Let Them Eat Cake
On Monday night, Brian Sutherby’s feet were roaming the grass of RFK Stadium in D.C. On Tuesday afternoon, Sutherby’s hands — and those of five of his Capitals teammates — were helping to plant flowers and lay mulch at Shaw Junior High in the District.
Tuesday’s event was a service project in honor of Alex Ovechkin’s 22nd birthday, which was Monday. Immediately after Tuesday’ practice at the K-Plex, Ovechkin, Sutherby, Nicklas Backstrom, Matt Bradley, Donald Brashear and Mike Green drove over to Shaw to help students and a handful of Caps staffers and Serve DC, in the Executive Office of the Mayor in a beautification project at the school. Everyone was clad in red t-shirts bearing Ovechkin’s name and his familiar No. 8 on the back.
With dozens of pairs of hands — large and small — doing the work, the courtyard area in front of the school was awash in color within an hour. Flowers and plants were planted in rich new soil and mulch was added. The kids worked alongside the players, asking them questions about hockey as they did. Even the players wore Ovechkin t-shirts; Ovechkin completed his look with Dolce & Gabbana (what else?) track pants and sandals. It was quite a sight to see dozens of identically shirted people buzzing around the courtyard on a mission of beautification.
The players signed the kids’ shirts as they worked beneath the brilliant sunlight. Once the work was completed, Ovechkin cut two large birthday cakes, one with his likeness emblazoned on top and the other with the Caps’ new logo. One of the playful youths smeared some cake on the Caps’ left wing, and then the third-year pro was treated to a loud and rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” before he and his teammates passed out slices of cake to the red-shirted horde.
Lisa Hillary of Comcast SportsNet was also on hand to document the goings-on, so you might look for film at 6 and/or 10 this evening. (Check your local listings. Always wanted to say that.)
As Nate Ewell remarked while we watched the courtyard’s quick and stunning transformation, “I’d like to have this bunch at my house for 15 minutes.”
I could use ’em for an hour up here at stately Vogel mansion in Charm City. But I’ll supply the coffee and breakfast sandwiches.
See you all here on Saturday?