But Ovechkin comes from Russia, where such awesome behavior is commonplace. Russia is a harsh and unforgiving land (almost as much-so as Winnipeg), and all weakness in the population was long ago crushed under the frozen boots of the cruel Russian winters.
So obviously Ovechkin is going to seem cool as shit to us Californians, coddled as we are by the warm embrace of the greatest state in the greatest country in the world. But how cool is he REALLY? There's only one way to find out. We have to compare him against his own people.
Fortunately for us, Russia created a convenient list of its greatest historical figures a few years ago when it conducted a massive survey and produced a television program called "Name of Russia." All we need to do is to compare Ovechkin to some of the other greatest Russians in history to figure out where he ranks, Flickchart-style.
Since Ovechkin obviously belongs in the top ten, we'll start there.
#10 Ivan the Terrible
It turns out, shockingly enough, Ivan the Terrible kind of sucked. He did some conquering and claimed Siberia for Russia (why?) but that's overshadowed by the time he murdered his awesome son and then left Russia in the hands of his weak and possibly mentally-challenged son.
So...yeah. I guess we know how this guy got his name "Ivan" is Russian for "shitty father."
Ovechkin is easily better than Ivan the Terrible.
#9 Dmitri Mendeleev
Dmitri Mendeleev, like many Russians, suffered from misplaced "E" syndrome. He was a chemist responsible for formulating the periodic table, which is a big deal I guess, but since other people had basically already done the same thing that's really not that impressive.
Ovechkin is better than Mendeleev, no question.
#8 Alexander Suvorov
Hahaha look at this ponce. This guy fought the Ottomans and massacred a bunch of Polish people, but there's no way anyone who looks like this can rank higher than Alex Ovechkin.
#7 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
While I thought "The Grand Inquisitor" was good, I was unable to force myself to continue reading The Brothers Karamazov after that section. I would much rather read Alex Ovechkin's tweets, so Ovechkin wins again.
#6 Vladimir Lenin
Great facial hair, great man. Lenin's successes as a revolutionary, a political philosopher, and a leader of Russia make him the toughest competition Ovechkin has yet had to face. Lenin never did this though, so the victory belongs to Ovechkin once again.
#5 Peter the Great
Oh shit, this guy is going to be tough to beat. Not only does he have "great" right there in his name, just look at how badass he looks in that picture!
Peter was in power 42 years and did a whole bunch of actually-good stuff for Russia. He was also 6' 8" tall and was such a cool bastard that he sometimes gave paintings of himself as gifts to other rulers.
Ovechkin edges out Peter because Ovechkin's middle name is Mikhailovich, which is cool as shit, but I have a feeling we may be nearing a point where Ovechkin finally meets his match.
#4 Alexander Pushkin
A poet? How the hell did you get here? Hit the road, muttonchops, and make way for Mr. Ovechkin!
#3 Joseph Stalin
So...here's the thing. Russia copied this idea from stuff in other countries like 100 Greatest Britons...and then the people of Russia voted for JOSEPH STALIN as #3 on the list.
Fuck, Russia, you're hardcore. You win.
Ovechkin finishes as the fourth-greatest Russian in history...right behind Stalin.
Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014, 4:00 PM PST
Prediction: Alexander Ovechkin slaughters millions of Capitals fans and is still inexplicably beloved.
Video Gamery: My 36th-favorite video game is Gladius, a turn-based strategy combat game set in a magical Roman-inspired world.