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RGIII, Gio Gonzalez, Alfred Morris Top The List

12:47 PM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- There's a gift and a curse when you work as a reporter for a television station.

The one major curse? We aren't on one singular beat, making it more challenging to build significant relationships in each of the the four major locker rooms.

The one major gift? We get to be in all of the locker rooms, getting a decent vibe on what's happening everywhere in town.

I'm not one to write analytical pieces about the Capitals new system, and I'm holding off on a Wizards piece until the team returns home from their life-invigorating road trip.

Sports blogger commander-in-chief Dan Steinburg got me thinking the other day when he penned this eloquent farewell to Michael Morse: who exactly are the fan favorites in Washington D.C. as we begin 2013?

Because I've been in every locker room and because I follow random D.C. fans on Twitter, I feel like I am at liberty to take a stab at this list.


The scale I'm using goes like this: 50-percent performance based, 40-percent personality based and 10-percent Twitter based. Enjoy.

15) Chris Cooley

Reputation: Sarcastic humor, fiercely loyal, optimistic, self-deprecating.

Favorite Moment: When he made the Redskins give him a case of beer in his new contract.

Why number 15: Three years ago, Cooley was number one on this list. Even if he served no purpose on the football field in 2012, his larger than life personality is still adored by the this town.

14) Stephen Strasburg

Reputation: Apathetic, laborer, resilient, kind of boring.

Favorite Moment: The time he accidentally got a painful topical cream misplaced on his private parts.

Why number 14: How does someone who is "boring" make the top 15 fan favorite list? Well, because, he's really that good on the field. And I'm expecting him to climb this list in the coming years. Strasburg clearly hid his personality during the never-ending shutdown debate.

13) Jordan Crawford

Reputation: Unconcerned, in his own world, bizarre tendencies, biggest ball-hog in town.

Favorite Moment: Because he has "steez."

Why number 13: The love/hate relationship with Crawford is larger than any athlete on this list. But his unique and mostly unusable quotes are a joy to watch go down in the locker room. Plus his shot against Portland was the biggest Wizards play since Gilbert Arenas was high on this list.

12) Pierre Garcon

Reputation: Smiling, upbeat, dodged reporters when he was hurt, charitable.

Favorite Moment: When he accidentally admitted on Sportscenter that Kirk Cousins was starting against the Browns.

Why Number 12: He's got quite the following on Twitter and would be higher on the list if not for the eight games he missed. The Redskins only lost one game in which he played.

11) John Carlson

Reputation: Confident, pretty boy.

Favorite moment: When the Caps made fun of him for thinking he's the smartest player on the team. 

Why number 11: He's wildly popular among young female Caps fans, and there are surprisingly a bunch of those in town.


10) Brooks Laich

Reputation: Hard worker, adorable, longest tenured athlete in D.C.

Favorite moment: When he changed a tire after a game seven loss.

Why number 10: His appearances on 106.7 The Fan's 'Sports Junkies' has increased his mass appeal over the years.


9) Ryan Kerrigan

Reputation: The most normal athlete in town, thoughtful, engaging, wise.

Favorite Moment: When he guest blogs on Redskins.com

Why number 9: When I chat with Kerrigan, I feel like I'm catching up with an old fraternity brother from college. He's embraced his celebrity appeal in D.C., and his alternate pro bowl selection validated his play on the field.

8) John Wall

Reputation: Nonchalant, lazy, socialite, still learning how to be a star

Favorite Moment: He parties like most 21-year-olds

Why number 8: If the Nationals and Redskins both missed the playoffs, Wall would be much higher on the list. But playoff berths breed loving sports fans. His return to the lineup has sparked the Wizards, but we'll see how long this recent surge can actually last.

7) Ian Desmond

Reputation: Outspoken, honest, leader, baseball historian

Favorite Moment: When he bought tickets and hung out with a kid who is battling cancer.

Why number 7: Some will say this is high for the Nationals shortstop, but hear me out. Desmond embraced the Natitude hashtag on Twitter, he's called for fans to unite during the national anthem, he goes to Redskins games and he legitimately wants D.C. to become a baseball town. Hardcore Nats fans obsess about everything Desmond does.

6) Alex Ovechkin

Reputation: Barbaric, love bird, enthralling, hot-headed, easily amused off the ice

Favorite Moment: When he played tennis at Wimbledon this summer.

Why number 6: His overseas exploits during the lockout were enjoyable to watch from afar. And his fiancee is blazing hot, which gives him a few extra points in my book. As far as the hockey goes; what have you done for me lately, Alex? If the Caps miss the playoffs and he doesn't have a monster season, this may be as high as Ovechkin ever gets on this list.


5) London Fletcher

Reputation: The ultimate professional, doesn't feel pain, larger than life leadership skills.

Favorite Moment: This one is more of a personal nugget. In the summer I spotted Fletcher at a watering hole in Reston Town Center. We chatted for a bit, went our separate ways, or so I thought. I had unintentionally blown Fletcher's cover and he got mobbed by Skins fans for the rest of the evening. Instead of ignoring me or making me feel guilty, Fletcher laughed it off and bought me a drink. Such a good guy.

Why number 5: It will be a sad day for Redskins fans when he announces his retirement. And I think most football experts will agree on this: he won't be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but eventually, he will be enshrined in Canton.  

4) Bryce Harper

Reputation: Prodigy, relentless effort, contagious winning spirit, polarizing.

Favorite Moment: When he told a group of young campers to "be as sexy as you can."

Why number 4: Bryce Harper is to young kids (heck even me) what Cal Ripken Jr. was for an entire generation of local baseball fans. You can't compare his playing style to anyone and you can't measure his heart. Don't judge him on one so-so interview with Jimmy Kimmel, either. Harper is still becoming a man.

3) Alfred Morris

Reputation: The most humble guy in town, always cheerful, generous with his time.

Favorite Moment: His notorious 1991 Mazda, nicknamed "Bentley."

Why number 3: Besides having the best season for a Redskins running back ever, Morris' name became a staple in the homes of Washingtonians for other reasons. His home run celebration, when he got attacked by a raccoon, when he wore a blonde wig, or how about his Halloween costume. Morris has embraced his role and the community has responded with an outpouring of love.

2) Gio Gonzalez

Reputation: Embraces attention with open arms, prankster, loving, insightful.

Favorite Moment: When he asked for a date on Twitter

Why number 2: He was the spokesperson was the Nationals historical 2012 pitching staff, and did every interview with a smile on his face. He talks a mile a minute -- unlike several other Nats -- and loves acting like a little kid. It's refreshing.

1) Robert Griffin III

Reputation: Nearly flawless, intelligent, wordsmith, humorous, courageous, united the entire city, marketing genius.

Favorite Moment: When he randomly showed up at a High School football game on a Friday night, no doubt making those kids dreams come true.

Why number 1: Good luck removing him from this spot, EVER. Even if the Nats win a World Series, RGIII is safe in this spot for the next 10 seasons.


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