Ovie the Bulldog at the Capitals Convention

Posted September 22, 2013

Dream #1, accomplished! (All photos via @oviethebulldog)

Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you envision them happening, like Caps Fan Fest. Other times, they exceed your wildest dreams and Saturday was that day at the Capitals Convention. What I anticipated as a short visit sitting on the sidewalk greeting fans was magically transformed into a day of celebration for the Caps (Winter Classic! WOOF!), the fans, players, and this bulldog.

We are running late, my parents have this caffeine addiction that must be fed, so we are late to the Caps Convention. We find a nice spot on the steps on Mt. Vernon Pl, NW and hope we haven’t missed all the fans going to the CapsCon. I meet a few fans, more people from other non-Caps conventions are visiting with me than Caps fans.

Dad spots Alan May, Caps legend and current Comcast Sportsnet analyst, asking May for a quick pic before going inside. May is more than happy for a few quick pictures, asking if we are going inside. “No dogs allowed” is the mantra and we have to sit tight on the pavement.

UPDATE: May replied by tweeting the same photo, saying, “Not saying @OvietheBulldog got me the gig, but after he said hi, 5 hours later I’m hosting

He wishes us well and moves inside to the CapsCon. Few more fans and same question, am I allowed in? Dad takes the gamble and goes in to ask, true to the thought, I am not allowed in. But upon seeing me, the staffer promises to speak with a manager. A few minutes later, he comes to tell us we can enter and I must be on my best behavior.


I’m working my way to the convention, inside! Hoping not to get stopped or turned back, I’m strutting like I own the place. The hallway to the convention is lined with huge player posters, looks like a great place to hang out as the fans funnel from the main hall to panels in other areas. My day has truly begun! Meeting tons of fans, lots of love, lots of pictures, lots of people petting me, and most importantly lots of treats for high fives and fist bumps.

“Hey Locker! Take a picture with Ovie the Bulldog! You can’t let Beninati and May one-up you”, Dad is talking with Craig Laughlin, in the end, Locker heads away, no love for me.

For a bulldog, I’m getting tons of attention, people asking to pet me, can they take pictures…all easy requests to grant. I turn to see the Voice of the Capitals, Wes Johnson hanging out next to me. Wes and I are twitter friends, I tweet him insane requests to attend games with him in the PA Announce booth and he kindly doesn’t file SPAM complaints, it’s a great 2-way relationship. Wes is one great guy, has a lot of fun with the pictures and we conspire to sneak me into the Opposing team penalty box.

Monumental Sports crews are asking for an interview, when I realize she doesn’t have any cookies, I refuse to answer any questions on air.

For another interview, they talk with Mom & Dad, basically what’s my story and that I hope to meet Ovechkin someday for a picture and autograph on my jerseys.

Caps Super Fans! The GOAT!

I catch Loud Goat for some pictures and discussion on Caps Charities and being a fan for the team. Dad proudly declaring that my Crosby stuffed doll will suffer unspeakable horrors for the amusement of the Caps Fans.

Brouwer Rangers MEGAZORD!

Our good friend at Capitals Outsider, Barbara Banks lets us know that the Brouwer Rangers are enroute to meet with me. This will be the 1st meeting between us and I feel underdressed for the occasion, I don’t even have a helmet.

We discuss the Pens fan that had the audacity to wear a Fluery shirt to the CapsCon. We pose for fans for several minutes then the Brouwer Rangers must move on to the fun inside the CapsCon. Note to self, need to get a helmet.

Fun pics

The Geico Gecko was in the house, understandable was a bit worried approaching me, Dad removed Gecko’s fears by pointing out they would only need worry if they were they Geico Penguin.

Lauren (@ForeverRed20), Chris (@ChrisCaps33), and Sheena (@CAPLDY) were essential in helping me elude Kettler staff at Fan Fast. They are some of the biggest Caps fans on twitter; we seem to cross paths at Caps events and games a lot.

Little kids love dogs, enough said

Meeting some of the Caps

One of the funnier meetings was Joel Ward. I was swamped with about 20 people around me taking pictures and petting me when Dad noticed Ward walking right past trying to peek at what these fans could be focused on. Dad hollered out at Ward that fans were so taken by a bulldog in a jersey they missed on an opportunity to meet the Caps winger, he smiled.

On the return trip, Ward was more than happy to take a picture and ask about bulldogs. I’m lying there and we fill him in, I’m lazy, love the sofa, and watching the Caps on TV.

NHL Hockey Hall of Famer, the Secretary of Defense and Caps legend Rod Langway stopped by and posed for a picture, he gave me lots of love.

Mathieu Perreault, aka Matty P aka Celly Master, was kind enough to stop for a quick picture. Despite the bark of his staff escort that he was late and had no time. Matty said he had a minute to take a picture with me.

The Red Rockers, a love story

We met at Fan Fest and it was love at first sight, time apart has not diminished our feelings. The Red Rockers came out in groups to visit with me while on duty and when off for the day. “Ovie the bulldog is in the concourse hallway” they were telling each other.

Ejection II, The Revenge

So, I’ve been sitting in the main hallway for almost FIVE hours now, taking pictures, getting lots of attention, and drawing crowds at times. I have not been hiding in a dark corner or avoiding anyone, in fact I’ve been laying in the middle of the hall for a lot of that time. Dad proudly declaring I’m playing better defense than Jeff Schultz. A Convention Center staff comes over and utters the phrase “I’m sorry but we do not allow dogs in the convention center and he will have to leave”. Wait, WUT? Dad calmly explains that I’ve been in the same spot for 5 hours and not one of the other 3 dozen Convention center staff has said anything, in fact most have stopped for pictures. He also says we had asked prior to entering the building and were originally told “No Dogs,” but that the staff at the door contacted a manager and I was granted permission, so long as I was well behaved. With that information, she apologized and walked off; no one can clear me from my crease now!

Meeting the Ovi, no time/space continuums were torn in this meeting

There are 2 things I’ve wanted as a Caps bulldog. 1) Meet and get a picture with my namesake, Alex Ovechkin and 2) Get Alex Ovechkin to autograph my 2 custom jerseys. We took the picture next to the poster and joked this was as close as I would get on this day. Up to this point, I’d met Ovi’s parents, cousins, and Maria Kirilenko in front of Caps games.

I was posing for pictures with more fans when Mom & Dad both looked up to see Ovi walking up the hall with his Caps staff, going to his next session. Dad shouted out, “Ovi! Ovi meet Ovie!” Ovechkin looked to see me and laughed, fans quickly moved back to start taking pictures of what was going to be a summit of Ovi/Ovie. The Red Sea was parted, in the photo….there is almost no one in the background, they all moved back to take the picture.

Kneeling down next to me, he put his hand on my back and Dad took the picture. Dream #1, accomplished! What was an already great day just blasted off into space, now a day of forever legend. Cementing for many, what makes

Ovechkin and hockey players in general so great, willingness to stop and take a picture with a bulldog in a Caps jersey.

In the end, we spent almost 7 hours at the Caps Convention, I left exhausted after an incredible experience!

Thank you to the fans that stopped to see me! Thank you to the Capitals for hosting such a spectacular event! Special Thank you to the Convention Center staff for NOT ejecting me because without the extra time, I’d never have seen one of my dreams realized!

Ovi, you took the time to meet a bulldog in a jersey named for you, words will never be enough to express my thanks.

See you all at the Caps Home Opener on October 3rd; I’ll be in my normal spot on F St between the entry points. Unless either Wes gets me into the announcers booth or Ted invites me into his suite, *WINK*

Oh, yeah, I need to get a Brouwer Ranger helmet.