Commentary

Mayne Street: Alex Ovechkin

Kenny Mayne chats with the Washington Capitals star

Updated: December 6, 2010, 11:19 AM ET
By Kenny Mayne | ESPN The Magazine

KM: You're on the road right now. Are you boring on road trips? Or do you go out and have fun?
AO: We go out to restaurants, but it's not fun like at home, when you have friends around.
KM: Speaking of home, I saw those pictures of you from last summer. It was like a blend of James Bond and The Hangover. You were shirtless with earmuffs. Unless those were Photoshopped.
AO: [Laughter] Yes, maybe it was Photoshopped.

KM: Right. How is life in Washington, D.C.? That's one of our most exciting towns.
AO: I love Washington. Great friends, great organization.
KM: Have you gone to the museums?
AO: No. I'm not a fan of museums.
KM: You should give them a try. I highly recommend the Spy Museum.
AO: I actually love those museums where you can see stuff from billions of years ago. Like dinosaurs.

Alex Ovechkin
ESPN.comAlex Ovechkin: Not a big fan of museums.

KM: When did you start learning English? Your English is a hell of a lot stronger than my Russian.
AO: I started learning in Russia. I can read English, but if I try to, like, text message, it's pretty hard. I still try. Some people understand, and some people don't.
KM: Has watching American TV helped you with the language? Do you have any favorite shows? AO: I don't like to watch TV shows in America. I have Russian TVs, and I watch the Russian channels.
KM: That doesn't come with my Comcast cable package. I should look into it. What's a good show playing in Russia right now that I don't know about?
AO: Well, five minutes ago, I was watching the news.
KM: Did you see that Angelina Jolie movie Salt?
AO: Salt? Yes, I saw it.
KM: Is any of that true? Think there's a bunch of Russians over here waiting to do bad stuff?
AO: I don't know. I'm not one of them.

KM: Are you a fan of any U.S. sports teams?
AO: I like to watch football. When we go to games, it's nice.
KM: Are you required to root for all the Washington teams?
AO: I follow the Redskins.
KM: Think they can get it together this year? They just gave Donovan McNabb a bunch of new money.
AO: It's not my business to talk about it. I'm just a fan.

KM: Forget hitting and passing and shooting. I think it's impressive how well hockey players can skate. Do you feel like that skill is underappreciated?
AO: Hockey is a very difficult sport. We have to skate, fake, control the puck, see our partners, move our legs, shoot, pass ... I think it's the hardest sport ever.
KM: Could you play other sports at an elite level? If you weren't playing hockey, what other sport would you do?
AO: Probably football or soccer.
KM: Do you golf?
AO: No, not really. Though, one time I make hole-in-one.
KM: Wait -- truly? Where did that happen?
AO: A couple of years ago I played here in Washington.
KM: Did you get your name in the paper for it? When I was younger, my friends and I used to call the local newspaper, pretend we were older and tell them we had just shot a hole-in-one. Then our names would run in the paper the next day.
AO: Well, my name is already in the paper almost every day, so ...

KM: On your next free day you really should give the Spy Museum a chance. You'll like it.
AO: Okay. I will.
KM: We'll even pay for it. You don't need our money, but ESPN will get you complimentary passes.
AO: Okay. [Laughter] Send them to me.

Kenny Mayne

Anchor/Reporter
Kenny Mayne -- known for his offbeat style, dry humor and unique sayings -- has served a variety of roles in more than 10 years with ESPN. He currently provides features to SportsCenter and "The Mayne Event" segments to Sunday NFL Countdown.