Photo: Nick P.

I thought it was a slam dunk. On Thursday night when I published an article promoting Alex Ovechkin’s appearance at an Alexandria, Virginia Verizon Wireless store, I thought our readers would send us back a bunch of happy stories about meeting The Great Eight.

The signed postcard everyone received.

The signed postcard everyone received.

And while we got some of those, unfortunately the responses we got back Friday night were mostly negative. I think for good reason too.

Many Caps fans battled rush hour traffic on the beltway (some even drove a couple of hours), to make one of Ovechkin’s rare public appearances. Fans brought jerseys, sticks, and photos to get signed. They were excited.

When they got there though, they were told “no photos” and that Ovechkin would sign only a small postcard which basically equated to a Verizon Wireless ad. In some ways, the rules were understandable: a lot of people showed up (reportedly a few hundred) and Verizon wanted to get them all through the line. I get that. But the lack of communication ahead of time by Verizon, destroyed a lot of people’s expectations upon arriving.

For one fan, the most biting moment was when after he was told no photos, he watched as Ovechkin posed inside with all of the Verizon Wireless employees.

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Reader Reports: Alex Ovechkin Signs DVDs at Sterling Best Buy

Alex Ovechkin, in his Avoid Responsibility T-Shirt, signs copies of his new DVD at the Sterling Best Buy.

The new Alex Ovechkin DVD came out today to much aplomb. Surely, you’ve seen the trailer. Hopefully you’ve followed along as Dan Steinberg cataloged the shirtlessness. It’s kind of a big deal.

Alyonka Larionov (daughter of Igor “The Profesor” Larionov), who worked on the film, supplied this note using some newfangled technology called YouTube:

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Mike Green signs Gabriel's Jersey

Mike Green Arrives for his own Autograph Session 2 Hours Late. With a car like that though, we'll still call it 'fashionable.' (Photo Mark Randle)

Mike Green arrives 2 hours late for his own Autograph Signing. With a car like that though, we'll still call his tardiness 'fashionable.' (Photo Colin Randle)

The last thing I heard as I was leaving my girlfriend’s apartment today was: “You owe me big time, tomorrow.” Why? Because I made Ashley go with me to attend Muscle Milk’s Mike Green Autograph Signing at a Giant Food Store in the dredges of Columbia, Maryland. Did everything go smoothly? SIGH. No. Does it ever when you’re dealing with professional athletes?? Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

“But it looked so pretty from the window”

At 9:45AM this morning, Ashley’s futuristic horns of hell alarm went off and we slowly started the process of waking up. One of the first things we noticed was all of the light that was escaping out of her bedside window. What followed was cute. Ashley curiously got up out of bed, stumbled over, slowly pushed the curtain aside, and then gently pressed down on one of the blinds. After several seconds of what seemed like intense observation, she turned to me excitedly and exclaimed “Ian! It’s such a beautiful day outside!!”

I appreciated the enthusiasm. All week, I had been so excited about actually having a Capitals player up near Baltimore. Ever since the Capitals built their beautiful practice facility in Ballston, Virginia, I’ve rarely been able to find the time to go to player appearances or events held by the club. Commuting an hour and a half on weekdays in psycho Virginia traffic is not my vision of fun. And when there are actually weekend practices at Kettler, it’s a total madhouse. Thanks but no thanks, you know?

So when I heard that Muscle Milk was doing the unthinkable and bringing the NHL’s Best Defenseman, Mike Green, up to a Giant 10 minutes away from where I live, my attendance was totally mandatory.

As we both readied ourselves to leave, I quickly started checking my email on Ashley’s computer. While I did so, my tag-team-partner-of-love innocently asked me to check weather.com and tell her how warm it was outside. When the page loaded, I gulped in terror. “Honey, it says it’s 35 degrees outside.”


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