I have this belief that if you're going to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you should watch it with someone who hasn't seen it. It's a great movie to watch anytime, but when you can experience the movie with someone who is foreign to it, the movie becomes something special.
Such is the case with the Washington Capitals.
My girlfriend and I have been dating for nearly four years now, and we decided this New Year's to bring our families together for the holiday. While her family wanted to enjoy the typical Washington agenda of monuments, museums and memorials, I had one event in mind that they had to experience.
Over the past four years, her family has become Capitals fans through me. I'd visit, watch games with her father and soon he had picked out his favorite player, Mike Green. A family that never cared about hockey was now caught up in the Capitals craze and were casually rocking the red. The only problem was that they had never been to a Capitals game.
"Have you ever been to a hockey game live?" I asked her father.
"Yeah, I saw the Blackhawks in 2000," he said.
"You need to see the Caps. There's nothing like seeing the Capitals live."
"Is that so? Well, you set it up, and we'll see."
With her family in Washington for the week and a game on New Year's Day, it was the perfect chance to follow through on my statement. Soon after the plans for our get-together were arranged, tickets were purchased for the Tampa Bay Lightning game on Jan. 1, 2009.
The mission was a resounding success.
How many people can say that in their first live Capitals game they saw: 11 goals scored, a fight, an Ovechkin goal, a Green goal, a penalty shot, and a near-capacity arena full of red-clad fans going bonkers?
Throughout the game I would look over at her family to see their reaction. The father was sitting on the edge of his seat with his eyes glued to the ice, and the mother was just as loud and proud as any fan in the audience. It overjoyed me to see them join in on every "Let's go Caps" chant without missing a beat and jump to their feet after goals.
The drive home was quiet with only the sounds of the post-game show heard throughout the car. I decided that it was time to ask the question of all questions that night.
"Did you enjoy it?" I asked.
"It was a blast, I loved it!" her father said.
"Would you want to come again?"
There really is nothing like seeing the Capitals live.