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Top 10 WaPo Sports Stories: Gil Wins

Voting for Obama, helping us get clicks. (By Jahi Chikwendiu - TWP)

Skipped two weeks of this feature. Sorry about that. Here's a summary: two weeks ago, all 10 of the most-read WaPo sports stories and columns concerned the Redskins. Last week, there were eight Skins stories on the list, plus one column about the NFC East, and Leonard Shapiro's column about John Madden ending his consecutive games streak.

I was getting ready to permanently retire this old warhorse, but then this week happened, and it was actually interesting. First of all, the game stories and columns about the Rams and Browns games both fared worse than the stories and columns about the Cowboys and Eagles games. I would have thought each week's numbers would top the week before's, right up until the Super Bowl. Guess not.

But better yet, Michael Lee's story on NBA players and the presidential election topped every other non-column in the past seven days, becoming the first sports story about something other than the Redskins to claim the top spot since the NFL season began. Best quote? Gilbert, of course:

However, some players still refuse to get excited about the election. "People get sour-faced when you talk about politics and voting," said Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, adding that he doesn't plan to vote.

Arenas, who is slated to earn $14.5 million this season after signing a six-year, $111 million contract this past summer to remain with the Wizards, said he is fearful that both candidates will raise his taxes.

"The first Bush said he wasn't going to tax nobody," Arenas said. "It doesn't really matter who the president is. They say whatever they need to say to get in office."

No one does civic optimism quite like Gilbert.

Anyhow, while waiting for stories on how D.C. United and Caps players plan to vote, here's last week's list:

1. Hitting His Stride, by Mike Wise. CP's mom says he's the best running back in the league, and who can argue with that?

2. Middle Management, by Thomas Boswell. Jim Zorn's winning with Joe Gibbs's players and some Gibbsian strategy.

3. More NBA Players Take Sides in Presidential Race, by Michael Lee. See above, and there's no way more than 10 guys in the NBA are voting for McCain. Just a guess.

4. Redskins Profit on Thin Margins, by Barry Svrluga. Redskins play nothing but close games, the bane of sports writers on deadline, people who bet the favorite and heart patients.

5. Big Three Automakers' Woes Affect NASCAR's Economy, by Liz Clarke. Economic woes may mean fewer turkey legs for NASCAR execs.

6. The Redskins' Lone Ranger, by Jason Reid. LaRon Landry misses Sean Taylor, on and off the field. Although Landry's record without Taylor is actually better, which is bizarre.

7. Mature Outlook Is Paying Off for Redskins' Rogers, by Jason Reid. Carlos Rogers is like a good wine. Literally the third time Rogers was in a WaPo headline in a five-day span.

8. Walking the Tightrope, by Jason Reid. Redskins beat Browns, 14-11, continue march toward Tampa.

9. One Play Shows How the Redskins Lean on Rock, by Jason La Canfora. One of the better explanations of adjustments on punt-coverage teams that you'll ever see in a newspaper.

10. Redskins' Moss Is Hungry to Get Cooking Again, by Barry Svrluga. By the time I've posted this, Moss has already gotten cooking again, so don't worry yourself.

Most read topics since I started this:
1. Redskins (112 top-10 links)
2. Olympics (17)
3. Other NFL (7)
4. MLB (4)

Most read authors:

Jason Reid (40.5 top-10 bylines)
Mike Wise (22)
Jason La Canfora (19.5)
Barry Svrluga (14.5)
Thomas Boswell (9)

(Joint bylines are given 0.5 credits.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 24, 2008; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United , Media , Nats , Redskins , Terps , Wizards  
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Next: Zorn and Portis Exchange Words


I wonder what the nationality breakdown is on the Caps and United.

How many Americans are there on both teams?

Posted by: metatext | October 24, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

United has plenty of Americans, because MLS has a limit on the number of foreign players a team can field.

The Caps on the other hand...there's Clark, Steckel, Johnson, Poti, and I think Brashear and that's it. Erskine might be American too, but I'm not sure about him.

Posted by: gocaps2 | October 24, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Bump it. Gil is officially dethroned.

Welcome to the top spot, Alex Ovechkin.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | October 24, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"[T]here's no way more than 10 guys in the NBA are voting for McCain."

Of course race has nothing to do with this...

Posted by: CapsNut | October 25, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse


DCU has 18 US-born players out of 29. MLS doesn't limit how many foreign players you can play at the same time, but they do limit you to how many you can have on your roster (players with Green Cards are counted as domestic). You can actually trade a player, draft pick, or cash to another team for an additional foreign player slot (which DC did, giving them 9).

The Caps have 6 players born in the US (Brashear, Clark, Johnson, Pothier, Poti, and Steckel). Then again, over half of the NHL's players are Canadian, so it was always going to be a low number.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | October 25, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

More evidence that this list of top Internet stories is a much better indicator of interest in the Post sports section outside of Washington than within. Not only do the Redskins get the lion's share of the clicks because they are the only local team with any kind of national following, but the John Madden story was, I believe, a scoop and thus read by many people around the country and the NASCAR and presidential race articles are stories with particular national interest to certain groups of people (NASCAR fans and sports bloggers). If the Post is making decisions on what to cover for the dead-tree edition by what gets lots of clicks on the Web, it's probably not the greatest idea.

Posted by: TheFingerman | October 26, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

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