Wading Into Unknown Territory: My Quest for a Caps Tattoo


After the Capitals captured their first Stanley Cup championship, fans expressed their joy in a number of ways, from painting their cars to permanent reminders in tattoos commemorating the win. Recently, NoVa Caps’ Lisa Desabrais went into the unknown and celebrated with the latter. In this latest “Thoughts From Section 217”, Lisa describes her feelings on getting her first tattoo and the experience of it all. 

When the Washington Capitals were progressing further and further along in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs I’m sure all of us fans got caught up in the excitement of the “WHAT IF”; what if the team really did win the whole thing? We made promises to the hockey gods of things we would do, like shaving our heads, streaking down the road (you know who you are), anything that would ensure the team came home victorious. We also got caught up in the excitement of it all, the intoxication (maybe a little vodka too) of seeing our team inching closer and closer to winning the Stanley Cup and vowed to get a tattoo (that was me).

I am, or was, what you would call a tattoo virgin. Someone who has always admired them, just on other people. I could have “conveniently” forgotten what I promised back in June and no one would have been the wiser. The idea of getting a tattoo both excited and petrified me all at the same time. But not one to go back on my word (listen up my kiddos) I began the process of making it happen.

In the first couple months after the Capitals won it all, I saw pictures upon pictures of Stanley Cup inspired body art (HERE) Finding someone to put something permanent on your body is like finding a hairdresser you like; you don’t go looking in the yellow pages. I took to social media asking for advice from Capitals fans and friends I knew had tattoos. Once I narrowed my search to the “where”, Exposed Temptations Tattoo, I needed to find a “who” (it’s like doing a research project), and then find a “what” (design).

Since I spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer I thought it best to have my tattoo done in the fall; it also gave me time to work up the courage to do it. I dropped by the studio thinking I was going in for a consultation and met with Rooster, who came highly recommended to me. What ended up happening is an appointment time becoming available, leaving me no time to change my mind. I also wanted plenty of time for it to heal before Capitals Casino Night; wanted it to look good for the boys all the while hoping I don’t blurt out “Look, I have you on my leg”.

I will admit I did get a little unnerved when, while visiting the restroom, I happened to see a person doing what seemed like Lamaze breathing with a pained look on her face. Sitting in the chair as the wording and outline of my tattoo began, I realized why the lady earlier was doing the heavy breathing; it hurt like hell! Unbeknownst to me my husband was also giving a play-by-play to my kids via a group text; they never thought I would actually do it.  I promise I only swore once; after awhile your brain becomes numb to the pain; until the shading begins. Just like childbirth, the pain subsides and you are left with something that gives you joy each and every day (My kids will surely roll their eyes at the comparison)!

45 LONG minutes later (remember I told you I was a tattoo virgin) and my vision of what I wanted became a reality. I wanted my Capitals tattoo to be something simple but with meaning to me. As with each game played there are three stars for the night. I chose to incorporate my three stars of the team.




Only one day post-completion

While I don’t know if this will be my only tattoo, I’m glad I made it a reality. Each and every day it will be a reminder of my love of hockey and the Washington Capitals. I do need to give a special thank you to the ladies of Washington Capitals Hockey Fans Facebook group for keeping me amused during the process.

On Opening Night, and every day thereafter, I will have Holtby, Oshie, and former Capital (though a favorite) Jay Beagle with me. I wonder if that counts as my “free pass”.

You can find all the great artwork of Exposed Temptations Tattoos, Rooster,  and their team on Facebook HERE, and Instagram HERE.

By Lisa Desabrais

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