R.I.P. Ben Bradlee

Former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee died Tuesday. While this is obviously sad news, I’m grateful I had the opportunity to meet him.

I once had to help someone up on the top floor of the Washington Post, where the head honchos sit. When I was done, I walked past Bradlee’s office. His door was open and he was sitting at his desk. I knew this was my chance to have a short conversation with him, so I poked my head in and said hi. I told him I had seen him on a panel at the University of Maryland journalism school, with Maury Povich, Michael Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser, and George Solomon. They were there to talk about Shirley Povich, another legend of journalism.

First, Bradlee asked me why I went all the way out there for the panel. To see him and everyone else, I replied. Then I asked him about Shirley Povich.

That’s when he went into reflection mode, telling me a story about the first time he met Povich at The Post. I don’t remember the entire story – it was obviously more of a moment of admiration for Bradlee than anything – but it involved them first meeting, talking about college football, and Povich looking in a book. I also asked him about Wilbon, to which he replied, “I like Wilbon.” As the conversation concluded, he raised his hand and waved bye.

And, like that, I got MY memorable moment with Ben Bradlee, just as Bradlee got his with Povich.

The only other time I spoke with him was on the elevator on the way to the cafeteria. We were both looking at the soup, I tried some, passed, and he said, “Doesn’t to it for ya?” Nothing special there, other than seeing a man in his 90s still showing up to work. Rest in peace.

New Hockey Bobblehead Website

Recently I helped launch a new website about hockey bobbleheads, called Fourth Line Bobbles. It’s the first and only online database of hockey bobbleheads given out at games. Right now it includes just the NHL, but it’ll be expanded to include the minor leagues.

The idea and nearly all of the work was done by one of my Capitals Outsider writers, Andy Wallace, who has been covering Capitals bobbleheads and often minor league hockey under my guidance.

Here’s the best part. Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog, one of the most well-known hockey blogs in the country, featured an interview with Andy on Friday on a post titled The Hockey Bobblehead Database is mind-bogglingly fun. That obviously led to a huge spike in traffic and put this site on the map.

I don’t actually collect bobbleheads, but yes, I’ve written about them and I brought Andy on to focus on covering them as extensively as possible. Why? Why not. It’s clearly working, and he’s making something of it.

Anyway, check out Fourth Line Bobbles.

 

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Linkin Park

My friend Desi and I went to see Linkin Park at Jiffy Lube Live on Wednesday. I’ve been listening to this band for years but this was the first time I saw them. The show was terrific, but even more impressive is Chester Bennington’s ability to sing like he does without losing his voice. Once again, I took a bunch of lousy photos that I feel compelled to share just because.

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KISS has a monster spider-shaped lighting installation that got stuck during the show, ala Spinal Tap.

KISS and Def Leppard

I went to see KISS and Def Leppard at Jiffy Lube Live on Friday, July 25, 2014. It was my fourth time seeing KISS and my seventh time seeing Def Leppard. Photos always turn out lousy for this but I take them anyway because I feel I’m supposed to at least try, like everyone else snapping lousy photos on their phone. Continue reading

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Photo With LaVar Arrington

IMG_1245Got my photo taken with one of my favorite former Washington Redskins, LaVar ‘Leap’ Arrington. Tuesday was his last day working for The Post. He’ll be moving to California to take a job at the NFL Network. I’ve seen him around for years, both at The Post and at Caps games, but finally got my photo taken with him.