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An introduction from a Caps blogger

By Kareem El-Alaily

Welcome to this experiment allowing fans to blog about our beloved Capitals. I'm honored that the Post selected me to write one of the blogs and I''m going to do my best to provide readers with relevant opinions and analyses on the Caps.

A quick synopsis of my hockey background: I was born and raised in Northern Virginia. For the first twelve years of my life I was a football/basketball devotee. I was intrigued by hockey in the 80s and had always kept an eye on the Caps, but like most local kids growing up in the heyday of the Redskins I bled - and still bleed - burgundy and gold. Then some marketing wonk at HTS (remember that channel?) made a decision that would change my life. HTS decided to offer a free two-week preview which happened to coincide with the epic Flyers-Caps series in 1988. A passive hockey fan before, I was hooked instantly to the excitement and intensity of playoff hockey. And Dale Hunter''s Game 7 goal sealed the deal. I immediately bought my first Mylec street hockey stick and signed up for ice skating lessons. I've been playing hockey ever since.

I love the Caps for having introduced me to this great sport of hockey. But, boy, these guys don''t make it easy do they? There are few teams in sports that routinely break your heart in the most excruciating fashion, as our beloved Caps do; yet somehow we endure, acknowledging in some macabre way that it's partly what gives the Caps their charm. And it re-affirms that all the pain we''ve endured as a fan base will just make the eventual raising of a Stanley Cup banner that much sweeter, especially for the core group of fans who filled up a smoky Capital Centre to watch a bad hockey team in the 70s/early 80s and, ultimately, saved our franchise from oblivion. Those folks deserve a Stanley Cup parade as much as the players do.

One final note to this introduction: I''m as die-hard as they come, but I call things as I see them regardless of if it''s good or bad for the hometown boys. For example, most of Caps nation was beside itself upon hearing RJ Umberger's comments last April when he called out the Caps. I thought he was dead right. We have a great team in DC but they come with flaws that I feel have not been addressed aggressively enough by management. I''ll cover that topic in future posts, but before we get into strategy and personnel discussions I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself. We have plenty of time to go into details about the Caps - after all, we have to endure an extended 88-game preseason schedule before the real fun starts in April.

Thanks for reading and Let's Go Caps!

(And Hail to the Redskins! Heck of a win Sunday night!)

By Box Seats blogger  |  September 14, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Capitals , Kareem El-Alaily  | Tags: 1988 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Dale Hunter, HTS, Kareem El-Alaily  
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Next: Classic Caps montage: 1989-90 Patrick Division Finals

Comments

Nice intro... so, could this be "The Year"? I'm feeling it. Mylec - Ha! Yes, I remember those days along with well worn roller-blades and tennis balls. All before ponying up for real skates. I listened to Hunter score on the radio (Ron Weber?) intently listening as I had tickets to Game 1 vs. NJ with a win. Memories...

Posted by: bonzaidrew | September 14, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Go Kareem!

For all you blog followers out there, just know that Kareem is notorious Semin and Green hater.

Posted by: hatrik22 | September 14, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@hatrik22 then I like him much better now.

Nice intro.

Posted by: goskinsgo | September 14, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

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