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Alex Ovechkin goes shopping

So apparently when Alex Ovechkin does much of anything in Vancouver, including shopping for almost certainly tacky Olympic souvenirs whilst wearing a ridiculous Team Russia outfit, the camera folks get excited. That's what superstardom looks like.

This, of course, reminds me of Scott Burnside's item harshly criticizing Ovechkin for avoiding the English-language media.

While Burnside's language might have been a bit much, overall I'd side with the reporter here. Sure, someone who speaks multiple languages like Ovi might have more requests than a monolingual star, and sure, he is one of the most sought after athletes in the entire Olympics. But he's also an international mega-star, and has benefited immensely from the media attention, and will only help himself and the Caps by continuing to grow his persona.

It always comes off as petty to publicly complain about media access, but one of the few charming things about the Olympics is the way they sort of level out athletes across sports, to the extent that's possible. They all sit there in the mixed zones and put up with the questions; guys like Carmelo Anthony stood there and took 'em all in Bejing. Putting yourself above that fray usually doesn't end well.

('Course, he hasn't done anything nearly as obnoxious as Sven Kramer, who for some reason is being treated as a hero for mouthing off to an NBC reporter.)

In much, much more cheerful news, Mister Irrelevant sums up much of the deranged sheep skates reporting. It's all so fabulous.

And then there's Wayne Gretzky on his favorite Russian player, via Alex Ovejtkin: "I think it is Ovechkin, Yes, no question, it is Ovechkin. He is playing with such energy and verve, I can't help but enjoy watching him on the ice. But I have to say Malkin is close second. Maybe he didn't show his potential in the first game, but he will soon."

(Video via @JapersRink)

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 18, 2010; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media  
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the best part of that Burnside piece? Apparently Ovechkin conducted an interview in English last night. So it's not only whiny, it's blatantly dishonest.

Posted by: FlyersSuck | February 18, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Course, he hasn't done anything nearly as obnoxious as Sven Kramer,..."

LOL. Sven was correct on his answer not obnoxious. Obnoxious are the people asking the dumb questions and reporting them.

Three cheers for Sven!!

Posted by: hock1 | February 18, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Sven could have been nicer about it - but a journalist has to know that's a quick way to kill credibility with an interview subject............

And Burnside is a d-bag......

Posted by: CF11555 | February 18, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I dunno. I can see being disappointed that the reporter who watched the event didnt start off the interview on the right foot, but any higher ground on that was lost in about the first two words out of Sven Kramer's mouth. The attitude that since he won a gold medal and cant walk down the streets of Amsterdam without being mobbed does not translate to a lifetime free of "how dare you ask me what my name is." Yeah we're stupid non-speed skating following Americans and Canadians and we don't know who you are. Deal with it and try to be a good ambassador for your sport. Well, at least NOW I know who you are.

Posted by: md268 | February 18, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

ESPN has forever lost their right to complain about access to anyone in the NHL.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 18, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Dan, why the random "Melo" props? Who in the world cares what CA did two years ago in Beijing? NOBODY CARES about the NBA dude. I'm sorry. I say all of this out of love. You've just got to stop it with the whole "well in the NBA... blah blah blah" thing. The NBA sucks. It's getting tired FAST, Steinz.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | February 18, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

This happens all the time. Federations ask their athletes to refrain from getting caught up with the Media hoopla. Deal with Dan and deal with it Scott. So somebody doesn't want to talk to you before he wins gold. Oh well. Life goes on.

Posted by: blanknerc | February 18, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin's a Russian, on a national team. Everyone on the team has limited time and energy for press; and they've all openly catered to their *home* press with the time they have. Burnside's too lazy to find and write a real story, so he runs a trifle about the story Ovechkin *didn't* gift-wrap for him.
Burnside's a Milbury-class tool shed.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 18, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

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