Still Room on the Wizards Bandwagon

Clean living to fuel resurgence

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Maybe Caron can once again be proud to do this.

    With the Wizards season set to begin, optimism abounds. Optimism? Really? For a team that lost a bazillion games last year.? Yes, really!

    With Flip Saunders in charge, a healthy and fully motivated Gilbert Arenas and the big trade that brought the ex-Bullets both Mike Miller and Randy Foye, it's a different team than last year's Verizon Center Apocalypse.

    The experts at ESPN's TrueHoops network say this is a dramatically improved team. Their collective wisdom puts 'em about 42-40.  The network's 'Zards blogger is a bit more optimistic, thinking this team could go 55-27.

    Amazingly, some have made a statistical case that the reality is probably closer to the homer's number than the wise crowd.  With the amount of returning talent (thanks to Gilbert's rehab), this should be a better team.

    But it all boils down to health.

    And if you doubt that the team's focused on that, consider the case of Caron Butler, as relayed by Ball Don't Lie: He's given up Mountain Dew.

    Now if that doesn't seem like much of a sacrifice to you, consider his comments: 

    I lost 11 pounds this summer by giving up Mountain Dew. That's right Mountain Dew. A lot of people don't know I'm a Mountain Dew addict so I guess this is my confession.

    To try and give this up was crazy for me! I was going through withdrawals. I was in the bed sweating. My wife would turn over in the bed and ask "Are you OK?" Honestly, those first two weeks without The Dew [were] the roughest two weeks of my life. I'm talking headaches, sweats and everything. Before that I drank at least six 12-ounce Mountain Dews a day.

    It was so bad at one point that I had to have a cold one right there at the night stand before I went to bed. I had to get the coasters and let it drip a lil' bit and just have it waiting on me. Come 2 a.m., I'd wake up out of my sleep, I'd pop one open and hear the fizz sound ... and just down it! Then I always had to have another one in the morning when I woke up. Before practice I had one too and before games I would knock back two.

    A healthy Gilbert and less Mountain Dew for Tough Juice?  Can a Larry O'Brien be far behind?