Pens Will Host Caps in 2011 Winter Classic. Time For Payback!

When his queue frees up and motivation strikes, award-winning Carroll County Times’ Features Writer Brandon Oland does columns for RMNB. After today’s announcement of the 2011 Winter Classic, Brandon just had something he had to get off his chest.

Gary got his wish: Sidney Crosby and his Pittsburgh's idiotic fanbase will host the 2011 Winter Classic.

Gary got his wish: Sidney Crosby and his weeny terrible towel will be hosting the 2011 Winter Classic.

The Washington Capitals will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the latest edition of the hockey classic at an outdoor arena.

The two teams will play on New Year’s Day 2011 at Heinz Field, home to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This is an annoying development, of course, for the possibility that the Penguins fans will want to wave Terrible Towels at the hockey game. Terrible Towels are puny hand towels that Steelers fans wave with fury at home games.

So I have a suggestion for any Capital fans planning to make the trip to Pittsburgh. Capitals fans should come up with their own version of Terrible Towels that will mock and irk intellectually inferior Penguins fans to no end.

I propose every Capitals fan who travels to Pittsburgh should bring the biggest red beach towels they can find and wave them at tailgate parties. It would be a symbol of Washington’s financial superiority to rundown Pittsburgh. After all, beach towels are bigger and more expensive than hand towels.

If Penguins fans ask what you are doing, simply point out that you thought everyone was supposed to wave towels inside Heinz Field. Then wad up your towel and beat the Penguins fan over the head with it. What are they going to do? Strike back with a Terrible Towel?

The Significance Of Blogs In The Mainstream Media

CAPTION

Seriously. Someone buy this newspaper!

Allow me to break into the excellent coverage Peter provides on the Capitals to discuss the significance of blogs in the mainstream media.

I am a newspaper reporter, so it may surprise many of you that I even know what a blog is.

The general consensus of blogger nation seems to be that newspaper reporters don’t understand online media, and that’s why our industry is “dying.” I bring this up because the folks at Camden Chat ripped me apart for a negative column I wrote about how much the Orioles are going to stink this year. Basically, one of the commenters said negative columns like mine are the reason why the print industry is dying.

Allow me this rebuttal.

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Washington Times Corey Masisak. On the Caps beat no more.

Washington Times Corey Masisak. On the Caps beat no more.

[Editor's note: Brandon Oland is currently the Features Writer at the Carroll County Times. He has worked for the Frederick News Post's Sports Section, Interned at the USA Today & has written for The UMD's Diamondback]

During my freshman year at the University of Maryland, I shared a dorm room with Corey Masisak.

Turns out we had a lot in common. We wanted to be sports journalists. We wanted to work at the college newspaper. While many of our freshman cohorts were partying it up, Corey and I made it a priority to get the attention of editors at The Diamondback, the daily newspaper on campus.

Corey was a success from day one. He served as The Diamondback’s sports editor and football and basketball beat writer. He earned the respect of many and landed a job at The Washington Times after he graduated. He worked his way up to Capitals beat writer and did a tremendous job covering the team.

He tirelessly wrote stories for the print product. He kept up a useful blog I checked several times a week. He did everything asked of him, yet it wasn’t enough.

The Washington Times announced mass layoffs Thursday. I’m assuming Corey was one of them. SportsJournalists.com is reporting the entire sports staff got axed as The Washington Times tries to reinvent itself without a sports section.

The demise of The Washington Times sports section is not a surprise. After Monday night’s game, Bruce Boudreau addressed Corey’s fate at the end of his press conference:

“Corey, if this is your last game, I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve done in the covering of our team for the last couple of years,” Boudreau said, according to The Washington Post.

I’m absolutely devastated for Corey. He loves sports journalism. He is passionate about hockey. I’ve seen far too many former coworkers and classmates lose their jobs in the last 18 months as the contracting print journalism industry sheds incredibly talented people.

Best of luck to Corey and all those affected.

[Also see: Japers' Rink & the DC Sports Bog for their heartfelt opinions on the firings as well.]

Brandon’s Take: What Should the Capitals Do With Alex Semin?

What To Do With Alex Semin

Let’s say you worked as a manager at Bob Evans. One of your cooks is an aloof guy who rarely speaks to the waiters and waitresses. Every once in awhile he’ll overcook a burger and call in sick to work.

But when he’s focused, he’s capable of making the best Wildfire Chicken dinner of anyone in the entire chain of restaurants. Despite the cook’s shortcomings, the manager would do anything possible to keep the chef around.

Alexander Semin is the slightly flawed cook of the Washington Capitals. Sure, he makes mistakes. No, he’s not particularly adept at English. But he’s one of the league’s most dangerous goal scorers when healthy and motivated. He needs to be resigned.

I suppose you could argue that the Capitals would be best served trading him for a physical, stay-at-home defenseman or a goalie better than Jose Theodore (which would be just about anyone). But I think the current Capitals are the most fun team I can remember watching because of their propensity to score goals in bunches.

Remember the B.O. (Before Ovechkin, not body odor) era? Aside from Peter Bondra, the Capitals never seemed to be able to find complimentary scorers. It led to suspect power plays and way too many “dump and chase” hysterics.

Even if it means taking a serious salary cap hit and not being able to fix a back line that could use an established star, I think the Capitals should keep Semin. If there aren’t enough cooks in the kitchen, it’s much harder to be successful.

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Michael Nylander’s $4 Million Can Buy You…

  • 10 Major League Baseball players making the league minimum.
  • 66,796 copies of EA Sport’s NHL 2010 video game for XBox.
  • 666,666 copies of an autographed 8×10 photo of Nylander in a Hartford Whalers uniform (currently retailing for $6 on eBay).
  • 133,333 tickets to the Eagle Bank Bowl in Washington featuring UCLA vs. Temple (cheapest ticket is retailing for $30 on Stubhub.com).
  • 100 print sports reporters to cover the Washington Capitals (assuming the writers are making $40,000, a real stretch)