By: Aaron Greenberg
The Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup over the Las Vegas Golden Knights by a Score of 4-3 finishing the series in five games. This is Washington D.C.’s first professional sports championship in 26 years.
I am 20 years old, I was born into a family with a dad who grew up in Rockville, MD and was raised by my grandfather as an avid D.C. sports fan. Growing up, Sundays were for Redskins Football, summers were for Orioles Baseball and the times in between were spent switching between the Gilbert Arenas led Wizards and the dreadful Washington Capitals. I grew up not just loving sports but living for them. Living for them so much that I am writing this blog sitting at a desk working at FedExField, home of the Washington Redskins. Many if not all of my childhood memories have come in one of four places, my home in Richmond, VA. FedExField, Verizon Center (Capital One Arena), and Orioles Park at Camden Yards.
When I was eight years old, my late grandfather Eugene Greenberg took me to my first Washington Capitals game. Instantly I fell in love, I had been to live hockey games before supporting my hometown Richmond Renegades or Rhinos or whatever they were named that year, but I had never seen anything like this. The sea of red, the crisp cold air, the finesse of the men on the ice, flying down on skates and hitting a piece of rubber with a wooden stick. I was hooked. My grandfather came home the next day from work and handed me a bag, I opened it to find a red number 8 Alexander Ovechkin jersey, a jersey so old that it didn’t even have a C on the chest yet. A jersey that I still have in my closet, and attempt to find excuses to wear all the time because I remember the feeling I got when I first put it on. I was 8 years old. Through the following years going to Capitals games with my dad, grandfather, uncle and cousin became something I looked forward to every winter. I attended games through middle school, high school and now even college.
As the playoffs rolled around this season I prepared myself for yet another disappointment, I had sat through everything, the New York Rangers coming back from 3-1, the Jaroslav Halak show, the penguins and the penguins and then penguins. I was there when RGIII tore his ACL and refused to come out and the Redskins lost to the Seahawks. I was there when DeSean Jackson didn’t switch the ball into his left hand and the Redskins settled for a field goal and later lost to the Packers. I had seen it all so nothing could surprise me at this point. I sat in my girlfriend’s apartment on the edge of the couch to watch the first game of what could only be another story of disappointment. What followed that night and the next few was only something I had dreamt of.
I was lucky enough to see the Capitals win Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. I sat as the opening video played and cried, I was overcome with emotion because for the first time in my life as a fan, I knew I was going to be a champion. I stood on G Street last night amongst 30,000 other believers and simultaneously became champions. The Washington Capitals have broken the curse, and I am finally a part of a championship winning generation, and damn does it feel good.
Here's a few scenes of last night in downtown D.C:
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