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Rolling Stone disses the Caps

Last April, it became very trendy to argue that the Caps had clearly ascended to the role of D.C.'s Second Sports Franchise. Sure, everyone said this was perhaps contingent on the Wizards continuing to struggle and the Nats continuing to do whatever is one step below struggling, but the Caps were undeniably hip. And with the 09-10 season ticket allotment selling out and Ovechkin winning his second-straight MVP, just about every media outlet was talking about how their spot in the D.C. sports landscape had been forever transformed.

A few months later, Rolling Stone has already forgotten. Contributing editor Matt Taibbi has a piece about Dan Snyder in the most recent issue. More on that in a bit (Hint: Taibbi doesn't think highly of the Skins' owner), but the magazine drops a truly stunning paragraph early in the piece that goes like this:

You have a responsibility to deliver as a football owner when you live in a city whose only other diversions are a basketball team that used to be called the Bullets and a once-good baseball team that used to be called the Montreal Expos (before someone decided to douse its players in [stink] juice, dress them up in bright-red uniforms that appeared to have been stolen off the backs of two-and-a-half-star-hotel bell captains, and bus them to Washington). The Redskins are the only real pro-sports franchise in the nation's capital....

Say huh what duh guh huh? The Caps are the only Big 4 pro team to advance in the playoffs since 2005. In their last full season, they outdrew the Wiz and the Skins for the first time since FedEx and the Verizon Center opened. They've gotten better local TV ratings than the Wiz and the Nats. Their superstar is almost universally acknowledged to be D.C.'s most popular athlete. But they're not a real pro-sports franchise?

And, all that aside, they've been doing just about everything right in the realm of marketing, PR and fan relations? Why in the world would Rolling Stone decide that this was the perfect time to slap them in the face and say they're not legit? It was a fine barb in 2004, perhaps, but in 2009 it just seems ridiculous.

(That's not even mentioning D.C. United, though this is not the best time to argue that D.C. United deserves to be high on the list of D.C.'s pro sports franchises.)

(And yes, I will continue to post photos of Skins-related signs that Caps fans bring into their own arena, just because it's funny. These were provided by Reader Behrang. If you have more, find me here.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 2, 2009; 10:49 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media , Redskins , Wizards  
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Next: IMG exec calls Ovechkin a "global icon"


Wow, I guess D.C. United is paying for missing the playoffs again.

Posted by: BDVienna | November 2, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

sigh. Another example of Rolling Stone's continue decline in journalistic excellence.

Posted by: RedBirdie | November 2, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse


Thank you for putting up the pictures… As I said in my email WE are the Redskins, WE are the fans and WE are the ones who have invested our time and money into this franchise over the many years!

I don’t hate Snyder, the man has spent millions but he needs to learn from the CAPS how a team should be built. I still go to the games and I will always support the team I have grown up with but I WON’T buy anything at the stadium and I WON’T buy any Skins merchandise until things start to turn around. We are all arm chair QB’s but we each know a little something about how the game is played and how a team should be put together. All we need to do is look a bit north of us and learn a little bit.

GO SKINS !! GO CAPS !! GO O’s (minus Peter Angelos), GO BULLETS and GO NATS !!

Posted by: franky4fingers | November 2, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Wait, wait. Slow down. Rolling Stone is still relevant?

Posted by: MaxWass | November 2, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

does anybody have the link to the rolling stone article?

Posted by: nick87 | November 2, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Dan, It is the same reason Farhi discounted the Caps in his Loserville article in your very own Washington Post last week. Because they don't fit the story the writer wants to write, so they either ignore them or discredit them. Another proud moment in journalistic integrity.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 2, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@nick87, no link yet, it's in the Skarira issue.

Come on, Signberg, how many people have brought Caps signs to a Redskins game? Zero. The Caps are getting some love in this town because they are winning. But once they start losing again (and this happens to every team), then where will the fans be!

No matter how much they try to push themselves in certain markets, hockey just isn't a major national sport in the US. It's a great niche sport that will thrive if they stop moving teams to places like Phoenix. Anyway, I think Taibbi's point is that there just isn't a "Big 4". There is a "Big 3".

Posted by: prokaryote | November 2, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Why do we care what some know-nothing like Taibbibi thinks? He wrote an article that was relevant about two years ago.

Posted by: mjwies11 | November 2, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Didn't know Rolling Stones was still in business. Truly.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | November 2, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see Shannon Sharpe on the CBS pregame show with a bag on his head and a sign? I missed it, but I was told he said, "I'm not at FedEx, you can't take this away from me, Snyder." Apparently it was a fairly entertaining diatribe, and far be it for me to suggest anyone transcribe anymore Snyder bashing, but I was curious if anyone had any reaction to it.

Posted by: dclance | November 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Somehow we ended up with a free subscription to Rolling Stone, so I've been reading it the last few months (what, you wouldn't read an interview with Lemmy from Motorhead? Come on, dude).

I wouldn't be too critical of Taibbi- his reporting on the real villains on Wall Street and their absolute fleecing of America has been spectacular. If anything, the awkward football bits just seem to be forced as his focus has been elsewhere.

He's a dumbdumb for not thinking about the Caps/hockey, but he's not a hack. I'd encourage anyone who is angry about what's happening these days (that includes liberals and conservatives) to check out some of his recent work that's not related to sports.

Posted by: bryc3 | November 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Rolling Stones has maybe one relevant article and the rest is whatever drivel their writers can make up while high as a kite. Poor things. They honestly believe people still buy their magazines.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 2, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if the RS blogger didn't intent to say "The Capitals are the only real pro-sports franchise in the nation's capital...." and both he and whatever editors they may have at RS both missed it. Anything else simply doesn't make sense.

Posted by: giscone | November 2, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

It's been a long time since the Redskins were a real pro franchise. Idiots!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 2, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Part of the problem is arrogant NY hacks writing about DC sports. They're clueless.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | November 2, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey it's my old friend Variety! Nice to see you again!

Posted by: Section117 | November 2, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Rolling what?

Posted by: richs91 | November 2, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Rolling "Stoned"

Posted by: JohnWWW | November 2, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

All it shows me is that the writer doesn't live in the national CAPITAL region. For better or worse, hockey still doesn't get the national exposure of other sports -- so unless you're from around here, you haven't seen or experienced the phenomenon known as "Rocking the Red."

Posted by: Vic1 | November 2, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

As an alternative to Taibbi, here's one national writer who actually does get it: S.L. Price from Sports Illustrated, in a piece he wrote last November proposing Ovechkin as Sportsman of the Year (I believe Price does live in the D.C. area.)

Posted by: TheFingerman | November 2, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I forgot about Rolling Stone. I thought Rolling Stones was a band and didn't understand why they were writing articles. They would have had more credibility than Rolling Stone.

Posted by: sitruc | November 2, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, I'd say that Caps haven't ascended simply because more people complain about the Skins than praise the Caps (a frequent complaint of Al Koken). This blog talks more about Redskins signs than Ovie's injury status and how the team is fairing.

Posted by: law3 | November 2, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Dan, take a look at your own paper. Paul Farhi's column "Sporting title of Loserville, D.C. dwells at foggy bottom" ( totally discounts the Caps (especially in the opening paragraphs).

Posted by: mrmxylplyx | November 2, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

From what I can see, Matt's article didn't even mention the Capitals. So, what is this, dissing by omission? Oversensitive, much?

On another point, you do know that "bog" is a slang term for toilet, right?

Posted by: cgindc | November 2, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Weee...Rolling Stone, commenting on anything that isn't music. Who the eff cares?

Posted by: TCJR2000 | November 2, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

99% of Americans don't care about hockey, that's why the author of the article wrote that. Hockey = 2nd tier sport.

Posted by: ckstevenson | November 2, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

anytime anyone buys tix through ticketmaster (and maybe live nation), you get a years free subscription to RS. I've been getting it for free for years because of that. I look at maybe two pages and then throw it out (well recycle it with the newspapers). That mag has sucked for years.

Posted by: torrey151 | November 2, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Part of the problem is arrogant NY hacks writing about DC sports. They're clueless.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | November 2, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Is that a dig at the RS guy, Sally Jenkins, or both?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 2, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Matt Taibi IS a hack, though I didn't need these comments to know that. He's on a constant search for stuff to whine and moan about and I've never been convinced he actually knows what he's talking about..on any subject. Take it with a grain of salt. GO CAPS! GO 'SKINS!

Posted by: zennmonkey | November 2, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

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