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Morning Bog: Too Much Skins Coverage?

It's a question as old as the Internet: do the D.C. sports media cover the Redskins too much? The answer is two-fold:

1) Duh
2) But we have to

Which doesn't stop people from asking the question again and again. The latest is the WaPo ombudsman, who concludes that "It's a balancing act. But during the NFL season, the Redskins tip the scale."

Sunday, that scale included Rick Maese, Paul Tenorio, Jason Reid, Barry Svrluga, Mike Wise, Sally Jenkins, Thomas Boswell, me, Cindy Boren and two photographers, and a lump of coal on the other. Oh well. At least the ombud generated an amusing quote, when talking to Karl Swanson: "We have a loyal fan base. The stadium has been sold out for almost 70 years." Incessant offers for me to buy premium tickets would argue otherwise.

More morning links, with help from Jake DiGregorio.

* Via @OnFrozenBlog comes this truly remarkable sight from the Caps practice facility. Just mesmerizing. (Twitpic)

* Sidney Crosby sides with Ovechkin on the 2014 Games. Detente! (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

* Via Japers', Caps camp invitee Brandon "Sugar" Sugden has an awesome Web site. (

* A catastrophe involving the UVA Cavalier. (Deadspin)

* According to Ed Tapscott, "Wes Unseld and Caron Butler engaged in some martial arts training with young [Chinese] boys between 8 and 12 years old." Awesome. (Wizards Blog)

* JaVale McGee continues to make truly captivating videos. (Truth About It)

* The Mets magic number to eliminate the Nats from fourth-place contention is now seven. (Mets Merized)

* It's hard to say whether or not a team's record directly correlates to the price of beer, but it certainly relates to the amount consumed. (Nationals Pride)

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 14, 2009; 11:04 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , Nats , Redskins , What You Need to Know , Wizards  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fake Field Goal Joy
Next: Jim Zorn Was Ready for Week One


SteinBog: The real question would be, with the Skins and Nats playing at the same time, what were the TV ratings for both games?

Posted by: Juan-John | September 14, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The quantity of skins coverage has never been the problem DS its the quantity plus the quality or lack there of that can get to me at times.

I have no problem with 8 reporters giving a story about the skins, but they all seem to write the same thing and have the same basic analysis.

The radio coverage is the worst, far worse then the papers, we don't need hours of the sports junkies going over the same 20 minute loop on Jason Campbell, Jim Zorn and that the Front Office is a mess, every day. We have 2 sports radio stations here in DC, and neither of them seem to have a single radio host capable of talking about Baseball or Hockey. A few can talk Basketball but I would say even in the off season 75% of the coverage seems to be about the redskins.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 14, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, the reason there is so much Skins coverage is because some many people inexplicably like them. Giving the people what they want is not a crime. It's boring as all get out, but not a crime.

I have to say in defense of that kid wearing the Crosby shirt (and I am not making some sort of horrible joke about people who like Crosby!) we've seen him around at Kettler and he's obviously special needs. So if wearing a Crosby all star t-shirt makes him happy, I am not going to judge. Though I understand the "WTF?" reaction that it gave everyone at first glance.

Posted by: amberlynne | September 14, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree. "Too much Skins coverage" wouldn't be an issue if it was new takes or different angles or anything unique ... but it's not, really. It's eight different people all saying the same thing, which is that the Redskins' offensive line needs help.

And while you had that many reporters covering the same thing, the Nationals played over the weekend, and the Capitals' training camp kicked off officially on Sunday, and barely got a footnote. Isthat good use of your resources for complete sports coverage? I think not.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 14, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I have to disagree with you, alex35332; the quantity of Skins coverage in the Washington Post and other area media is a problem because (to pick on the paper who's website I'm typing on) even before you put the shrinkage of the Post's sports staff into the equation, the overemphasis on one team and one game shortchanges every other sports team in the area.

Look at the list in Steinberg's original Bogpost above: nine reporters and columnists and two photographers. If the Post covered the Redskins the same way it covers other sports there would have been one beat reporter, one photographer, and perhaps a couple of columnists -- it was the first game of the season, after all, which is a natural hook for a column.

But sending eleven journalists instead of three or four? that means at least five or six other stories aren't being covered. That's a poor allocation of resources by the sports desk and that's poor journalism. Especially in a time of poor budgets.

And, sorry Steinz, but I disagree with you. You keep mentioning the importance of the number of clicks on the Sports Bog. I say what should be more important is the importance of the story you're covering.

Posted by: greggwiggins | September 14, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

What I was giving the post a pass on is that they at least have the capability to cover other sports with decent quality coverage, their beat reporter for the Nats Caps Wiz and even DCU are good and they have columnists who can cover more then just NFL stories.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 14, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

my biggest complaint for years has been the Washington Posts obsession with all things Redskins. Now I know this is a football town, but to an extent journalism needs to have some form of balance. While the Skins lost a game (big surprise), the Capitals had their training camp begin and the Nats had a game - but were they mentioned on the front page at all (aside from a footnote?). No.

I would have thought with the resurgence of Capitals fans in DC/VA/MD that the newspaper would make a stronger push to increase their coverage, but I see things are back to the way they were. The Skins will lose, the Caps will win, and the front page article(s) will be about the Defensive Line woes.

Posted by: hubcop84 | September 14, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

....and this is why I don't believe Ovie is the most popular athlete in DC. Most popular DC athlete nationally...or internationally... but not here.

Posted by: Petey82 | September 14, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I can not wait to see what happens to the LaVar and Chad Dukes 'sports' show if the Skins start out 0-3. Dukes is clueless about sports, and Lavar thinks the only sports league out there in the NFL. Just an awful show that talks Redskins in every segment.

I'd bet my life Lavar and Dukes couldn't name 3 players on each of the MLB playoff teams.

Posted by: dominic10464 | September 14, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Petey82, I know it is hard to accept that a hockey player rules the DC area, but Ovie is clearly the most popular athlete here and that has been proven many different ways. I'm a Skins fan of over 45 years, but I can recognize Ovie's appeal. And frankly, the only noteworthy thing from the ombudsman's column is that the Redskins only lead the Caps in Post page hits by three to one. I suspect that just a few years ago, it was probably twenty to one. I have to say that the Capitals have made remarkable progress. If they win a Cup and Snyder continues to mismanage the Redskins, who knows? And if the Skins actually feel some heat from other teams in this market, it is the best thing that could happen for Redskins fans.

Posted by: poguesmahone | September 15, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse


I'd be alot more forgiving about the Redskins coverage if the paper managed to print coverage of DC United games (missing 9/6 and 9/7), edit the articles and scoreboards correctly (the recent swim article stating a swimmer missed the Olympics after being suspended in August '09, the 9-9 final result of the Phillies-Mets game from Sunday's paper, I think). Cuts, cuts, cuts. Maybe the Post should cut back on Skins coverage and stive to print an error-free 6 pages of "sports" coverage.



Posted by: jayrockers | September 15, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

And when I write the word "stive" I really mean "strive". See, proofreading helps. And coming back and fixing things you either miss or mess up helps solidify the integrity of the "paper".



Posted by: jayrockers | September 15, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I don't mind the amount of coverage, I mind the amount of negative coverage. The team was, according to Las Vegas and the betting public, supposed to lose this game. The Reskins actually beat the spread, which means they performed better than what was expected by many. Yet by the tone of the coverage, and many belligerent fans, you would have thought we lost 45-0.

The hyper-reactionary fan base and media surrounding this team is destructive to the overall growth of the team. I can't prove it, but I bet if we had the very same team and coaches and they played in a small market like KC, they'd win games.

Just a hunch.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 15, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

All last year I said the only DC team worth reading about, following, watching, and attending was the Caps. The Post has not caught on to this... I can barely open the sports page these days for all the garbage about the completely uninteresting 'skins (sad, I agree)... I would rather read about the Nats to be honest... But I do open the sports page every day, and hope to read something about the Caps... When I want hockey news, I go to the Caps website instead! The Times does a better job on hockey coverage than the Post!!!

But who cares?!? We will be at Verizon in droves enjoying the best game in town...

Posted by: lanthier | September 16, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

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