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3/30-CAPS Lose to Senators in OT and My Night in the Owner’s Box

March 31, 2010


When my dad was still alive he used to call me “Lucky”. Mind you, he wasn’t referring to “good” luck. He used to amuse all who would listen with stories about me like the time I broke a toe while sitting down in chair and the time I was climbing a tree and pushed my head into an upper tree branch which lead to a trip to the ER and a couple of stitches. Now, in my defense – I broke my toe kicking the table leg while sitting in a chair because my brother thought it would be fun to light my knee on fire under the table when no one was looking. Also, I was having a tree climbing contest when I got stitches and I did win, so in the spirit of good competition – sometimes you get hurt right?

I started with that familial anecdote simply because in my world – “luck” is a very subjective thing and it can be about as bad as you care to imagine or about as good as good can get. In the end – it all seems to balance out for me, so I roll with it to the best of my ability and with no particular grace at all. My other blog and the archives (years 2000-2006 are not available right this moment) can give a more complete sense of what I mean – but be prepared to read. My blog posts can be lengthy.  Enough of that – let’s get to the Washington Capitals hockey.

First, I’ll say that I’ve seen better CAPS hockey. They seemed tired and I have seen harder work in corners this season. However, considering the injured CAPS players not in the mix and the incentive for Ottawa to be at the top of their game; I’m not complaining about the game in terms of play. If only our beloved CAPS could win every game – but in reality it just doesn’t work that way. Second, the hockey season is very long and sometimes the game just doesn’t unfold the way any of us would like. I WILL complain about the “tripping” call made against the CAPS in OT. Players get tripped-up all the time in games, but doesn’t the “trip” have to be intentional for it to warrant time in the penalty box? It seemed to me that the call was a “stretch”, to put it nicely. Maybe I’m not the only one who brought the wrong glasses to the game last night?

No, you won’t get stats and numbers from me, so you can stop reading now if that’s what you are looking for here. What you will get is a CAPS fan who went home HAPPY. First, for any fans out there who were around during the Jagr/Bruce Cassidy, pre-lockout years – the CAPS game you saw last night was some mighty good hockey compared to many of the CAPS games you’ve seen in previous years. It hasn’t been easy being a Capitals hockey fan if you’ve been at it for years and years. There have been a few hockey seasons in the past that almost put me into a drunken stupor every single game – and I’m not a drinker! You’d be surprised how fast a Guinness will go down when you just can’t say “move your feet”, “keep your head up” and my very personal favorite, “No, no, no – it’s YOUR powerplay-not theirs”, anymore. Not that I want to bring up the past and dwell on it, but I do keep perspective and I haven’t lost faith. I’m not the type of fan who will boo my own team – seems counter productive to me for some reason. I will however, make snide comments such as “someone must have put glue on his skates” to the air when I’m watching/listening to a game. I’m an NHL hockey-loving fanatic and I am not a perfect fan. But I am patient and I appreciate the Washington Capitals of today, because I’ve seen the Washington Capitals of years past. Let’s just all send our love to the hockey gods and see if the guys can just rock out some kick ass Washington Capitals hockey through the playoffs. They can do it and so can you.

Oh yes, so let me tie my dad’s nickname for me ,”Lucky”, into the second part of this post’s title now. Here’s the scoop in as few, general words as I can manage:  I am a 30+ year NHL hockey fan with a certain particular passion for Washington Capitals hockey. My life has been filled with about as much “luck”, both over-the-top awful as sing praises to the universe fantastic as any one life can stand. In 2006, when I was 34, I started having some serious issues with my health. Every person in my family was already deceased and in 2007 my mother went down with a broken hip and several strokes. By 2007, I was without a job, in an expensive legal battle with my mother’s lawyers and had been told by two, independent doctors of some notoriety that no one knew what was wrong with me and that my organs and vital systems were shutting down rapidly. I was told I would not be alive to see my 37th birthday. Very, long and complicated story of misery made short – I lost the entirety of my life savings, two homes, my car, my health insurance, and in the end, my mother. By May of 2008, I had gone from being worth a little under a million (yes – I work hard) to being worth about $100 (yes, I apparently I fall hard too). It really can happen that fast and it can happen to anyone. I did mourn the loss, but now I make jokes about mysterious worm-holes that must have formed at my bank and now my money is floating around in an entirely different galaxy. My dad would probably have said my bank had “Flitzakacka” (I don’t know how to spell that word correctly – but he loved using derivations from other languages to describe diarrhea).

I didn’t exactly buy-in to the whole “you’ll be dead by 37” thing, but I wasn’t going to take any chances, so I immediately got me a season seat for the 2007-2008 CAPS season (no better way to die than as a season ticket-holding Capitals fan if you ask me) and then I donated an undisclosed about of money anonymously to a sleep research foundation. Then I prepared to get my butt kicked – and I did (still am – but I get a few good jabs in and have learned to “duck and cover”, so to speak). However, I just celebrated my 38th birthday.  I have now have three contractual jobs; one that affords me health insurance and the ability to stand in at the front of a room and give advice to men who carry weapons – and they listen – and they actually learn and another that actually has to do with hockey. I make a difference however small it may be. I’m not homeless. I had a brain tumor removed through my nose in February and a couple of weeks ago; I read Washington Capital’s Majority Owner, Ted Leonsis’s book – “The Business of Happiness”. It’s a quick read and I do suggest you read it when you get a chance. It’s worth your time.

As it also happened, I finally got my P.O.S. laptop (bought it at the Goodwill which was also helpful for finding “I have to go to DC” work clothes after losing 45 lbs.) working and my internet connection more reliable, so aside from having the ability to listen CAPS 1500 online (hockey withdrawal is a serious illness and should be covered by all major insurance plans in the U.S.), I can also e-mail (and blog) at will again. It isn’t everyday that one can read a book and then send an e-mail to the author – and feel fairly confident that the author will read the e-mail. I knew that my e-mail would get read. I knew I could send an e-mail and I knew that it was a perfectly acceptable thing to do, because the author happens to be very open to Washington Capitals Fan’s e-mails and he does actually read the e-mails.

I appreciate an accessible NHL owner and I am happy that my Washington Capitals happen to have an owner like that. I had a different perspective  from Ted Leonsis regarding a few things I read in his book and I’m an NHL Hockey lover to a distracting degree, so I decided I should send my thoughts to Ted Leonsis via e-mail. I tried to be as respectful as possible, because I am aware that we CAPS fans have an owner who puts himself out there and that’s a very rare commodity. Maybe you don’t agree with me, but that’s okay.

My cat kept stepping on my keyboard while I was typing my e-mail, so I sent my e-mail in a hurry with numerous typos and missing words, which I didn’t notice until the following day. I didn’t expect a reply, but I did get one. Just like that  – I was invited to see a CAPS game from “The Box”. Yeah – I know – mouth open-wide shock and awe. So, after recovering from the sheer surprise and asking someone to read the e-mail to be sure I wasn’t having NHL Hockey withdrawal related delusions, I immediately turned into a five-year old kid, bouncing off the walls. I was reduced to a state of perma-grin that made people curious about the results of my last urinalysis (which is a requirement for my job and yes, I’m also steroid free just like the Washington Capitals).

So, there I was – sitting in very nice seats, watching a Capitals game. I literally would have been okay with getting a chance to see my CAPS this season while hanging from the rafters, so a luxury suite is quite the nice upgrade in my book. I got a chance to meet Ted and have him sign a copy of my book. At one point in the 2nd period, I turned around and there was Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. I got fed. I got watered. I got to meet the majority owner of the Washington Capitals. I got see my Washington Capitals play. I got to be in the Verizon Center with the rest of the people Rockin’ the Red – soaking up all the crazy CAPS fandom. I got to watch a hockey game with Governor O’Malley (who I did vote for and all the people who chanted “O’Malley sucks” at the Greenbelt metro station after the game should now also be chanting “Mia sucks” too). Umm – yeah – can you say – “Lucky!?” My dad would be so proud.

I have already met Martin O’Malley a couple of times before, so I wasn’t as interested in talking to him as I was just sitting in my comfy chair, with a cup holder no less, and just looking out into the Verizon Center contemplating the absolute wonder of the whole situation. When O’Malley was the Mayor of Baltimore, he would often eat at a restaurant in the same building where I worked for a high-profile architect, so an O’Malley meet and chat would happen now again when the Peter fillat crew would go down for lunch. I suppose, I should have been more impressed with the people who were around me – but I was just so tickled to be at a game and I’m a bona-fide hockey fan, so I spent most of my time watching the ice.

Here I was thinking that my goalie talk with Martin Brodeur at the beginning of the season was about as “Lucky” as I could get and wouldn’t you know it – I was wrong. Life is interesting and hockey is good.  I am still in poor health and there is no clear indication as to whether or not the brain tumor was the cause of the issues. I will probably have to work until the very day that I die, which could be tomorrow for all I know, to recoup my losses, but for now – I refuse to go before I see the CAPS hoist the Cup and I have been given a once in a lifetime chance to watch my Capitals from a very special location, because of a very kind and generous person. ROCK ON TED LEONSIS and GO CAPS – show ’em what real hockey looks like! Love your NHL Hockey and it will love you back! – peace – mia (

  1. billdc permalink
    March 31, 2010 10:11 pm

    Great story Mia. I too am a long time Caps fan who sat thru 8-67-5 with my Dad. Last Sunday it was father and son again but this time I took my son. He’s four and really been following the Caps with me this year. He loved it and we plan to go back. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I wrote about the experience here. Check it out when you have time.



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