In the midst of a news cycle that won’t let up, the extraordinary pleasures connected with the triumph of the Washington Capitals remain strong.
So instead of delving deep — or at all — into politics, we want to say thanks for the things that are salves and balms, not distractions. Such as a championship.
We want to thank Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis for his forbearance and patience in putting together a team that at last snared the Stanley Cup for this city and, perhaps more important, for the larger community, all along and in between the Metro lines.
The buzz and joyful hangover from this triumph remain with us in memory. And that cup is not bitter, it is sweet — as in they can’t take that away from us.
The efforts of Leonsis, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the District government and many, many others have revitalized downtown D.C., making it a top destination with the Capital One Arena (originally the MCI Center, then the Verizon Center), Smithsonian museums and others, restaurants of all kinds and, most recently, high-end retail.
Also to be thanked is another visionary businessman: Abe Pollin, who owned the Washington Wizards (Bullets) and Capitals and that big arena on F Street, where theblock is called “Abe Pollin Way.” This philanthropist-developer put in place the conditions for Washington’s success in sports and downtown commerce. Thank you, Abe, you were the prime mover.
Thank you, Ted, for a triumph that not only made often disappointed Caps fans proud and exuberantly happy, but brought a spirit of giddiness, pride and silliness to D.C. It brought with it, too, the idea that hockey — like other sports central to acommunity’s sense of identity — can bring us together, even in these divisive times.