I hate feeling my own feels. The Caps just turned my insides to mush with this two-minute video dedicated to Bensten “Bman” Schone. As you’ll recall, Bensten is the six-year-old Caps fan who was struck by a car after accidentally sledding into the road. He’s been slowly recovering from a brain injury ever since.
When news broke that the Capitals asked the US Army Chorus sing the national anthem, some wondered if it was potentially a cost-cutting move. In previous Winter Classics, famous, Grammy award-winning musicians have sung the Star Spangled Banner, including the Zac Brown Band last year and Patti LeBelle in 2012.
Instead, Caps anthem singers Master Sergeant Bob McDonald and Master Sergeant Caleb Green combined with Caps PA Announcer Wes Johnson to author one of the most beautiful pregame ceremonies and anthem singings I’ve ever seen. In fact, the whole thing was so dang perfect and well-done, I found myself overwhelmed. I sobbed by the end of it.
Photo: Allison Stancil
On Saturday, a bunch of you came out to Ft. Dupont Ice Arena, and helped raise more than $2,800 for charity in just two short hours. Because you guys were so frigging cool, I had to get even cooler at the end of the party.
With “help” from Troy Brouwer, the Brouwer Rangers, Connor Carrick, and Wes Johnson, I completed the Ice Bucket Challenge in front of 100 crazed lunatics at center ice. I’m told it was a balmy 25 degrees at ice level.
Check it out yourself below.
The Brouwers with all three Brouwer Rangers. (Photo: Sheena D.)
9/8 Update: With post-event bake sale money and online donations included, the total raised actually comes to $2,800!
Thanks to everyone who braved the wicked traffic to come out to PARTYZORD: The Brouwer Rangers/RMNB ‘Legends of Ice Dancing’ Tour de Pouwer (to Support Fort Dupont Ice Arena)™ on Saturday morning. In just two short hours, we raised more than $2,100 for Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena! Can you believe it?!
That includes money contributed through the raffle, bake sale and silent auction, and surpasses the total donation we made along with the Brouwers last year! Even better is that the real total is probably even higher than that, thanks to folks who couldn’t make it out to the party but still donated online. (If you’d like to do that now, head over to FDIA’s donation page.)
We think Emily put it best:
— Emily Wright (@EmilyCello) September 6, 2014
Once we get past the Alex Ovechkins of the world, we’re left with another tier of Ice Bucket Challenges acceptance videos, where B-list athletes we’re not nearly as excited about post vertically oriented videos. But that’s okay because in this third round of Ice Bucket Challenges (see Post 1 and Post 2 here), we’ve got toilet water, a four-minute short-film, and Nate Schmidt shirtless.
Photo credit: @KurtBusch
NASCAR driver Kurt Busch and his adopted stepson Houston are at the Washington Capitals game tonight. During pregame warm-ups, Busch got a tour of the penalty box and took photos on the ice and with the PA microphone.
Houston is wearing an Alex Ovechkin jersey.
While Alex Ovechkin is easily the most celebrated player on the Washington Capitals, someone else was the star of Caps Con.
Everyone say hi to Ovie the Bulldog.
On the top floor of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Ovie’s human parents, Mike and Kim Robertson, set up shop with their leashed and well-behaved pup, greeting Caps fans on their way down to the convention. He made lots of friends.
Photo credit: @WashCaps
If you searched Alex Ovechkin‘s name on Twitter the afternoon of March 27th, you witnessed several Capitals fans freaking out publicly.
“I was just within 10 feet of Alex Ovechkin,” @ChiSportsLife said. “No big deal.”
That beautiful March day, Ovechkin filmed a commercial for Verizon Wireless, where the script called for the Russian Machine to approach random people walking by Verizon Center and start up a pick-up hockey game.
Tuesday, the commercial was finally released to YouTube — and it is awesome.
Okay, he’s just showing off now. (Photo credit: @mpoindc)
Alex Ovechkin shot a commercial for Verizon on Wednesday afternoon, and the extras were… well, pretty much everybody who walked past Verizon Center. Our own resident artist Rachel Cohen was at the event and gave us the scoop. Ovi, dressed in his full Washington Capitals gear, walked out through the front doors of the Verizon Center holding a bundle of hockey sticks. The Russian machine approached some passersby and asked if they’d like to play some pick-up with him. And then, right there on F Street, they played. Really.
The Red Rockers came out of Verizon Center to cheer on Ovi. The PA voice of the Capitals, Wes Johnson, did play-by-play. Owner Ted Leonsis and John Walton were there as well.
The game was three-on-three. Ovi picked players out of the crowd to play every few minutes. Judging by the chatter, a little game of flash shinny with the Great Eight has changed some lives.
A before and after shot of Wes with his health coach Elaine.
On December 6, 2012, while the NHL lockout was in its 82nd day, employees of the Washington Capitals game entertainment crew reunited for hockey for the first time in seven months. The Caps AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, played the Norfolk Admirals in front of a sold out crowd. Hours before the game, arena employees met near the Caps locker room area for a briefing.
As PA Announcer Wes Johnson entered the room, Michael Wurman, Director of Game Entertainment and TV Products, pointed over to the man that many referred to as “Big Guy.” “There have been quite a few changes over the offseason,” Wurman said with a big smile. “And one of them just so happens to be sitting over here: Wes.”
The room gave Johnson a round of applause. “It was very gratifying,” Johnson told me in a phone interview. “And a little embarrassing too.”
“You’re probably in the last five to ten years of your life”
During a winter day a few years ago, Johnson walked out the front door of his Virginia home to run a few errands. As he made his way to his car, the 51-year-old actor, voice-over artist, and comedian, slipped on a patch of ice in his driveway. Despite his five-foot, nine-inch height, Johnson took a big tumble to the ground, ripping ligaments in his ankle.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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