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Brooks Laich changes a tire after Game 7

Mary Ann Wangemann and her 14-year-old daughter Lorraine were already in a fairly poor mood Wednesday night. The Washington Capitals -- the first sports team they had rooted for together, the team that prompted 49-year old Mary Ann to begin painting her face before games and to sign up for a season-ticket waiting list -- had been eliminated in Game 7 of the NHL playoffs. The season was over.

A lot of people weren't sure quite how to react to this loss. When you put a lot of emotion into something -- even something as silly as a sports team -- and you can feel sort of empty when it goes away. One fan e-mailed me to ask, quite seriously, whether I thought any Caps threw the series for gambling reasons. Another, who said he's rooted for the Caps for 28 years, sent me an e-mail that included 49 exclamation marks.

So the Wangemanns were driving home to Ashburn, and they got on the Roosevelt Bridge, trying to remain optimistic about the future of the team. Then they hit a pothole and got a flat tire. Perfect ending to the night.

Mary Ann pulled over to the side of the bridge, and called AAA. They said they had a heavy volume of calls, and that they weren't sure how long it would take to send help. Mary Ann and Lorraine, still wearing their Caps gear, got out of the car and watched the traffic whiz by.

"We were getting a little spooked," she told me. "You feel pretty vulnerable right there."

Finally, an SUV slowed down ahead of them and pulled over. And then Brooks Laich got out and asked if he could help.

Mary Ann Wangemann and her daughter, Lorraine. (Family photo)

Since the AAA folks were already on the way, Mary Ann asked Brooks -- whom she immediately recognized -- if he'd just wait with them by the side of the road. Instead, he asked whether they had a spare. Mary Ann said they did. So he took off his jacket -- he was still wearing his postgame suit -- got out the tire, and started jacking up the car.

"He was like an angel, I'm telling you," Mary Ann told me. "Can't say enough nice things about him."

(The Caps had nothing to do with sending out this story, but they did get in touch with Laich to confirm it for me.)

The thing took a while, as late-night tire changes on the side of bridges often do. So they started talking hockey. Laich, who scored the team's only goal in Game 7, apologized to them for the Caps losing. They told him how great the season had been and how much they liked this team. Laich said he hoped they got a chance to stay together.

The jack fell down, and he had to start again. Lorraine stood behind him, mouthing to her mom over and over, "It's Brooks Laich! It's Brooks Laich!" Laich was friendly but somber as he worked. Mary Ann -- who had never before cared about a sports team -- talked about why she liked this group so much, and how they seemed so nice off the ice.

"We're just people, too," Laich said.

The whole thing lasted maybe 40 minutes. Laich got the tire changed, and cautioned Mary Ann to drive slowly on the way home, to listen closely for any rattling sounds. She agreed, and said she didn't know how she could possibly thank him.

"I'm sure you'll do something nice for someone in the future," Laich responded. He hugged them and drove off.

By this point, another car had pulled over, also with a flat tire. Mary Ann went to see how she could help, and told the other driver what had just happened. Then -- after making sure the other driver was going to be okay -- she and her daughter got in their car and drove home. Within 30 seconds, of course, Lorraine had updated her Facebook page to alert the world that Brooks Laich had just changed their tire. That loss sure stung, but Mary Ann and her daughter figure they'll keep their spot on the waiting list for next season.

"When you think about what he was going through yesterday, just the disappointment..." Mary Ann said. "Given everything else going on in his life, I just thought it was really remarkable. I want people to know it."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 29, 2010; 2:18 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Portis: McNabb didn't have a lot of talent in Philly
Next: Ted Leonsis reacts to Game 7 loss


Aww! That is a great story. Brooks is such a great guy. Thank you for posting this!

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | April 29, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I guess the good news is that AAA was on their way and could help the next people.

Brooks Laich, just like other NHL players, particularly the Caps, is good people.

Posted by: apa67 | April 29, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

If some Caps would come over to my house and do some chores this weekend, I'd feel a little better about the loss.

Posted by: kgunnar | April 29, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

to hell with Ike, cause I like Laich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

go Capps!!!

Posted by: parkerbros | April 29, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

This loss is a horrible disappointment, but I love this team. It hurts to see them hurt.

Posted by: dcmusician2 | April 29, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

No one said they were bad people. But they did choke big time.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 29, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I criticized Laich before and after the playoffs, but IT'S true... They are also human, nice story! I just can't stay mad, I LOVE THE CAPS!

Posted by: riceldi | April 29, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

brooks is a stand up guy

Posted by: supergrl63 | April 29, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Semin also tried to change someone's tire...but he couldnt finish under the pressure so he drove off!

Posted by: SA-Town | April 29, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

It isn't the winning or loosing that keeps me watching the Capitals. It's hard to even say that I have a favorite, because I love them all! They are all genuinely caring guys, and though they may loose a few games here and there, it's the love of the game and their fans that keeps me hanging on to every game! It was a great season, and I can't wait until next year I hope to see them all together again. Rockin' the red for life!

Posted by: nightfall383 | April 29, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Where was he when I was looking for a husband? What a great guy!

Posted by: NatyBG | April 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

please excuse my heavy fingers on my o's in lose and losing.

Posted by: nightfall383 | April 29, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Brooksie...if your out there...I need someone to mow my lawn and put in a ceiling fan! What a good heart you have, your mom raised you right! You and Karl Alzner, he is a mother's dream as well!

Posted by: NatyBG | April 29, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Brooksie...if you're out there...I need someone to mow my lawn and put in a ceiling fan! What a good heart you have, your mom raised you right! You and Karl Alzner, he is a mother's dream as well!

Posted by: NatyBG | April 29, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Semin also tried to change someone's tire...but he couldnt finish under the pressure so he drove off!

Posted by: SA-Town | April 29, 2010 2:53 PM

The main problem was he couldn't work the jack, which is no surprise given his inability to get anything off the ice in the last 2 weeks.

Posted by: cao091402 | April 29, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Awesome story. Brooks is a great guy.

Posted by: ranndino | April 29, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

you're a class act brooksie, pleasure to have you on our squad.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 29, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

That's a great read. And a much-needed one!

Posted by: stwasm | April 29, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Amazing, amazing story.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | April 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm dissapointed as I can be.But I think they have a great group of guys. I'm sure the possiblities will be explored to the max. I just hope guys like Brooks Laich remain. Solid.

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 29, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

quality guy, lots of class, I enjoy watching him play and hopefully will again for many years in the fav.

Posted by: outrbnksm | April 29, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Cool story!

In other uplifiting news...I swear I saw Varly hand his goalie stick to a kid in the stands as he was exiting the ice last night. Lucky kid!

Posted by: Lisa123 | April 29, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I've been bummed ever since leaving the game last night and that story softened my mood 110%. Thank you.

Posted by: maggie_mer | April 29, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Alright, I'm definitely no longer mad at the Caps - it was dissipating anyway, but this seals it. Maryanne was right, with everything he must have been going through at the time that's a pretty impressive showing.

Hang in there, fellow Caps fans - as a Red Sox fan [passed down from generations] I can assure you that, this too will end.

P.S. If Semin finishes that beautiful set-up Laich gave him, we're probably not even having this conversation; Caps needed an early goal to convince themselves they didn't need to be perfect to beat Halak [just damn good]. And can't fault Semin on that one, an inch the other way and it's in the net rather than off the crossbar.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 29, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Total class Brooks. It's why you're a staple here and why we hope you remain here after you're a UFA after next season.

Keep on keepin' on ... our day is coming.

Go Caps!

Posted by: cwiseman | April 29, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

brooks laich... what a guy.

Posted by: adidamas | April 29, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Brooks is the man. I thought he should have had the C when they traded Clarkie.

Posted by: jackstraaw | April 29, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green actually tried to change the other persons tire but when he got the spare out he dropped and let it go past him and it bounced into the Potomac. What a donk

Posted by: golfva74 | April 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Cool story!

In other uplifiting news...I swear I saw Varly hand his goalie stick to a kid in the stands as he was exiting the ice last night. Lucky kid!

Posted by: Lisa123 | April 29, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Half of me says "Classy," the other half says "Yeah, I'd want to get my gear as far away from me as possible too. Too much bad mojo attached to it."

Posted by: ModestProposal | April 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I thought Brooksie on that last goal did what our Caps needed to do the whole game, which was throw themselves at the net (if need be), scratch, claw, do ANYthing to score, which he did from his knees on his 2nd try. Wish they'd had that desperate edge the whole game. I'm sure he'll be back, though I expect like most there'll be some changes.

Posted by: blackjack65 | April 29, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

What a wonderful story. Brooks is a class-act! It certainly lifted my spirits today.

Posted by: Tracy2117 | April 29, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

This is why I love Hockey. Check out the article on the WAGS and it's the same thing. They aren't primadonna's. They are regular guys out there doing hard work. I'll grant you they get paid a lot better than me, but at least they aren't complaining about how they need more money to keep up their style of living when they own 8 $100k cars (true story from the 98-99 basketball strike!)

And also, yes, Varly gave his stick to a kid. Awesome get for that kid!

Rock the Red!


Posted by: dwelkinor | April 29, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to say that this really lifted my spirits as well. It hasn't been the most pleasant day and sometimes it's easy to forget that these types of losses hurt more for the players - the guys who put it all on the line for nothing - than the pain we fans experience.

Like Brooks said, they're people too.

Posted by: MillBurray | April 29, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, so let's see, next season all I have to do after a game is drive across the Roosevelt Bridge and break down. Simple enough,...of course it will hard to explain why I'm driving that way since I live in MD........minor detail! Gotta Laich that story.

Posted by: rgabriel | April 29, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure you'll do something nice for someone in the future," Laich responded. He hugged them and drove off.

By this point, another car had pulled over, also with a flat tire. Mary Ann went to see how she could help, and told the other driver what had just happened. Then she and her daughter got in their car and drove home.


Way to pay it forward lady. "Hey Brooks Laich just changed my tire. Good luck with yours. See ya!"

Posted by: 08WashCaps19 | April 29, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Potholes... bringing people together for years.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | April 29, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Varly gave his stick to a boy wearing a Varly jersey. Pretty cool when the rest of the players hurried off the ice. Varly was one of the 9 players that stayed out to salute the fans.

Posted by: bluegrls99 | April 29, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Over the years I have a lot of stories about pro athletes and my dealings with them. Without question the most open and friendly players are Hockey players. I have had good and bad experiences with sports personalities, from bad with David Pearson to good with Richard Petty, form bad with Charlie Taylor to good with Charlie Harraway, but I have never had a bad experience with a hockey player from any team no matter what teams jersey I was wearing. Still this does seem like above and beyond the call of duty after such a heartwrenching game and the sudden disappointing end to a huge season.

As for the business at hand, Green simply has to go. Some team that has a stout defense and can afford his lapses in order to get more scoring could use him much better than we do. Fans of other teams are right, and I said it all year. You have to have guys that don't take dumb penalties and play great blue line defense and keep the crease clear for their goalie in the playoffs. When Mike disappears on offense for games on end, and apparently in the playoffs always, he brings nothing else to the party. I also think we can do without Semin. Not just because of this series but he just is not tough enough or strong enough. The curl and drag just does not get it when you need to grind out wins in the playoffs. I was not a fan of any of our pickups during the season, but they workied out OK. None of them made an impact though. I hope Mike Knuble stays along time and when he was on the ice I liked Morrison too. Some of our second teir players that seemed to turn the corner this year also were not there in the playoffs. The Fleischmanns and Fehrs of the world have to pick it up in the post season. This was supposed to be the year we won it. Now who knows if the team will stay together another season. It was a great ride as usual. If the team had played each game like they did game 7 this thing would have been over in 4 games. MAybe by next year they will look back and remember that their regular season game does not translate into the playoffs and start to grind it out a little earlier in the series. All credit to Halak, but really he had a lot of help. Varly played great too, but just did not get the help from his defense that Halak got. The last 4 goals Varly let in were almost the exact same play. Right wing slap shot with two screeners to the top left corner of the goal. We just let them keep getting into that position without clearing out the crease to give Varly a look at the shooter. Oh well enough wound licking. Time for baseball season! Too bad their isn't much to root for around here for that either, but at least you get to sit out in the sun for a few hours!

Posted by: dbrine1261 | April 29, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

This just in: Ovechkin suspended for hit on Rooseveldt Bridge that caused a pothole.

Posted by: brenmcaneny | April 29, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Joe Sakic did almost the same exact thing a few years ago. Avs had just gotten knocked out of the playoffs at home. Terrible feeling. Can't remember if he changed a tire or came across an accident and helped, but it's almost exactly what Laich did.

Hockey players are the best.

Posted by: Daan1 | April 29, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

When I saw the picture I thought that Dan Steinberg took it and stood their while Brooksie who just played a hockey game change the tire by himself. Great story and I think if it was a Canadian fan on side of road with Canadian jersey, Brooksie would've done the samething. I have a feeling Caps will win Cup next season.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | April 29, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@ dbrine1261: I get you're upset but really, after reading that story, you have the mindset of a bitter old oaf to write crap like that? You're probably the guy at the party who gets mad they only have Mugs rootbeer and not Barks. Doofus.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 29, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Meeting Brooks in Montreal I could tell right away that he was a sweet heart. Nice job Brooksie always willing to help others in need

Posted by: cocorules11 | April 29, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Reason number one he should have been made team captain: Brooks is a people person (would Ovie even know where to find the spare?)

See you in October.

Posted by: Rainier1 | April 29, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

What a surprise. They couldn't do it when it counted.

Posted by: uncivil | April 29, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Class act.

Posted by: OvechkinFan92801 | April 29, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

puts things in perspective for people who are fans and may have never played competive sports is these guys no matter how well they play or bad they play are just like us except they play a pro sport and get paid. there just like us they hurt when we hurt but at the end of the day its just a game, cant win every year. but hope laich stays and semin and green improve there game a hope semin learns from the great 8 to have that drive to want be the best

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | April 29, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I thought Laich lived in Georgetown. Were the Caps going to Kettler to clear out last night?

Posted by: ghokee | April 29, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

It's awesome that Brooks Laich could help that woman with her flat tire. By the way, I've been having some trouble with my Russian homework...

Posted by: Potter2 | April 29, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope to God this is 100% true cuz it reads like a PR plant -- so much so that you have to swear that this didn't come from the Caps.

Please let this be a true story that wasn't planted by the Caps.

I want to believe that Laich is the man....

Posted by: CF11555 | April 29, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Brooks annd Ovie should share the "C"--one can argue for either of them being Captain, but why not both? There are precedents.

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 29, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Brooks = class act

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | April 29, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

good story

Posted by: DCFanatic | April 29, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

What a stand-up guy.

Posted by: bs2004 | April 29, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

this is the type of man every man should be. thank you, brooks!

by the way, triple a if you are listening, i know i speak for a lot of women when i say i would pay extra for roadside help of this variety. ;)

Posted by: 33spinner | April 29, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Brooks Laich .... good Canadian boy. Raised right!

Posted by: Rpal | April 29, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks God they lost. Now we don't have to hear about them until next fall.

Posted by: rpcv84 | April 29, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice read, Dan.

Posted by: bharvey67 | April 29, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Brooks really sounds like a mensch (which is even a higher compliment than "can really crash the net").

Posted by: jhershb | April 29, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"Semin also tried to change someone's tire...but he couldnt finish under the pressure so he drove off!

Lol, that's terrible. ;)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | April 29, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I love this story, but if my tire's flat and I'm waiting for AAA on the Roosevelt Bridge after dark, I'm waiting *in* my car, not outside of it. I tend to think the odds of being clipped by a passing motorist are greater than having an NHL player stop to change your tire.

That said, way to go Brooks! Love ya!

Posted by: JillC | April 29, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so ive had alot of man crushes lately. BTW IM STRAIGHT and im a dude......anywho. I loved varly when he got drafted.loved nicky in his rookie year, then when varly started to play nhl i loved him, then back to nicky. NOW, cause of this article. i have a thing for brooks laich. now i have to get a brooks laich tshirt!!! lol (caps fan for 12 yrs and still going!) ive met brooks in person before. I cant say anything, but great things about him. i want him to be a cap till he retires!

Posted by: samrosen8 | April 29, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Strangely enough, a similar thing happened to me driving home from a Wizards game. I had a flat tire and Gilbert Arenas pulled over and asked if he could assist. He changed the tire and after I thanked him, he drove off w/ my car.

Posted by: randysbailin | April 29, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

For whatever reason, I just can't see Albert Haynesworth doing this if he had been in the same situation as BL. The class found in an organization starts at the top and the Caps have it in abundance. The Redskins, not so much.

Posted by: buster5 | April 29, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

dan, thank you so much for sharing that. we meet briefly at the skins/falcons game. and here i am again at another loosing crossroads with a beloved team. but man, this story just takes the edge away. thank you for sharing it. as brooks says "we're just people, too." (the badmouthing on all these pages and boards are really getting under my skin!). class act. already looking forward to next season. :) i don't know if i can say that about the redskins though!
kate tate

Posted by: A1232 | April 29, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Ever notice how in hockey, the most obnoxious a player ever gets is ovechkin's hot-stick last year?

That's part of what I like about this sport. The athletes are generally all stand-up guys who play like they're part of a team and try to act like role models, or at least don't get themselves into situations of what not to do (cough portis, haynesworth, roethlisberger, a-rod, kobe, many others). Not to say pro, college, and other sports aren't filled with fine men and women, but hockey players don't seem to embarrass themselves as much.

Having lost heartbreaking games in HS football, I know what it feels like coming home after that game. Here's to athletes who are stand-up people and class acts, even on the worst car-rides home of their lives.

Posted by: j762 | April 29, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I heard that Alex Semin also tried to change somebody's tire, but then he broke a fingernail while he was doing it and ran away crying

Posted by: connorj122 | April 29, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Hockey players are 'stand up guys' because hockey is really Canadian culture. Brooks Laich is like hockey culture, which is typically Canadian. Tough and polite.

Posted by: Rpal | April 29, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Amazingly, we had something similar happen to us last year leaving a Skins game at Fed Ex Field. We got a flat on the Beltway and pulled over. A Mini Cooper pulled off the road in front of us, and darned if it wasn't Jim Zorn. He was as nice as could be, and started working the jack. Told us he knew just what to do.

Nicest, most humble man you ever saw. After 15 minutes he was done. We thanked him and drove home.

Unfortunately, it turned out he had put the tire on backwards, stripped the nuts, and ruined the axle. The car's not actually driveable any more.

But he meant well and was really friendly. Good guy.

True story.

Posted by: farstriker | April 29, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

... and hockey players know how to change tires!

Posted by: Rpal | April 29, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Heart and soul of the team along with Brads, all you clowns pounding Laich need to go back watch his play. You people are tools. Go root for the Pens!

Posted by: rcc11 | April 29, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Brooks & the Caps are class acts.
Too bad they have some nitwits imbeciles for fans.

Just remember dimwits, you're nothing more than that.
You can't play the sport & probably don't even know how to ice skate.

You're tools & will ante up your dough like a jail house b1t ches for next year's run.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 29, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Hockey players are a different breed of athlete. Nice to see that Laich didn't forget his humanity in the midst his shattered dreams.

Posted by: NoRebound | April 29, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

DC needs to fix that pothole.

I read a similar story about Tony Romo. Goes to show these people some are so quick to judge are usually decent people. Give 'em a break, they're someone's son.

Posted by: gbooksdc | April 29, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Love this sport. Love Brooksie. My playoff heartache is still panging, but this makes it a little better, thanks for the story!

Posted by: feelinhellagood | April 29, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

My fellow DC sports fans, keep up the faith! We'll be winning championships in due time.

Posted by: DCSportsfanatic1 | April 30, 2010 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Brings to mind one of my favorite quotes:
"No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child".

Posted by: Buzzerooni | April 30, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Youth Hockey and the Boy Scouts are two of the best character building activities you can find. In the U.S. often times you will see kids in both. I bet you at least a half of the U.S. born NHL players were Scouts as kids.

Posted by: akmzrazor | April 30, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Of all the professional athletes, hockey players are best. They work hard year around, they're usually very smart, and they have a high regard for the fans. Brooks Laich is a credit to his team, the game, and himself.

Posted by: RogerGoldleader | April 30, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

What a nice young man as are all the Capitals and there organization. I hope people realize how young this team is and all Coach B has done. Every future champion goes through growing pains and remember this was suppose to be the first year of the 5 year plan when the Caps qualified for post season. Finally, what a contrast to the clowns on then Redskins. Could you ever imagine Albert Haynesworth getting off his fat no-account ass to help a person change a tire, He would have driven by them with an attitude.


Posted by: holdenmytahj | April 30, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Great story...Brooks is a class act!

Posted by: JCB9 | April 30, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

and that's why Brooksie is one of my favorite hockey players, too. Cool, smart, and nice.

@RogerGoldleader: "Of all the professional athletes, hockey players are best"
...and this is so true, too!

Posted by: arakakij | April 30, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Nice move Mary Ann, you spoiled beotch! Have a dejected Cap change your tire for you and risk getting hit by another car while you're playing paparazzi, then wave it in the face of the next flat tire driver as you squeal out of there to your plush digs in A$$burn.

BTW - any chance you could have put down something for him to make sure he didn't get that suit all oily and dirty?

Posted by: oldmaninthesea | April 30, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

What's interesting is that it was a very well paid professional athlete who had the decency to pull over and help these 2 ladies. How many hundreds of cars simply drove by w/o even a thought to stop and help? There are still places in this country where pulling over to help is the norm. Unfortunately, D.C. isn't one of those places.

Posted by: randysbailin | April 30, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Do you think that Clinton Portis would do this?

Posted by: MKadyman | April 30, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

This story actually makes me feel better after that last game.

Brooks Laich could have just driven by, like every body else did, but he stopped and helped these women when he didn't have to. That's the mark of a great human being who has the right values.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | April 30, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Good job Mr. Steinberg and editors!
Our frazzled community would benefit from an uplifting article on page one every day.

Posted by: BroG | April 30, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Tire is hiring.

No quarter final experience is necessary.

Posted by: DontBeleiveTheHype | April 30, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

This is why I watch hockey and not football.

I can't imagine a pro football player getting out of his massive expensive car and helping anyone do anything.

Is that unfair? Probably. But hockey has a well-deserved reputation for having players that are really great guys.

And football? Well, the gun convictions and the bling lifestyle just kill it for me. Which isn't fair, as there are some really nice pro football players, but the blingers sortof set the mood for everyone.

Posted by: Hillman1 | April 30, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey, somebody buy this guy a beer or 3!

Posted by: cbmuzik | April 30, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Excellent. I'd wager his character is going to be around a lot longer after his career is over. Talk about helping someone at their point of need ...

Posted by: gonhkn | April 30, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

A true Class Act. Great story.

Do you think that Clinton Portis would do this?

Not a chance. I once sat in front of CP at a Rockville restaurant and watched he and his date order entrees, apps, desserts and 2 entrees to go. We had the same waitress and we couldnt help but ask how much he tipped. She then pulled out the crumbled up ones and some loose change, couldnt have been more than 3-5% of the total check...

Posted by: Buckeye11 | April 30, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

It is nice to know that the world still has many good meaningful people in it! This guy is a class act!

Posted by: RockStorm_Radio | April 30, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

That's why hockey players are the greatest. Would you ever hear about a Redskin doing that (maybe Cooley), or how about a Wizards player. A Nats player (maybe Zimmerman a few years ago).

Posted by: dj1123 | April 30, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

What a nice guy. And a cutie, too.

Posted by: AmyRebecca248 | April 30, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Way to go Brooks, a truly classy move. It is too easy to forget that the players we root for are people just like us. What you do for others when you are down shows incredible character.

Posted by: jerrypeggyh | April 30, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Proud of Brooks and all the guys.

Posted by: capsfan12 | April 30, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Proud of Brooks and all the guys.

Posted by: capsfan12 | April 30, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Last year, I was returning from a Redskins game, when my Toyota got a flat tire. Five minutes later, a limousine pulled over beside me, and a very well-dressed man along with his entourage got out.

It was Daniel Snyder. He had one of people get my car fixed, but then proceeded to bill me $10,000 for the new tire, $500 for each lug nut, and $5,000 for his time and labor. He also sold me the jack used to fix my car for another $7,500, which I told him I didn't need, but he insisted that I purchase it anyway.

Later, I tried to return the jack to him, but he filed a lawsuit against me for another $10,000.

My court date is set for May 16.

Posted by: Gladiator2008 | April 30, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Hockey players get a bad rap by people who don't know hockey. It's the best sport out there. There will be another tournament next year. This season was nothing for the Capitals to be ashamed of.

Posted by: SarahBB | April 30, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Proud of Brooks and all the guys.

Posted by: capsfan12 | April 30, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

What wasn't mentioned in the story was that Green cross-checked the car on his way home, knocking it off the jack and leaving Laich to clean up Greenie's mess yet again...

Posted by: kresneck | April 30, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

What a great story! It supports that Laich is one of the guys the Caps need to build around, unlike a couple of other idiots who probably would have managed to drive by and knock the car off the jack just before the tire was about to be changed. He scores the only goal in game seven (from his knees) and then is down on his knees in the middle of the night changing a tire for a fan. Someone should have stopped and given him a Semin or Green jersey to kneel on!

Posted by: MyFirstNameIsPaul | April 30, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

What a great story of a person with class and character!
For a player to have just endured the sting of a painful defeat at a more intense level than any of the fans to show such individual concern, demonstrates what a great person Brooksie is.
Thanks so much, Brooksie, and all the Caps!
Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: WHOANELLY | April 30, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Steinberg is officially getting shout-outs on yahoo. This is the second time I can recall this happening - I think his story about Obama at a wiz game might have popped up on yahoo....

Good work my man!,237745

Posted by: rtramonte5500 | April 30, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Most hockey players are really good people, from great, hardworking families. Its a much different type of person than what you see in the NFL and the NBA...Thats a good reason to support hockey.

Posted by: msg8568 | April 30, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

welcome to :==== =======

Air jordan(1-24)shoes $33
Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35
Handbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35
Tshirts (ed hardy,lacoste) $16

Jean(True Religion,VERSACE,coogi) $30
Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $16
New era cap $15


++++ +++++

Posted by: itkonlyyou37 | April 30, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

welcome to :==== =======

Air jordan(1-24)shoes $33
Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35
Handbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35
Tshirts (ed hardy,lacoste) $16

Jean(True Religion,VERSACE,coogi) $30
Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $16
New era cap $15


++++ +++++

Posted by: itkonlyyou37 | April 30, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't shock me at all that Brooks Laich would do this kind of thing. To be honest, I thought he'd be the next captain after Clark left. No offense to Ovie, even though he's the heart of the team, Laich seems like a guy who not only leads by example, but also might speak up to the team about what needs to be done. He can be plugged into anywhere on offense and contribute. I said a lot of stuff yesterday about this team, but it's not a bad group of guys. They just dropped a golden opportunity off the cliff, is all.

Posted by: fbutler1 | April 30, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Mr. Tire is hiring.

No quarter final experience is necessary."



Posted by: fbutler1 | April 30, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

On and off the ice they are great people. Go Caps!!

Posted by: org2 | April 30, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

WE were the 2nd car to get the flat on that bridge an pull up behind them!! The pothole we hit even broke the rearview mirror off. We'd also just come from the Caps game. Brooks really was a hero for that woman and her daughter and they were so nice to us as well. I was very impressed by his actions. :)

Posted by: shmayer11 | April 30, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

And, as a follow up, they canceled the AAA call but a DC police car had already pulled over to help us call for a tow truck. All in all, it was great to see people helping each other :) And, I saw a couple comments saying this might be a PR stunt. Absolutely not, I watched him change the tire myself.

Posted by: shmayer11 | April 30, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

As a small child I loved Hockey because of the Spectacle. As a young adult I loved Hockey because of the strategy and subtleties of the game. These days I love hockey because the people who play this great game are even better men.

The selflessness and sense of perspective required to do what Laich did, is just another in a long list of reasons that Hockey Players are far and away my favorite public figures of any kind.

Posted by: Kdarienzo | April 30, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Good Saskatchewan boy! Raised to be hard working and have strong values -- very proud of you Brooksie!

Posted by: hckygal | April 30, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Penguins fan and, regardless of the team, I love hearing stories like this when a celebrity (of whatever level) goes out of his way to do something that even a lot of "regular" people wouldn't bother to do. He must be a cool guy.

Just one thing - I'm also a Steelers fan. Do you think Brooks is available to give Ben Roethlisberger some lessons on how to be a decent human being? Any reduction of the creep factor would be an improvement...

Posted by: mpahs1980 | April 30, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Habs fan, but I still find this to be very classy on Laich's part. Nice to hear.

Posted by: jmacleve | April 30, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Eat CHIT Pitt fans!!! GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: rockettonu | April 30, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

This is such a heartwarming article. It shows many Caps players will have future careers since they'll constantly fail at winning the Stanley Cup! Hahaha.

Posted by: Messier11 | April 30, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse


Do we treat each so poorly these days that something like this is news?

Go Bruins!

Posted by: brocksamson | April 30, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Every single time I have ever called AAA, I am told that the call volume is unusually heavy - every time.

Once when the tow truck finally showed up, he asked how long I had been waiting - 2 hours. He said he had driven by my condo an hour before on another call and was never told I was also waiting. Thanks, AAA. All I needed was a jump.

Posted by: swissmiss150 | April 30, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Has it occurred to anyone that maybe the 49 year old Mom should be teaching her daughter how to do something as simple as changing a tire instead of huddling by the side of the road, helpless, waiting for AAA or some man to come save them?

Have women not progressed to this point yet?

Posted by: sgvette | April 30, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Flyers fan, but I like to hear a story like this. If only more of our professional athletes could be like Brooks Laich. By the way, you have my sympathy, Caps fans. Even though the Flyers and Capitals are rivals, I find your team to be very entertaining and likable.

Posted by: riles1875 | April 30, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I'm not the first to mention this but the fact holds true regarding hockey players in general, they are the most down to earth athletes on the planet.

Posted by: pmarz1 | April 30, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Pens fan but that is a great article. Can someone please send it to Ben?

Posted by: pensroll | April 30, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I like that Ovie used the "o" word today -- I felt that certain players on the Caps sounded like they felt entitled to win the cup. Guys like Brooks Laich are grinders, the kind of people that just go at it and never quit, the kind of people who know how hard they've had to work to get where they are. As a fan, this is the kind of person who I can identify with. Brooks Laich is the kind of person who deserves all the ice time he can get, especially in the playoffs, because he will do the blue collar work of fighting for position in the crease, knocking in the ugly goals, and taking a hot goalie out of his comfort zone. The result on the ice was humble pie, but this is a young man who was raised correctly and will only grow stronger from the experience.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | April 30, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I know jack about hockey and could only name Ovechin(sp?) before this story, but this guy made me a fan of his. Very classy, particularly after such a tough loss. Yes, professional athletes are people too--and he showed a lot of class, as most people wouldn't even have stopped.

Posted by: nojunk4me | April 30, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

A funny thing happened this morning. I woke up, walked into the kitchen and somehow Brooks Laich had gotten into the house and was making me breakfast.

Posted by: randysbailin | April 30, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Classy move. Classy guy.

As far as hockey players being the "best", I think that is pretty much true. My take on why is bc hockey players are mostly suburbanites who come from middle class families and up. You think hockey and you think hockey mom and good family environment. Not many hockey players are from the ghetto or other disadvantaged situations bc it is too expensive to get into. In addition, being from the least glorified sport in America most NHL players seem to be a little more grounded than other athletes. That's my take anyway.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 30, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town and the snide people - no one is forcing you to go to Caps games or watch them on TV. Feel free to root for someone else. I suppose the silver lining in this loss are "fans" like you will hopefully not be back next year - or you could just move to Pittsburgh.

Posted by: tanwyll | April 30, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Hockey culture IS Canadian culture ... hockey values/codes are Canadian values ....thats why hockey players are the most decent people of all sports!

Posted by: Rpal | May 3, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

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