The Washington Capitals played the Philadelphia Flyers on national television, Wednesday night. During NBCSN’s pregame coverage which featured a roundtable of Liam McHugh, Mike Milbury, and Keith Jones, the network presented a poll playing off the recent Alex Smith trade by the Washington Redskins.
NBC Sports asked its viewers simply Which Alex will win a championship first: Alex Ovechkin or Alex Smith?
Hey. Vote in our poll.
Which Alex will be the first to bring a championship to Washington?
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 31, 2018
The poll, if you think about it, pokes fun at the misery of DC sports fans, because it’s timing is especially savage.
Most Redskins fans are enraged because they believe the Smith trade made the team worse or, at best, not any better. On top of that, the Redskins gave away a third-round pick and a good cornerback (Kendall Fuller) to sign the mediocre 32-year-old quarterback to a four-year extension worth $23.5 million a year. The new contract suggests that the deal is more than a short-term solution at quarterback, dooming the Redskins to be a middling team for the immediate future.
Meanwhile, Capitals fans are also scarred. The Caps have never advanced past the second round of the playoffs during the Ovechkin Era, despite being the regular season’s best team three times. The Caps have also lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs the last two seasons.
So between two arguably flawed choices, here’s how fans voted.
Alex Ovechkin overwhelmingly won the poll, receiving 78% of the vote.
The problem with this poll, beyond its recency bias, is that it ends up being a false dilemma. I’m interested to see if people who voted for Ovechkin actually believe he will win a championship. So I’m doing the same poll on my personal Twitter but introducing an option C: Neither.
You can vote here.
I have an important question. Which DC Sports athlete named Alex do you think will win a championship first?
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) February 1, 2018
I’ll be interested in the results.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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