LOVERRO: Alex Ovechkin vs. Team USA creates a rooting quandary for local fans

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ANALYSIS/OPINION

The Olympics used to be so simple – the good guys vs. the bad guys.

That was the Miracle on Ice in 1980 – the American kids vs. the mighty Soviet hockey empire, David vs. Goliath, one of the great sports stories of our time.

It seems like a fairy tale now that we tell our children, who must be confused by it.

Here’s the fairy tale for these Winter Olympics if you are growing up as a hockey fan in Washington – you hope that the Russian hockey legend who is one of the city’s biggest sports stars can win the gold medal in his home country – beating the Americans if necessary.

If you were a Washington hockey fan growing up as a kid in the 1980s, you, like many hockey kids around the country, may have had a poster of Jim Craig with the American flag draped around him hanging on your wall.

Now kids here likely have an Ovechkin poster. They wear an Ovechkin jersey.

Who should they root for in Sochi?

Confusing times, indeed.

Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates called Ovechkin leading his team to the gold medal a fairy tale ending.

“I said to him, ‘You’ve got to go over there and be the fastest, hard-working guy you can possibly be, because that’s what they’ll remember if something bad happens,’” Oates told reporters before the Games began. “If something good happens, great. It’s a Cinderella story. It’s a fairy tale, right? And that’s what we all hope for him.”

We do? Last time I checked, Oates was Canadian.

If he truly hopes his star player has a fairy tale ending in the Sochi games, that story doesn’t end with a Canadian gold medal.

See? Very confusing.

Capitals forward Tom Wilson is confused. This is what he tweeted as the Capitals went into the Olympics break with a win over the New Jersey Devils Saturday night: “Wishing all our Olympians the best of luck in Sochi! Can’t say who I’m cheering for though….”

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