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Ted Leonsis Would Like You to Know the Washington Post Isn’t What It Used to Be

On Friday, Dan Steinberg posted about Ted Leonsis’ proclivity for blogging about the Caps’ injury woes. He told the story through Leonsis’ words and debunked it with data showing the Caps’ health to be league-average.

On Saturday, Leonsis posted about Steinberg’s post, tearing the Washington Post sports department a new asshole:

Even though court stenographer Dan Steinberg disagrees, losing key players is tough on a team and its offense. I, too, am shocked at how many shutouts we have experienced this season. The Washington Post lost George Solomon, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon to retirement and free agency and the sports department hasn’t been the same since – not as many points on the board – but they have lost about the same amount of people as most newspapers these days. Rim shot.

Kornheiser and Wilbon haven’t put “points on the board” for the Post since the Caps moved away from Landover. Using Leonsis’ pretzel logic, you could rejigger his statement to read:

The Washington [Capitals] lost [Olaf Kolzig, Peter Bondra and Adam Oates] to retirement and free agency and the [team] hasn’t been the same since – not as many [wins in the playoffs] – but they have lost about the same amount of people as most [franchises] these days. Rim shot.

That isn’t to say I prefer the Caps of yore to today’s. Quite the opposite, actually. I also prefer today’s Post sports vs. yesteryear’s. It may not feature glory hog columnists like the PTI two, but it does have a stable of reporters who not only write stories for print but also blog on the website and tweet real-time updates. That stable includes Steinberg, the so-called court stenographer who is a top online sportswriting talent.

I like Leonsis. His high level of transparency is to be encouraged, as is his forward-thinking approach to ownership as a whole, from the ice/hardwood to the web, community and beyond. I also applaud his willingness to mix it up with fans and the media alike.

Along those lines, this isn’t the first time Leonsis has taken a shot at the Post, though it probably is the most personal one. If one were so inclined, one could string together a narrative of Leonsis’ Post-bashing that would look similar to what Steinberg did with Leonsis’ injury moans.

But why bother? Everyone knows print media is a dying industry and pro sports is not. Pointing that out — over and over again — isn’t transparency, it’s petulance.

Disclosures: I’m friends with Steinberg, and we co-hosted the Blog Show together on Comcast SportsNet. I also have great respect for Leonsis as an Internet Hall of Famer, and he was my boss’ boss’ boss’ boss’ boss at AOL.

D.C. sports fan and digital media guy that's been doing this since 2004. Once threw a football further than Chris Cooley.



  1. ThisGuy

    March 27, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Well said. Leonsis’ blog posts are starting to irk me more and more these days. The chest thumping has gone from subtle to blunt, and his thin-skin does a disservice to his image.

  2. Hondo Howard

    March 27, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Agreed. It’s not like The Post dislikes or is out to get Leonsis. By any measure, he’s a reporter’s dream, it seems from out here. Ted is unnecessarily paranoid. Plus, Wilbon always sucked, and Kornheiser hasn’t been funny since the 80s.

  3. Terps77

    March 28, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    The Post is generally a pretty poorly written paper, the reporters really dont always get all sides of a story.

    I cant say that about Steinberg though, I think he does a great job, he’s my favorite post writer and has never seemed to just conjure up a story or facts or numbers.

    Too bad he cant play nicely with the Post’s best sportswriter, in my humble opinion.

  4. horseydeucey

    March 28, 2011 at 7:20 AM

    Yes, but does have a Sean Avery who dons a Caps uniform pretending to be working in our best interests, only to piss-off Washingtonians?

    Because The Post does. His name is Mike Wise. And he is a fuck.

    I’m not sure what any of the above has to do with anything… other than the fact that Mike Wise is a fuck.

  5. WFY

    March 28, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    It is so petty of Leonsis, no need for it. I think he’s still bitter about the way AOL as covered during the TimeWarner era. As for departed columnists, addition by subtraction, though their replacements haven’t distinguished themselves. What is it going to take for Barry Svrluga to get a column?

  6. Kev29

    March 28, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    I think this shows Leonsis leaning on his popularity a little too much these days. Taking the bully pulpit because he assumes that people will give him the benefit of the doubt, way to call him on that Jamie. Being the most likable sports owner in DC is like winning a World’s Tallest Dwarf Contest – there’s been no competition and his status has been assumed on many occasions.

    Ted is heading into a crucial period of his sports ownership career. The Caps have to succeed in the playoffs or they’ll start losing steam with the general DC area sports fan (with their ticket prices on the rise again). The Wizards need a complete re-boot of every single aspect of the franchise other than John Wall. Good luck Ted, you’ll need it as much as The Post.

  7. JG

    March 28, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Ted’s comments are spot on I just wish they didn’t come at Dan Steinberg’s expense. He is one of the few bright spots there.

    I also concur with horseydeucey’s assessment of Mike Wise.

  8. JDP

    March 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    +1 to Mike Wise being a rube.

  9. Walter Johnson

    March 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    JG- Steinz is a fuck too. That bright spot you see is just the fresh jizz glistening on his bald head.

  10. Donk Donkerson

    March 28, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    The biggest fucks are the people who decided to put Wilbon in the ring of fame. Seeing his name next to S. Povich makes me want to punch the wall.

  11. Walter Johnson

    March 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Yes, Wilbon might be the biggest fuck of them all. I’ll never forget the comments he made in the wake of Sean taylor’s murder. I’m getting red just thinking about it.

  12. A Fine Messi

    March 28, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Wilbon: What a stupid statement. Leonsis is crazy, okay? You can’t listen to anything he says. Ted is a good friend of mine, okay? He’s a good good good good friend. Am I surprised he said something like that? Not in the least. That’s what he does. So don’t come in here bringing that junk about Leonis being crazy. He’s supposed to be crazy!

    Do you know how many man games the BLACKHAWKS have lost to injuries this year? TOO MANY!

    Injuries… please. why are we even discussing this at this time of the year when we should be focused on the incredible state of events over at the BULLS court. How there is any debate as to Derick Rose being MVP is beyond me. now get that garbage junk about hockey injuries outta here.

  13. horseydeucey

    March 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Wilbon: The Japanese tsunami, please, I saw that one coming a mile away. Who didn’t? What’s surprising to me is how the Japanese people couldn’t see this coming. I remember years ago when the tsunami hit Banda Aceh, I was like “here we go again, another group of people who some may say deserved what they got for the way they lived are gonna suffer because noone but me saw this coming.” My only question now is how many people are going to get radiation poisoning because no one listens to me?

  14. horseydeucey

    March 28, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Wise: What Washington needs to realize is how every, single, person, here, is complicit in the Middle East unrest. Only when everyone takes up arms to forcibly tear down any remnant of any evidence that the football teams was named the Redskins and replace them with temples to Coach K, can we hope to live in a world that has peace in the Middle East. And until that happens, shame on you motherfuckers. Blood is on your hands. I wrote for the New York Times.

  15. horseydeucey

    March 28, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Kornheiser: mememememememe MMMMMEEEEEEE mmemememememememememem MEMMMEEEMEMEEEEEEEEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME (don’t fucking look at me).

  16. JLee

    March 28, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    The Caps in the playoffs since Ted bought them have been a lot like Ted in the bedroom – not much success and a whole lot of crying.

  17. bdub

    March 28, 2011 at 11:34 PM


    true, but comparing the regular season to those of past, Ted’s bedroom life is something along the lines of him pounding two Lebanese prostitutes with a black mamba without a rubber on…

    no homo tho..

    needless to say, the caps are turning DC into a hockey town and with another miracle they can pick up Derrick Willams and then all we’ll have to worry about is the redskins..ugh

  18. Jeremy

    March 29, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    “I like Leonsis. His high level of transparency is to be encouraged.”

    Why do people continually give Ted cred for “his high level of transparency” when Ted continually edits responses to his blog?

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