Photo: Jenna Boyer
In early January, Jenna Boyer stared at her computer intrigued. Hannah Delmonte, a fellow teenager at Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, Virginia, had asked Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho to prom via social media. Acho said yes, with a condition. He’d only go with her if she got 10,000 retweets. Delmonte’s tweet passed that number within a few hours. In February, Acho flew to Virgina and surprised Delmonte. It was one of those cute, amazing, feel-good, national stories.
Photo: Philadephia Eagles
“As you probably know, all of 2014 was loaded with crazy and innovative ‘promposals,'” the 16-year-old Boyer, a junior from South Lakes High School, explained to me, a 30-year-old blogger, on Friday. For the record, no, I did not know this.
The coverage of Acho’s good deed inspired Boyer. If a famous NFL linebacker from Texas would fly to Virginia for a prom, why wouldn’t her favorite hockey player – a forward for the Washington Capitals who resides only 25 minutes away – do the same? She would likely be ignored or shot down, but, for the not-so-easily-embarrassed Boyer, it was worth a shot.
“During class, I was talking with one of my best friends, Priyanshu Uprety, who also just so happens to be a Caps fanatic,” Boyer said. “We joked about how glorious it would be if I took Willy to prom and she took Michael Latta. She loves how Latta always sticks up for Wilson. We thought it would be funny and cute to take the two roommates to prom together.”
I could not agree more. Look, I even picked out the outfits Wilson and Latta could wear.
So on Wednesday night, the intrepid high schooler set out for Michael’s just before this week’s mini-blizzard struck. She was in search for poster board and markers. At a previous Caps game, Boyer had made a sign supporting a Caps player and it was well-received at Verizon Center. She wanted to see if she could work her magic twice.
“I brainstormed with my parents about what a clever caption would be,” Boyer said. “After watching the Caps-Blue Jackets game earlier in the week, it occurred to me that telling Willy, who had 17 penalty minutes that night, to ‘come out of the penalty box’ would make him laugh.”
And thus the perfect caption, “Come out of the penalty box and go to prom with me?” was born.
Boyer also included a photo of Wilson looking to the right in the penalty box as well as a selfie she took with him earlier in the year. Perfect.
Photo: Jenna Boyer
Late in the third period of Thursday’s game, a CSN cameraman noticed the sign and encouraged her to hold it up during the next break in action. This was Boyer’s moment.
The cameraman tried to get Boyer’s attention. She turned the sign around right before CSN cut away.
Boyer’s friends began texting her all at once. Screenshots of her holding the sign was being shared on social media.
“On the metro ride home I could hardly contain myself,” Boyer said. “It would be a dream come true if anything like this actually happened.”
There’s lots of reasons why Wilson (and his fellow broski, Latta) should not accept. But they should. Boyer, who has been a Caps fan for six years, goes to games with her dad who’s a partial season ticket holder. “It’s become a tradition for my father and I to see them play,” Boyer said.
Wilson could also help Boyer in what she hopes to be her life’s work. “In the future I would like to become an athletic trainer,” she said. “Recently I’ve been looking at colleges and universities that offer that major in hopes I could work with a professional sports team like the Capitals.”
At no point did she mention Wilson’s handsome, John Stamos-esque looks as a reason she wanted him as her date, which surprised me.
“After watching him play for two years, sure, he’s an intense hockey player,” Boyer explained. “But he seems laid back and outgoing in his personal life. I think our personalities would go really well together. We would have a blast at prom.”
I think so too.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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