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This Week's Top 10 WaPo Sports Stories: Olyhuh?

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

In which we learn the answer to the question: should I, along with 12 other Washington Post employees, really be in Beijing right now? Answer? Get me on the next plane to Ashburn!

No no, I shouldn't be so cynical. The Games have hardly begun, and once the athletics ramp up, our readership is sure to follow. Meanwhile, the Redskins season has already been going on for....wait, what's that? They haven't started yet either? Oh. Right.

Well, on the bright side, Beijing has much more interesting architecture than Ashburn. Also, much more impressive smog.

(Newcomers to this blog who are only here to read about the Olympics: each Friday, I list the Top 10 sports stories and columns from our Web site over the past week, Friday through Thursday.)

This week's list:

1. The Post-Fame Celebration, by Jason Reid. Redskins game story about the team's 30-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the first exhibition game of the year.

2. It Doesn't Take Long for Zorn to Look the Part, by Jason La Canfora. Redskins sidebar from the same game, focusing on Jim Zorn's head coaching debut.

3. Outspoken '06 Medalist Cheek Has Visa Revoked, by Liz Clarke and Amy Shipley. Olympics news story on China acting to keep Team Darfur co-founder Joey Cheek far away from these Games.

4. A Gunner and a Target, by Jason Reid. Redskins feature on Jason Campbell and the pressures of being a starting quarterback in D.C.

5. Zorn Tries to Whip Rookies Into Shape, by Jason La Canfora. Redskins news story on Jim Zorn scolding rookie wide receivers Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas for their lack of conditioning and casting doubts on their prospects for playing time.

6. Hayseed Turned Diva, by Mike Wise. NFL column, arguing that Brett Favre--like past-their-prime athletes before him--will damage his legacy with his late-career stint in New York.

7. Packers Trade Favre to the Jets, by Mark Maske. NFL news story, the morning after the Packers finally ended the Brett Favre soap opera.

8. No Looking Back, by Mike Wise. Redskins column about the wild weekend in Canton, advising Jim Zorn to blaze some new burgundy trail into the future.

9. At Last, No Debating Their Hall Pass, by Michael Wilbon. Redskins column on the well-deserved pending Hall of Fame inductions for Art Monk and Darrell Green.

10. Partners in Grime, by Sally Jenkins. Olympics column on all that's wrong about these games, from the air quality to the political clampdown to the corporate profiteering.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 8, 2008; 3:29 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United , Media , NFL , Nats , Olympics , Redskins , Wizards  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Man the Olympics Are Weird
Next: Beijing Embraces Hibachi Lifestyle


And if we were to rate these stories by quality, Sally Jenkins' "Partners in Grime" piece would be number one. She has more [fortitude] than any other columnist at the Post.

Posted by: UMD's Burning Couch | August 8, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

UMD, I was hoping you agreeing with me would become a trend but I guess not. I thought Jenkins' column was over the top and really not too well supported. Her whole argument against "corporatism" was a bit strange considering the communist setting.

I like her other columns usually, but this one had such an angry tone and was really off putting.

Posted by: JDP | August 8, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Boggy Man - still say it'd be interesting to see if the hits by registered users can be broken down by zip code. My theory is the football team is of national interest and this is the paper in town of national prominence, therefore you might get a heavier % of hits for team Snyder from the out-of towners than the locals. No doubt the Snydermen dominate locally, too, but I'm curious about whether the % from the out of towners differ from what the local hit % is.

Posted by: PTBNL | August 8, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@ JDP. I don't necessarily disagree with you about the angry tone. But remember the context in which she wrote that column: from behind China's version of the Iron Curtain. She's daring the Chinese authorities to censor her. I don't know if she's angry as much as she's trying to poke /provoke the Chinese. When she writes about the corporate sponsors who "acquiesced to the Chinese government's crackdown, and effectively accepted the censorship of the press during these Games, [and] fell into a special category of profiteers that Franklin Delano Roosevelt described in his "Four Freedoms" speech," I figured she's be deported quicker than you could say Jorge Julio.

Posted by: UMD's Burning Couch | August 8, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone's really considered that the Redskins' article popularity may be due to the Jason La Canfora groupies.

Put him back on the Caps beat and see what happens.

Posted by: Kim | August 8, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm kind of surprised that of the Redskins stories featured, only one of them had to do with Monk and Green in the Hall of Fame--when there were at least three other columns about that and a news story. I would think most Redskins fans would--and should--be a lot more interested in that that a story about a game where the starters played about a minute and a half. I'm not sure what that means. Does it mean many Redkins fan Internet readers are younger and don't remember much about Monk and Green? Does it mean Redskins fans are a little too excited about preseason games?

Or it could just mean that stories that come out on the weekend just don't get as many hits as those during the week because people aren't at work wasting time. Which adds somewhat of a new dimension to interpreting these rankings.

Posted by: Fingerman | August 8, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I think the Redskins have assembled a large offshore team of nimble-fingered children to sit at cheap computers and hit the web browser's refresh button all day and night in exchange for partial tins of mud carp and a few grains of rice.

Posted by: F5 | August 8, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

re Ms. Sally:
Always looking to get to the hard-core truth. Except, of course, about Lance and performance-enhancing drugs...

Posted by: Rob Iola | August 8, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

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