A Fat, Out of Shape, Undeserving Captain!
At the season opener for the 2012 season, Wizards team captain Andray Blatche stepped on the floor with a microphone to give an inspirational message to the fans. Most of the fans already hated Blatche for his lack of commitment to his body and the game of basketball, but respected new coach Flip Saunders had named the veteran player the Captain, so the fans had to give him a chance.
Less than a day after his 30 word speech saying how great Wizards fans were, he had tweeted some negative things to all his fans and was immediately crushed by the city. In fact the next day there was an article in the Washington Post titled "Andray Blatche is Not Qualified to Be Washington Wizards Captain".
By the end of the season, the "captain" was sent home with "out of shape" as the reason, and his era as the team captain was officially over.
A Fat, Out of Shape, Undeserving Captain?
The Washington Capitals have not had a problem Wizards-bad, but the Captain of the Caps Alexander Ovechkin had some issues of his own. In the 2011 offseason it was reported that Ovi was extremely out of shape and radio DJs and blogs were crushing him for being "fat" as pictures surfaced of Ovi looking pudgy.
Ovechkin managed to show up ready for the season, but early on he was "benched" by Bruce Boudreau. Later in the year, he was "benched" again by Dale Hunter. That combined with a perception that he takes plays off, lolygags around the ice, and doesn't hustle gives him a Blatche-like quality.
So is he really undeserving?
What Does Being A Captain Mean?
Typically a team captain is not just the best player. A captain is a motivator, a vocal leader, and someone who leads by example. A captain is someone who gets in your face and inspires you to play with as much passion as they have.
You want a guy with the skills & competitive edge of a Kobe Bryant and the work ethic & leadership skills of a London Fletcher. That is a team captain.
I can see flashes of this in Ovechkin, but does Alex Ovechkin fit into any of those categories on a regular basis?
One of the other things that makes a captain a captain is how they are chosen. The word captain is just a title if a coach applies it to the player and the teammates don't buy in. If the teammates don't look up to that player, don't listen to that player, and don't trust that player then being called a captain is just a sham.
So did the coach name Ovi captain, or did his teammates?
Last week I asked a poll question to fans about who they would rather have as their team Captain between Alex Ovechkin and Zach Parise. I didn't ask which player did you think was better. I didn't ask which player would you rather have on your team. I asked who would you rather have as your captain.
70% of the fans chose Parise.
Once again I will plead hockey ignorance on this issue. But it appears from a fan perspective that Ovechkin at captain may not be the best thing for the team... comment and let me know...from my observations on the season I love Ovi, but he didn't look like the captain...Brooks Laich however...