Caps lose at my son’s first game

October 09, 2009 | Paul Hoke

In what was an upsetting follow up to the Washington Capitals 6-5 loss against the Filthy Flyers. The New York Rangers hung another “L” on our Caps (not yours Glenn, but ours) Thursday night before a very spirited Verizon Center crowd. But this game was different from every other game in the history of the Washington Capitals……my son was there.

Yes, it was my 9-year old’s first ever hockey game, and I have to be honest, I feel very guilty. Not because the Caps lost, or because they seem to forget how to play defense for 5-7 minutes each period. I feel guilty because my son reached the age of 9 before he experienced live hockey for the first time. After all, I was 5 when my dad took me to the Civic Center for my first Skipjacks game. But here’s the great part…he loved it from beginning to end.

Let me just say this about my son. He LOVES sports. He is the son after his father’s heart when it comes to anything sports related. He would always watch the Caps on TV with me, but as any true fan knows, hockey is so much better when viewed live and in person. To be honest, I would much rather watch a hockey game live then football and baseball. And I’m a bigger football fan then hockey fan. But it’s just something about being in the arena, and watching the sport live. Only then do you get a true appreciation of just how good the sport is. And my boy was sucked right in.

He didn’t pay any attention to the fact that Jose Theodore fell asleep in the second an third period, or that the Caps defense shut down at the 10 minute mark of the second, and never recovered. Nor did he notice how Alex Ovechkin kind of sleep walked through the game. All he could feel was the energy and passion generated from the Verizon crowd during the game. And I have to say, I was a proud papa.

I have loved hockey since 1981, thanks to my dad. And all I can hope is that when my son yelled his first “Let’s Go Caps!” last night, he became an instant fan too. And from the looks of it, and his hoarse voice this morning, he did.