The Leonsis Bowl
Ted Leonsis is about to win his second sports championship in two months—although this one will garner significantly less excitement than the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup victory.
The Washington Valor will compete in ArenaBowl XXXI, the Arena Football League’s championship game, against the Baltimore Brigade (7-5 in the regular season) Saturday night at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, even though the team finished with a 2-10 regular season record.
Both franchises are owned by Monumental Sports and Entertainment, whose chief executive is Leonsis.
United at Last?
Less than a week after two of D.C. United’s three supporter groups marched and protested at the opening of Audi Field on July 14, the club announced that it had reached an agreement with all three groups—La Barra Brava, Screaming Eagles, and District Ultras.
Both La Barra and the Ultras were upset when United entered into a strategic partnership with the Eagles back in February. But progress has been made to mend fences.
“I should have been involved sooner, but we will get that taken care of,” United managing partner Jason Levien told City Paper’s Pablo Maurer. “I did not know how bad this had gotten until the ribbon cutting.”
Howard Has Jokes
The Wizards introduced Dwight Howard, their newest big name acquisition, on Monday, and the 32-year-old came prepared with a money quote.
When asked about why his current situation made him so confident about the Wizards after playing for several teams in recent years, Howard replied with a pun-filled statement.
“I learned Magic for eight years. Traveled to La-La Land. Learned how to work with Rockets. Learned to fly with some Hawks. I got stung by the Hornets,” he said, before pausing for the kicker. “Through all of that it taught me how to be Wizard.”
The joke was not particularly well-received online, but for what it’s worth, those inside the press conference laughed and applauded.
It’s just been one of those seasons for the Nationals.
On Tuesday, shortstop Trea Turner was named one of the recipients of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association’s Heart & Hustle Award—the same day he was benched by manager Dave Martinez for not running, or making any real movement, toward first base after hitting a bunt in Monday night’s loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
The award honors “active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game.”
The Nationals suspended their partnership with Papa John’s after news broke that company’s founder, John Schnatter, used the N-word in a conference call, and other local professional sports teams are thinking about their futures with the pizza chain.
Monumental Sports and Entertainment President of Business Operations Jim Van Stone said in a statement to The Washington Post that the Wizards and Capitals are “currently assessing our relationship with the company and will determine how to proceed.”
Paisano’s Pizza recently replaced Papa John’s as the local NFL team’s official pizza sponsor, a decision that was made before Schnatter admitted this month to uttering the racial slur. The team will continue to partner with local Papa John’s franchises on post-game promotional deals.