So Long, Zilla!
I know y’all are used to seeing sports posts from Frank and Patrick, but I just can’t help putting my two cents in on the news that Olaf Kolzig, beloved former goalie for the Capitals, has announced his retirement.
When I moved to the DC area in 1993, I was in dire need of a team to adopt! I was raised in New York, where kids have to choose their team loyalties early (mine were, of course, Giants/Mets/Knicks). Back then DC had no baseball, and pretty much all I could say was that I did know the difference between hockey and figure skates.
And so the Caps became my local favorites. Over the years I’ve watched many a Caps game. Olie was there through nearly all those years — from the days of carpooling out to the old Cap Centre in PG County (where said carpool driver once nearly ran over Dale Hunter by accident — thank God that didn’t happen), to the games in the new-fangled Phone Booth. My friends and I learned the nuances of icing. I went to games wearing my #22 Konowalchuk sweater, as he rose from fourth-line to captain. We griped when the uniforms changed to “Wizards” blue-and-gold, and cheered when they went back to their old logo.
Then! In 1998! It finally happened! The Caps were able to help me check an item off my Lifetime List of Things to Do: seeing the Stanley Cup Finals. Sure, the RedWings skated away with the Cup, but it was a blast and the team owed a lot of its success that year (and in other years) to their giant Godzilla-like keeper, “Olie the Goalie.”
The Post is polling its readership on whether the organization should retire #37. I, personally, believe the correct answer to this question is, “Duh,” and it looks like there are those who agree (as of 4:30 PM the polling was 89% in favor)! Sure, the Caps don’t have title pennants flying from the rafters, but in my opinion old #37 deserves recognition as the best goalie in franchise history.
What do you think, DC? Share some of your favorite Caps moments and your opinion on whether the Caps should retire #37!
Regardless, let’s all say thanks for some great play and join in a virtual chant: Olie! Olie! Olie!