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Ted Helps A Homeless Man

Earlier this morning at Union Station I was sipping my Starbucks in the waiting area when Ted Leonsis walked in by himself. We talked for a few minutes, then we headed to the train.

As we walked to the track entrance, a homeless man who was seated on the floor mumbled something in our general direction. The crowd kept moving, and so did I. But Ted stopped and asked the man to repeat what he had just said. Stunned by this, I looked around and stopped, too.

Ted put down his bag, reached for his wallet and, as he did this, noticed the man was not wearing any shoes.

"What happened to your shoes?" Ted asked him.

The man, who is old and appeared to be disabled, told Ted, "Somebody stole them." Ted said, "What?" The man said it again. Ted handed the guy a big bill (I didn't see how big). But before he gave it to him said, "Promise me you are going to buy shoes with this, okay?" The man nodded and said very quietly, "Thank you."

"This is America, right?" Ted said to me moments later as he boarded the first class car (I'm in business so we've been emailing between the cars). "How does he not have shoes? Incredible."

Funny how the wealthiest man on the train was the only one -- that I noticed anyway -- to stop and help a fellow human in need. I know this has nothing to do with hockey, but I thought I would share it anyway.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 11, 2009; 8:13 AM ET
 
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Comments

Can't believe Ted fell for the old shoeless shimsham. Still his heart was in the right place.

Posted by: ComeOnKozlov | February 11, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Nice.

Posted by: Section117 | February 11, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Wow.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 11, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, the only to have any confidence that that money will be used for a pair of shoes would be to give him a "shoe voucher". There is a high probability that this money will go down his gullet as liquid refreshment. The whole thing is sad, but I admire Ted's good heart.

Posted by: pcalver1 | February 11, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Dehumidifiers are expensive?

So are Nike Air Jordans, they retail @ #185.

Posted by: JSchon | February 11, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Although a .40oz of Steel Reserve would last me all day and run me about $3.50.

Posted by: JSchon | February 11, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

You gotta stop JSchon, my coworkers are trying to figure out what the hell I'm laughing about!

Posted by: PhilR | February 11, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I always tell people that if they want to REALLY experience DC, spend 10 minutes outside of union station. There is one man in particular, old, black, disheveled, yelling and talking loudly; he gives instructions to invisible aids; he commands large business interests and investments; he is under siege by conspiracies and plots rattling through the dark, unstable corridors in his muddled mind. Around him, suits walk by, paying no attention. No one offers money. The other homeless stand well away, out of spittle range. he gets loud. Others murmer for change around him. He is framed by the Capitol dome. Many walk confidently by, on the way to that building, to talk bravely about America and its interests, their donors; they laugh at political rivals, hand over heart they sing the anthem loudly, swearing allegiance, always allegiance. None have given a dime that day. None will do so tomorrow.
Stand outside of union station sometime. You'll see yourself.

Posted by: oo7 | February 11, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

JSchon, I believe that good 'ol Mad Dog 20/20 would not only be cheaper than the Steel Reserve but it would also get the job done much more efficiently.

Posted by: CapManJ | February 11, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Big Ups to Ted. I challenge the the blog to do 1 super nice thing today to follow Ted's lead (doesn't have to be $, just do something out of the blue for some random person)

Posted by: goskinsgo | February 11, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I held the door for a maintenance guy today, does that count? I also recycle!

Posted by: _jordan | February 11, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Big kudos to Ted... I'm afraid I'm pretty cynical, but I'll take goskinsgo's challenge anyway. If everybody did that, the world would be a better place. I hope the guy really *does* buy shoes with Ted's cash... it could happen.

Posted by: irockthered | February 11, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Nice little story. Thanks for that tidbit, Tarik. I find that to be some pretty GOOD reporting work. Just saying.

Posted by: CDon | February 11, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I've been hoodwinked before... In Old Town, walking late at night there is guy who will ask you for cab fare since he was just released from jail and only had cab vouchers and he wanted to get to Dumfries.

The same guy approached me 3 months later in Crystal City doing the same thing.

I prefer to stick to mentoring kids in Arlington and telling people about the Capitals any chance I get.

Posted by: JSchon | February 11, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Even if going shoeless is a scam, one must be pretty desperate to go barefoot in February to garner a few bucks. Nice work, Mr. Leonsis. Worthy reporting, Tarik.

Posted by: uncatim | February 11, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

unfortunately, the money will probably go to booze. . .did his feet look dirty? . . .but god bless ted for his compassion. ... bet danny snyder would never even slow down to see if the man needed help. .. .come to think of it, danny would never take the train in the first place. . ..of course, this is why ted is a winner, and danny is a loser!!!

Posted by: madmax521 | February 11, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

While at school in B-more, I saw an old lady pretend to need change for the bus, a guy with tattered clothes walking behind some bushes so he could make a call on his cellphone and many other scams. Sorry to those truly in need, the scammers ruined it.

Posted by: koalatek | February 11, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

@madmax521 - if danny took the train - he'd have had his men go in there and clear the path for him to walk to the train without anyone looking at him - let alone a homeless person.

but you are right, danny would never take the train.

bastard - i hate him.

Posted by: goskinsgo | February 11, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

A lot of good points have been made here already, and to go along with others have said, if you really want to help, instead of giving cash to someone on the street, go home and write a check to the Capital Area Food Bank, and know that your money is being used as you intended. You'll say to yourself, oh, this person just needs a dollar to catch a train back home, or for the bus. But a lot of times, it's just a scam, and if you sit back and watch, you'll see that person continue asking for money even after you gave him that dollar. After the last home game, I was waiting on the platform for the yellow line and saw the Sax man (you know the guy who camps at the top of the arena metro escalator) thumbing through a large wad of cash. I think a lot of these guys are hustlers and are a lot better off than they let on, and in my experience, it seems the real homeless aren't the ones coming up to you and asking for money.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 11, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Does Snyder even know what a train is? Planes, helicopters, and luxury autos are probably his only mode of transport... Gotta make an entrance when you go in to sign another high priced, over aged, injury prone free agent. Here's to another 8-8 season for my beloved Redskins. Thank God for my true love - the Caps!

Posted by: Roose | February 11, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Saxophone Guy earns his pay.

Posted by: _jordan | February 11, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I think it's really sad that we've all become such cynics, honestly... but the sad fact of the matter is that a lot of the homeless people out there would rather drink than wear shoes. Many, like the example oo7 gave, are mentally ill, but the treatment for such mental illness changes the person's default condition, and they don't feel right when they're under treatment, so they stop taking their medications. It doesn't help that said medications are so expensive it isn't even funny.

Ted is a real stand-up guy for doing what he did, and I hope he won't turn into a cynic like us if he sees the guy again and the guy isn't sporting new shoes. :-(

On the hockey front... I'm sorry that Ted felt he had to shut down commentary about the ice by the players; that seems to be the only way anything will get done about it - if the media's attention is so sharply focused on it that they have no choice. It does seem like he's at least trying to do something about it, though, and that's good. Maybe we can get Georgetown to reschedule some games... March Madness isn't that far off, though; does anybody know if our collegiate fellows are likely to stay in for the playoffs?

The Wizards certainly aren't. :-p

Posted by: irockthered | February 11, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

That homeless guy probably bet his shoes on the Kings game and got stunned.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 11, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Before a student rush game last year, a friend and I had several hours to kill before puck drop - we were walking through Chinatown, and a man (who put on the guise that he wanted to 'learn more about hockey') decided to talk to us. My friend gave into his shenanigans and frankly I was weary of my wallet the entire time, but it was clear that he had consumed plenty that day already.

The man was blunt with us - he said all he wanted was a place to stay for the night in one of the shelters nearby.

My friend offered to buy him a student ticket to the game ($10 - not a big deal) just to get him off the streets for a little while - obviously he didn't want to just hand him cash (didn't have any on him anyway).

So obviously, I doubt he went to the game, and I didn't expect him to, but I just hope he sold his ticket and used the funds for a bed. He certainly had the right attitude to do so, but who knows.

Posted by: Semvechkin | February 11, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"Ted Helps A Homeless Man"

Just glad this story wasn't referring to Sean Avery.

Posted by: stormblue | February 11, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Is there a game tonight?

What's the penalty for stealing shoes, digging holes in the dessert?

Posted by: tomdchancar | February 11, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Tarik - you're kidding right - about being surprised that a wealthy person might be the only one to stop and help? Poor people can't help poor people other than maybe emotionally.

Wealthy peers of mine are the most generous and compassionate people I know - and they show that compassion regularly and generously - with their OWN money. Hang around a different crowd if that surprised you.

Posted by: cwiseman | February 11, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

avery stole the shoes.

Posted by: uncatim | February 11, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

There's a homeless guy who was released from prison who hangs around verizon Center asking for food because the shelter only feeds them once a day. I took him to MCDonalds and he was extremely gracious for the small 3 dollar meal I ordered for him. He was definitely someone who was trying to get their lives turned around. Of course the "Go Caps" comment he made won me over too :)

Posted by: cappies | February 11, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

danny snyder wouldn't be able to do that because six flags is going to go bankrupt.

teddy had his head in the right place, but chances of that going to new shoes...0%. It will be spent on lottery tickets and a sixer of steel reserve (seeing that they dont sell 40oz in dc anymore)

Posted by: _stevo | February 11, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

So he only tackles fans?

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The problem is, you never know the motive of homeless people. Some of them genuinely need help - others are alcoholics or scammers, etc. A former co-worker of mine used to bartend in Georgetown back in the day. He got to know one of the homeless guys who panhandled near JPaul's and the guy once told him that he made more money begging passersby for cash than he would've otherwise. That story stuck with me - obviously it was a long time ago but still relevent.

I'm glad that Ted has the kind of faith in humanity to hand over money. Personally, I don't have a lot of money to spare and if I did, I still can't say I'd give a homeless person cold, hard cash - can't trust people to actually buy food or shoes with it. Maybe it's just the cynic in me.

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | February 11, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

one excellent way to be helpful to the homeless - and lose a little weight - is to share food with them. I've often gotten Chipotle's to cut my burrito in half (big enough for me) and I've been surprised at how gratefully accepted that other half was. I've always felt extremely good about giving money to the homeless - the act of generosity warms two hearts, and in Leonsis's case, three.

Posted by: WritingLight | February 11, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Wow, the blog has gotten thick. A very long time ago (probably in London) I came to the conclusion that if I give money to someone on the street then I'm giving if of my own free will and that person has the right to spend it anyway he or she chooses. No questions asked and nothing expected. The problem I saw in my jaded life prior to the realization was that that these guys were probably just wandering off and getting drunk even though there was no way for me to know whether or not it was true. Even if we assume that 90% of them go buy beer then there's still 1 in 10 who really need the help and will be forever grateful. That's good enough for me. I've also become a big fan of buying some food for people on the street if possible - again, free will. I do volunteer work at SOME and it's pretty tough out there. Well done to Ted - I don't care if his net worth is $1B or $10.

That's my piece.

Is there a game tonight?

Posted by: saintex | February 11, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Good for Ted. Lets hope the man used the money wisely. Better than to give it to some charity organization to support the packets of their executives.

Posted by: opita1 | February 11, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

pay it forward ted.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 11, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Do we need to initiate a fine for belaboring an off-topic topic?

We do have a game tonight...

And its not Team USA vs Mexico in soccer...

Posted by: JSchon | February 11, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Although, any other night, USA/Mexico would get my undivided attention.

Posted by: JSchon | February 11, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@cainoo7x - The Sax man plays his saxophone for a living. I would expect him to pull in a fair amount, more if he could actually play the tunes he's attempting. Busking is a legitimate profession in some cities (New Orleans comes to mind). I have no problem with him thumbing through a wad of cash at the end of the night, even though his playing makes me cringe... He's at least doing something other than sticking out his hand.

Posted by: irockthered | February 11, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I really respect what he did, but the chances that guy spends the money on shoes is zippy.

Posted by: bigalgreek | February 11, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I think many here miss the point.

Is it a scam, possibly, but maybe it isn't. Whatever the case, does Ted or anyone else taking the time and effort to give a handout really know or dwell to think on whether they just got scammed? No. That really isn't important.

The money was intended to improve the person it was given to. However, the true investment is in yourself. Not as a tax write-off since you don't ask for a receipt, but as an investment in how you feel about yourself as an individual. To know that you are not a hypocrite that says we need to be more caring, but don't take the action yourself.

I quite often walk by the homeless person asking for a handout because I am too busy with my life. But just as often I head out to lunch, feeling in a good mood and decide to throw my change into the person on the corner's cup. Call me a fool if you like, but it doesn't matter much to me.

Now paying for this stimulus bill, that's a waste of money.

Posted by: JBMSC | February 11, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see a story that shows Ted Leonsis is a good man, I've always gotten that feeling about him. The way he treats fans, and in my brief interactions with him, he seems to have his priorities in the right place.
I just wish he would get rid of his other charity case - the Washington Mystics.

Posted by: jesstyr | February 11, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

He improvises around the melody.. he knows how to play the songs!

Posted by: _jordan | February 11, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately he most likely won't buy those shoes, but Ted is awesome nevertheless...

Posted by: CodePoetry | February 11, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

@_jordan - Yes, and his improvisations make me cringe. But I usually drop a buck or two in the case all the same. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | February 11, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

No appreciation for improvisational jazz! I'm appalled.

How has the crowd been at Mister Days lately for away games?

Posted by: _jordan | February 11, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Did any of us really have a question about TL's character or benevolence?

I didn't.

I mean he answer my emails, and I'm a buffoon.

Posted by: JSchon | February 11, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Whether the guy at Union Station is a con-man or not, it's nice to know that Ted is not a con-man in anyway and is a genuine good guy.

Kudos Ted! :D

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | February 11, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Have to tell this:

I was on the red light and decided to give the homeless the change I had on the dashboard, about two dollars in quarters. He started walking towards me and the lights changed to green, there were bunch of cars behind, I had to go. To follow up the car in front I was accelerating and when I was close, the car was moving too fast and I had to throw the coins.

Still feel shame about it, 5 years later, hopefully that homeless person understood and wasn't offended.

Posted by: CodePoetry | February 11, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that Ted was so charitable while hanging out with a correspondent who would likely write about it...

Posted by: Sputnik13 | February 11, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Stay tuned for Sputnik13 to insinuate that Ted slipped Tarik a big bill (not sure how big) to write the entry.

Give me a break!

Posted by: _jordan | February 11, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@Sputnik13 - Do you honestly think that was Ted's motive? If so, you're more cynical than the rest of us are! :-p

@_jordan - I appreciate improvisational jazz plenty when it's done well!

Can't make Mister Days tonight; got to clean my apartment, but I'll be watching from home and thinking of all y'all down there! :-)

Posted by: irockthered | February 11, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Sputnik13,
Now that is cynicism coming from the other side of the coin. Well done, it balances things out.
I am still glad Ted did that.

Posted by: opita1 | February 11, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

OK - Change of Topic

Matt Bradley is the key to us catching the Bruins in the standings. Discuss........

Posted by: SA-Town | February 11, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Just curious, why so much hate for Dan Snyder? I am not local to Washington D.C. and was just wondering .....

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 11, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

anyone remember the homeless guy who used to hang around outside the verizon center with a bucket on a stick to collect money? he let you know exactly what he would do with it. He used to sit against the building singing "they're playing basketball, help me get some alcohol" after wizards games. always amused me.

Posted by: sirbobalew | February 11, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Ted is a pretty cool guy, eh, gives money to the homeless and doesn't afraid of anything.

Posted by: Matt_L | February 11, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town,

What's to discuss? Professor Bradley is the backbone of this organization.

Posted by: _jordan | February 11, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Jay Beagle recalled per patriot news.

Posted by: cocorules | February 11, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town, lol. Maybe if the final game against the Bs comes down to a 15-round shootout. No wait, I got it! Bradley converts all the Bruins to recycling, save-the-earth maniacs, and convinces them that they need to take the rest of the season off once the average temperature reaches 45 degrees in Boston to save the energy required to make ice. He then persuades them to go on vacation to scenic Stittsville, Ontario. The organization frantically call up the Providence team, but its just not enough. Caps get 1st place!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 11, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town - Matt Bradley? That's an interesting theory... let's ponder this for a while.

* We are sitting 13 points behind the Bruins at the moment.
* The Bruins have lost their last two games.
* Our streak is currently at one win; we have a chance to extend that tonight against the Rangers.
* Boston next plays the Devils on Friday. The Devils are one point behind us, and have the same streak as we do.

Bradley is running at a Caps-career-best +3 this season; he has 4 goals and 4 assists in 53 games. Last year, he had 7 goals and 11 assists in 77 games, so he has 31 games left to score 3 goals and put in 7 assists to catch his best season with the Caps.

Bradley's best season overall was the 2001-2002 season with the San Jose Sharks, where he scored 9 goals and had 13 assists and a +22. He could catch that record of goals and assists if he breaks out this season, but would need 5 goals and 9 assists in the 31 remaining games to do it.

However, if he has that sort of a breakout - unlikely if he remains with Brashear and Steckel - then yes, I can see him being a key player in us catching the Boston Bruins.

It's not mathematically impossible yet; just a very daunting task... If we have not caught them by... hmm... does anybody know how to do the math on that?

The Bruins have played 55 games; we've played 54. There are 31 more games for us and 30 for them, so 62 potential points for us, 60 for them... and there is where I get lost. I need a bigger piece of paper. :-p

Posted by: irockthered | February 11, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@cocorules - Got a link for that?

Posted by: irockthered | February 11, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

NEW THREAD

Posted by: goskinsgo | February 11, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: irockthered | February 11, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Ted Leonsis is a grown man, who undoubtedly has seen his share of scams. Kudos to Mr. Leonsis for being a sharing person.

Someone I know of only via internet forums lost his job recently, and is struggling to make bill payments, and when a post asking for other forum members to "try to help him if possible" went up, I chipped in. And good friend of mine just got the opportunity of a lifetime -- to race for a season in the VW TDi Cup season -- but it requires being able to raise some sponsorship money. I'll be chipping in to that too. I might only make a high school teacher's salary, but why not give at lease a little, even if it's not tax deductable? I might not be able to give as much as some, but every little bit helps, right?

Where is the random kindness in this world any more?

Posted by: CamaroFS34 | February 11, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Whether that homeless guy actually buys shoes or not, Ted is the man.

"

anyone remember the homeless guy who used to hang around outside the verizon center with a bucket on a stick to collect money? he let you know exactly what he would do with it. He used to sit against the building singing "they're playing basketball, help me get some alcohol" after wizards games. always amused me.

Posted by: sirbobalew | February 11, 2009 10:29 AM "

I actually gave that guy money a few times. I remember one of the songs he would sing was "hey hawwww, come on yalllll, give me some dollars for alcohol....."

He made me laugh so I didn't feel bad about giving him a couple bucks.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | February 11, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Bravo for Ted. Its good to know that the money I spend on Season Tickets isn't just going into his pocket.

Yes, there are scammers out there. Let's hope this guy wasn't one of them. I was once conned by two guys in business attire after a game saying they needed money for the metro becasue their wallets were stolen. I gave them $5. After dinner, I saw them again, still doing the hussle. So I followed them around, and every time they approached a new mark, I would say to the target "its a scam, don't do it." It only took about 5 times of this before they gave me $10 to go away...

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 11, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered

I don't disagree that the Sax man is playing his sax to make a living. More power to him. I guess my point is, he could be homeless, or he could be riding the metro back to his apartment in Greenbelt. If he doesn't get my dollar is he not going to eat tonight? I have no idea, but if I give him a dollar, I'll give it to him for playing his sax and not because I think he needs it. That said, I'm moving on to the new topic!

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 11, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Ted's a mensch.

Posted by: jhershb | February 11, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Rockthered:

You're kidding, right? If the Caps have already played 54 games, how do you figure they have 31 games left in an 82-game season?

Posted by: CindyJennings | February 11, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

@ sirbobalew: I ran into that guy back in '99. He called his solitation contraption his "Y2K Bucket."

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Richmond has it's fair share of homeless per capita, and I actually volunteer at a thrift shop that serves them food bi-weekly.

Are most bums going to spend their money on something they don't need? probably, but the guy is still homeless. If I have a buck or two walking home from class, I usually give it to the same people I see everyday.

About DC bums, this was probably late 90s/early 2000s but i remember the drummer guy who would always be playing drums on buckets and stuff right outside the metro stop.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 11, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Nice thing to do, but I'm more impressed by the working class guy who gives money to help people than the rich guy. It hurts them more.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 11, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, it may not be the guy's fault if the money Ted gave him doesn't get used for new shoes. I could imagine the shop people looking this guy over and asking him to leave instead of giving him the proper service any other customer would receive if they didn't look homeless. It's good to hear this kind of generosity by some of Ted's income bracket. He won't be honored at a big fancy shindig. His name won't go on a building for what he did. He won't get another paperweight of an award, praising his generosity. He did it because the opportunity presented itself. We could all take a moment and do something randomly kind for someone we don't know or someone we do know. Either way, I agree, the world would be a nicer place if we would consider someone else besides ourselves every once in a while. Back home in LA from my vacation in DC. Need to unleash the fury at a home game. Someone tell me the Caps will make it into the playoffs and have a few home games in a 3 day span so I have a reason to go back. =(

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 11, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

Should not be a problem at all, you might want to start checking the fares for late April.

Posted by: jason3555 | February 11, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad you wrote this Tarik. I'm always frustrated at how little help the homeless get in our nations capital. It pains me to see us send so much aid overseas when there are so many suffering here on our own soil.

Posted by: madflava | February 11, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

irock...re the sax-man, I remember a story about a guy in the Metro, I believe, who played the sax SO badly that he asked for donations so that he would stop playing; if he didn't get any money, he would start playing again!!
A "homeless" person once asked me for money on K St.,..."I'm hungry..", when I offered to take him across the street to a sandwich shop he declined.
Anyway, any trade rumors???

Posted by: al852 | February 11, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Glancing at the comments i noticed many people cynically assuming the man was an alcoholic. A large percentage of homeless people are mentally ill and a large percentage are War Veterans. There are many complicated factors that produce homelessness in the world's largest economy.

As for Ted's gesture, allow me to venture my own bit of cynicism and suggest first that the fact that he did this while speaking to Tarik is no accident. There are homeless people by the Arena every day and all day. A few bucks from Ted is like a few pennies to your average person. Someone with Ted's wealth and power has the capacity to make significant contributions to the root causes of the issue. Individual charity will not solve this man or any man's problems. Its nice but a much greater commitment is necessary if one sincerely cares.

Posted by: ParticipatoryDemocracyNow | February 11, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

If we're so cynical about the homeless guy why not that our cynicism all the way and suggest that Ted only did what he did because Tarik was around knowing that it would get reported?

You all know that the fake attention w-re that is Donald Trump would've done that. He probably would have staged the whole thing, in fact.

Just so that people don't misunderstand what I said, I'm in no way suggesting that that's what Ted did. I believe he's a genuinely good man and the best owner in hockey. I'm just making a point for people who are so cynical about the homeless guy. Your cynicism should be all encompassing, people :)

Personally, I like to give money only to those who actually earn it in some way. For example, good musicians. There was a guy once in a Boston T station who was playing Spanish guitar. He didn't just play the crap everyone knows, but stuff I've never heard before and he was very good. I ended up giving him $5. Tons of people gave him money also. I even saw $10 bills. He made a lot that day, I'm sure and good for him because he earned it. Everyone in the station was smiling and having a good time. His music lit up people's faces.

Also, last year I was eating a calzone in a little place in Barcelona, Spain. All of a sudden this old homeless woman sneaked up from behind, reached over my shoulder and stole a piece. The guy working there threw her out as she was stuffing it into her mouth. He then came over, apologized and said he was gonna bring me a whole new calzone since she touched it with her dirty hands. I asked what he was gonna do with the rest of the original one. He said he was gonna throw it away. I asked him to leave it. I ate only half of the new one he brought cuz I couldn't eat anymore as I was half full from the original one. Then I grabbed both pieces... half of the original and half of the replacement, found that woman outside of the place and gave them to her.

Posted by: ranndino | February 11, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

One more related story I remembered after reading all the comments.

There was this homeless guy who was always hanging around the same place every day and would leave when it got dark. One day I had nothing to do and the weather was good so out of curiosity I decided to see where he goes after the day is over because he was at the same place begging every day, like it was work. Once it got dark he finally got up and started walking. I followed at a distance.

He walked 3 blocks and turned into a side street. Next thing I heard was the sound of a car alarm being turned off with a remote control. He got into a black Mercedes and drove off as I stood there with my jaw dropped all the way down to my knees.

Posted by: ranndino | February 11, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Last thing I wanted to say about this. Not to bring any politics into it, but it's a well known fact (regardless of which party you support) that during Reagan's administration a decision was made to close a ton of facilities that cared for the mentally disabled.

Basically, everyone who was deemed to not be a danger to society was released. Guess what happened to most of those people who had no family willing to house and care for them and were unable to support themselves by working.

Posted by: ranndino | February 11, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

the backstory to this is that apparantly the homeless guy was wearing shoes with a redskins logo which was not officially licensed. danny confiscated his shoes.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 11, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Was Mike Milbury taking the train up to MSG. He might have taken that guy's shoes.

Posted by: billmelater | February 11, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

one more comment about ted being the 'real deal'. .. .a few years ago at the phone booth i had an issue with the food service between periods (so what else is new??!!) with my daughter who happens to be diabetic. so it was more than just a simple 'i couldn't get her food', it was almost a major health issue. after the game i wrote ted an email laying out the issue. His response was "I'm only a tenant in the building and I wish I could do more". He passed my issue on to the Aramark management who contacted me and discussed it with me, but Ted also wrote me and asked me "what can I do to make it up to you?". After thinking about it I thought i already have season tickets, so I don't need tickets to another game, and since this whole matter really had to do with my daughter's health issue, so I suggested to Ted that he make a generous contribution in my daughter's name to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and you know what his response was. . .yep, it was simply "DONE" . . .and I won't say what that donation was, but it was most generous. yes, Ted is the real deal.

Posted by: madmax521 | February 11, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting this story. We all complain about what's wrong with the country, but in a situation where we can do something, even a small something, we just look the other way and keep walking.

Posted by: farmgirl19C | February 11, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Old Danny Boy would have found a way to get the homeless guy to pay him and his security detail for being in their presence.

Great pull - thanks for reporting on it Tarik

Posted by: VA-HockeyFan | February 11, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

In this Economy, what's the saying, there but for the grace of God go I. Every one of us is one Job loss away from being homeless. Yes, many of our vets DO end up homeless too. If you say go to a shelter; you know what happens at shelters? They steal YOUR SHOES!

Good going Ted! Cynics be damned!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | February 13, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

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