Five years ago, back when I had just recently graduated college, I’d have given a kidney for playoff tickets. Watching hockey with 18,000 of my closest friends in a rock concert-like atmosphere, it seemed to me, would be well worth it.
21-year-old Caps fan David Bower is a better person than I. To get the chance to see the Capitals in the playoffs this year, he’s giving up one of his prized possessions: this signed Alex Ovechkin ornament.
Bower, who lives in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, works for Laubscher Pools and professionally installs swimming pools and hot tubs. He became a Capitals fan a few years back when he started regularly attending AHL games in Hershey. “Seeing all of their prospects moving up from the AHL to the NHL got me interested,” Bower told RMNB. “Plus, there are no fans in the world like Capitals fans. I was just sucked in from then on out.”
When Bower went to see his first ever Caps game – an evening tilt against the Ottawa Senators on December 3rd of last year, he noticed a table set up on the lower level. Players were autographing Christmas ornaments to raise money for Mike Green’s charity “So Kids Can.” Since he was a huge Ovechkin fan, Bower spent big money to get the Russian machine’s signature on a Christmas bulb, his first ever Caps autograph.
Now David wants to see a Caps playoff game live. With money tight and gas prices ridiculously high, he didn’t have the funds to handle the costs of two tickets and driving down from Central Pennsylvania. So he made an excruciating decision: auction his Ovechkin-signed ornament on eBay.
Bidding for the ornament starts at $75, but David is crossing his fingers for more. “I’m hoping to make at least $150 — nothing crazy — for it so I can make up for most of the ticket price. It wouldn’t matter to me where I sit, as long as I was in Verizon Center rocking the red and watching the Capitals do what they do best!”
Which to David is kicking ass.
If you’re interested in putting a bid for an autograph from one of the world’s greatest hockey players, just know you’re donating to a good cause. David watches and listens to every Caps game online or on TV. He even referred to the 27/74 defensive pairing as Carlzner when I spoke to him.
When I asked David who he would take to a game if he were fortunate enough to make enough dough on eBay, he didn’t hesitate. “My girlfriend. Who else? She’s a huge fan too.”