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June Winners of Caps License Plates Program Contest

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals have announced the first two winners in the Caps License Plates Program contest. Alex Joannou of Reston, Va. and Ryan Brown of Odenton, Md., were each selected in June to receive a Courage Cap autographed by forward Alexander Semin.

Joannou and Brown entered the contest by submitting a Caps license plate application, payment and a short response on what makes them a Caps fan. Their winning entries are posted below.

Fans who sign-up for a Virginia or Maryland Caps license plate are encouraged to submit 250 words or less on why they are a Caps fan and how they show their support for the team. Each month from June to December, the Caps will select the best responses from Virginia and Maryland fans and announce the winners on Applicants of winning responses will receive memorabilia autographed by current Caps players and coaches and by Caps alumni.

For more information on Caps license plates or to download an application, please visit

To enter the contest, please complete a Caps license plate application for Virginia or Maryland, submit payment information and email your 250-word response to Contest winners will be announced on during the first full week of each month.

Virginia Winner: Alex Joannou of Reston
The date was March 19, 1978. My father got two tickets behind the goal from a friend to go see the Caps play the St. Louis Blues at the Capital Centre. I, being all of eight years old, had never been to a hockey game or even seen one on TV. I was a big soccer nut and had ice skated, but hockey was far from my radar. I went to the game with my father and was instantly in love, watching the players move, hit and fight so quickly. Then, in the second period, I was talking to my father and not paying attention to the game. I felt a hard blow right in my chest and was knocked back into my seat. I realized then that I had been hit by a puck, which had landed on the lap of the man in front of me. When he looked back to see the pain I was in, he handed me the puck and said, “Here kid, you’ve earned this one.” I still have that puck on my desk today, along with four jerseys, sticks, bobbleheads and other Caps paraphernalia. In addition, I’ve been a season ticket holder (shared with two other guys) for ten years. We love our seats in section 400, and I wouldn’t trade those for anything. There is no team that I love like the Caps, and I will do so for the rest of my life.

Maryland Winner: Ryan Brown of Odenton
In December of 1980, my mother, a proud season ticket holder, broke her water in the Capital Centre at a home loss against the Penguins. I was born shortly thereafter, a Caps fan and a Penguins hater, for life. At the age of three, my parents asked me what I wanted to name the family’s new puppy. I suggested “Mike Gartner” even though I knew the puppy was a girl. I grew up with Scott Stevens in the corner of my room telling me how “milk does a body good”, singing “Ice Breakers, Goal Shakers” and pretending I was Peter Bondra in the neighborhood street hockey shootouts. I was rocking the red, white, and blue before the blue, black, and bronze existed, and well before there was a slogan telling me to do so. Essentially I’m a Caps fan because I’ve always been one, and after 28 years, I wouldn’t have it any other way. As an adult, not much has changed. I have bobbleheads, shirts and posters aplenty in my office, which has earned me the nickname “hockey stick” and I’ve become the go-to-guy for anything Caps related. I love driving my beat-up car, but mostly to see the reactions I get with my Caps license plate. When people honk at me I tell myself they’re honking “Let’s Go Caps!”…even if I just cut them off. And believe it or not, I still pretend I’m Peter Bondra when I’m on a breakaway.
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