I can't lie. Over the last few days, I have had, what you might call, "Cup envy" as the Capitals have partied in Las Vegas, the streets of Washington D.C. and on the "Tonight Show" with the Stanley Cup. Not because they won (my Penguins won the last two before this season), but because they're having the kind of fun our society accepts when a professional sports team wins a championship.
For the Capital players, they are athletes who train year-round, play 82 regular season games and then must play two more months of hockey to win the title. You can't blame them for trading in the protein shakes for beers and champagne after winning it all.
Everyone's spirit animal since Thursday night has been captain Alexander Ovechkin.
For 13 years, Ovechkin has been one of the best players of his era but could lacked something his counterparts, fellow Russian Evegni Malkin and Sidney Crosby had: a Stanley Cup.
From the moment he eagerly ripped the Cup from commissioner Gary Bettman and lifted it for the first time, Ovechkin has partied like the 18th Amendment was soon making a comeback.
You're envious when you see Ovechkin among fans at Georgetown doing a keg stand with the Stanley Cup and partying in the fountain with teammate.
When he goes to the Nationals baseball game and randomly lifts the trophy gameplay, not caring about the action on the field, you're envious.
Working with an accent and a high blood-alcohol content, he ends the parade with a fragmented sentence while throwing in an F-bomb that keeps it together. The envy returns when the crowd on the National Mall responds with a huge roar and he once again raises the Stanley Cup with the U.S. Capitol in the background (just out of curiosity: was this crowd bigger than Trump's inauguration crowd?).
Now, Ovechkin will have to come down from 'hockey nirvana" at some point and start acting like a normal, functioning adult again, but like many before him, he has earned the hall pass to act like an idiot and do things, that for the rest of us, could leave us unemployed and with a public drunkenness on our record.
It's been fun to watch Ovechkin the last couple of days. You hate him when he plays against your team, but you would give something up to have the last five days of his life.
Party on, Ovi. Safe to say that Olli Maatta's partying at the Penguins 2017 parade has been outdone.
The long-suffering Washington Capitals finally won a Stanley Cup Thursday night in Las Vegas. In house at T-Mobile Arena was Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee, who watched Alexander Ovechkin, a player he drafted 14 years ago while working the same job in Washington, lift the trophy, exercising playoff demons of the past, ones that cost him his job in 2014.
If anything, McPhee is named general manager of the year after putting together an expansion team that reached the Stanley Cup Final, but glancing over at the opposite bench, many of the players who made an impact in Washington's title run were McPhee selections.
Ovechkin (2004), Nicklas Backstrom (2006), John Carlson and Braden Holtby (2008), Dmitri Orlov (2009), Evgeny Kuznetsov (2010) and Tom Wilson (2012) were names heard throughout the spring.
This is not a slight to current general manager Brian MacLellan, who brought in T.J Oshie and Devante Smith-Pelly, two other big contributors during the Stanley Cup run, but the core was built by McPhee. Like most general managers, he had to take the brunt of the blame for the team's continued lack of postseason success as he and then head coach Adam Oates got pick slips in 2014.
Now, some of you probably read the headline, rolled your eyes and said I'm a millennial who thinks everyone should get a trophy.
Well, I'm not. Giving McPhee a ring would be odd, but it would be a nice, unique gesture. At the very least, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis could send him a thank you note.
Either way, George McPhee should be proud of his past and current work as a National Hockey League general manager.
I will start by getting this off my chest.
Cavaliers-Warriors Part IV has been a dud.
The first one was great, the sequel was fantastic and even though Golden State added a new cast member in Kevin Durant last year, that series was like every third film in a franchise. You sat through the first two, so you want to see what happens.
I didn't want to see Part IV, but others did and now some are regretting it.
It's not over yet, but we know how it will end. Either tonight in Cleveland or Monday in Oakland.
The NBA has dragged us through another spring where it teased us with first round stories like the Pelicans sweeping the Trail Blazers and the Sixers "process" appearing to come to fruition, only to let us down in the next round. The conference finals were actually good, with both series going seven games and thinking for a moment a Cleveland-Golden State championship series could be avoided.
While the NBA continues to lack parity, the three other major sports leagues in North America all had first-timers lifting trophies.
Back in the fall, the Houston Astros, who lost 111 games just four seaons prior, beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games for the franchises first title just months after Hurricane Harvey devastated the area.
For as insufferable as Philadelphia sports fans can be, the Eagles prevented another Patriots Super Bowl championship while capturing their first Lombardi trophy and the first of any kind since 1960.
And just this week, the Washington Capitals, one of the NHL's most snake-bitten teams (I see you Buffalo and Toronto), finally won a Stanley Cup.
It was a run where they dropped their first two games at home in round one to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but won the next four to advance. Let Game 1 of their second round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins slip through their hands, but in the end, finally beat the team that has tortured them in the playoffs over the last two decades, making their first conference final in 20 years, where they won the first two against the Tampa Bay Lightning, dropped the next three and rallied to win the next two to make the Final, where they dropped the first game, but won the next four to clinch the title.
One of the league's best players, Alexander Ovechkin, finally lifted the Stanley Cup and did it on the road in...Las Vegas.
Oh, yeah! The National Hockey League saw the Vegas Golden Knights, in their inaugural season, win their division and make the Final. Holy parity, Batman!
LeBron James is great, Kevin Durant is great, but we've seen this movie before and I'm fine if it doesn't happen again. Give me the Sixers, Rockets, heck, anybody but Golden State winning it again.