Good Sports DayPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
I woke up on Sunday in Charlottesville, VA where my son Mac's Baltimore Stars Bantam travel team had a road game at 10:15 on Sunday morning. Charlottesville is great; I've loved my visits there. But it has proven to be a tough road town for Mac's teams over the years. Shoddy hometown officiating has often been responsible. I've seen shady clock management, gift power plays, penalty shots that shouldn't have been penalty shots and all sorts of built-in advantages to give the locals an edge that usually results in the locals getting a win. Today, more of the same. This time the largesse was in the form of a couple gift power plays (one on an interference call on the Baltimore goalie, who was in his crease facing the puck with his back turned to the kid that collided with him) and the hometown team getting two (!) timeouts. Ah, but the boys from Baltimore foiled that when they scored two shorthanded goals and skated off with a 7-6 win. Proud father injection: Mac had a power play goal and three assists. After the game, Mac and I and his pal Stevie (also a Baltimore Star) headed back to the District. We got back in time to watch the second half of our Baltimore Ravens AFC playoff win over the Houston Texas while we dined on Thai food in the shadows of Verizon Center. Shortly after that game ended, I parked the boys in the Verizon Center seats for the Caps game. It wasn't easy or pretty, but the Caps earned a big win over Carolina to jump back into the top spot in the Southeast for the first time in a while. While the Caps-Canes game was going on, Mac and Stevie were keeping me updated on the progress of the Packers-Giants game. Stevie's dad is a Giants fan, and growing up in Chicago, there is no love lost with me and the Packers. So seeing the green and gold go down put a happy coda on a long sports day with four happy endings. Life can dish out its share of lemons when it comes to following favorite teams. Having lived in Chicago for more than 20 years and having followed and covered the Caps for nearly that long, I know. And I know you locals do, too. Mac and Stevie and I will savor this one.
Six years ago today, Alex Ovechkin scored one of the most noted goals in NHL history in Phoenix against the Coyotes. The goal came in a 6-1 Washington win in an afternoon game on Martin Luther King Day. For the Capitals, the game was the final contest of a three-game road trip. In the middle match