So, way back in the 80s, as I started going to school, my parents got me an alarm clock, a Sony Dream Machine with radio and sleep function. I wasn't into music at the time and WTOP was the clearest signal I could get, so it was always set to 1500 AM. WTOP had Orioles and Caps hockey broadcasts and I would often hit that sleep button and drift off to slumber listening to baseball and hockey (off season, I think WTOP carried Larry King at 10PM). Hockey was fascinating, it was fast paced without a lot of breaks and I quickly got hooked.
My clearest memory of this time was a multi-OT playoff game that kept dragging on, needing me to re-hit that sleep button a couple of times to get another hour as I lay awake hoping the Caps would win. You can probably guess the most likely game that this is.
Anyways, the company my mother worked for had a box at the Capital Centre, above one of the portals, and they offered free tickets to various events on a first come first serve basis. I had gone to the Ice Capades and the circus a couple of times, but I asked her to try to get Caps tickets. And lo, one day, she got them, a playoff game against the Rangers. I don't remember the year or even the score (I think the Caps won big), all I remember was that the game was awesome to watch and I was hooked. I got my first Caps hat that day and wore it every day for a long time (sitill have it!)