By Contest Entries
On April 18th, 1987 I was 4 ½ years old. I was also a stubborn little girl in the Capitals Centre refusing to leave her seat as the Caps and Islanders went into their first overtime. I sat and continued to refuse to move as the hours ticked into April 19th. My father says he had no idea what he’d created, but I’m pretty sure I knew what I was doing. Now, 23 years later I can promise you that if the Caps were heading into four overtimes I would be doing the same thing, screaming my lungs out, refusing to go home and peeking between my hands covering my eyes hoping for a victory.
As my older sister’s interests drifted from hockey, my Capitals obsession was merely beginning to blossom. Sitting next to my father at games became a regular occurrence and a bond we still share. Watching our Caps light the lamp quickly became must see TV in our home. From Landover to F Street, from Abe to Ted, changes have occurred throughout the years; the one constant that has remained is my undying passion for our team. As a middle and high school student I attended games regularly. I went to Caps events and would go watch practice at Piney Orchard on days off from school. In 1994 I cried and called into a radio show to talk about how we could have traded "Wild Thing", Al Iafrate. I moved on and was probably the only 15 year old that had a poster of Olaf Kolzig in full pads over her bed. And when the Caps went to the finals in 1998 every door of my room, closet and entry way was covered with the newspaper clippings from the previous night’s game of every round of the playoffs.
I moved away from Washington for one of the last 27 years. That year while in Raleigh, North Carolina, I was taunted by a 70 year old woman for wearing my Caps jersey to a game in which the Caps were far from playoff contention. I love when they win but I’ve dealt with the losses as well. The Caps are my passion. My husband and I have known each other since childhood and used to yell across the ice at Caps versus Penguins games. While my idols were Dale Hunter and Peter Bondra, he dreamt of Mario Lemeuix and Jaromir Jagr. Times have changed and he now dons a David Steckel jersey at games, boo’s Sidney Crosby and cheers for the Caps when the black and gold come to town.
As an adult I no longer cut out clippings and post them on my doors at home, rather there are bobble heads as bookends and clippings from years past on my desk at work. I wear red to work on game days when possible and my father even joked about getting Alex Ovechkin for the first dance at my wedding (to my husband’s dismay). I do not get to go to as many games as I would like, but appreciate those that I can attend. In the years to come this will no longer be an experience that I’ve only shared with my father and my husband, but hopefully will be a hobby I can pass on to my children.
It’s easy for me to tell you on exactly what day and time I became a Caps fan. However, to me how I became a fan was just the first chapter in the story and now it is all about why I’m a Caps fan.
By Dorie A