Photoshop by Ian Oland
While the Capitals and Red Wings were busy boring a mostly full Verizon Center, a sporting contest of greater import was taking place in the Boston suburbs. With a spot in the AFC Championship Game on the line, the 2013 Super Bowl winning Baltimore Ravens took a 28-14 lead on the New England Patriots. With five minutes left in the game, however, Tom Brady threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to give New England a 35-31 lead and send the entire state of Maryland into Old Bay-seasoned tears.
After the Capitals’ 3-1 victory over Detroit, I caught up with Joel Ward, a massive Ravens fan. Though Ward scored in Washington’s 22nd victory this year, he become downtrodden when I brought up the game.
“I knew they were going to be tough,” Ward said. “I saw that they were up by a couple scores earlier on. Foxboro is a tough building. I can only imagine how they are feeling right now because it was such a battle with what they accomplished. I think a lot of people counted them out early on.”
The game divided the Capitals locker room. Birthday boy John Carlson, one of the other goal scorers from Saturday’s game, is a big Patriots fan, having grown up in Massachusetts.
“I guess with his birthday on the same day the football gods got him and let the Pats win today,” Ward said.
Though they’ve wagered on Patriots-Ravens games in the past, Ward said Carlson refused to put anything on this round.
“He was a little timid to be honest with you,” Ward said of Carlson.
But after the games Saturday, Carlson was only happy. When asked by CSN’s Jill Sorensen if he had a good birthday, Carlson grinned widely.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “My Patriots won too so that’s always good.”
Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
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