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From the Cubicle to the Crease

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I became a fan of the Washington Capitals the first time I saw Mike Green play. My college roommate happened to be related to someone who worked at the GIANT Center in Hershey. Since my college was located about 20 minutes from the rink, I managed to get to quite a few AHL games during my time there. And one year, the Bears dressed this young defenseman named Mike Green – fast as lightning with an uncanny understanding of the offensive side of hockey. Toss in Ovechkin, Backstrom and a gritty centerman named Brooks Laich, and I’m a closet Caps fan.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would add the name Brett Leonhardt to that list of favorite Capitals players.

Because I’m a fan, I listen weekly to the Capitals Report, a podcast featuring Mike Vogel and Brett “Stretch” Leonhardt of the Caps’ media department. They provide great information about the team, a lively interaction with their regular fans, and a little something to satisfy my hockey fix during the long train rides out of Philadelphia.

So imagine my surprise when I discover that this very same fellow I listen to on my iPod every week actually started with the Capitals as a backup goaltender against the Ottawa Senators. It must have been absolutely incredible to achieve a lifelong dream in a completely unexpected way. Imagine telling your grandkids years later that you once played on the same team as Ovechkin and Federov and Green. And you would definitely need the game-worn jersey to prove it.

Congratulations to “Stretch” on his first NHL game! Thanks for renewing the dream for all the undrafted overagers out there who work in cubicles instead of creases!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. geoff permalink
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 1:55 pm

    what college do you go to? im also 20 min from hershey, at shippensburg university. always on the lookout for fellow fans.

    • Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:05 pm

      I went to Elizabethtown College, and graduated in 2007. I’m living down a little closer to Philly now since I work in Center City.

      What team do you root for?

  2. John permalink
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:52 pm

    It’s good to see the Flyers win over the “Pittsburgh Malkin-Crosbys”. 🙂

  3. John permalink
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:53 pm

    And now you have a /4-point/ lead over NJ! But they still have three games in hand.. 😉

  4. John permalink
    Saturday, December 13, 2008 5:58 pm

    That’s me.. I’m not really the type to be pessimistic about things. 😉

  5. Saturday, December 13, 2008 9:55 pm

    The Devils lost to Buffalo – guess that glass is half full today.

  6. John permalink
    Sunday, December 14, 2008 10:51 am

    Okay, NOW you can be happy about the Devils winning the other day!

    • Sunday, December 14, 2008 3:57 pm

      Thanks so much for your permission to be happy. I can now celebrate without reservation.

  7. John permalink
    Sunday, December 14, 2008 5:25 pm

    Sure thing FF. Of course, I can’t grant you permission to celebrate should the Flyers win on Tuesday. 😉

  8. John permalink
    Monday, December 15, 2008 12:52 pm

    Yeah, I remember the game, it started the Avs on a five-game winning streak. Perhaps we’ll see history repeat itself tomorrow night..

  9. CapitalSpirit permalink
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 8:57 pm

    That surprised me, as well. Stretch actually made the front page on that night, and how often does THAT ever happen to a DNP?! The fans who send their questions to Capitals Report will never forget this one, I’m sure.


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