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This Week's Top 10 WaPo Sports Stories: Enter MMA

This week's most popular WaPo sports subject. (By John McDonnell - TWP)

Continuing my new weekly feature, here were this week's Top 10 most viewed WaPo sports stories (Friday through Thursday). As always, page view numbers are not available. As always, this list includes all sports columns, when applicable. As always, it's Redskins domination. The new twist was an MMA link; MMA, if you haven't heard, does gangbusters on the Web.

Oh, and the week's most viewed blog post on the entire Washington Post site, which includes very important politics blogs? Stalker pictures and rumor-mongering about Gilbert Arenas's pool, introduced by some mealy-mouthed justification. By a lot. Like, A LOT. Wednesday and Thursday were, by a massive margin, the best traffic days in D.C. Sports Bog history. And, if you look at the comments, you'll note that we're still dealing with the wreckage from that Yahoo front-page link.

Anyhow, the list:

1. A Key Cog Gets Back In Working Order, by Jason Reid. Redskins feature about Carlos Rogers's climb back from reconstructive knee surgery.

2. 'Keep Workin', Dad,' by Mike Wise. Redskins column about Joe Bugel's decision to keep on coaching while his adult daughter battles a rare form of bone cancer.

3. An Island of Confidence, by Andrew Astleford. Redskins feature about rookie QB Colt Brennan and his doubters.

4. A Pair of Punters Vie To Be the Guy, by Mike Wise. Redskins column breaking down the battle to be the team's punter. Yeah, the punter.

5. Fletcher is Out in Front, by Jason La Canfora. Redskins feature about London Fletcher's dominant presence in the locker room.

6. Inspired by Grandfather, Toler Battles to Win Job, by Mark Viera. Redskins feature about receiver Burl Toler--the grandson of the NFL's first African American game official-- who is battling for a roster spot.

7. 'It's Just Exciting for All of Us'. A conversation between Jason Reid and Darrell Green.

8. The War Is Over for Stann, But the Battles Continue, by Andrew Astleford. MMA feature about former Navy linebacker and Marine Brian Stann, now a star of World Extreme Cagefighting.

9. The Son's Time to Shine, by Ivan Carter. Feature about Wizards rookie big man JaVale McGee and his mother, former WNBA and international star Pamela McGee.

10. Montgomery's Hand Tops List of Injuries, by Jason La Canfora and Jason Reid. Redskins notebook, featuring highlights, lowlights and injuries from the team's first intrasquad scrimmage.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 1, 2008; 3:29 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United , MLB , Media , NFL , Nats , Olympics , Redskins , Wizards  
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Wise still has a job?

Posted by: MNMNT | August 1, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The fact that an MMA story made the top 10 has got me thinking about an explanation for why the Redskins are so dominant on this list (that complements the obvious one that they're the most popular sports team in Washington):
I would think that the reason the MMA story ranked so highly is not because Washington sports fans were necessarily much more interested in that than, say, an article about the Nationals, but because it interested MMA fans around the country-- who probably don't often see feature stories about their sport. By the same token, the Redskins have a national audience--there are many people who grew up or spent time in Washington over the last 20-30 years, became Redskins fans, moved away and still follow them closely from wherever they live via

Washington's other three sports teams, because of their short history (Nats) or sad history (Wiz and Caps), just don't have anywhere near that kind of following nationally--since many people who have moved aways just wouldn't have developed the same kind of attachment to those teams. So most of the interested readers for those teams live in the DC area and many of those probably read about those teams in the dead-tree edition. The Redskins audience--which already is a bigger group of interested readers to begin with--have their Washington-area readers then supplemented by a large group of interested Internet readers around the country and the world, who live outside of Washington and don't have access to the dead-tree edition. So they have to read all their Redskins news on the Internet. Thus, a notebook article about the Redskins is vaulted over more prominent, newsy articles about other teams and sports because of that extra Internet audience, outside of Washington.
Just a theory.

Posted by: Fingerman | August 1, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm sad that PB hasn't been by to hassle United fans by calling the team "the United". Of course, Fingerman might have done his job for him by referring to "Washington's other three sports teams".

Will we crack the top 10 when RFK collapses on our heads this Saturday?

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 1, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The United made a big trade this week but still didn't crack the top ten? What happened to their most dedicated fans? I clicked on the links from home and work just to help. Looks like the next big chance is during the MLS playoffs when the Skins have their 11/10 bye week. Of course the Wizards and Caps will be playing so maybe not.

If the Nats don't make the list next week based on today's articles covering the cuts of PLoD and FLop, they will never make it.

Posted by: PB | August 1, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

The United fan named Chest Rockwell needs to be more patient. It's been less than two hours since Steinbog entered the blog post and my power was out.

Posted by: PB | August 1, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Fingerman has a point, most MMA coverage comes from sites devoted entirely to the sport, or combat sports in general. So a feature story at a big paper should draw hits.

To my knowledge though, the Post story didn't get much play on those sites. Posties should notify someone at or somewhere like that next time and see what happens.

The military angle probably pulled people in too.

Posted by: prophet | August 1, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I left out the United--but since they're, what, 10-12 years old, I think they would fall under the short history category with the Nats, even if they have won a few championships.

Posted by: Fingerman | August 1, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

PB - Which story about the United Guerrero trade were we supposed to click on yesterday? The rankings are Fri-Thurs and the story came out today. Not that I necessarily expect it to show up next week (even die-hard fans already had all the info yesterday on the Insider) but this was another particularly slow week for "the" United, with no games in eight days.

Oh, and "dedicated" doesn't mean "numerous." These rankings don't measure how passionate the fans are that read these stories, just how many.

Posted by: danj | August 1, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Not enough team handball coverage.

More Ivano Balic.

Posted by: B.A. | August 1, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The United article about Guerrero did come out this morning, I had read about it yesterday on the blog, my apologies for suggesting that it should have appeared in the top 10 list today.

Posted by: PB | August 1, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

well, I know that I sent the MMA story link to a bunch of MMA/wrestling sites and that probably brought some traffic here.

Posted by: odessasteps | August 1, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I know the man doesn't want you to release numbers(advertisers and all of that), but is it possible to tell us any number to give us a general idea of how many views an article gets? Could you tell us how many views the average A section feature gets and say that's about six times as many as the top sports story? I know I'm asking a lot, but that would make this much more relevant. I'm a Skins fan, but it's hard for me to be but so enthusiastic and read worthless feature after feature regarding everything but X's and O's on a team that is out of season. I like reading news in the paper and online. Quite a bit of that top 10 looks like NBC's "highlight" packages for the Olympics and not sports coverage.

Posted by: sitruc | August 1, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

It dawns on me, Boggy-man, that one reason the Washington NFL team gets so many hits relative to all other articles is that there is probably a larger "Skins in exile / Skins Nation" than there is for any other team in the area. They have a much higher national profile than probably all of the other local teams combined (actually, my guess is United would be 2d because they are still regarded as a premier franchise in their league). My guess is if an NFL fan in Montana or Philly wants to find out Redskin news, they look at this site. I seriously doubt that the nats havecultivated the same national following (outside Eastern Canada).

I'm curious if you can do a sort by zip code of the hits, at least by those people who register for I'm sure the football team gets more local hits by a large amount, but I wonder if they get an even higher percentage of the non-local hits.

Posted by: PTBNL | August 2, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

In regards to the MMA article, anytime an MMA article shows up in the mainstream media, the blogs are all over it, and link to it from their site. I would be interested in seeing where the visitors of that MMA link came form, whether they linked to that page internally or externally.

Posted by: FS | August 3, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The Post's MMA coverage is woeful at best. The only reason they covered Stann's story is his military connection. He's been written about extensively all over the country prior to this. Don't get me wrong, Stann is a great athlete and has a wonderful story to tell, but this is just a drop in the bucket of MMA coverage. I love my Post sports section, but really wish they would give more much deserved ink to an exciting sport like mixed martial arts.

Posted by: Bethesda | August 3, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

y Een plaatje zegt alles, toch ? r Het volledige rapport is hier te vinden. Lees natuurlijk a de blogposting. c t
паркетная доска 7r

Posted by: ламинат | August 11, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

kwx Een plaatje zegt alles, toch ? glt Het volledige rapport is hier te vinden. Lees natuurlijk d de blogposting. a b
Thanks for interesting post! jog
купить ламинат 7u

Posted by: ламинат | August 13, 2008 3:12 AM | Report abuse

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