Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin is a lot of things: crossover superstar, MVP, entertainer, ambassador, promoter of cheap haircuts. As President Barack Obama revealed earlier this week, we can add another title to Ovechkin's bio: foreign relations name-drop for cheap applause from a Russian audience.
Politico had this video from the commencement ceremonies at Moscow's New Economic School on Tuesday, where Obama said:
"As a resident of Washington, D.C., I continue to benefit from the contributions of Russians - specifically, from Alexander Ovechkin ... We're very pleased to have him in Washington, D.C."
So when does "pleased" translate into "actually showing up to watch that guy play" for Obama? The "first fan" has been to more gourmet burger joints in Virginia than he has Capitals games at the Verizon Center since coming into office.
Chuck Todd of MSNBC (via Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog) actually pestered Obama about that fact after he put Ovechkin over in Russia:
Todd: You mentioned Ovechkin in there, our friend in Washington. Do you think should you have been transparent and said you've never been to a hockey game? Are you going to fix this?
Obama: The truth of the matter is is that I have watched this guy play, and he's outstanding. But you know, Chuck, I grew up in Hawaii....
Todd: Don't tell those Blackhawk fans that. You became a Bulls fan!
Obama: We have basketball [in Hawaii]. We didn't have hockey. I love watching hockey.
JP rightfully called shenanigans on the "no hockey in Hawaii" stuff, because we all know that "Mona luckahiki means hockey. Mona luckawiki means love. A moonlit ice rink means romance with my baby and the stars above."
Gotta imagine Obama will find his way to a Capitals game this season, in which case he'll hopefully join the crowd in rocking the red ... tie, probably.
(Ed. Note: Still in lovely Santa Monica for Y! Sports meetings today, so once again the posting will be quality over quantity. Fresh and sexy Jersey Fouls coming up late. Thanks again for reading, and be sure to check out the Y! Sports hockey news feed and Leahy's Twitter for anything breaking.)