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Hugging Caps is a good luck charm

Combine a few factors -- beautiful weather, playoffs approaching, kids on Spring Break -- and there was a mad scene outside Kettler on Thursday afternoon. It was nuts when guys like David Steckel left; he was surrounded and tailed to his car. It was nuts when guys like Mike Green left; the pre-teen girls seemed especially taken, and eventually Green needed an escort to his car. This was a Redskins Training Camp level of screaming, except without the fences to hold people back.

But it was a straight zoo when Alex Ovechkin tried to make it to his car, wearing ripped jeans, a Team Russia shirt and a microphone for a video piece on his car.

"We love you Ovi!" one woman shouted as Ovechkin made his way through the crowd. ("Mom, shut up!" her daughter said. Seriously.)

Just before he got in his car, though, he stopped to hug Jennifer Fuchs. A lot of people expressed jealousy. So I asked her to explain the hug.

"I hug him frequently," she told me. "I hug him as often as possible. I don't want anything from him. He's a nice guy, and I just want to give him a hug."

Turns out Fuchs and her hugs are, according to her, a good-luck charm.

"That 14-game win streak?" she asked. "I take full responsibility for that."

Ok, she was kind of joking about that, I think, but she did hug a lot of players just before that, including Mike Green. Near as I can tell, she's hugged dang near the whole roster.

"I've hugged Poti," she said. "I've hugged Steckel. I've hugged Varly. I've hugged Green, Ovechkin, Theo, Semin. But that's kind of tough. He's a really nice guy, but he's very very shy, and he doesn't like the limelight. It's not his thing. Now Alex will drag him out and make him sign stuff, and he'll pretend like he doesn't know English, but then I'll make a wisecrack and he'll laugh."

Fuchs met Ovechkin a few years back in the parking lot, and now she regularly watches practices with his father. She was wearing a signed Ovechkin hat, and she has a bunch of autographs from Ovechkin, including an early-vintage model that reads "Jen, I love you, you are the great."

Anyhow, here are some more photos from the day.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 1, 2010; 1:07 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: Nats have longest odds to reach World Series


there's a joke somewhere with Semin and Fuchs... ;p

Posted by: 3tripleiii | April 1, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

who the Fuch is Jennifer Fuchs?

Posted by: graham29 | April 1, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be pronounced "FYOOKS."

Posted by: stwasm | April 1, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Hmm...the only day Steinberg goes to Kettler is when the scores of teen girls are there and "interviews" them for a piece. Did you get her phone # for a "followup"? haha.

Posted by: HogsHaven | April 1, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse


Just curious, but how do you know when Steinz does and doesn't go to Kettler? He's there plenty, he just doesn't 20 pictures every time.

Posted by: washingtoncapsblog | April 1, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Thank God I didn't go to practice today.

Posted by: MKadyman | April 1, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

How the hell do so many people manage to get off of work during the week to go to these things?

Posted by: kittypawz | April 2, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

"We love you Ovi!" one woman shouted as Ovechkin made his way through the crowd. ("Mom, shut up!" her daughter said. Seriously.)

hahaha, that's so embarassing. I'd be so mad if my mom shouted that. But that's pretty crazy.. I thought Redskins training camp was crazy.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 2, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The name "Fuchs" literally translates to Fox, in German. Of course, I do remember all the jokes concerning that last name since I had a classmate in HS with that last name (and he also had a brother a year older.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 2, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

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