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Ovechkin Isn't T.O.

I took a three-day break from much of the Internet, which I believe is grounds for dismissal in this day and age. During that time, the Internet furor over Alex Ovechkin accidentally dropping his stick and then proving unable to pick it up has come and gone. I got a grand total of one person asking me why I hadn't commented. The proper move would just be to regret the missed opportunity to pontificate on why that was basically ok, and then move on.

Except I just read Thom Loverro's essay on the topic, headlined "Ovechkin Skates Into T.O. Territory." I love Thom as much as I love any columnist for rival publications, but T.O.? Seriously?

[In retrospect, the headline here was really the problem, not the column. Apologies to Loverro, and if the copy editor has a beef, have at it.]

Ovechkin has his haters, but T.O. is hated. Here's why:

1) He was a bad teammate to Jeff Garcia.

2) He was a bad teammate to Donovan McNabb

3) He was a bad teammate to Tony Romo.

4) His fake suicide was covered for 417 consecutive hours by ESPN and its various families of networks.

5) He did push-ups in his driveway.

6) Every single one of his NFL experiences has ended in turmoil and unpleasantness.

7) His agent is Drew Rosenhaus.

8) He celebrates touchdowns excessively.

If all he did was celebrate his touchdowns excessively, T.O. would not be T.O. He would be, I don't know, a taller Santana Moss with better stats. I'm pretty sure you could wander into any locker room T.O. has inhabited and find five or 10 guys, minimum, who weren't that fond of being T.O.'s teammate. I challenge you to go find one guy in the Caps dressing room who would say the same about Ovechkin.

So say his celebration went against old-school hockey traditions. Say it was too much me and not enough we. Say you'd rather he concentrates on keeping his skate on the proverbial throats of bad NHL teams rather than plan up celebratory routines. Say you're 40 or 50 years old and live in the suburbs and get frightened by societal change. Say you just want the guy to score goals and hug his teammates.

Just don't try to tell me A.O = T.O.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 23, 2009; 11:02 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , NFL  
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"Say you're 40 or 50 years old and live in the suburbs and get frightened by societal change."

Best Bog Posting Ever.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 23, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The Loverro article struck me as lazy. An attention grabbing title with a weak argument poorly written.

No one in their right minds believes A.O. is close to T.O. Pre-meditated celebrations have been going on for centuries, ever since Sitting Bull did the chicken dance at wounded knee over Custer's body. They're highly entertaining at best, mildly amusing at worst, and when the timing as right they are appropriate. A.O. becoming the third player EVER to score 50 goals in 3 of his first 4 seasons is an appropriate occasion.

The Lightning didn't feel disrespected until the media goaded them into saying it. If they really cared wouldn't they have done something in the 45 minutes remaining in the game?

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 23, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin is not T.O. He's much more like Chad Johnson. A talented player who likes his premeditated celebrations. Of course, I'm just a 40 something who lives in the suburbs. Unfortunately, class is something missing from both Ovechkin and Steinberg.

Posted by: LionelMandrake | March 23, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Well said, Dan. Bravo.

Ovechkin with no class? Go ahead and judge him on one celebration of his 50th goal, you'll miss out on so much more.

Posted by: Gustafsson | March 23, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

interesting how many people love to read blogs of people they don't like or would consider classless.

Posted by: sec231 | March 23, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

a far cry from TO...but i agree with LionelMandrake...its rather more Ocho Cinco-esque...premedited celebrations...and id like to see it go away...

i love his spontaneous celebrations...and especially jumping into the it!!!

but the premiditated celes got to go...or he does become the premadonna that #85 is...just dont go there...

Posted by: deadskin | March 23, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"He's much more like Chad Johnson. A talented player who likes his premeditated celebrations."

One pre-meditated celebration to honor setting a new mark in franchise history.

Since you chose to use the plural form, pelase cite for me one or more *other* times that OV has engaged in "pre-mediated celebration."

PS - FWIW, my read was that he thought it *was* going to be a team thing, and they were all setting him up. Which is pretty funny.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 23, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"premedited celebrations"

The invitation is also extended to you, please find another instance if you insist on using the plural form.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 23, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Clinton Portis (or pretty much any NFL player that regularly runs into or catches a pass in the endzone) has more elaborate pre-meditated celebrations than Ovechkin's lone pre-meditated celebration. The argument against OV's celebrations seems to stem in part from certain people not wanting the NHL to emulate the NFL. They like not being able to see games on TV, and half empty arenas that give them plenty of elbow room (that is until the teams leave town like half the teams in Canada did).

Posted by: Cznzy | March 23, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

You need another example. Fine. How about his behavior in Buffalo. Putting his hand up to his ear to hear what the Sabres fans were saying. Spontaneous? No. I'm sure that was also premeditated. And, yes, I know that if the Sabers kept him from scoring he couldn't be obnoxious. I guess I'm just old school, but I find a lot of these celebrations in every sport to be dumb and I hope they don't become commonplace like in the NFL. You know where they started out just by celebrating a touchdown and now celebrate a first down. Please tell me you don't need examples of that, too.

Posted by: LionelMandrake | March 23, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse


so you found 2 examples out of 213 NHL goals. Roughly speaking, he celebrates goals at a .9% rate, less than 1%. Are you seriously going to say he is like Ocho who celebrates 100% of the time? come on, you seem smarter than that.

Posted by: hubcop84 | March 23, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Edit on my above post:

he celebrates with a premeditated celebration at a .9% rate, less than 1%.

Posted by: hubcop84 | March 23, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman/hubcop84 -- Really, I'm not that smart. But I will hold to my opinion that I don't like Ovie's celebrations. While I can only come up with two premeditated ones I still see a lot of similarities between the way he acts and the way Chad Johnson acts. He needs to leave the antics at the All Star Game where they belong. I think Ovie is a great player and I sincerely hope he'll tone his act down much like Andre Agassi did. Remember what an annoying brat he was back in the days of his long hair and Canon Rebel commercials? But by the time he retired he'd become a solid pillar and well respected member of the sports world. Why? Because he stopped the silliness and let his game on the court do the talking for him. The great ones don't have to call attention to themselves, their superior ability already does that. Try and find a copy of the last play of the '59 NFL Championship, you know the Colts-Giants: After Ameche's run you can see Unitas just calmly walking away. Like I said, I'm old and old school.

Posted by: LionelMandrake | March 23, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

your name, "lionel mandrake", is waaaay to show-boaty for my taste. please do me a favor and try not to be yourself so much.

Posted by: ahbest3 | March 23, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anybody seriously thinks that A.O. has become T.O. or any other hot dogging showboating superstar who is me first, second, third, and last.

It is just that we don't want him to even start down that road.

Posted by: CapsNut | March 23, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

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