has shown his true colors during this series. He's a guy who has had personal issues in the past -- some pretty eyebrow-raising -- and who, like James, came to the NBA right from high school.

Yet he has not come close to being the kind of player or person James is. Not in the same stratosphere, in fact.

A lot of times--like, once a week--people ask me how the Wizards are "as people." And I say the only thing I can: that they're by far the easiest and most enjoyable athletes to cover in D.C, but that I couldn't venture to guess how they really are "as people," because we only interact in a completely artificial setting. I've seen some Wiz players quietly do things that strike me as nice, and others quietly do things that strike me as lousy. What they're really like, I couldn't say.

But I have an inkling that Patrick McManamon, merely from reading tongue-in-cheek quotes about rap feuds and old clips about a few off-the-court incidents, might not be the best qualified soul to judge whether LeBron James and DeShawn Stevenson are in the same stratosphere as people, whatever that even means. Let some higher power judge these guys as people; we're here to judge them as rapper-befriending trash talkers. And in that regard, DeShawn is more than holding his own, thanks very much.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 26, 2008; 8:51 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: LeBron-DeShawn: Pre-Game IV


I really hope the Wizards pull this out, Lebrons a great player, but this is about pride now, go WIZ!

Posted by: Tony Park | April 26, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Dan, see, you're really wise. You know? Fatherhood suits ya.

True, true. This is entertainment, not religion.


Posted by: Nancy | April 26, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse


Seriously, someone from Akron is dumping on anything or anyone from DC? LOL. Let me know how that booming economy, lake effect snow and terrible road thing is going, Northeast Ohio.

As for his assertions about our players as people, he should know better. Well done, Steinz.

Posted by: Kid Bro Sweetz | April 26, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Dan. I went to school in Cleveland for six hard and gray years. I'm from this area originally. Look up the attendance figures for Cleveland teams when they're not winning. I'll save you the research time; they're atrocious!

Cleveland fans like to pride themselves on being great fans but they are fair weather fans. The attendance figures corroborate that statement. I used to go to Cavs games during the Randy Wittman era and heckle the Cavs players and they could hear me loud and clear because NOBODY showed up or cared about the team. Ditto for Indians fans (they made a movie mocking their terrible attendance, you may remember it...Major League) not supporting their team during hard times. Before throwing stones, maybe that columnist should have done a quick check on the state of his city's fans...

Posted by: Jon | April 26, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse


Obviously those 6 years in Cleveland didn't teach you much. I'm here to say, I'm glad you moved back to DC.

First of all, I noticed you didn't mention the Browns. If you want to say that Cleveland Fan's are fair weather fans, I think that every city has fair weather fans. Name me how many times the Browns have ended the year with a winning record since coming back in '99. The answer is twice, and one time they have made the playoffs, yet they've sold out every game since returning to the NFL. Doesn't sound very fair weather to me.

On the Cavs, everybody wants to say nobody showed up until they started winning. Keep in mind, Lebron's first two years, the Cavs missed the playoffs(first year 8 games under .500 and the second year 2 games over .500). Yet, the Cavs were number 9 in attendance in 2003-2004, while Washington was 21st, and in 2004-2005, the Cavs were 6th, while Washington was 14th. Hardly Atrocious!!!

The Indians if you know anything about, hadn't tasted the playoffs from 1955 to 1995. In 1993 they finished with a record of 76-86. In 1994, there was the strike, then they had a sellout streak of 455 games in a row lasting from 1995 to 2001. Let me know when the Nationals do that.

Keep in mind...DC metro has about 5.3 million people and Cleveland has about 2 million.

Now, you tell me who has the better fans. Please know what you're talking about before you start running your mouth DeShawn.

Posted by: Vince | April 26, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I imagine McWhoever is basing his criticism mostly on the incident when DeShawn banged a little girl, not on the feud with Lebron.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

McManaman's a pretty good writer.

And DeShawn's a tool.

Posted by: martin | April 26, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Vince, Cleveland Sucks. DC Rocks. Come on, don't give me some weak a*s stats. Just go visit the cities. Even people around Cleveland knows it sucks - everyone leaves after 6pm.

Posted by: Ted | April 26, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I read the headline as Akon, Columnist Dismisses Wiz Fas. I immediately realized I read it wrong, but replaced Akron with Akon so what was being said was actually interesting. Few Wiz fans will say the Phonebooth is a great atmosphere although Game 3 was pretty good, but how can any Cavs follower honestly try and talk down other crowds? The columnist is just another who takes his orders from Nike...I mean LeBron. An obviously disturbed Lebron played down the crowd in his Game 3 post-game presser. Instead of questioning his state and the loss, a couple of people have decided to bash Washington fans.

Posted by: sitruc | April 27, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Forget stratosphere, Akron isn't in the same universe as DC as a city. When they get a professional sports team, then they can talk.

Posted by: Eric | April 27, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, Cleveland too.

Posted by: Eric | April 27, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

akrons? these are the little tree eggs squirrels bury?

Posted by: kwamesnani | April 27, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

its funny to see DC fans boast about attendance figures when they had the 3 seed in the east with the best player in the world and managed...24th in the NHL attendance???

but at least youre better than akron!!! hooray!

go nats!

Posted by: lenny dykstra | April 27, 2008 2:26 AM | Report abuse

i like how steinberg says, "DC crowds often stink..."

doesnt that contradict your entire post and affirm the akron guys entire column?

yes, it does.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2008 2:27 AM | Report abuse

one more thing steinberg - statutory rape (a 14 year old girl!!!), brawling with his teammates on draft night, and a man mysteriously shot at his residence. all fantastic portrayals of deshawn stephenson.

Posted by: lenny dykstra | April 27, 2008 2:30 AM | Report abuse

are we REALLY going to compare attendance by bringing up an NHL team? besides, the "3" seed in the playoffs would've been an 8 had they not won their division.

Cleveland is a dump of a town, and so is Akron. Whether the Wiz win this series or not, they already have this whole "better city" thing in the bag. Cleveland sucks

Posted by: Boney | April 27, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Pretty bush league for one writer to go after another in print. Especially when the guy whose character you are sticking up for is a statutory rapist and hosts parties where people are murdered. And where was the "Sports" Bog when the Bullets were getting run out of the Q? Thats right, all of a sudden he was a hockey fan. Bush league blogger, bush league team, bush league sports town.

Posted by: Truehoop | April 27, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

This is the Internet. It isn't print.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | April 27, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@ Steinberg

What does the fact that it's the internet and not print matter?

Your name is on it, and if the internet is going to be taken seriously as media then people like you need to act like professionals. But it must be tough when your team isn't even good enough to make it out of the first round.

Oh, and in Cleveland we've never heard of you either.

And Washington fans really do suck. Half of our crowd generates more noise than you.

Posted by: Tyler | April 27, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Who new Cleveland had so many Internet connections? The Mistake by the Lake is a miserable sports town, and everyone knows it. I love the dude who pointed to Browns fans as evidence that Cleveland supports losers. Forget about the fact that the original Browns won their only Super Bowl for Baltimore. (DC can still claim Baltimore as our own, can't we, Stein?) I guess the Tribe has better fans...after all they attend the game dressed as Indians, complete with faces painted red. You guys have us on that. Here in DC, we're too, um, what's the word I'm looking for, literate? PC? cultured? for that. Don't forget, Cleveland's a place that depressed college basketball coach Kevin Mackey so much, he turned to crack. Yes, I think I'll take DC and our lame fans over that.

Posted by: UMD's Burning Couch | April 27, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Deshawn Stevenson: Makes his face sign down 19 points....

Flagrant foul on the Lebron.

Has three points in the first game.

Wizard down 3-1.

Riles up Lebron only to lose again for third straight year...

Do the Wizards again say for the third straight year they are the better team? Better fans, better writers as well than Cleveland?

Even the national media laugh at your overrated chants...those certainly seem to fade after lebron drops 34 on you...It's one of those chants where you Scream, "overrated" and then turn to your buddy next to you and say, who are we kidding?

3 and out!

Posted by: Doug | April 27, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

wow tyler, lenny dykstra, truehoop, et al... who knew that so many famous people cared so much about Cleveland?

Cleveland is a dump of a town. Half of the Verizon Center crowd would fill up that dump of an arena you toolbags call "The Q". Enjoy playing in your college arena with your 1 division champion banner and your 1 conference champion banner.

To the other toolbag that tried to back up his argument that the Browns are always sold out, so are the Redskins you dolt. There is a waiting list so long for season tickets that people on the list are dead and their families still haven't been called. ALL NFL teams sell out their home games, even the lowly Detroit Lions.

A lot of people have heard about your boy Steinberg here... I've seen his and Mister Irrelevant's tshirts everywhere!

Posted by: Boney | April 27, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Not to get into a tit for tat here, but UMD's Burning Couch, are you kidding me? You have a football team named the REDSKINS. Your most famous fan wears an Indian headdress. Please tell me you were joking with the "literate" remark.

Anyway, funny how this devolved into a bash Cleveland forum. The Akron column wasn't dissing DC as a city, just their fans. So all these lines about much of a dump Cleveland is are just cheap shots. And having lived in both cities (currently here), DC fans are among the lamest in sports. Whenever Cleveland has a winning team, the city gets behind them like crazy. Here, half the people show up to games to root for the other team. I love DC as a city, but as a sports town, c'mon.

And Wiz fans--how dumb are you? Don't piss off the King. And come up with some original shtick next year. The White Out was started in 1987 by the Winnipeg Jets, then copies 2 years ago by Miami.

Posted by: Don't mess with the King | April 28, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards fans and media are a disgace to the team. Wait, scratch that. The Washington Wizards are already a disgrace!!!

Posted by: Tom | April 28, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget, Cleveland's a place that depressed college basketball coach Kevin Mackey so much, he turned to crack. Yes, I think I'll take DC and our lame fans over that.

Posted by: UMD's Burning Couch | April 27, 2008 8:13 PM

Don't forget about me!

Posted by: Marion Barry | April 28, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@UMD's Burning Couch

The Browns as a sign that we support losers?

How about loyalty to a team?

Washington fans are not loyal. Don't even try to prove otherwise. It is a foolish endeavor.

But that must be why Steinberg writes about so much foolish crap. It is the only way to generate interest in sports in Washington.

Posted by: Tyler | April 28, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

@ Tyler

1) The fact that it's Internet and not print matters only insofar as I was accused of going after another writer "in print." I was merely pointing out that 'twas a silly charge.

2) If I'm going to "act like a professional," as you'd suggest, then the Wizards aren't "my team." They're a team that I get paid to write about. To write stupid things about, but still. I have no allegiance to them whatsoever.

3) I never said D.C. crowds don't stink. Never. I just don't think "governmental" is an apt description of their stinkiness. The implication is that government workers--who, in my experience, are just normal people--are somehow deficient as sports fans. I don't buy it. There are a whole lot of factors at play, but that ain't one of 'em. A lot of people have made a lot of money through blind bashing of "the government," which strikes me as a cheap shot akin to Cleveland's burning river. Very tired.

4) I write about foolish crap because I can. We all gotta earn a living, right? Why not do it writing about foolish crap?

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | April 28, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

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