It really has taken me all summer to process and comprehend what the hell happened in June. It was like watching a movie, where everything comes together at the end for the main characters. Something that I had always dreamed of, was happening in real time, although I felt the need to pinch myself, wondering when I would wake up from this dream. It all came together.
On Wednesday we get to watch something that many of us have been waiting YEARS for. 30 for to be exact. A banner is being raised that says Stanley Cup Champions in the rafters of Capital One Arena. A banner to be seen by all for the existence of this team. A banner for all the past players who never got one, for all the fans that have passed on never feeling what we felt this summer. This is a banner for a city that is constantly divided on politics and issues, that hasn’t seen a big 4 winner since 1992. This is a banner for an organization that has seemingly done everything right since ’74, everything except bring home the Cup.
It was a playoff of tears for me. I cried when Kuzy netted the game winner in OT to vanquish the Pens.
When Holtby shut out the Lightening to win the conference. But I lost it when that final horn sounded in game five to clinch the Cup. I cried with friends and strangers in CapOne, although none of us were actually strangers, we were all friends and family that just witnessed the greatest accomplishment in sports. It didn’t matter where you stood on politics, if you were a fan for 44 years or 44 seconds. We all wanted to share this moment together.
I have watched a video on the Caps winning the Cup every day since it has happened and I’ve sent quite a few “can you believe the Caps won the CUP!?” texts. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m 30 and emotional or if it’s something else but I still tear up watching it. I’ve been a fan since I went to a game before I was a year old and season ticket holder for a while. I’ve had to convince my mom(who has a tendency to overreact when the Caps lose) to renew the tickets with me because “this could be the year”. Sorry, Mom, but, I told you so!
The players and the organization have done the celebration right. They celebrated with us and not just in front of us. They have swan dived into fountains, crashed parties at bars and restaurants, drank a ton. No really, they drank A LOT. Hockey guys are generally good guys. I’m not sure if it’s because a lot of them come from small towns or if they aren’t lauded from a young age or if it’s just the fact that hockey takes a lot. Ice time is hard to come by. You can have practice at 4am or 11pm. Needless to say, these guys are a part of this city and you can see home much they love it.
I can’t wait to settle into seat 3 in row J to watch the banner being raised. It’s going to be the best time and I guarantee that I will tear up again. All these years of losing in heartbreaking fashion, in OT, in final seconds, losing 3 games in a row, losing over and over and over made this ever so sweet.
And just so everyone knows it—if you go to Ovi’s house for a drink, he now has a cup!
By Chris McIntosh