Chasing Ovechkin, the Quest for the Autograph Part II

Posted November 22, 2013

Tom Wilson and Michael Latta hang with Ovie the Bulldog (Photos by Ovie’s Dad)

A lot of times, the sequel is better than the original. The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Knight, Shrek 2, Spider-man 2, Superman 2, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, you get the picture. While my own Part one was eventful and fun, it was without the payoff of Rocky winning the championship we later got in Rocky II. (See Part I)

A quiet Kettler is a good Kettler

Last time I visited Kettler IcePlex in hunt of Ovechkin, Dad failed to check the school calendars and we were surrounded by a lot of kids. I love kids! They pet me, give me tons of cookies, and provide me lots of attention. But it is exponentially harder for a bulldog to see the players because there was a large number of people and I don’t like getting stepped on in a crowd.
Today is a work day, Dad did his homework and checked the schedules, and it is quiet at Kettler. Ovechkin’s daily beater car is here, so we take up a spot close to it and wait.

A lot of fans are optimistic!

Since we don’t know when practice ends and I am certainly aware I am NOT allowed inside Kettler, Dad and I will just wait for about an hour outside talking hockey.

Ladies & Gentlemen! START YOUR SHARPIES!

Once practice ends, we start the head count on the competition…8, 10, 12 waiting on the players coming out. Talking with some of the autograph hunters, I’m hearing Ovechkin is a tough one to get and rarely signs. I’m trying to temper my expectations. Do I have the enough charm to stop him again? It worked at the Capitals Convention!

Nicklas Backstrom comes walking out, can’t stop has to go, that’s OK Nick I’m waiting on someone else.

A few minutes later, it’s HIM! Alex Ovechkin rounds the corner as the dozen fans converge in a hail of requests…sign this, pose for a picture…please? Alex politely declines. But then, he bursts with laughter as he sees me sitting there, “My buddy!” He bends over to give me some Gr8 Russian scratches, flashing that trademarked smile. Dad simply asks, would you mind signing his jersey? Ovechkin responds with “I will sign his jersey!” He takes the Sharpie form Dad and presses down…but I move my butt and he quickly lifts the pen so not to smear. Dad commands me to sit, as Ovi presses down on my jersey, I sit quickly and Ovechkin puts the pen to my jersey and signs. He gives me one last scratch and off he goes. Dad stands and looks as Alex climbs into his car and gives him another heartfelt thank you as Alex smiles and drives off.

Dad waits a few minutes, then swaps my jersey with my Winter Classic. Then stows the newly signed Home Red in the car. I don’t tweet about it because I want to surprise everyone with the news later, but my Twitter followers are on par with Batman, the World’s Greatest Detective. I posted a picture of me with John Carlson.

The bulldog is out of the bag!

Meeting more of the Team!

I have instituted an “Only pester the player once” Policy. Once a player takes a picture with me, I will not bother them again.

Today I see my friends Mike Green, Karl Alzner, Jay Beagle, Joel Ward, Martin Erat, Mikhail Grabovski, Braden Holtby, & John Erskine. I wave a paw as they pass and they all smile. Dad offers Holtby my services for the next time they travel to Philly, I can hang out in the goal and if Emery even thinks of coming down ice, I’ll hump him mercilessly while Holts laughs.

In addition to Carlson getting the bulldog shot today, I see Tom Wilson and Michael Latta.

Rules are meant to be broken, the Steve Oleksy Clause

That policy I posted above? Yeah, does not apply to Steve Oleksy….I love him too much! He loves me right back! I will take pictures with him every time we see each other! We talked about how I drafted him to my Fantasy Hockey Team and penciled him in for 60g 70a this season and I felt it might be on the low side. Also talked about his plans for Thanksgiving with his family. Just waiting on my invite any minute now ;)

The Goal Achieved!

The signed jersey.

Thank you to my namesake, Alex Ovechkin, once again stopping for a bulldog in a Caps jersey! I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to sign my jersey!

Other fun that day

Dad was off work, but was getting texts saying I was being mentioned during a conference call for my great efforts in support of the American Heart Walk! So we swung by to visit and get my butt scratched properly.

Then on to Mom’s office for some fun!

Schedule of the Bulldog

This week, what a week!

Was at the Verizon Center for ALL 3 Home games!

  • Sunday, 11/17 St Louis Blues WIN
  • Wednesday, 11/20 Pittsburgh Penguins LOSS
  • Friday, 11/22 Montreal Canadiens TBD

Current Record is 14-4 when I am out front of the Verizon Center.

What a week! Bark at you soon!


P.S. Serious, no invite yet Steve?