Caps players whose jerseys your kids should wear - Part 1
By Nicole Weissman
I’m a big believer that, when it comes to sports, the equivalent of “you are what you eat,” is “you are who you wear.” So when you’re picking a jersey for your kids (or yourself), you want to choose a player who makes a good role model. Beginning with this post, I will write about three Caps players I think make great role models, especially for kids. I look for a combination of a strong work ethic, activism in the D.C. community, and good sportsmanship.
What current Capital embodies those qualities better than Brooks Laich? On any team that didn’t have Alex Ovechkin, this tire-changing wonder would be a strong contender for captain. Because I believe that young people make some of the best role models, Laich (at 27) is the oldest of the three players in this series. He is well-spoken, a good samaritan, and a pillar of support for younger members of this team.
When Laich says “I try to help the team whatever way I can. If it’s playing left wing tonight and center tomorrow night, I think versatility… helps out our team,” the importance of being a team player comes through loud and clear.
There’s no denying community service is an important part of being a role model. Folks who wear Brooks Laich’s jersey should be proud of his consistent play – last season he had solid numbers in goals, assists, +/- (if you’re into that kind of thing), and penalty minutes. Fans of his should also be proud that Laich participates in regular visits to Children’s National Medical Center to spend time with patients. In February, Laich took part in Hockey is for Everyone month by visiting Fort Dupont’s “Learn to Play” program, teaching kids basic hockey skills and donating equipment.
But I would be remiss if I did not mention that being an outstanding community member involves more than participating in organized community relations events. I don’t need to gush about Brooks Laich pulling over to change a stranger’s tire on his way home from the Caps’ game seven loss in last year’s playoffs. This is a case where actions speak louder than words.
Finally, Laich shows a special interest in mentoring younger players, a valuable contribution to our team. For the past three seasons, he has attended the Caps’ summer development camp. Asked about his participation, Laich said “I like coming back and meeting the kids. I think it really helps them… to have somebody that they can talk to and see that we’ve been through the same things.”
As far as Brooks Laich is concerned, I rest my case. Stay tuned for two more posts on players who make great role models for kids. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear from you – whether it’s the Caps or another team, whose jersey do you wear, and is it for athletic performance alone? What are your other reasons?
Box Seats blogger
| September 22, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories: Capitals, Nicole Weissman | Tags: Capitals
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