(Capitals Game) Chillin.
As promised, here is the recap of the epic night where the rap and hockey worlds collided.
If you’ve followed along or read the replay of the CoveritLive live blog (which was oh so finely moderated by KnobbzXL), I’ll try my best to avoid overlap. Also be sure to check DC Sports Bog’s take on the evening, written much more eloquently.
When I arrived to the Verizon Center press entrance, I stood outside waiting for Wale and his friend Jay Promo to arrive. The start of the game came and went. Soon I was surrounded by the Verizon Center concession workers who were on their smoke breaks. When I wasn’t disappointing the employees by my lack of matches or a lighter, I was wondering if I was being punk’d. Soon enough, Wale & Jay came walking across the street, and we walked into the arena. As we were walking through the concourse, we heard the crowd making noise as a scrum broke out during the game. Not wanting to miss a moment more, surely one of the most diverse trios to ever grace the Verizon Center proceeded to sprint like Usain Bolt through the concourse.
When we arrived at our seats, it was safe to claim that we were “outchea”. Right off the bat, Wale & Jay were impressed by the amount of people in the crowd and the energy as they started to snap photos on their respective phones. Wale was such a fan of the action on the ice that he wished the 20 minute intermission would be shorter so the game would return quicker. I suggested he protest to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (or at the very least mention it in a song).
Nearing the end of the game, Jay predicted that Carolina was going to get back into it and the Capitals were in danger of having to go for the “swindle”. Thankfully, although Carolina tied up the game and took it to shootout (not before a 2 minute penalty for the Caps in overtime which we all agreed seemed to be the 2 longest minutes of our lives), the Caps were able to prevail. Come overtime & shootout, all three of us were standing, yelling, and giving daps to one another as Ovechkin scored to win the shootout. Afterward, Wale asked if he was the only one whose heart was racing. I’m willing to bet he was one of thousands in the building with the short-term ailment.
During the game we had a lot of discussion, everything from breaking down all the rules of the game to HBO’s Eastbound & Down (check it out!) to debates about the best athlete names. I found out a few very interesting things in between: 1) Jay is probably the biggest Bruce Springsteen fan I’ve ever met — he has attended more than 30 of his concerts 2) Wale really enjoyed the question about Saved By The Bell. Future interviewers are advised to bring up the topic.
After the game we proceeded to the Capitals locker room, not before we were greeted by Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis and his son Zach (who is also a Wale fan and saw him perform at Vanderbilt). Wale was so impressed with how well Mr. Leonsis operated his franchise that he later suggested that he do a sit down intervention with Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
Next was Wale’s encounter with the man of the hour, Caps winger Alex Ovechkin. Alex and all of the players were walking around in towels… I put my camera away as a part of a mutual decision (ML isn’t that kind of operation). Plus, I wouldn’t want to have a Gary Coleman x Mark Messier type image with cups hanging in the background:
Alex presented Wale with his own Capitals jersey, but quickly deemed it unfit because it lacked a name and number. Ovechkin asked Caps PR honcho Nate to hook Wale up proper with a custom jersey. We waited for Ovechkin to come out for a proper photo opportunity with Capitals players and the General Manager walking past us. Wale gave a pretty amazing diatrabe on sports, which included him meeting a Russian journalist, who to Wale’s surprise, recognized him. Here is a small sample (with a supporting role from Dan Steinberg):
As we continued to wait for Ovechkin to emerge fully clothed, Wale walked over to the players hockey stick rack and picked up Michael Nylander’s carbon fiber model. He was amazed at the weight of the stick, exclaiming “this is so light!”
Then it happened:
Wale x Alex Ovechkin.
Before we left, Wale also met another Capitals star: defensemen Mike Green. They talked about the flashiness of hockey players and Wale suggested that someone get a chain with a diamond pendent of the Stanley Cup. If Mike Green gets one in the near future, you know why (and where you heard it first). Everyone exchanged good byes and parted ways.
You better believe that we are going to try to organize this again some time soon. Playoffs?! *no Jim Mora*. Huge thanks to everyone involved in making this amazing night happen: Wale, Daniel Weisman, Jay Promo, Dan Steinberg, Nate Ewell, Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Ted Leonsis and the Washington Capitals Organizaiton/Team.
*I contributed to the night’s slang by coining “antiswindle” as in “Jose Theodore is the antiswindle”. I’m gonna try to convince Jay to at least make a glossary to get you in the loop.
*Throughout the night Wale had a lot of intriguing business ideas including a collaboration with Ted Leonsis for a Black AOL.
*Wale wished he had the life of a hockey player, which would allow him to live a lot more anonymously.
*Buffalo connections were in the building. Jay had family from there, I went to school there, Dan was born there, and the Russian journalist was a fan of the Bills.
*If you don’t watch the aforementioned video- Ilya Kovalchuk is friends with Lil Jon.