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.
| October 24, 2010; 10:14 PM ET
Categories: Caps, Media, Redskins, Wizards
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