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Offseason Opinions: That Moment...

It wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t a desert mirage.

NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 5: Washington Capitals vs Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Every generation has those pivotal moments, the one you ask “where were you when...”. For Caps fans, it’s when the final horn sounded in Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and the Caps were finally crowned Stanley Cup champions. So let’s talk about it!

Where were you when the Caps won the Cup?

Luke: I was outside Capital One Arena, sick as a freaking dog, which sucked some of the fun out of the win, but it was a great experience celebrating the Capitals first Cup win with such a huge crowd (even if I was probably Ground Zero for a cold outbreak). Will never forget it.

Bryan: Oh, I actually wrote about this! (Go ahead and ignore all the non-hockey stuff there, please and thank you.) Standing at the intersection of G & 8th Street outside the National Portrait Gallery just absolutely losing my dang mind… that was something special and a moment that I don’t know I’ll ever be able to replicate again. Now, five years out, I feel even more fortunate that this happened at just the right time in my life – I had a job that I knew I wasn’t going to stay in for much longer, the ability to stretch out multiple long and stressful nights a week, and the alcohol tolerance that had me at the peak of my consumption game.

Looking back, I have now come to a semi-coherent conclusion that everyone should (ideally) have the opportunity to see their teams win championships at three different points in their lives: as a child, in your early adulthood, and in old age.

You’ll never have more time to invest with less to care about than when you’re a kid – while a lot of that hunger hasn’t gone away (I mean, we wouldn’t be writing for and reading this site if it did) there’s just not as many things to worry about when you’re growing up and your teams can be your whole thing without there being complications. Now, I (we) all certainly took our lumps for many, many years as D.C. sports fans and probably learned a thing or two about fairness and how the world works because of it, but it would have been really neat to get a W when that was all that mattered.

As a young(ish) adult, having disposable income and a legal ID certainly comes with its benefits, and I made sure to take full advantage of the opportunity when it was afforded to me.

It was really cool to see my dad, who didn’t grow up a Caps fan (he’s much older than the team and didn’t get into hockey until I did) get to experience the excitement of the championship when he had become reasonably sure he wasn’t ever going to get to see them lift the Cup. I hope that someday I can have that happen too (although it would be nice to get a few more between now and then.)

Finally, this was also a cool time for me as I was in the early stages of a new relationship, and I found a willing and patient partner to drag to watch parties throughout the playoffs. In fact, when the final horn sounded, hysterical masses, myself included, lost their collective minds, and I started bawling my eyes out, my now future fiancee didn’t take it as a massive red flag and back away slowly into the crowd at my horrifying ugly tears, and I’m pretty grateful for that.

Peerless: In my family room, watching on TV with an adult beverage by my side.

Becca: I was lucky enough to be at my sister’s house with my whole family, including my long-suffering father, who taught me everything I know about hockey and has watched this dumbass team since their very first season and deserved to see that happen more than anyone I can imagine.

I feel like I blacked out for various stretches of that game, but some things definitely stick out and will forever. I remember that feeling when DSP scored the tying goal and the feeling when Eller pulled the team ahead - both of which seemed like The Moment even though there was a ton of time left. I remember all of us collectively having a heart attack when the clock stopped late in the third (seriously, I still haven’t fully recovered) and then just jumping up and down and screaming and crying when it began moving again and counted down to zero (okay everyone was a little misty but the crying was mostly me, because I’m a cheeseball, and am getting teary-eyed just writing about it now).

One of the most special moments of my life with the most special people in my life. Sports can be magical sometimes, kids.

J.P.:

Becca: ...that is both an excellent answer and an absolutely infuriating one. (And for those of you wondering what it’s like to work with J.P., that just about sums up the experience.)

Okay, we’ve (almost) all shared. Now it’s your turn! Let’s hear your stories.