Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tee Time Presented By Geico Returns To Comcast SportsNet

Per Press Release from Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic:

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the region’s leading source for television and online sports coverage, announced the return of Tee Time Presented by Geico, the network’s popular summer golf program, for its third season in July. This year’s four-episode Tee Time series, which is hosted by Chick Hernandez and features prominent sports and entertainment personalities, will air weekly throughout July on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and Sundays at 9:30 p.m., beginning July 3, as well as at various times throughout the summer.
The half-hour program delivers comprehensive golf content and exclusive access to celebrated sports and entertainment figures who share a passion for the game. Hernandez joins these high-profile golf enthusiasts on the course to profile their participation in the sport and discuss a variety of other topics.
In the season debut (July 3), Tee Time takes viewers to the “Hootie & The Blowfish Monday After The Masters” celebrity pro-am in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Hernandez in joined on location by event participants, including musician Darius Rucker, PGA player John Daly and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino.
During subsequent episodes, Hernandez is joined by three of the region’s most compelling sports figures for a round of golf at local courses, including legendary Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, Redskins all-pro tight end Chris Cooley and University of Maryland men’s basketball coach Gary Williams. These episodes debut on the following dates: Episode 2 featuring Joe Theismann (July 10); Episode 3 featuring Gary Williams (July 17); Episode 4 featuring Chris Cooley (July 24).
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic – the official television partner of the Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association – delivers more than 500 live sporting events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.6 million homes throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Comcast SportsNet’s digital portfolio, highlighted by CSNwashington.com, is the region’s leading source for online sports news and information.
Comcast Sports Group operates 11 sports networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and sports news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, CSS, and Comcast Sports Southwest. Comcast Sports Group also manages New England Cable News (NECN), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Capitals select Evgeny Kuznetsov in First Round of NHL Draft

Per the Washington Capitals Media Relations Department:

The Washington Capitals selected center Evgeny Kuznetsov in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, held Friday evening at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Kuznetsov, a 6’0”, 172-pound native of Chelyabinsk, Russia played last season with Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL. He tallied two goals and seven assists in 35 games last season while recording only 10 penalty minutes. Kuznetsoz represented Russia at the 2010 World Junior Championship and scored two goals in six games.
The 18-year-old pivot also played for Team Russia at the World Under-18 Championship in both 2009 and 2010. He captained Russia in 2010 and led his squad with five goals and seven assists in seven games. He also had a team-high 40 shots and a +8 rating as the Russians finished fourth. In 2009, Kuznetsov led Russia to a silver medal after scoring six goals and dishing out seven assists in seven games.
The Capitals enter Saturday’s proceedings – featuring rounds two through seven of the draft – with five selections: one each in the third, fourth and sixth rounds (Nos. 86, 116 and 176). The Caps also have picks No. 142 and No. 146 in the fifth round.
Washington Capitals 2010 NHL Entry Draft Picks
Rd. No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Shoots Birthday Birthplace Team
1 26 Evgeny Kuznetsov C 6’0” 172 L 5/19/92 Chelyabinsk, Russia Chelyabinsk Traktor

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Capitals Announce 2010-2011 Regular Season Schedule

The Capitals Media Relations Department has released the Capitals 2010-2011 regular season schedule:

The Washington Capitals’ 82-game regular-season schedule for 2010-11 begins on Friday, Oct. 8, at the Atlanta Thrashers, with the home opener set for the next night, Oct. 9, against New Jersey at Verizon Center.
The 2010-11 NHL schedule format, like the last two seasons, has the Capitals facing the other teams in the Southeast Division six times each and the remaining Eastern Conference opponents four times each. Washington plays each team in the Western Conference at least once, with two games each against Anaheim, San Jose and St. Louis. Nine Western Conference teams will visit Verizon Center.
The Capitals will face the Pittsburgh Penguins on New Year’s Day at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The two teams will also face off on Super Bowl Sunday for the second straight year, a 12:30 p.m. faceoff on Feb. 6 at Verizon Center.
Washington has six homestands of at least three games on the schedule, the longest being a four-game stretch at Verizon Center from Dec. 4-11. The Capitals have only two stretches of at least four straight games on the road, and both should allow the team to return home during the road trip (five games from Feb. 14-21, six games from March 15-26). The team has 15 sets of games on consecutive days.
Nearly half of the Capitals’ 41 home games at Verizon Center fall on weekends, including five Friday games, eight Saturday games and six Sunday games. The schedule features holiday home games on Veterans Day (Nov. 11 vs. Tampa Bay), the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26 vs. Tampa Bay) and Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 6 vs. Pittsburgh).
All but six of Washington’s home games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m., with the exceptions all falling on Sunday afternoons or early evenings.
Television broadcast plans will be released at a later date. All Capitals games can be heard on Caps Radio 1500 and 820 AM as well as WashingtonCaps.com.
2010-11 Washington Capitals Schedule
October
Fri., Oct. 8 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 9 New Jersey 7 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 11 Ottawa 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 13 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 16 at Nashville 8 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 19 Boston 7 p.m.
Thurs., Oct. 21 at Boston 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 23 Atlanta 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 27 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Thurs., Oct. 28 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 30 at Calgary 10 p.m.
November
Wed., Nov. 3 Toronto 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 5 Boston 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 7 Philadelphia 5 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 9 at N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Thurs., Nov. 11 Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 13 at Buffalo 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 14 Atlanta 5 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 17 Buffalo 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 19 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 20 Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Mon., Nov. 22 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 24 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 26 Tampa Bay 5 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 28 Carolina 5 p.m.
December
Wed., Dec. 1 at St. Louis 8 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 2 at Dallas 8:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 4 Atlanta 7 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 6 Toronto 7 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 9 Florida 7 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 11 Colorado 7 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 12 at N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 15 Anaheim 7 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 18 at Boston 7 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 19 at Ottawa 5 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 21 New Jersey 7 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 23 Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 26 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 28 Montreal 7 p.m.
January
Sat., Jan. 1 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic
at Pittsburgh 1 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 4 Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 8 Florida 7 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 11 at Florida 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 12 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 14 Vancouver 7 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 16 Ottawa 3 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 18 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Thurs., Jan. 20 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 22 at Toronto 7 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 24 N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 26 at Atlanta 7 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 30 2011 NHL All-Star Game
February
Tues., Feb. 1 Montreal 7 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 4 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 6 Pittsburgh 12:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 8 San Jose 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 12 Los Angeles 12:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 14 at Phoenix 10 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 16 at Anaheim 10 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 17 at San Jose 10:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 20 at Buffalo 3 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 21 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 25 N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 26 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
March
Tues., March 1 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Thurs., March 3 St. Louis 7 p.m.
Sun., March 6 at Florida 7 p.m.
Mon., March 7 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 9 Edmonton 7 p.m.
Fri., March 11 Carolina 7 p.m.
Sun., March 13 Chicago 12:30 p.m.
Tues., March 15 at Montreal 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 16 at Detroit 7 p.m.
Fri., March 18 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Tues., March 22 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Fri., March 25 at Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Sat., March 26 at Montreal 7 p.m.
Tues., March 29 Carolina 7 p.m.
Thurs., March 31 Columbus 7 p.m.
April
Sat., April 2 Buffalo 7 p.m.
Tues., April 5 at Toronto 7 p.m.
Wed., April 6 Florida 7 p.m.
Sat., April 9 at Florida 7 p.m.
All Times Eastern

Monday, June 21, 2010

Capitals Announce 2010 Preseason Schedule

Per the Capitals Media Relations Department:

The Washington Capitals 2010 preseason schedule features six games against three opponents and includes three games at Verizon Center.
The Caps play their first preseason game on the road at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team’s preseason home opener at Verizon Center is Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. against the Boston Bruins.
In addition to playing both Columbus and Boston twice, the Caps also have a home-and-home series with the Nashville Predators, beginning with a road game at Nashville on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.
The Capitals were 4-2-0 in the preseason last year, and their all-time preseason record is 135-111-29-9.
Audio from every preseason game will be broadcast live on WashingtonCaps.com. The complete 2010-11 NHL regular season schedule will be released tomorrow.
2010 Washington Capitals Preseason Schedule
Date Opponent Location Time
Wed., Sept. 22 at Columbus Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 25 at Nashville Sommet Center, Nashville, TN 8 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 28 Boston Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 7 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 29 at Boston TD Garden, Boston, MA 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 1 Columbus Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 7 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 3 Nashville Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 12:30 p.m.
All Times Eastern

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic To Deliver "Wall-to-Wall" Coverage Of Wizards 2010 NBA Draft

Per Press Release by Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic:

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the region’s leading source for television and online sports coverage, announced its comprehensive schedule of “wall-to-wall” coverage of the Washington Wizards leading into the 2010 NBA Draft on June 24. The Wizards own the first-overall selection in the draft, as well as an additional pick in the first round (30th overall) and a second-round choice (35th overall).

Comcast SportsNet’s extensive coverage of the Wizards’ historic draft will include special editions of SportsNite and Washington Post Live, as well as extended television and online content on CSNwashington.com. The network’s special coverage will be led by Wizards beat reporter Chris Miller and NBA analyst Ron Thompson and is highlighted by all-access features and in-depth interviews with former Kentucky point guard and expected number-one pick John Wall.

The network’s on-air draft programming begins with SportsNite: Wall to Wall Draft Special, which premiers on Sunday, June 20 at 5 p.m. and re-airs on June 23 at 6:30 p.m. SportsNite will also air in a special hour-long format on draft day, June 24, from 6-7 p.m. to preview the event, which begins at 7 p.m. in New York. The program’s draft-related features and interviews will cover all aspects of the Wizards and the draft, with on-location reporting from Miller.

Washington Post Live, the network’s daily hour-long interactive talk show, will deliver two special editions throughout the week dedicated to covering the NBA draft. The hour-long comprehensive draft preview show will air on June 23 at 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. with the show’s draft recap special airing live on June 24 from 9-10 p.m. following the network’s live-game coverage of the Washington Mystics. The shows, which will be hosted by Comcast SportsNet’s Ivan Carter, will feature numerous basketball experts and insiders, including Mike Wise, John Feinstein, Glenn Consor and Stephen A. Smith.

Comcast SportsNet’s Special NBA Draft Coverage:
SportsNite: Wall to Wall Draft Special – Sun., June 20 at 5 p.m.; Tue., June 22 at 9 p.m.; Wed., June 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Washington Post Live: Draft Special – Wed., June 23, 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
SportsNite – Thurs., June 24, 6 p.m. (one-hour draft special)

Washington Post Live: Draft Special – Thurs., June 24, 9 p.m. (live one-hour draft recap)
In addition to Comcast SportsNet’s television coverage, CSNwashington.com will offer exclusive content surrounding the draft throughout the week. The special online coverage will include extensive Wizards- and NBA-related news, video, blogs and interactive features.

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic – the official sports network of the Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association – delivers more than 500 live sporting events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.6 million homes throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Comcast SportsNet’s digital portfolio, highlighted by CSNwashington.com, is the region’s leading source for online sports news and information.

Comcast Sports Group operates 10 sports networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and sports news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, and CSS. Comcast Sports Group also manages New England Cable News (NECN), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.

Comcast

Friday, June 18, 2010

Comcast to Feature Past D.C. United Games

Per release by Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic:

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the region’s leader in television and online sports coverage, along with D.C. United today announced plans to air encore presentations of five memorable D.C. United matches during the week of June 21-26 as a part of D.C. United Traditions Week. To celebrate the ongoing World Cup, each game will feature D.C. United World Cup veterans in legendary performances with the Black-and-Red.

The special five-game series, which will be hosted by Comcast SportsNet’s Russ Thaler, will begin Monday, June 21, at 7 p.m. with an encore presentation of DC United’s classic match versus the Tampa Bay Mutiny on Oct. 10, 1996, which featured John Harkes. Four other historic matches will air each weekday at 7 p.m. through Friday, June 26.

The series of classic D.C. United games leads into the club’s return to MLS play following the World Cup break. The Black-and-Red travel to Columbus for a fixture with the Crew on Saturday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET, which will air live on Comcast SportsNet. United’s television partner will also continue to feature current and former United players in their coverage of the World Cup during SportsNite and Washington Post Live.

Details of the games and broadcast schedule are listed below:

Monday, June 21 at 7:00 p.m. (re-air June 22 at 12:00 p.m.)
D.C. United vs. Tampa Bay Mutiny (October 10, 1996)
Featuring John Harkes, D.C. United stormed through the second half of the inaugural MLS season and into the 1996 MLS Cup playoffs. Before 23,566 faithful at RFK Stadium, United put a stranglehold on the Eastern Conference finals with a 4-1 victory. Harkes assisted two of the tallies and factored throughout.

Tuesday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m. (re-air June 23 at 12:00 p.m.)
D.C. United vs. Vasco de Gama (December 5, 1998)
Featuring Eddie Pope, D.C. United faced the legendary Brazilian side with the InterAmerican title on the line. Needing a two-goal victory to claim the aggregate win, United pressed for a 2-0 lead in the game’s waning moments. Pope’s strike in the 77th sealed a 2-0 win, a 2-1 aggregate victory and, perhaps, the greatest championship won by any American soccer team.

Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. (re-air June 24 at 12:00 p.m.)
D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew (November 13, 1999)
Featuring Marco Etcheverry, a dynasty in the making appeared sidetracked in their quest for a fourth consecutive MLS Cup appearance. After winning the first game of the Eastern Conference finals at home, the Black-and-Red were pasted 5-1 in Columbus in game two. Before 25,451 in the deciding game three on East Capitol Street, Etcheverry came to life with a goal and three assists in a vintage performance that put a 4-0 end to the Crew uprising.

Friday, June 25 at 7:00 p.m.
D.C. United vs. San Jose Earthquakes (April 3, 2004)
In a game set as the coming out party for 14-year-old phenom Freddy Adu, Jamie Moreno stole the show in his return to D.C. United. The veteran striker stole the show with a goal and an assist in the 2-1 win and reclaimed his spot as the most potent offensive performer in the League.

Saturday, June 26 at 7:00 p.m. (re-air June 23 at 12:00 p.m.)
D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls (June 10, 2007)
Featuring Ben Olsen, D.C. United lined up against their most heated MLS rivals in the NY Red Bulls. In the most lethal offensive display of his legendary career, Olsen struck three times in a crushing 4-2 victory for the Black-and-Red.

Comcast SportsNet’s 2010 coverage of D.C. United includes 15 League matches, live postgame elements such as analysis, highlights and interviews in United Postgame Live or within SportsNite following each game. The network also provides fans pregame elements and player features within Washington Post Live and SportsNite.

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic – the official sports network of the Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association – delivers more than 500 live sporting events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.6 million homes throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Comcast SportsNet’s digital portfolio, highlighted by CSNwashington.com, is the region’s leading source for online sports news and information.

Comcast Sports Group operates 11 sports networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and sports news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, CSS, and Comcast Sports Southwest. Comcast Sports Group also manages New England Cable News (NECN), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com

Monday, June 7, 2010

COLLEGE HOCKEY ICE BREAKER TOURNAMENT

Per a press release from College Hockey, Inc:


Four of the nation’s elite college hockey programs will open the
2010 season in St. Louis as part of a unique two-day, four-game tournament at Scottrade Center.
Boston University will meet Wisconsin and Holy Cross faces off with Notre Dame on Friday, Oct. 8 in the
2010 Ice Breaker Tournament. The championship and consolation games will be played Sunday
afternoon, Oct. 10. Game times will be announced this summer.
The programs competing in the 2010 Ice Breaker share 11 NCAA titles. Boston University won the 2009
Division I championship; Wisconsin advanced to the 2010 Frozen Four final. Two St. Louisans skate for
Wisconsin: Sean Dolan (Kennedy) and John Ramage (Marquette).
“We are thrilled to showcase four of the best NCAA hockey programs and welcome fans from all over
the country,” said St. Louis Sports Commission President Frank Viverito. “The Ice Breaker Tournament
represents a wonderful opportunity for us to continue to raise the profile of college hockey in St. Louis
as we did during the Frozen Four in 2007.”
The Sports Commission produced the region’s bid for the Ice Breaker. As host for the event, the
organization is working closely with the St. Louis Blues and Scottrade Center to plan for hockey’s
opening weekend across all levels of the game.
“The St. Louis Blues and Scottrade Center are excited to be a part of the Ice Breaker event to kick off the
2010-11 NHL season,” said CEO of St. Louis Blues Enterprises Peter McLoughlin. “Fans will have the
opportunity to see talented young players and I would like to thank the St. Louis Sports Commission for
the time and effort it has put forth for this event.”
The Ice Breaker is overseen by the newly formed College Hockey, Inc., the organization that represents
the interests of the 58 NCAA Division I college hockey programs.
“College Hockey Inc. is proud to join with the City of St. Louis in presenting the Ice Breaker Tourney this
season,” said Paul Kelly, executive director of College Hockey, Inc. “The four schools (Wisconsin, Holy
Cross, Boston University and Notre Dame) represent some of college hockey’s finest programs and St.
Louis, with its strong youth and NHL hockey tradition, will serve as a perfect host and partner for this
great season-opening tournament.”
Along with the four college teams, more than 150 youth hockey teams from around the country will
travel to St. Louis to play in a junior tournament over four days. Featuring kids ages 7 to 18, the youth
tournament will attract thousands of players and family members, generating significant visitor
spending and hotel room nights for the region. Games will be played at seven venues in the St. Louis
area.
“We are fortunate to be involved in an event of this caliber,” said Lloyd Ney, Ice Breaker Junior
tournament manager. “This weekend of hockey will bring all segments together ranging from kids who
have never played to the collegiate and pro levels.”
St. Louis is the first city to be awarded back-to-back Ice Breaker Tournaments as the Sports Commission
will host the 2011 event at Scottrade Center. St. Louis will also be the site of the 2011 NCAA Men’s Ice
Hockey West Regional next March. Meanwhile, the city is a finalist to host the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four
in 2013 or 2014. St. Louis previously hosted the Frozen Four in 1975 and 2007 – when it set the (then)
championship game attendance record (19,432).
The four teams participating in the 2011 Ice Breaker College Hockey Tournament will be announced at a
later date.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Former Redskin is now a Restauranteur

By: Justin Creech
For 13 years, Marvcus Patton made a living terrorizing running backs and quarterbacks in the National Football League. The former Buffalo Bill, Washington Redskin and Kansas City Chief forged a well earned reputation as one of the leagues’ most disciplined and consistent linebackers.
Now eight years after retiring from the NFL, Patton, like many former professional athletes, is applying the same discipline he used during his playing career to running restaurants. Patton is the owner of Lucky’s Sports Theatre and Grill, which opened in August of 2007 off of Manchester Boulevard in Franconia, Springfield. Patton also owns The All American Steakhouses in Woodbridge and Ashburn, Virginia.
In a little under three years, Lucky’s has become one of Franconia’s favorite hang outs largely due to its diverse setting, which is what Patton envisioned when he decided to enter the restaurant business.
“We wanted to create a nice atmosphere where we could have a nice dining room area, but we wanted it to have a sports bar type feel -- a little more upscale than a regular sports bar,” said Patton. “That’s why we have the added entertainment with the games on the bar side. With the big TV’s and the flat screen TV’s we can show any and every game but have quality food and service and that was the big thing.”
The games Patton referenced are a wide variety of arcade games ranging from the Fast and the Furious, the Golden Tee and the four electronic Texas Hold’Em tables in the middle of the bar.
Although open for only two and a half years, Patton is pleased with the progress that Lucky’s has made and his prospects for the future. “The basic thought is to grow the brand and grow the business,” said Patton. “What I would like to do is create a place that everyone wants to come to and then try to duplicate that. Create a franchise that at some point I can say, hey, I can duplicate the same atmosphere and do it wherever I want, whether it’s franchising or opening up more company owned stores.”
Patton admitted he didn’t know what he was going to do when he initially retired but became interested in owning a restaurant upon receiving a phone call from a former teammate.
Chester McGlockton, whom Patton played with for the Chiefs during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, called and asked Patton if he was interested in getting involved with a local hamburger franchise in Los Angeles, California called Fat Burger.
“It’s how Five Guys was [in Virginia] when it first blew up. It was a local favorite that people knew about,” said Patton. “I talked to the President of the company and told him I would like to bring one out here so I flew out to LA probably no more than a couple of weeks later. I was going to bring that franchise here but after I did more investigating and had a study and looked at everything I thought maybe it wasn’t as good of an idea, because the support system wasn’t here, because they are on the West Coast.”
Though he ultimately decided to venture into the restaurant business, Patton, unlike other former professional athletes, did not want to associate his name with his business.
“My thing was, yea I want to open a restaurant, but I want restaurant people to run it. That’s why you don’t see my name on it,” said Patton. “It seems like you see those kinds of places fail if it’s all about a name.”
Playing in the NFL, let alone owning restaurants, was far from Patton’s career vision while growing up in Los Angeles. Patton envisioned himself becoming a lawyer after hearing his father, who was killed when Patton was just nine years old, speak of becoming one as well.
“My father was a narcotics officer and he did undercover work, but he was going to night school,” said Patton. “That’s one of the things he said he wanted to do, so hearing my father say that is probably what made me want to do that.”
Patton added, “I argue a lot; I can debate. My mother and sister always tell me I should’ve been a lawyer because I can debate a point and even if I don’t believe it, I can debate the other side, too. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ve always been attracted to that.”
Patton was also wise enough to not allow himself to get involved in gang life. Growing up in an area were Crypt and Blood gang activity was prevalent, Patton focused his attention on sports and scholastics, though he did say if Crypt or Blood members knew a local kid was excelling in sports and school they made sure that person did not get involved in gang activities.
After receiving an academic scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles, Patton walked on to the football team as a freshman. Patton enjoyed four successful years at UCLA, becoming a starter his senior year, before being selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 8th round of the 1990 NFL draft.
After five seasons in Buffalo in which the Bills made four straight appearances in the Super Bowl (1990-1993), Patton decided to sign as a free agent with the Redskins prior to the 1995 season. With Norv Turner having just finished his first season as the Redskins head coach, Patton felt Turner’s experience of having coached under Jimmy Johnson on back-to-back Super Bowl winning teams with the Dallas Cowboys would have the Redskins challenging for a Super Bowl in two to three seasons.
“We had some pretty talented teams here and we missed the playoffs twice by one game in 1996 and 1997,” said Patton. “I think at that time Norv wasn’t the coach he is now. I think somebody else could’ve molded us into a playoff team those two years.”
Patton signed with the Kansas City Chiefs after the 1998 season, playing four seasons there before retiring after the 2002 season. Patton said his decision to retire wasn’t a very hard one.
“I think it was time for me to go. I probably could have played a couple of more years, but at some point it gets harder and harder when you get up in the morning. Your body is stiff and after a game your recovery from the game gets slower,” said Patton. “I take pride that when I was playing I didn’t miss a whole lot of tackles, but towards the end I started to miss some tackles, or there were plays I didn’t make that I could’ve made. So, you kind of feel it.”
Patton said there are a lot of aspects of playing team sports that can be applied to running a restaurant.
“Trying to lead a team is the same thing here whether it’s yourself or the general manager, there’s always someone that leads the team like a quarterback or a middle linebacker,” said Patton. “You can possibly not serve a customer well because somebody doesn’t know what to do. If you have a situation where a customer hasn’t been served right, you have someone who knows how to come in and make them feel better and take care of the situation. That can make the customer want to come back and give the place another try.”
Recently, Patton has become more involved with the day to day operations at Lucky’s, a process he says he enjoys.
“I like stepping in and help run the place. It’s a learning experience, and I’m still learning,” said Patton. “It’s all about customer service and trying to make sure our customers are happy and make sure they have a good experience. No matter what happens, if the food is good or bad, if you give them great service they will come back.”