- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 3, 2012

No matter the topic in Annapolis, it seems as if sports are never far from the minds of officials.

The latest sports discussion broke out during last week’s meeting of the Work Group to Consider Gaming Expansion - a state-appointed panel charged with examining the potential impact that table games and a casino in Prince George’s County could have on the state and its existing slots facilities.

At the meeting, the loudest objections to a Prince George’s casino came from owners of Maryland Live - an Anne Arundel County casino set to open Wednesday - who said a new casino could bite into their market share and create a virtual border war between the sites.

Delegate Dereck E. Davis, an alternate member of the work group, assured owners that the area is plenty big for two mega-casinos.

He likened the scenario to that of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins, who have been able to maintain faithful fan bases despite being just about 35 miles apart.

The owners argued that the situation is more like that between baseball’s Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles. The Nationals’ arrival in the District in 2005 preceded a steady exodus of long-suffering Orioles fans.

“Is that because of the Nationals or is that because of the 15, 16 years of the Orioles losing?” Mr. Davis shot back, drawing laughs from attendees and a few sighs from O’s supporters.

Mr. Davis, Prince George’s Democrat, actually had it wrong - the Orioles have had only 14 consecutive losing seasons. Although you can’t blame him for overestimating, as it surely seems like a much longer streak for their fans.

Take it back

Ever tweet something a tad too raunchy or risque or untrue for the public domain? Of course you have. There are rumors that someone even tweeted #rva (Richmond) instead of #va (Virginia) one time. (Hey, it happens!)

But lest you think the 140-character missives just disappear into the bowels of the series of tubes (apologies to the late Ted Stevens) if you’re quick enough to delete them, the Sunlight Foundation recently unveiled a website called Politiwoops, which aggregates those tweets politicians would just as soon have done without.

Rep. E. Scott Rigell, Virginia Republican who represents the state’s southeastern 2nd District, only had a handful. None were Anthony Weiner-esque incriminating, or even anything beyond what could be described as innocuous.

But one in particular catches the eye of the astute observer.

“I uploaded a @YouTube video https://t.co/JGe5rBSP Trigger and the Coke can,” he tweeted five months ago. It was deleted after an hour.

The link takes you to a short video of a dog - presumably named Trigger - barking maniacally at, yes, a can of Coke.

It smells of a hacker’s work. Or maybe the first-term Republican is just a Pepsi guy.

No experience necessary

Recent turmoil surrounding members of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s 2010 campaign team has prompted speculation about a potential successor if he is unable to complete his term.

Although Mr. Gray has not been accused of anything, two of his campaign aides pleaded guilty to secretly paying a minor mayoral candidate with the hope he would continue to attack incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on the primary campaign trail.

Following a story in The Washington Post that named D.C. Council members Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat, and Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Democrat, as potential candidates to lead the city, the Washington City Paper decided to have a li’l fun.

The paper broadened the list of speculative candidates to Tom Sherwood, the charismatic WRC-TV (Channel 4) reporter who has covered city hall for decades. Mr. Sherwood played along, telling the City Paper he has “no plans at this time.”

But what does Mr. Gray think of all this, particularly of Mr. Sherwood’s potential bid? Well, WTOP Radio’s Mark Segraves asked him Wednesday at his bi-weekly news conference.

“If Tom Sherwood runs for mayor, I will, first of all, heartily support him,” Mr. Gray said. “And then I will become a journalist and harass him.”

David Hill, David Sherfinski and Tom Howell Jr. contributed to this report

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