The first major D.C. sports championship that I saw in my lifetime was also the first professional hockey game I went to at 23-years-old. Capitol One Arena was filled with Washington Capitals fans in a swarming sea of red, who had been waiting generations, and some their whole lives to see.
Spectators both young and old stood and stared at the jumbo-tron as the minutes turned into seconds at the arena. As Caps devotees erupted with adulation, red, white and blue confetti came sailing down. It was a first for anyone basically under thirty, so a long time coming doesn’t fit the description of just how monumental this occasion was.
From high above in the press box to the floor seats, you could feel the place shaking. Each fan shared one common goal. One that my city held for over forty years.
Most towns, outside of Boston, don’t celebrate hockey like D.C. has come to embrace the sport in recent years. Unfortunately the Wizards play in Lebron James’ Eastern Conference, the Redskins’ management makes ill-advised personnel decisions and the Nationals are still cursed, but the Caps finally prevailed. After becoming so close each year until Thursday night, they got it done for the city.
The Arena and this town was electric on Thursday, but the party has just begun.