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The "Still Not Using Injuries as an Excuse" Quiz

And so it begins. (By Jonathan Newton)

Injuries cause misery and mess with big plans, but they also offer a choice. Teams can collapse, or compensate.

So wrote my colleague Chico Harlan during some recent injury-ravaged Nats game. The ravages ravaged more this week, claiming Nick Johnson for the season, a result about as head-turningly shocking as the seventh inning stretch.

And yet Johnson's injury continued a recent trend of breaks and tears and dislocations and fancy medical explanations that keep our graphics editor busy, a trend that insists virtually every prominent D.C. athlete must miss significant amounts of time of their the 2007-2008 seasons. Redskins QB-of-the-future Jason Campbell? Missed a quarter of the season with a dislocated patella. Wizards franchise player Gilbert Arenas? Played just 17 games due to a bum knee. Nats franchise player Ryan Zimmerman? Hasn't played in a month due to a bum shoulder. D.C. United heart and soul Ben Olsen? Yet to appear on the field this year due to a bum ankle. Caps captain Chris Clark? Played in only one game after November due to a bum groin. The headliner of our PGA event? Done for the year, just in time to miss our tournament.

And so it goes. (By Toni L. Sandys)

Not enough? Ok, let's add semi-serious injuries to Dmitri Young, Elijah Dukes, Chad Cordero, Shawn Hill, Alexander Semin, Brian Pothier, Fred, Jon Jansen, Carlos Rogers, Rocky McIntosh, Randy Thomas, Etan Thomas and Caron Butler. Heck, even two above-the-fold WaPo sports columnists had serious health scares this year. And D.C.'s supposed to solve the health care crisis? If I'm Alana Beard, I'm asking for a trade to Sacramento.

Anyhow, like Chico wrote, you can collapse or compensate. Guess who's done which. No cheating.

1) "This is our team....Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We shouldn't feel sorry for ourselves."

2) "We can't use injuries as an excuse. Nobody feels sorry for us. Cripes, we're everybody's homecoming game right now. Nobody's scared of us."

3) "It hasn't been that hard. After a while, you start getting used to it....To me, injuries right now are no excuse."

4) "You hate to use injuries as an excuse, but it's a fact....The area we're concerned about is scoring, and the injuries we've had have been to the guys who generate offense."

5) "We got a lot of people hurt....It's not any excuse. We've been winning games and losing. But everybody has the heart the come to play."

6) "We've been pretty decimated, but at the same time -- me, the guys in here -- nobody cares. We've just got to go out there and perform."

7) "There has been a lot of challenges to deal with this season -- integrating new players, short- and long-term injuries."

8) "Certainly, we need to get our big boys healthy and back on the field."

9) "It's a part of the game. We just have to be ready to play with the guys we have."

A) Nats GM Jim Bowden
B) DCU GM Dave Kasper
C) Caps GM George McPhee
D) Wiz Coach Eddie Jordan
E) Skins assistant Joe Bugel
F) Wiz G DeShawn Stevenson
G) Nats Manager Manny Acta
H) Wiz C Brendan Haywood
I) Nats 3B Aaron Boone

(Answers: 1-G, 2-E, 3-H, 4-C, 5-F, 6-I, 7-B, 8-A, 9-D)

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 25, 2008; 10:58 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United , Nats , Redskins , Wizards  
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