For the second year running, the Washington Capitals hosted their annual Season Ticket Holder “Meet the Caps” party at Six Flags America. Once again, the team provided fans with a night of fun for all ages.
The timing of the event was impeccable — a perfect Autumn evening, perhaps our last before a spate of rain and cold arriving tomorrow. The crowd was large and enthusiastic, though the autograph lines were far longer than those for the many rides. It’s easy to forget how exhilarating a good rollercoaster can be when one doesn’t wait in an hour-plus queue, melting on an August afternoon. Waiting two minutes to fly 20 stories high at 75 mph? Sign me up!
The players, and even the coach, enjoyed the rides as much (if not more) than the Capitals’ fans. My wife and I rode the Tower of Doom free-fall drop with Mike Knuble; Shaone Morrisonn and Quinton Laing apologetically bumped us from the last car of the Superman: Ride of Steel coaster (the players were understandably shuttled past the lines, given their limited time to ride and likelihood of being mobbed by fans). Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom harnessed up for the Skycoaster. Alexes Ovechkin and Semin, after their extended autograph sessions, hot-footed into the Gotham section amid a phalanx of friends and fans.
Even Coach Bruce Boudreau hopped onto the Joker’s Jinx coaster, much to the delight of the crowd on line who immediately started shouting, “Bruuuuuuuuuuuce!” Boudreau chuckled and waved before whizzing off into the sky. Admittedly, the crowd gave him some good-natured ribbing after the ride — as Boudreau exited the staff announced the coaster needed to be shut down for maintenance (I kid you not). Thankfully, a few test runs later the Joker was back in action.
Last year’s event set a baseline for Meet the Caps events; this year’s met and exceeded that standard. A hearty thanks to Ted Leonsis and the Caps crew for choosing a venue much more engaging than milling about the Verizon Center — those who wanted autographs still had ample opportunity, yet the rides and games made the night so much more exciting for players and fans alike.
First the smash-hit Capitals Convention, now another successful Six Flags adventure; the Washington Capitals clearly provide DC’s best sports-related entertainment value both on and off the ice.