That Ted Leonsis Look-Like
I was talking to the Ted Leonsis guy on the 400 level yesterday when Ted Leonsis showed up on the Verizon Center monitors light in the third period. The fans gave that Ted Leonsis a standing ovation as he waved and clapped.
"I mean, he did a good job dressing up," my Ted Leonsis said of the guy on the screen. "It's nice; you know, I'm trying to appreciate the fans, and it's good that somebody else is doing the same thing."
"Hey Ted, I'll tell ya, you've gotten younger buddy, you've gotten younger," mumbled one fan as he walked past us.
By the time the 400-level Leonsis was shown on the screen himself earlier in the afternoon after earning Fan of the Day honors, he was already up on the Capitals Outsider blog. "Matt Gorsuch," I thought, when I saw his name. "That sounds familiar."
Oh yeah, his dad, Mike, dressed as Santa Claus during last year's home finale. Next year, little cousin Billy plans to dress as the Easter Bunny, no doubt. Anyhow, it's probably easier to find a Santa costume than a Leonsis get-up, so I asked Matt how he got the look just-so.
"I went and got this [hair] yesterday," he said. "I used special shampoo for the shine."
Although what actually happened was his girlfriend, Anna Kent, went to a Hagerstown Party City on Saturday morning, where she was the first customer, and she left with black hair paint and a faux-Elvis "Greaser Wig," which they turned into a "Leonsis Wig" by trimming the bangs and sideburns.
"Because, you know, Ted's not a greaser," Anna noted.
"I thought the hair was a little too Elvis-y," said the real Leonsis, who obviously has a discerning eye for such details.
Matt's blond beard was turned black in a Metro parking lot Sunday morning, and the "My #87 Can Beat Up Your #87" shirt was made with Wal-Mart supplies and a slogan the fans in 408 had been tossing around for weeks. He went with the t-shirt-over-dress-clothes instead of sweater-over-dress-clothes because he couldn't afford another blank jersey, and went with 00 on the back because he couldn't think of anything better. And then eventually a Caps employee spotted him, and he was shown on the screen, and he came down to Ted's suite and got a photo with the real deal, which his dad never did during the Santa Claus days.
As for the why, Matt and Anna are first-year season-ticket holders--"It was either season tickets or cable TV, and we chose season tickets," Anna said--and have found Leonsis rather unique in the landscape of sports owners. The use the same words everyone's been using this season: approachable, accessible, knowledgeable, a real fan, and whatever else. Yesterday being fan appreciation day, Matt figured he'd flip things around, and having worn mildly outrageous costumes to the arena before, he wasn't worried about appearances.
"I mean, I tend to do things to embarrass everybody else that's with me," he said.
"When we were first dating last year, he came in his full regalia with his three-foot tall red white and blue hat," Anna pointed out. "You know, it breaks you in early. You can either be horrified or have a good time with it."
"I was shocked," said Leonsis, who couldn't recall ever seeing a look-a-like before. "It was good, though, huh?"
(See also: Capitals Kremlin.)
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