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Sometimes when it’s the summer and there’s no hockey to write about, our hockey blog covers things that are not about hockey. We’ve covered NASCAR, the cowboy monkey rodeo, and Rugrats inspired minor league baseball jerseys. Two Augusts ago, I even blacked out for a minute and wrote a long feature for the Washington Post on Orioles’ pitcher Dylan Bundy.

On Monday, my talented friend Susi, who plays in a volleyball league, was at Baltimore Beach for a game. Then for whatever reason reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton showed up in a white van ready to play with a dozen of his Carolina Panther teammates. That seemed… interesting. I also noticed it was uncovered by other news media, so I wrote about it with Susi’s help. The next night, Newton showed up to play volleyball again. My talented and infinitely more handsome coworker at Visual Data Systems, Brandon Serfass, took humorous video of Newton getting blocked while trying to spike the ball past a girl. I posted his video.

Wednesday at noon, RMNB ended up on SportsCenter for its football-player-playing-volleyball coverage.

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Miller Lite, Crispy M&Ms, the AARP.. and now Russian Machine Never Breaks. With tonight’s Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, we entered the rarefied air of NASCAR sponsors. After a rain delay of nearly seven hours, our boy Ryan Ellis took to the track in his #33 ScienceLogic/RMNB Chevy SS for his debut race in NASCAR’s top series.

As we noted in our profile of him, Ryan is a huge Caps fan, former GMU hockey player, and RMNB reader from Ashburn. Ellis said his goal for the race was to learn and avoid accidents in the penultimate race of the year. He did just that, bringing his car home undamaged in 40th in a hectic race filled with uncertainties and the heat of NASCAR’s playoffs. The race was called due to rain after drivers completed 219 of the scheduled 312 laps. Going forward, Ryan hopes to build on this opportunity to get a full-time ride next year and continue to make Sprint Cup Series starts. Congrats to Ryan on a safe first race! This was one of the coolest things we’ve done as a blog. It was a thrill to share it with him. Let this be a lesson: RMNB readers are awesome!

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Evgeny Kuznetsov’s New iPhone Case

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Photo: Chris Gordon

We’ve been covering Evgeny Kuznetsov for the last five years with unequaled vigor. From the wacky celebrations to the KHL/NHL waffling, Kuznetsov’s been the focus of our website and my personal favorite hockey player even before he crossed the ocean last year. So relaying this next story is wild.

Before game seven on Monday, RMNB’s Chris Gordon was asked at practice through a spokesman where he got his new iPhone case. The case is white and has the RMNB logo on it. The person inquiring was Evgeny Kuznetsov.

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Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season on Tuesday night. That milestone naturally gave reporters the opportunity to reflect on exactly how great the Capitals captain has been.

Speaking with Michael Jenkins, CSN Washington’s Jill Sorenson (follow her on Twitter here) said it was Ovechkin’s durability over the last nine seasons that has impressed her most.

Basically, Russian machine never breaks.

Check this out.

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We’ve been through this. Alex Ovechkin is half man, half machine. Hence: our blog name. Yet, in the highlights below, Dion Phaneuf thought it was a good idea to slash Ovechkin after the whistle.

No. It was not.

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The Most Popular RMNB Stuff of 2013

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You’re not gonna be surprised which was RMNB’s most popular story of 2013. Out of almost 1200 posts this year, the one that garnered the most attention was our blow-by-blow recap of the meteor strike in Evgeny Kuznetsov’s hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Valentine’s Day. It was a weird story, one that we had a peculiar perspective on, and as a result it went viral to a degree I doubt we’ll ever see again.

But we wrote about a lot more than astrophysics this year, so let’s take a real quick stroll in the wayback machine to check out the stories you guys loved the most. This should be fun. See if you can guess what’s in the top five.

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RMNB’s new “Hahaha Ice” T-Shirts can be purchased here.

While we dedicate a lot of our time to RMNB, our team slaves away at full-time jobs just like you. Peter is an information architect, I’m a web designer/email marketer, and Fedor is a full-time student in Moscow and a journalist for VOA. Then there’s Igor.

Four score and seven years ago… okay, maybe not that long – but long enough that Scott Stevens was still a Capital and the Soviet Union was still a thing, Igor– fresh out of college– left St. Petersburg and the crumbling empire for America. Within a couple of months after getting off the proverbial boat, Igor landed his first job: an engineering position at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

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The Machinist: November 19, 2010

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RMNB mention in D2 of The Washington Post’s Sports Section.

The Machinist is where RMNB takes a look back at the week that was.

First off, big ups to Dan Steinberg for coining our new tagline: The world’s foremost authority on Holtbyisms.

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Behold: The Ovechkin-o-Lantern!

People don’t understand the true meaning of Halloween. It’s not about collecting candy or doing keg stands at Peter’s house; it’s about scaring the living bejesus out of children. Knowing this, RMNB reader Mandy expertly extched Ovi’s cretinous countrenance into a pumpkin, and we couldn’t be prouder. There’s nothing scarier than an angry, 235 lbs. Russian with fiery eyes and the will to break you.

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Russian Machine Never Breaks: We Suck

We spent a bunch of pixels bragging about all the cool stuff we did in the last year.  That’s cool, ’cause we really are proud.  But we’re totally rank amateurs.  False rumors, worse typing, and bad luck charms; that’s just us.  We’ve surpassed our peers by a long stretch of internet miles when it comes to screwing up.

  • The giant gray thing at the top of the page
    Ian assures that one day we will put a feature widget for good posts there.  I think he might just be waiting for us to write some.
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  • Spelling names incorrectly
    We’re supposed to be fans of this team, so we should probably start spelling their names right.  I’ll go ahead and take the blame  for this one.  I’ve goofed up Matthieu Perrault, Michael Nuevirth, and both Morrrisssonnns.  I did it in my very first post, and I’ll eventually get around to correcting it.
  • Varlamov will miss the Olympics
    In our defense, Lisa Hillary was trying to trick us.
    After re-injuring his groinular area, Lisa gave a pessimistic prognosis that we might have accidentally blown completely out of proportion.  Real-live PR people and respectable writers had to bail us out.
  • Nick Backstrom to sign a huge contract… in February
    Maybe we were just waaaaay ahead of everyone else.  We found an article on a Swedish site that said Backy was this close to signing a massive deal.  It was a few weeks later before someone bothered explaining fact-checking to us.
  • Neil Greenberg
    Just in general.
  • Peter shaves his beard, dooms the Caps
    Peter loved #beardpact.  It was his baby, and he protected it.  But he couldn’t look like a pirate at his buddy’s wedding, so he shaved.  And the Caps lost three in a row.  JINX!
  • The Washington Capitals… Napoleon Dynamite style
    Sara Bae created these monstrosities, and we…. oh screw it.  This post was awesome, and we are unashamed. Please send us more fan art!
  • The Joe Corvo Bandwagon
    We trust Neil implicitly, and that’s a character flaw we will address soon.  He said that Corvo was the missing link and a hands-down improvement on Pothier.  Suckers we are.
  • Our logo scares children
    Ian’s girlfriend reports that this t-shirt has driven her students to tears.  That’s because it’s freaking terrifying.  Contrast/compare with one of the most twisted films of all time:
    Ovie vs Clockwork Orange
  • Taunting the Hockey Gods
    We had a post actually titled We Got it Made, in which we document all the reasons why the Caps will beat the Canadiens in five games.  Our reasons included secondary scoring and Jose Theodore.  Ugg.
  • In-SEMIN-nation
    Least tasteful t-shirt ever?  Be honest; someone was going to do this sooner or later.  Just be glad it was us.
  • Justin Bieber in the Bears’ locker room
    There’s a fine line between cute human-interest stories and oversharing.  This post demarcates the two.
  • Various crimes against the English language
    Our relationship with the written word is abusive and codependent.  The difference between resign and re-sign (post date: Yesterday) springs to mind.  We’re language recidivists, well beyond any hope of rehabilitation.

After looking at all this, I can’t blame Mike Green for blocking us on Twitter.   We’re a wandering band of fools and idiots, sauntering into town, breaking everything we touch and offending the locals.  At this point, that you’re still reading this post speaks more to your failings than ours.  You really should know better.

If you have any other screw-ups we should know about, use the comments to have your voice heard.  Tomorrow, we’ll list our resolutions for next year.   We promise to do better, people.

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