Photos via @CapitalsPR

In a month and a half, we’ll officially be in the hockey dead zone. There’ll be a new Stanley Cup Champion (either Jeff Schultz or Henrik Lundqvist). The draft will be over, as will development camp. Most free agents will have found their new teams.

But right smack dab in the middle of the most boring part of the year, Inova Blood Services will be hosting a blood drive at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Saturday, July 26th from 7am to 5pm. For those who schedule an appointment and donate blood (do it here), you’ll receive a bobblehead and a Capitals t-shirt.

This is no ordinary bobblehead. This is The Big Cheese himself, Joel Ward. And it may very well be the most impeccably made ceramic figurine I have ever seen (please forgive me, Joel Rechlicz Bobblefist).

Just take a look at these pics.





I have never seen a more well-kempt beard on a ceramic figure. It really captures Wardo’s face. Tell me I’m wrong.

So let’s go over this one more time, but this time with bullets:

  • Call 1-866-BLOODSAVES if you’re scared of internet forms and schedule an appointment.
  • Go to Kettler on July 26th, donate blood. Feel awesome about yourself because you just helped save a life (which really should be reward enough).
  • Make your way up to an Inova employee, give them a high five, and grab your free bobblehead and shirt.
  • Maybe meet your future wife.*

Sound good? That’s what I thought. See you there.

* When I was in college, me and Ashley worked in the same on-campus office at UMBC. One day, Ashley told me she was going to a blood drive on campus. Though I was completely scared of needles, I went along. I called it a date the whole time, but sadly Ashley didn’t agree with me. A few months later, we graduated and lost contact. For the next two years though, I was reminded of Ashley every time I got mail from the Red Cross about donating again. When Ashley went to England for a summer class, we got back in touch and emailed the entire time. When she returned, I helped her move into her new apartment. A week later, she threw a housewarming party and we first kissed. In three weeks, I’m totally marrying her. So maybe, just maybe, you might meet your future wife at this.

  • DashingDave314

    Extremely upset that it wasn’t modeled after this:

  • DashingDave314

    Or this:

  • Sarah

    I always say I bleed black and green but now I’ll have a chance to prove I bleed red too! How awesome! Oh God, and a Joel Ward bobblehead in the deal. I’m already feeling faint.

  • Sarah

    Wait I just thought of something. Does the choice of Wardo imply that they’re going to keep him? Oh please oh please oh please…

  • Guest

    Appointment made.

  • Brouwer Rangers

    “For the next two years though, I was reminded of Ashley every time I got mail from the Red Cross about donating again.” – @ianoland:disqus

    Two years of being reminded of someone every other day will do that to you.

  • Brouwer Rangers

    What I’m saying is the Red Cross is very persistent one they have your info.

  • VeggieTart

    Definitely worth an hour or so of my time and a pint of my blood. That bobblehead is awesome.

  • Sentient Cheese

    wait you went/worked near UMBC?! I went there! We’re Totes friends now.

  • Sarah

    They know your Ranger superpowers mean your blood saves twice as many lives. And it puts a little Caps fan in everyone. Can you blame them?

  • Brouwer Rangers

    Well, I am O-, which as we all know is the best and most unselfish of the blood types.

  • Brouwer Rangers

    Or that they want to unload all these bobbleheads before he’s not on the team anymore?

  • Sarah

    NOOOOOOOO!!!! #KeepWardo

  • Sarah

    Oh, man… that damn near is a superpower, seriously. No wonder they’re after you.

  • Sarah

    I recommend calling the appointment line just to experience a toll free line staffed by an actual human being who picks up the phone. Holy cow, it must be the last one in America! And they were friendly, too. (shakes head in wonder)

  • Anthony Elworthy

    Heartwarming anecdote, Ian. Worth the click on its own.

  • pixiestix

    i agree! it merits a bigger font!

  • We’ve always been friends!

    Yeah, I went to UMBC. I chose UMBC’s art school over a huge scholarship to RIT. It really, really prepared me well for the future. And being the director of promotions for SEB was an unbelievable real wordlist type opportunity. I got to design things for Lewis Black, Taking Back Sunday, and I met Ashley.

  • Myan

    OH JAM! Too bad I’ve been exposed to hepatitis B (I was born in Asia) so I can’t give blood…but my boyfriend has plenty of good blood to go around. Hmm ideas!

  • Sarah

    Yes! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Ian! Persistence pays off…

  • MadFlava

    No way they get rid of Wardo with Trotz as coach! Wardo being a Cap probably sealed the deal with Trotz coming here.

  • Steve Killmon

    This is a trick. These are clearly professional head shots provided by Joel’s agent.

  • I was all like…

  • so here’s the thing… i’ve never given blood. for a long time it was because i couldn’t (various eligibility requirements) but also because needles and i don’t get along. my veins “don’t cooperate,” according to the phlebotomist at my doctor’s office, combined with some good old-fashioned vasovagal syncope (just out, on the floor). but there’s never enough blood, and i freaking HAVE TO have that wardo bobble. HAVE TO. so basically what i’m saying is i have an appointment at kettler at 1:30 on july 26 and i need somebody to hold my hand. and probably drive me home, honestly. (i live in arlington.) help me out, rmnb! i <3 you and i think i might cry now because i'm already freaking out.

  • Ash

    Heh. They told me it was going to be a Ward bobblehead for July at the last blood drive (the one where all the Nicky bobbleheads went astray in shipping), so I’m pretty sure they have the bobbleheads chosen well in advance.

    Still, I do think there was a bit of a conspiracy theory that when we traded Varly, all the Vokoun bobbleheads were actually repurposed Varly ones…

  • VeggieTart

    Hi, Jenn. My appointment is at 1:15. I could meet you there and see if we can have appointments together at least. However, I don’t have a car and will be Metroing to DC. Or we could meet for lunch at Noodles & Co.

  • Sarah

    It would seal the deal for me.

  • Sarah

    Jenn that is awesome of you. I work Saturday mornings and things can easily run over, so I’m afraid I can’t commit to the ride without risk of leaving you in the lurch. Which I would not want to do, with you being so brave and trying this. I also promised my family never to give anybody I didn’t know a ride, of course. But anyway, if work gets out on time and I can be there to support you I totally will! I’m a good hand holder and have donated tons of times.
    I made my appointment later in the afternoon and am planning to hang out in the area anyway, just to be sure I don’t leave *Inova* in the lurch. So I will try to help out, and listen, if your veins don’t cooperate or it seems like too much or whatever, heck they’ll probably still give you a bobblehead for trying but if not YOU CAN HAVE MINE. Yes, I will make the ultimate sacrifice to honor your effort. 😉

  • Cthulu’s Alarm Clock


  • Sarah

    Ah yes, love. Even better than world domination. Sigh…

  • DashingDave314

    My best friend is having his bachelor party that weekend in Boston. Somebody create cloning so I can be two places at once and get my Ward bobblehead (which I will promptly paint him to more properly model Ward in his best moment ever, pretending to be John Walton).

  • that’s awesome! peter and ian may be able to vouch for me not being an axe murderer, and with a needle in my arm i don’t know how much damage i could do if i was one so your family can rest easily =) maybe the inova folks will be brilliant and i won’t end up with an 8″ bruise on my arm like last time i had a physical. i’m sure if i hang out long enough i’ll be good to drive the 3 miles home (and just one turn) home, hence the early appointment. now i’ll just think happy wardo bobble thoughts for the next 7 weeks! i love him so much it’s silly. (especially since he stole my spot on the superman ride of steel once. totally worth it.)

  • i’ll probably get noodles for lunch beforehand, calming carbs to up the blood sugar =) you’d never believe i work in healthcare, would you?! giant. wimp.

  • Sarah

    Okay, Ian, your story is really awesome and the intermission reports have been on mute, so I just wrote a song in honor of you and Ashley. It’s about finding love at blood drives, so it’s based on “Love Hurts” by Nazareth.

    Love hurts, love cuts, I know
    But so what? Let’s get our butts
    Out to give blood, be tough
    And take a little pain, there’s so much there to gain
    Blood is good stuff
    Gotta have enough
    Love hurts……ooh, ooh love hurts

    My life is fine, but I won’t lie
    I’d like to find a guy
    Regardless save a life
    So I’m gonna donate, yeah you gotta donate
    You never know
    You could find your mate

    Love hurts……ooh, ooh love hurts

    Ian found his happiness
    Blissfulness, togetherness,
    But even if you don’t, I guess
    It’s still a worthy deed

    I guess it could be true, I guess it could be true
    Ian met his bride there
    Would he lie to you?
    Love hurts……ooh, ooh love hurts
    ooh, ooh love hurts

  • Sarah

    Well, there’s still the aforementioned schedule issue, what with Murphy’s Law I’m afraid that if I commit that *will* be the day everything goes batpoop at work. Anything to help a fellow Wardo fan girl, but Saturdays are unpredictable, and I don’t want you stuck there..

  • Sarah

    You’re not a wimp, hon, bad veins are kind of the equalizer. It’s brave of you to try! I’m lucky to be such an easy stick I let people learn on me… if that weren’t the case I doubt I’d have donated so many times.

  • Kristen Kerns Wheeler

    My appts early am; but, I live near Kettler, so I could give you a lift if needed.

  • ravensun

    Holy crap, it actually LOOKS like him! That. Is. Awesome! Must give blood. 🙂 Appointment made.

  • ravensun

    Having been given a bobblehead if I tried and failed for reasons of low iron, I can vouch for them doing so. I can’t vouch for what they would do if you tried and were denied for reasons listed on their sheet that you’d been denied for previously (i.e. you came in knowing you’d been denied for having spent significant time in the UK during specific time periods, etc., or you came in knowing you’d been denied for taking certain medications or having certain diseases and you were on their “known cannot donate” list, but tried anyway…)

  • ravensun

    It’s not the blood sugar you need to boost; it’s iron. They don’t test for blood sugar. Eat spinach and/or red meat the night before if you know your iron count is low, for whatever reason. My iron count naturally runs a couple of points lower than what they require, so I make sure to do things to increase my iron count before going in to donate.

    And agreed – you’re not a wimp.

  • VeggieTart

    Nah, some of the people who work in health care, sorry to say, can be the worst. I used to work at a doctor’s office many years ago, and it’s amazing how many health care professionals smoke. We could meet at Noodles beforehand if you want.

  • VeggieTart

    I eat a lot of kale in the week beforehand. Kale–really any green veggie–is great for iron, especially if paired with foods rich in vitamin C.

  • Brittany

    Darn my tattoo and trip to Korea (apparently they fear I got malaria there) making me ineligible!

  • Chris Trice

    Joel looks great but he has nothing on my Justice Scalia bobble

  • Chris Trice

    Dang. pic won’t post

  • the blood sugar isn’t for them, it’s for me =) and focusing on my breathing. i can suction my patients like a champ, but i’m a sympathetic vomiter. weird. also, TMI, sorry. heh.

  • that’s a little different, making bad choices even when you know better. people can become desensitized to some medical things. i passed out after getting shots when i was a little kid, and i’ve been pretty bad since then. i learned that i need to be fully hydrated or i end up with a bruise the size of my entire arm.

  • nah nothing like that, although it’s still ridiculous that MSM is still a non-negotiable restriction. one of these days the red cross will fix that.

  • Sarah

    This should be an ad campaign for the Omni. Or come to think of it, maybe their competitors…

  • Golly Girl

    I can vouch for the fact that just by signing up, & showing up, you will probably get a bobblehead, even if you are denied for the silly reasons. I got my Carlson bobblehead, even tho Inova thinks I have mad cow disease from spending too much time in England & Europe. I’ve tried to tell them that my wierdness predates my mad cow exposure, but they just don’t care and won’t take my blood.
    Unfortunately, my husband’s appt time is at 9:30, otherwise we could offer the hand-holding & ride home.

  • miseenjeu

    I’m a regular, and an easy stick, but I’ve seen the staff there work very hard to help out first time donors.

    You’re wise to think of eating a good lunch just before you donate, and to remember to stay fully hydrated. They’ll offer you a bottle of water when you sign in, and I’ve also asked for juice when they take me back to review my form. Sometimes my iron can run a little low, so I make sure I’ve eaten a lot of iron rich food the week before.

    Also be sure to plan to eat after you donate. They’ll have juice, cookies and candy in the refreshment area, but it’s also good to plan on a substantial meal.

  • Diller M

    Great story about meeting your wife

  • thanks! i’ll plan for all of the above =)