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Leonsis: Arenas is "still in my good graces"

Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, is a well-known and unabashed D.C. sports fan, regularly stacking his program with D.C. sports guests like Cal Ripken, Gilbert Arenas and Alex Ovechkin. He also calls himself friends with Ted Leonsis and has watched games from the owner's box. So it wasn't surprising to find Wallace fighting the good fight again this Sunday, naming Leonsis his "Power Player of the Week" and closing his show with about four minutes of Ted Talk. (See transcript here.)

The interview was largely positive, but if there was one piece of news, it came when Wallace asked if Leonsis's patience with Arenas's shenanigans will ever run out.

"Well, I'll know it when I get there," said Leonsis, who has yet to blog about Gilbert's fake injury and fine. "But right now, he's still in my good graces."

Leonsis repeated many of his core talking points, saying that pro sports teams hold "the psyche, the mental health of the community in the palm of our hands," insisting that "it really isn't my team; it's the fans' team. It's the community's team," and discussing his recent 101-point improvement plan.

"I put out the bat signal," he told Wallace. "Tell me what you need and I will do it. Paint the garage. Paint the steps. I'll make sure the beer is cold. People know that when they e-mail me, I'll respond. And if enough people e-mail me, I'll listen to them."

(The weirdest part was when Leonsis talked about the Wiz needing a fresh start, and how in the past, basketball players didn't want to be here or would ask to be traded. The video over this sound showed Calvin Booth and Jared Jeffries. Not sure Leonsis gets credit for cutting the ties with those guys.)

Anyhow, in his bring-down-the-house applause line, Leonsis was asked to describe the biggest mistake sports owners make.

"I think the biggest mistake is that you think you know what you're doing," he said. "I have really strong opinions, but I could never fake it and think I could be a general manager or a coach."

No subtext there. None. Zero.

In the grand finale, though, Leonsis sounded an awful lot like Daniel Snyder, who recently told Forbes that he's "absolutely desperate to win a Super Bowl."

"Will something be missing for you as an owner until you win a championship?" Wallace asked Leonsis.

"Oh, totally," he said. "I will not rest. I won't be able to die in peace unless I can win a championship."

Then Fox showed both of Leonsis's e-mail addresses, prominently displayed, on a national network news program. Hope whoever is in charge of monitoring those accounts has a lot of extra time this week.

By Dan Steinberg  | October 24, 2010; 10:14 PM ET
Categories:  Caps, Media, Redskins, Wizards  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Cutler's touchdown, and Haynesworth's leap
Next: Jay Cutler not scared of DeAngelo Hall


We DC fans shall not rest until The Lame Wizards and Mystics nicknames are changed. Bring back the Bullets, or have a nickname contest redo for both teams!

Posted by: MrWillie | October 24, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Dan he answers them for real. I sent him an email years ago about adding local branded food to verizon center like nat's park has & he replied with 24 hours explaining in detail how hard it would be to change the contract with armark but he was working on it. I love being a caps season ticket holder.

Posted by: cyberjaphe | October 25, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

So long as he keeps George McPhee, he may indeed die without a Stanley Cup to this town.

At least I have hope for #25. Later, Craps fans.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | October 26, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Steinberg: Leonsis called you out on his blog for doubting that he answers his own e-mail. I don't doubt it because his ego is as big as it gets and that's part of his schtick.

Posted by: poguesmahone | October 26, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

This just in: "Leonsis repeated many of his core talking points"...

SHOCKER!! Cotton Candy Ted? All Sugar, No Nutrition? Spin, Spin, Spin? That Ted? Repeating his talking points? No way!

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | October 26, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

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