A Salute to Steve

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“It’s been weird,” Buckhantz said. “I’ve just kind of been watching everything from afar, and it just feels a little weird to think that after 22 years since 1997 I may not go to training camp, I may not be involved in anything the Wizards do, I may not talk to the players, or you know, have meetings or any of that.

“It just feels really, really strange.”-The Athletic

Try describing the role of a play-by-play broadcaster to a non-sports fan.

So that person tells us what we are seeing already with our own eyes?…

And in a way, they are right. It is a strange job to grasp, but a role that somehow is interwoven into the heart of the sports landscape. They are with you at your team’s lowest lows and highest of highs. They gasp with you at amazing dunks and shake their head with you at sloppy mistakes.

They become part of your viewing family. You, me, and Buck. All of us sitting around and watching a franchise that just can’t quite ever get it right.

Steve Buckhantz has been that voice for Wizards fans for over two decades.

From Agent Zero game-winners to Javale McGee missed dunks to John Wall alley-oop passes he’s been in your home. You may not even have paid a lot of attention to him. And really, in broadcasting, that’s a good thing.

If he is a seamless integration into your viewing experience, he’s done his job. Provides a little bit of clarity, provides rising levels of excitement when necessary, and makes you feel a part of the action no matter where you are watching. That’s the gig. Mix in some analysis and stories from his counterpart and you’ve got yourself a broadcast team.

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But beyond the logistics and job duties is a person. And with any public-facing position, a lot of it comes down to likeability. Do I like this broadcaster? Do they seem nice?

Morals aren’t the qualification for basketball broadcasting, but listening to Buckhantz over the years you looked at him as the friendly optimist who was fiercely loyal to the team that he spent his career describing over the air. He combined his signature calls with a grandpa-esque demeanor. He was smooth, unruffled. He had fun. And we did too.

And now, unfortunately, things have come to an end.

NBCSports Washington will roll out their shiny new team of former Fox broadcaster Justin Kutcher in combination with a duo of Drew Gooden and Caron Butler this upcoming season. Things will be different, very different.

Kutcher is good, he’s been in the business a while himself, and he, unfortunately, has to bear the burden of replacing such a beloved figure in local sports. I am not envious of that gig.

Things are changing fast for the Wizards. Their long-time GM is gone, the team shuffles rosters around faster than a Vegas dealer, and the ownership group is focused on unveiling new Sports Books and higher-end dining options.

For a fanbase that already struggles with identity, the team seems to be providing no clear path to follow. Is the team tanking? Is the team going for a title? Who is the GM? Who is making decisions? So many questions, so little answers.

But Steve, we’ll miss the stability and grace you brought every single night on the air. Hopefully, this isn’t goodbye, but if it is we wish you the best of luck and we’ll think of you anytime a Wizards player hits a game-winning shot at the buzzer.

Dagger

 

Clip of the Week – (Pretzel Pieces, Fudge Covered Oreos)

Our clip of the week contains Snyder Pretzel Pieces (Hot Buffalo Wing) and Fudge covered Oreo’s….A revelation came about, but for which snack? Check it out!

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Episode 37 – (Snack Review, Nationals)

This time of year there are not a ton of sports going on so instead of doing a short episode, we swan dive straight into snack reviews! We get into the Nationals after their series with the Phils, but first we review Snyder Pretzel Pieces (Hot Buffalo Wing) and Fudge covered Oreos! Take a listen….

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Snacks Review – (18:30)
  • Nationals/Phillies Series – (45:05)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Episode 36 – (Wizards, Nationals, Grinds our Gears)

Back from a short hiatus, the boys dive into all the Tommy Shepard off-season moves for the Wiz and review the first half of the 2019 MLB season so far. Plus, Serone gets upset yet again over all the Ryan Zimmerman praise for ranking 289th in career RBI’s….

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Wizard Off-Season Moves – (17:15)
  • Nationals All-Star Break – (35:05)
  • “What Grinds Our Gears” – (53:00)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Who wants to play Tea Party?

Let’s be clear here, I am going to try and keep this short and sweet because if my last article on this celebration crap wasn’t clear enough, then really why am I wasting my time typing instead of watching Season 3 of Stranger Things?

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If you have been living under a rock, the United States Women’s National Team has advanced to the FIFA World Cup Finals taking place this Sunday with a win over England. Alex Morgan ended up grabbing her 6th goal of the tournament and celebrated with a little pinky action sipping tea. If you don’t get the reference, there is a search engine called Google. Here is the video:

There was tons of backlash of her celebration. Calling it “distasteful” among other things, is so idiotic I literally cannot stand these people. I am not one to use the cliches like “you hate us because you ain’t us” or “if you don’t like it, stop us.” But the fact that all these foreign outlets are so quick to talk, vlog and share their opinions of the smallest actions the USWNT does is kind of embarrassing for all of them. You got beat. You got your a** kicked. YOU LOST! Get over it, take it across the chin and enjoy the coverage of what the world has to offer us in women’s soccer! Let’s not get caught up in what the world thinks of the USA. Let’s get jacked up for Sunday and rock out with one of the best AMERICAN rock bands of all time!  USA….USA….USA!

 

Former Penguins, Capitals defender Brooks Orpik officially retires

Brooks Orpik has retired from the NHL after 15 seasons. The two time Stanley Cup winner won the Cup each with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. He tallied 18 goals and 176 assists over 1,035 regular season games in addition to 4 goals and 22 assists in 156 playoff games.

Matt Sunday/ DKPS

The player known in the Caps locker room as “Batya” (Russian for “dad”) receives lots of love and thank you’s on social media from his teammates,

Thank you, Brooks Orpik.

Bradley Beal Wants To Play With Lebron James

…in Space Jam 2.

I am here for this. Beal is maybe the most underrated player in the NBA and exposure from a box office hit (let’s be honest, you’re going to go watch it) would help propel him into stardom.

Not sure this even happens, but Beal would join Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, and WNBA Stars Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwunmike. Talk about star power, right Windhorst?

CBS Sports– “In all honesty, he’s been recruiting players to come and try to be in ‘Space Jam’ with him this summer,” Windhorst said, per Yahoo Sports, “and he hasn’t been able to close some of those deals. Some of the top guys he wants to come and be with him in the movie … [are saying], ‘You put me in the movie where you’re the star, I’m gonna be the one you’re dunking on.'”

Masai Ujiri Confirms He’s Staying In Toronto

Toronto Star- Raptors president Masai Ujiri says he appreciates the interest from other NBA clubs, but his roots are in Toronto.

Ujiri held an end-of-season news conference Thursday, in which he talked about his future in Toronto, winning an NBA championship and the growth of basketball in Africa and Canada.

Reports surfaced shortly after the Raptors won their first NBA title that the Washington Wizards were preparing a lucrative offer to lure Ujiri out of Toronto.

Ujiri’s wife is from Washington, and the Wizards were reportedly offering an ownership stake in the team.

 

This is obviously a huge blow to the Washington Wizards, who have yet to name a replacement to former GM Ernie Grunfeld. Ujiri was the name most talked about online and in the media when discussing front office candidates. Ujiri’s added NBA Champion to his resume this Summer to go along with a track record of helping franchises make the next step. He briefly worked as a scout for the Denver Nuggets before being hired by the Toronto Raptors in 2008 as assistant GM. He returned to Denver as GM and VP of Basketball Operations and won the NBA Executive of the Year award in 2013 before returning to Toronto as GM and President of Basketball Operations.

It is obvious why Ted Leonsis wanted Ujiri to run the front office. During his Toronto tenure, he took Toronto from 4th in the Atlantic to 1st in his first year, ending a five year playoff drought, won 5 division titles (including having the best record in the East in the 17-18 season), and ECF in 2016. He took a huge risk in firing Coach of the Year winner Dwane Casey and pulled off the steal of the year (and maybe century) by trading for Kawhi Leonard AND Danny Green without giving up any young pieces and just one protected 1st rd pick. The Wizards wanted him so badly, they were willing to give him ownership stake.

Washington Post- For several weeks, speculation has persisted about the Wizards’ interest in Ujiri. By late Thursday night, various news outlets detailed the proposed offers: close to $10 million annually, six years for $60 million or even a percentage of ownership and control over other Monumental Sports & Entertainment properties. The Post also reported on the Wizards’ link to Ujiri and that “a potential offer would have to include a pathway to an ownership stake.”

$10 million a year is a huge pay day, not to mention the ownership stake that was reportedly offered. Leonsis has since denied that any offer was or would be made, stating that he would “take his time” in forming the new front office. With the 2019 NBA Draft already in the books and free agency starting in five days, it seems that Leonsis is content to wait this out until the right candidate comes along.

 

Wizards 2019 Draft/Off-Season – (Chase Hughes)

We are joined by NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes to talk about the Wizards 2019 Draft Picks, Salary Cap implications and more! Take a listen for some great content!

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Episode 35 – (Nationals)

A shortened episode focused on the Nationals as they just concluded the biggest week in their season with a (4-2) record with one game against the Phillies being postponed until September. Trevor Rosenthal has been released and the bullpen lost two of three against the Braves…

Go check out our interview with NBC Sports Washington’s Wizards Insider “Chase Hughes!” We discuss Wizards draft picks, salary cap numbers and even get into a bit of food discussion…

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