Every year I’ve enjoyed watching the Jerseys off Our Backs ceremony. It was always fun watching fans and players interacting in that fashion. And every year, afterwards I would turn to my mother and say, “Someday that’s gonna be me.”
Last Tuesday I came home from work to the surprise of a lifetime from my mother.
“So, I just got off the phone with our new ticket rep… She just called to say ‘hello’ and chat…. Oh, and by the way we’re doing Jerseys Off Our Back on Sunday.”
I almost cried when I heard those words. Our family had never won ANY prizes through the Season Ticket Holder contests, so this was a gigantic surprise. For the next few days, it was all I had on my mind: Who would I get?? Someone I adore?? Will I be able to retain composure, or would I be overcome by teh feels and crumple to the ice in a teary ball?
Sunday came around, and two periods of hockey later, I was leaving 104 for the last time this season to check in for the event. I ended up being early, so I caught the first half of the third period from the top of the steps. But soon, we all had envelopes in our hands and were making our way downstairs to wait for the end of the game. Overtime and the shootout was spent in a hallway by the visiting locker room, so we had no TV to watch the end of the game on. Thankfully, the guy in front of me got CSN on his smartphone so we were able to see the (unfortunate) end of the game. Once the Lightning had made their way to the locker room, we all headed out onto the ice!
My hands were shaking. I was gonna be third to go, which was better than first, but I still had the jitters. Soon enough the spotlight was on me and I was told to open my envelope. I was overjoyed by the number inside: 16.
I nearly jumped with joy as I saw him skating over. As we were shaking hands, his first words were, “Good choice… I think.” And I replied “An excellent choice!” We ended up chatting for a couple minutes. He thanked me for the support, and I thanked him back and explained how much the Caps meant to me. After autographing the jersey with a huge grin, Fehr turned to me and said, “You’re the best.” It took all my being to not melt into a big puddle. My only regret was not getting a selfie!!! I was just too nervous!
When I got home, knew I had to send Fehr a thank you on Twitter. So I sketched a little doodle and posted it. Sure enough, he replied! It was pretty much the perfect ending to a great day. Even though the season didn’t end the way anyone wanted it to, there’s always little moments in a year that will make one smile. And this moment definitely made me smile from ear to ear. Doing Jerseys Off Our Backs was a dream come true, and I wouldn’t have imagined it any better!!!
— Eric Fehr (@EricFehr) April 14, 2014