Reminiscing on Free Pucks, Sticks, Burgers and Pizza

Posted November 22, 2012

For several seasons, back in the late 80s and early 90s, my family made it a tradition to attend the Capitals game the night before Thanksgiving at the Capital Centre. We not only got to see our favorite players, like Rod Langway and Dale Hunter, but the Capitals also gave away pucks after the game. The other must-attend-for-the-giveaway game was New Years Day, when they gave free hockey sticks to the kids under 16.

There were other bonuses, too. We got a Bob’s Big Boy burger coupon when the Caps pitched a shutout, and a Jerry’s pizza coupon when Washington scored six goals, which usually happened in the third period as the fans chanted ‘Pizza! Pizza!’

I still have many of those Capitals pucks. The sticks broke, but only after many games of street hockey with friends, which eventually led to the tennis court games on roller blades, which then led to the adult leagues. My family always headed to Bob’s Big Boy for the burgers, and you can be certain that we also went to Jerry’s for the pizza.

I’m not sure why the Capitals haven’t given out free pucks in recent years, replacing them instead with bobbleheads and other schwag that collects dust on the mantle. Those pucks and stick giveaways, believe it or not, encouraged me to actually play the game. Has any bobblehead ever encouraged someone to put on skates and hit the ice?

Those were the days.

Happy Thanksgiving from Capitals Outsider.