Capitals

Manziel, Klein take in 'surreal' awards atmosphere

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Manziel, Klein take in 'surreal' awards atmosphere

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) College football's biggest single night for awards is set for Thursday, and two of the most talked about players said the spotlight may be the most difficult they've endured.

Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel and senior Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein headlined a group of several finalists who addressed the media Wednesday after arriving at Disney World in advance of the awards show.

Manziel and Klein, along with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, have already been selected finalists for college football's prized Heisman Trophy, which will be presented Saturday in New York.

The trio will be in the spotlight before that on Thursday, though. They are all finalists for another coveted player of the year honor, the Maxwell Award. Manziel and Klein also are both up for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, along with Ohio State's Braxton Miller.

Manziel said the experience has been eye opening for not only him, but the family members that accompanied him.

``It's been surreal for them as well. They're getting overwhelmed just as much as I am,'' said Manziel, who turns 20 on Thursday. ``The thing they're doing is they're just enjoying it. They're just sort of living through me and enjoying the trip, coming to Orlando and then New York... I'm happy for my family getting a chance to do all of this with me.''

Te'o and Miller didn't arrive in Florida on Wednesday. But they will be in town for Thursday night's award show.

The Maxwell Award has been a predictor of Heisman winners in recent years, with Maxwell recipients Cam Newton (2010) and Tim Tebow (2007) going on to win the Heisman.

Known for his understated demeanor while at Kansas State, Klein seemed a lock to take the Heisman before the then-No. 1 Wildcats lost to Baylor 52-24 on Nov. 17.

But the guy who's earned the nickname ``Optimus Klein'' lived up to it after helping his team rebound and earn a convincing win over Texas last week to secure the second Big 12 championship in Kansas State's history. The Wildcats will meet Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl.

He said he hasn't let himself get caught up in much of the off-field hype that grew around him as Kansas State found success this season.

``I think my motivation toward this game and for my performance is deeper than that,'' Klein said. ``I know what truly motivates me and a lasting human motivation is going to be more out of a love and a passion of what you're doing and who you're doing it for and why you're doing it, more than trying to prove someone wrong.''

Manziel, known as ``Johnny Football'' is considered by some to be the Heisman front-runner following his late-season exploits leading the Aggies to five straight victories, a 10-2 mark and Cotton Bowl berth in their first Southeastern Conference campaign.

Playing a free-wheeling brand of football that was often built on improvisation leading coach Kevin Sumlin's spread offense, Manziel also nearly single-handedly derailed Alabama's chance of defending its national championship when he propelled his team to a 29-24 upset over the former top-ranked Crimson Tide.

He also passed for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns and posted an SEC-record 4,600 yards of total offense on his way to being named a unanimous choice for Associated Press SEC offensive player of the year.

Manziel maintains that he still feels like the same kid from Tyler, Texas that came to Texas A&M just wanting to fulfill his dreams of playing college football.

Now, the only thing Manziel won't have on his side is a little history if he hopes to hoist the Heisman.

Three sophomores have won it, including Tebow in 2007, Sam Bradford in 2008 and Mark Ingram in 2009. The best a first-year player has ever done is second.

``Looking back in August and at the way the media thought us to be, there were so many question marks around our team,'' Manziel said. ``I think the best thing that we did was that we grew each week. We got better and better as the season went on. And the way our offensive line played, the way our receivers jelled - I got to benefit from that.

``So without them I wouldn't be sitting here right now.''

He also has the endorsement from an unlikely source with Alabama cornerback and Thorpe Award finalist Dee Milliner saying that if he had a Heisman vote, he'd pick Manziel.

Te'o will arrive in town having already picked up some hardware this week, after being presented with one honor for the nation's top defensive player. He received the Bronco Nagurski Award on Monday, given by the Football Writers Association of America.

Te'o will look for his second top defensive player award Thursday as a nominee for the Chuck Bednarik Trophy.

The Notre Dame defensive leader has inspired his teammates on an off the field, playing on following in-season deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend. Te'o will now get to play for the national championship that Klein missed out on when the Fighting Irish play Alabama in the BCS title game.

In receiving the Nagurski award, Te'o put his focus almost entirely on that Jan. 7 matchup.

``If you ask people who the Butkus Award or the Bednarik Award winners are, or even the Heisman Trophy winner some years, they probably don't remember them,'' Te'o said this week. ``But they remember who won the national championship. They remember that. That's the trophy everybody wants.''

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Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter athttp://www.twitter.com/khightower

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How to watch Capitals vs. Sabres NHL 20 simulation

How to watch Capitals vs. Sabres NHL 20 simulation

Monday night was supposed to be another night of Capitals action with a game against the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately due to the NHL’s hold on the season in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the show can not go on as originally planned. 

However, with some minor adjustments to the presentation, there is still a way to keep things going. 

Monday night at 7 p.m. ET the Capitals will be taking the ice to play the Sabres as planned, only this time it will be virtual ice on an NHL 20 simulation. 

In partnership with Monumental Sports Network, NBC Sports Washington will be airing all Wizards and Capitals games in simulated NBA 2K20 and NHL 2K20 games. The format of these games includes watching the simulated versions of Caps games based on the existing schedule with the bonus of commentary from NBCSW’s experts. 

To make things even more fun, in between the simulation and the re-air of the simulation, there is a chance to relive a classic Caps game. So don’t forget to stick around and re-watch Dowd and the Capitals dominate the Penguins from earlier this season. 

Here's everything you need to know to watch. 

When: Monday, March 30 at 7 p.m. ET

Where:

  • NBC Sports Washington (channel finder
  • Any of our 24/7 authenticated streaming platforms
  • Monumental Sports Network via its website www.monumentalsportsnetwork.com or via any of its available apps on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox.

Broadcast schedule: 

7:00 PM: NHL 20 Simulation: Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (P)
8:00 PM: NHL Classics: Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins (R) 
10:30 PM: NHL 20 Simulation: Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (R)

Starting lineups: 

Capitals: TBD
Sabres: TBD

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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LeBron James scores 36, Wizards still top Lakers in NBA 2K simulation

LeBron James scores 36, Wizards still top Lakers in NBA 2K simulation

These 2K simulations certainly do agree with the Wizards. Coming off a stunning victory over the Bucks Friday, Washington turned around on the second night of a back-to-back and beat the Lakers 73-66 at virtual Capital One Arena. 

LeBron James was a one-man wrecking crew for LA, Bradley Beal led the scoring attack for the Wizards and Thomas Bryant got revenge on the team that waived him. 

Here's how the Wizards picked up their fourth-straight 2K win. 

Offensive rebounds

The Lakers are one of the biggest teams in the NBA with James, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard playing heavy minutes, but it was the Wizards who dominated the boards in this one. 

Bryant led the way for Washington on the glass with seven of his 13 rebounds coming on the offensive end. The Lakers shot the ball significantly better than the Wizards (47% to 39%) but Washington was simply overwhelming them on the glass to create more opportunities. 

Washington grabbed 18 offensive rebounds compared to the Lakers' eight, and it ended being the major difference in the result. 

LeBron's one-man show

The real-life Lakers' biggest weakness is their lack of playmaking outside of James. In a game where James had everything working for him, the Lakers struggled to get anything going whenever he didn't have the ball. 

Rajon Rondo struggled mightily despite tallying eight assists (2-11 FG) and Davis had a bad game relative to his standards (10 points, one rebound, three blocks).

I'd be curious to see what virtual LeBron would have to say about his teammates after this particular game. 

Thomas Bryant's revenge

As we stated before, Bryant was waived by the Lakers after his rookie season and his virtual self took it all out on his former team Saturday night. 

He dominated the boards and once again protected the paint in a way that would make Elvin Hayes proud. He finished with eight points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. 

With Bryant playing the way he has been the last few simulations, the Wizards' defense has been exceptional. Outside of defensive versatility, having a strong defensive center anchoring the defense is paramount to an effective unit. 

Other parting thoughts

Jerome Robinson continues to play well as a starter, scoring 13 points in 19 minutes. The Wizards didn't get that long of a look at Robinson before the NBA suspended its season.

After acquiring him at the trade deadline in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, it'd be another steal by Tommy Sheppard if Robinson can play like this consistently in real life. 

Instead of erupting in the fourth quarter to help the Wizards secure a win, Beal went off for 14 points in the third this time. He finished with 24 points and went 12-for-30 from the field.

Markieff Morris made a return to DC in this one. The Lakers uniform looks weird on him. 

It's hard to capture just how quick Ish Smith is in a video game, but this spin move came pretty close. 

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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