Ovechkin's 21st birthday party
Here's how Alex Ovechkin's 21st birthday party started: with Miss District of Columbia Kate Michael holding court in the lobby of RNR Bar & Lounge, a woman named Hottie Milinda passing out fliers for a weekly modeling contest-slash-"America's Next Top Model" viewing party, and an enormous cake in the shape of an Ovechkin jersey, courtesy of Cakes by Shelby sitting, flawless, in the back.
Here's how Alex Ovechkin's 21st birthday party ended: with Republican mayoral candidate Dave Kranich holding court in the lobby of RNR Bar & Lounge, Hottie Milinda dancing on the bar, and an enormous cake in the shape of an Ovechkin jersey sitting in the dumpster, having been on the wrong end of a collision with a diving Caps fan. I actually climbed on top of the dumpster to stare at the cake remains. It was the loveliest smelling dumpster I've ever climbed on top of. The sweet scent o' frosting permeated the air.
Here's what happened in between: RNR was hosting Hottie Milinda's modeling contest/viewing party, in which the winner gets a spot on a TV commercial featured on the CW channel. "NO DIVAS PLEASE!!!" the flier notes. "No experience necessary just Modelicious women & men highly encouraged!" Miss D.C. was there to promote the modeling event; she was wearing some sort of frilly party dress and a Sworowski crystal crown. Her photographer took pictures of us as I asked her questions about hockey. She said she would love to meet Ovechkin and maybe exchange autographs, and that the Caps will succeed this year because of him. Then she gave me an autographed photo; "Great Q's!" she wrote. "Make me look good."
This modeling event went from 8-10; Ovechkin's party, which was sponsored by DC101,
started at 9. The overlap was fairly interesting. "I do love how everybody's getting along so beautifully," said Craig from Elliot in the Morning. I asked some of the models whether they were Caps fans.
"We don't like hockey, write that in the paper," said Paris Stokes, who called herself "the Black version of Hilton."
"Say that D.C. youth loves football and basketball and the Redskins," said Tiesha Butler-Williams.
"And the Cowboys," shouted several other models, wearing large sunglasses.
"I went to a hockey game; the best part of hockey is the fighting," Paris Stokes said. "It's cute; they be tearing their knees up."
Just then the preseason game let out and a great number of people with unfortunate facial hair and Caps jerseys began streaming into RNR. (I love Caps fans and want them to read my blog, so no offense on the unfortunate facial hair thing, but it's true.) "America's Next Top Model" was on some of the television screens, and a highlight reel of Ovechkin was on others. Some model got eliminated and was crying as Ovechkin was hit in the face with a cream pie. Many of the fans were carrying hockey sticks. Miss D.C. wandered through the crowd, still wearing her crown.
Finally at about 10:30 some security types on the second floor asked us to form a human corridor, and fans started chanting "We Want Ovie" and "A. O.--Let's Go," these big beefy men howling in anticipation of seeing a 21-year-old hockey player. Then at 10:38 he came out with PR staffers and Elliot and some genuine newspaper reporters, and they all walked to a little stage, as fans clutched at him and took pictures with their cell phones. A.O.'s hair was still wet, and he had on a pin-striped jacket and a loose-collared shirt.
"I got a [fist] pound from him when he came in the door," said Kyle Riggin, a fan. "It was hot, it was so hot. He was poppin' the collar: so hot."
"I heard he has the strength of 10 men and shoots lightning bolts out of his arms," said Kyle DuLaney, another fan.
Elliot asked us all to raise a drink for A.O., and the air was filled with bottles of Miller Lite and more howling. Finally, A.O. spoke. Succinctly.
"What's up guys?" he said. "Thanks for coming, and, uh, cheers."
Then the mob sang happy birthday. Then the VIPs went downstairs and sort of repeated the routine, except this time with a spotty mic that kept cutting out.
"Generally, a dude of this stature wouldn't come hang out in a bar," Elliot said. "Yeah he would!" some fan shouted. "But if he doesn't bring us a Stanley Cup, we'll never do this again," Elliot said. "So if you have a drink in your hand, raise it and wish a happy birthday to the greatest player in the NHL right now, Mr. Alexander Ovechkin."
Then Ovie posed for dozens of photos and signed dozens of autographs, and the fans gave him a round of applause, and all the VIPs and genuine newspaper reporters ducked out a back door with the cake still untouched. Then fans started digging into the cake with plastic spoons. Ah, hockey fans. Then some guy came up to me and asked if I had any drugs in my backpack. "Not right now," I said. "Cuz it would be cool if you did," he said. Ah, hockey fans.
(I also met the crew from Ferrari Maserati Lamborghini of Washington, where Olie Kolzig's Maserati was being serviced yesterday. They spent 15 minutes telling me how great a guy Olie was and trying, but failing, to get their names in the blog.)
And then I ran into Dave Kranich, Republican mayoral candidate, who was wearing a suit, a power tie and an Elect Kranich sticker while posing for photos with Hottie Milinda and another person from the modeling event. The women pretended to eat their blow pops, and Dave stuck out his tongue. Try to find Fenty doing that. I asked Dave if he was campaigning.
"Absolutely," he said. "Always. And having a beer."
It was a Bud Light.
And finally, I went back to try to dig myself out a plastic spoonful of Ovie cake, but it was gone. Someone, I was told, had dived in after about one-third of the cake had been consumed.
"That's gonna happen," said Dave Hennessy, DC101's promotions director. "It's a party."
September 21, 2006; 1:12 AM ET
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