Wizards training camp came to a close on Sunday with a great Fan Fest and scrimmage at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University. We had a great week in Fairfax, beginning with Midnight Tip-off and ending with today’s events, which welcomed over 4,000 fans to campus.

There were many people who played a part in our successful training camp week. I want to begin by offering a big thank you to the George Mason community, led by the school’s president, Dr. Alan Merten. GMU’s head honcho made sure we had the support we needed and his administration was there for us every step of the way. Barry Geisler at the Patriot Center also deserves a round of applause. From the time camp at George Mason was just a concept until we put the ball in play today, Barry was instrumental in making it all happen. The list of folks who gave an assist goes on and on, but the bottom line is we certainly felt at home and we truly enjoyed our time at the heart of the Mason Nation.

Bullets alumni dropped by Fan Fest to sign autographs

I also wanted to thank the former Bullets who stopped by and signed autographs at Fan Fest. Kevin Grevey, Jeff Ruland, Bob Dandridge and Gheorghe Muresan were great ambassadors and good sports. I know the fans had a wonderful time re-connecting with guys who have meant so much to our organization through the years. I’m excited to roll out the Wizards Alumni Association in the coming months as we have a collection of tremendous individuals who need to be honored.

The Wizards business ops, ticket sales and sponsorship groups also deserve a tip of the hat as these folks worked insane hours all week to make sure everything ran as planned. I’m proud of the effort and thrilled with the result.

Of course, a thank you to the fans is in order as well. We were hoping we would have a nice response, since camp was going to be in our proverbial back yard, but we never expected what we got. Nearly 4,000 folks for a midnight event late Monday night/early Tuesday morning got us going and an even bigger crowd celebrated at Fan Fest and helped us close camp in style on Sunday afternoon. The turnout was fantastic and truly appreciated.

The Wizards Scrimmage at Fan Fest

Finally, a thank you to the coaches, players and basketball operations staff who opened the window to their training camp world this week. An open camp is a significant change and the folks wearing the jerseys and the whistles were great partners in making the past seven days so great. To you, like those mentioned above, thank you.

Now the team heads out to Dallas for the first pre-season tilt of the season. I’m excited for Tuesday’s game against the Mavericks as it will give us our first glimpse of our group playing against someone wearing a jersey that doesn’t say Wizards on the front. We are now just eight days away from the first pre-season home game and less than a month from the 2010-11 home opener…what a great time of year!

Quote of the Week

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply; willing is not enough, we must do.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

Disappointing loss for the Steelers vs. Baltimore on Sunday, but I will take a 3-1 record heading into the bye week.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again…Alabama is really good, just ask Florida; however, those Ducks out in Oregon aren’t bad either. I would love to see those two squads meet in the BCS Championship Game.
Congrats to the Capitals on a very solid 5-1 pre-season. Now it is on to Atlanta for the opener on Friday night, then home to host New Jersey on Saturday night.
Hard to believe, but last Friday marked my third anniversary with the company now known as Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Friday also marked the 13th anniversary of my start in the sports business. I’m getting old, but having fun!
I’m calling a Twins/Phillies World Series.

Until next time,

Go Wizards & Mystics!