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G-Wiz of the Wizards was robbed in the professional sports mascot rankings, is the best in D.C. sports

G-Wiz of the Wizards was robbed in the professional sports mascot rankings, is the best in D.C. sports

The internet has many benefits as a learning tool, a way for people across the globe to connect and for some to pursue their dreams in ways not previously possible. But the internet also has its drawbacks. Sometimes things can be published for the entire world to see that are so fundamentally wrong that one must speak up. For the sake of those in society who don't have a voice, one must point out a correction to right an obvious and terrible wrong.

I am of course referring to the latest pro sports mascot rankings released by Deadspin on Friday afternoon. In light of Mr. Met being fired by the New York Mets for losing his cool and flicking off a fan, Deadspin compiled a list of the 70 best mascots in professional sports. It was a great idea.

The Deadspin staff came up with a rating system where each mascot was scored on a scale of 1 to 10. Ironically, Mr. Met came in first with a 9.13 rating. The Phillie Phanatic, a furry green native of the Galapagos Islands who represents the Philadelphia Phillies, came in second. The Phanatic probably should have been first, but that's an argument for another day.

Here's where they lost me and so many out there who enjoy the miming, dancing adult-sized muppets who entertain us at sporting events: G-Wiz of the Wizards is shockingly low.

They have G-Wiz all the way down at 64th with a 2.80 rating. It's just not right.

Look at G-Wiz's story and you find out why he is special. This isn't your ordinary mascot. 

[RELATED: D.C. area mascots snubbed in Deadspin ranking]

According to G-Wiz's official online biography, the Wizards' mascot first had dreams of playing in the NBA. He - the website refers to him as 'he,' which may settle some debates - actually tried out for the team, but they didn't have any room on the roster. So, instead of feeling blue and sinking into depression, G-Wiz channeled those emotions into an audition as the mascot. It was there that he found his calling. The rest is history.

Consider the credentials G-Wiz brings with him. According to his bio, "G-Wiz recovered from the rejection and focused on his school work. He graduated early with a PhD in Dancing, Bachelor of Science in Acrobatics and a Minor in Magic. Mamma and Pappa-Wiz were so proud of their son for all of his hard work."

The only D.C. mascot ahead of G-Wiz on the list is Screech of the Nationals. He's one spot ahead at 63rd. And in front of them are a few no-names that make you scratch your head and wonder why G-Wiz, who is famous for his belly-shaking, was snubbed behind them.

Raymond, the Tampa Bay Rays mascot? T-Rac of the Tennessee Titans? Slamson of the Sacamento Kings? Wow, a lion that dunks. So original. Never seen that one before.

Do any of those mascots have a PhD in dancing? I didn't think so.

Now, this is not to say G-Wiz should be atop the list. A top 20 ranking would probably suffice. But to not even have G-Wiz as the top-ranked mascot in D.C. is a slap in G-Wiz's furry blue snout.

G-Wiz is obviously the best mascot in D.C. The rest of them are all eagles. Screech is an eagle. Slapshot of the Capitals is an eagle. Talon of the D.C. United is an eagle. American University has an eagle. Too many eagles!

Georgetown University has an actual dog, which is awesome. It can ride a skateboard, and that is cool. But G-Wiz can ride a dirtbike. Can Jack the Bulldog do that?

It's time people give G-Wiz the respect he deserves. He literally doesn't have a voice, so somebody had to speak up.

[RELATED: NCAA Tournament 2017: Ranking best and worst mascots of March Madness]

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5


Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes, Travis Thomas and Julie Donaldson reset the series and looked ahead to Game 5.

They were joined by TSN Sports anchor Kayla Grey to find out the Toronto perspective. The Wizards have all the momentum in this series, now they just have to keep it going.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Even after injury-riddled year, Wizards are seeing peak John Wall in playoffs

Even after injury-riddled year, Wizards are seeing peak John Wall in playoffs

You would not have known it by John Wall's towering poster-dunks over Jonas Valanciunas and Jakob Poeltl in Game 4, or his fourth quarter takeover after Bradley Beal fouled out, but Wall is still technically working his way into midseason form from the left knee surgery that kept him out more than two months down the stretch of the regular season. Add into the equation that he sprained his right ankle in Game 3, then resprained it in Game 4 right after Beal went out, and it's quite clear that what he is doing is simply not normal. 

Throughout Wall's recovery, his head coach Scott Brooks remarked how Wall can regain his form unusually quick following an injury absence. Game 4 was just his eighth game back, yet through four playoff games he is averaging an absurd 26.8 points, 13.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 1.0 blocks.

If that's what he's doing eight games removed from recovery, and against the top team in the Eastern Conference, what does peak playoff form look like? 

"I told y'all, I told all the media that I only need like three or four games. I really didn't need too many games," he said. "All the hard work that I did in those two months was to prepare myself to be ready for the playoffs."

Wall said he started feeling like himself in his final regular season game, his fourth outing following the injury rehab. It was against the Celtics and he scored 29 points to go along with 12 assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

"I just started to see shots fall down that I was falling short with a couple games before that," Wall said of that night.

Brooks saw a change in Wall against the Cavaliers on April 5, in just his third game back. That game Wall put up 28 points, 14 assists, four rebounds and three steals. Most importantly, he logged 38 minutes.

"I knew I was going to challenge his body with extra minutes," Brooks said. "The way he responded to that, I knew he was back."

Whenever the turning point happened, there is no looking back. Wall has found his groove to not only impact, but at times dominate playoff games against one of the best defensive teams in basketball.

In Game 4 once Beal went down, Wall looked like the best player on the court. He scored eight of the Wizards' final 14 points to seal the victory and did so on a bum ankle. He outshined both DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, two All-Star guards.

Wall even played sound defense on DeRozan in big moments. DeRozan shot 10-for-29 in the game.

"I think I did a good job of contesting him," Wall said. "Just do whatever it takes to help this team win."

What Brooks predicted would happen has indeed played out. He has been with Wall for about two years now and knows what the star point guard is made of.

"I've been with him two years, he loves to play," Brooks said, noting there have been some tough conversations to convince him to come out of games.

Consider this: Wall has scored 20 points or more in six straight games, his longest streak of the 2017-18 season. He has actually reached 23 points or more in those six games, which is tied for the longest such streak of his entire career.

Through eight games overall and four games in the playoffs, Wall has reminded everyone of what the Wizards missed. Yes, they went 10-3 when he first went down with the injury in late January, but that was not sustainable.

They need Wall to reach their full potential as a team and especially in the postseason. Late-game situations like in Game 4, when Beal exited and it was tied with 4:58 to play, are when the superstars separate themselves.

Wall did that and now the Wizards are in good shape with the series at 2-2 and having won two straight.

"Blame everything on him," Brooks joked of the Wizards' up-and-down regular season. "If he wasn't hurt, we'd be better, right?"

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