Caps Correspondent Brad Parker returns to address this important issue.
So, we’ve all seen it by now. Benched late in a game last week Ovi called Bruce Boudreau a “fat fuck.” Two words launched a billion tweets.
It was not the first time that the Caps have been associated with that hurtful f-word. Here’s a brief history of the Capitals and that most derogatory of terms, fat.
The Overweight 8
Last season Ovechkin was a mere mortal. As the year wore on, and his numbers stayed low, the drumbeat grew louder. Ovi was out of shape. No, he wasn’t just out of shape, he was fat.
Of course, if you were a millionaire in your early 20s that spent the summer at Russian discos and on 100-foot yachts with countless young ladies of ill repute, I assume that your cardiovascular endurance would suffer too.
But was the Great 8 truly fat?
A certain morning radio show that has called the Brothers Mottram a different derogatory term that starts with “f” was convinced. At least one of them was. When Ovi scored 3 against Toronto on January 22 it was deemed a “fat trick.”
The hope was that his lesson would be learned and this offseason would be different. But then the photos appeared.
The rumors were flying again that Ovechkin was spending his summer hitting something other than the gym. It even got to the point that he had to address the concerns.
He showed up for camp looking good, but still today if you put Ovechkin into the magic Google box the first term that autofills is “fat.” For comparison, if you put in Ted Leonsis fa, leaving just the final letter un-typed, you get “family,” “facebook,” “fan,” and “father.” Seems about right.
The Face (and Chins) of the Franchise
Other than the players, there are a few positions that can be considered the faces of a franchise. The owner, the coach, the GM, and the play-by-play guy all fit the bill. Yeah, I think you know where we’re going here.
Let’s pick out a few of those guys at random.
Ted Leonsis. Bruce Boudreau. And for the past decade-plus Steve Kolbe.
Notice a theme?
Wait, you say. Kolbe isn’t so fat. Well, he was. In the past couple of years he lost a ton of weight. And now he doesn’t work for the team anymore. Coincidence?
“Have Another Doughnut”
It’s one of the great outbursts in sports history. The Devils lost 6-1 in Game 3 of the 1988 Eastern Conference Finals and coach Jim Schoenfeld was furious with ref Don Koharski. He went after him in the tunnel and when Koharski walked away he shouted, “You fell you fat pig. Have another doughnut. Have another doughnut.”
Schoenfeld was fired by the Devils in 1989 and would not be a head coach again until a certain team in our nation’s capital came calling in 1993. He would have a huge hand in creating the Caps/Penguins rivalry, including another famous outburst when Schoenfeld and Pens assistant coach Bryan Trottier nearly had a brawl on the bench in the ’96 playoffs.
Schoenfeld would be fired in 1997 and replaced by Ron Wilson. Getting him out of the way shortly before a new owner of larger carriage would buy the team.