News & Politics

A Brief History of DC Athletes Not Looking Like Their Bobbleheads

Photograph via Reddit.

When photos of a new John Wall bobblehead doll surfaced this week, seemingly every sports blog pounced at the startling lack of resemblance between man and figurine. For most of Tuesday, the top post on Reddit’s NBA page showed a photo of the two side by side, and commenters thought the bobble looked more like Forest Whitaker or Laurence Fishburne than the all-star point guard.

This wasn’t the first time bobbleheads of DC athletes were called out for looking different from their human counterparts. Some other instances:

Jayson Werth, 2015

To commemorate his walk-off against the Cardinals in the 2012 playoffs, the Nationals tentatively unveiled a jumping, open-mouthed Jayson Werth bobble. It was the stuff of nightmares. After getting some pushback, the team pulled it, saying it was “not satisfied with the final product.”

Troy Brouwer, 2013

The former Capitals winger, who isn’t normally known for his facial hair, grew out a thick mustache for “Movember” a few seasons back. The franchise celebrated by handing out 19,000 mustachioed Brouwer bobbles. Unamused, Brouwer’s wife, Carmen, had an alternate, stache-less, version made, which she handed out to friends, and family.

Alex Ovechkin, 2008

Eight years back, a Washington City Paper reporter didn’t think this freebie he got at a Caps game bore much of a resemblance to Ovechkin, who went on to win his first Hart Trophy later that year. Maybe because the bobblehead wasn’t missing any teeth?

Honorable mention

While Washington’s football team has largely avoided bobblehead-shaming, former quarterback Robert Griffin III did get recognized with a statue at his alma mater of Baylor University that made some scratch their heads.

And to be fair, the lack of resemblance is pretty normal. As Clinton Yates noted during the Werth snafu: “We won’t even bother with the whole ‘this thing doesn’t even really look like the guy’ bit, because they never really do. That’s fine.”

Then again, this Bryce bobble’s pretty spot on:

 

 

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Jackson Knapp
Assistant Editor