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Sorry Bryce Harper, but a World Series win would not be '10 times bigger' than the Caps' Stanley Cup

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USA TODAY Sports

Sorry Bryce Harper, but a World Series win would not be '10 times bigger' than the Caps' Stanley Cup

After seeing the Washington Capitals bring a championship to DC for the first time since 1992, it’s only natural for athletes from some of the city’s other sports to think about what their championship celebration would be like. Evidently, Bryce Harper has had these thoughts and he thinks a World Series would be bigger than winning the Stanley Cup.

About 10-times bigger.

In the wake of Harper’s Home Run Derby win, Harper was interviewed by ESPN’s Karl Ravech and talked about what a Nationals championship would be like.

Nothing against the Caps at all, but I think if we brought a title back to this town in DC, it would be unbelievably huge and about 10 times better. Winning the Stanley Cup is something that is insanely incredible, everybody sees that when you watch a hockey playoff game, and to be able to win that Sir Stanley, it’s very, very impressive. But to bring back a title to DC, it would be incredible.

I don’t want to trash Harper because ultimately if you’re a Washington sports fan, you want to see him prove it and win it all. His entire life has been about baseball so it’s understandable why to him a World Series would be a bigger deal than a Cup run.

Let’s face it, baseball is a bigger sport in America than hockey is, but there are two things that Harper is not really taking into consideration.

First, this city was starving for a championship after 26 long years. Every championship can spark civic pride among people who are not normally fans, but considering how long it had been since Washington got a taste of sports glory, the 2018 Stanley Cup felt very much like the people’s Cup.

It’s not the Capitals’ Cup, it’s Washington’s. It’s ours.

The Caps realized that and that’s the second factor Harper is not considering. The Stanley Cup is different from the Commissioner’s Trophy in that it is revered and yet meant to be shared.

There have been plenty of jokes about how much the Caps celebrated in the wake of their win, but they did something teams from other professional leagues don’t do. They brought their celebration to the people. They brought the Cup to bars in Arlington, they had it while swimming in a fountain in Georgetown, it was outside of Kettler for fans to take a picture with during development camp and it was even at Nationals Park.

No matter what Harper does, no matter how many championships the Nationals win during his tenure with the team – which hopefully will not end after this season – a World Series win is not going to end 26 years of futility. The city will not embrace it in the same way it did the Caps and the nature and culture of the Commissioner's Trophy  will not allow the Nationals to include the fans in the same way the Caps were able to.

The Stanley Cup is just different from other trophies. To be able to bring it to the fans and celebrate with the fans in the wake of the championship after a 26-year drought, it’s hard to top that.

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How does Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov get ready for a Game 7? He watches TV

How does Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov get ready for a Game 7? He watches TV

Everyone remembers Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-clinching overtime goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2018. That goal now overshadows another series-clinching goal Kuznetsov had in 2015. In Game 7 against the New York Islanders, Kuznetsov scored what would prove to be the winning goal to break up a 1-1 tie. Clearly he knows how to get ready for a big game. His secret? Television.

Kuznetsov appeared on NBC Sports Washington's Capitals Greatest Hits show on Monday to talk about his 2015 performance and the topic of the locker room came up. Both teams went into that game knowing their season was on the line and Kuznetsov was asked if the feeling was any different in the locker room before the game, a question he did not know exactly how to answer.

"I'm never in the locker room," Kuznetsov said. "I'm always by the TV watching TV shows."

Yes, when Kuznetsov arrives at the arena, he apparently likes to watch TV before the game and said he is not in the locker room until only about 30 minutes before warmups. He enjoys watching soccer, but also likes a good movie.

"It's usually soccer games," Kuznetsov said. "If it's not the soccer game, it's whatever the movie's going."

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He went on to say he was thankful for the team subscribing to whatever channel it was that he watches movies on.

If this seems odd to you, there is a method to the madness.

"Usually it's movie because that way I'm not thinking about hockey," Kuznetsov said. "I like to be loose before games."

Hey, if that's what he was doing before Game 7 in 2015 and before Game 6 in 2018, it's hard to argue against it.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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Capitals Greatest Hits: How to watch Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-winning goal

Capitals Greatest Hits: How to watch Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-winning goal

In need of Memorial Day plans? Look no further as NBC Sports Washington presents the fifth and final edition of Capitals Greatest Hits on Monday, May 25, at 7 p.m. 

For this holiday edition of Capitals Greatest Hits, NBC Sports Washington will reair Game 7 of the 2015 Eastern Conference First Round playoff series between the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders. 

As a special treat, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who delivered the series-winning goal for the Caps, will make a special appearance on the broadcast to talk about his Game 7 heroics from the win-or-go-home showdown.

What better way to cap off a holiday weekend than by reliving some Caps playoff glory with The Birdman himself?

How to Watch: Capitals’ Greatest Hits

Who: New York Islanders @ Washington Capitals — April 27, 2015

When: May 25 at 7 p.m.

Where: NBC Sports Washington (channel finder), stream on the NBC Sports MyTeams app

Guest: Washington Capitals star Evgeny Kuznetsov

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Broadcast Schedule

6:00 PM Capitals Greatest Hits Capitals vs Thrashers from March 21, 2008 (R)

7:00 PM Capitals Greatest Hits Capitals vs Islanders from April 27, 2015 (P)

8:00 PM 2018 Stanley Cup Championship Films: Washington Capitals (P)

10:00 PM #HockeyAtHome: The Great One & The Great Eight (R)

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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