As NHL training camps prepare to open this week, hockey fans on the east coast are bracing themselves for a big hit of a different kind.
Hurricane Florence, a powerful category two storm, is churning in the Atlantic and taking aim at the Carolinas. The hurricane is expected to make landfall sometime on Thursday or Friday near the North Carolina/South Carolina border, bringing a deadly mix of storm surge flooding, high winds, and several feet of rain.
With early models predicting landfall in the continental US a week ahead of time, coastal island communities, such as North Carolina’s Outer Banks, put in place mandatory evacuations days before the storm arrived.
The hurricane will likely be the strongest storm to hit the east coast in at least 25 years, but many residents remain optimistic – such as longtime Capitals fan, Jay Fohs.
Jay even left a special message for the arriving storm: CAPS.
— Mike Fohs (@Mo_Fohs) September 12, 2018
Spray painted boldly in red, Fohs wrote the message “just in case Hurricane Florence didn’t know who won the Stanley Cup!”
The beach home is located in South Nags Head near Milepost 20 and has been occupied by Caps fans for over two decades.
“My mom vacationed with her parents growing up there and my dad fell in the mix of going with them,” Jay’s son Mike said in an interview. “They ended up buying that house, and have been vacationing there for 21 years – even before I was born. Dad’s got a non-profit organization where he takes out people in wheelchairs to charter fish on his boat. It’s completely handicap accessible, called ‘Wheels on Deck’ so he’s down there all the time.”
After seeing all the powerful tributes to the Stanley Cup-winning Capitals on social media this summer, including championship tattoos, personalized license plates, and celebratory photos — Jay was inspired to show his love for the team while also trying to rally his community during a trying time.
Jay’s passion for DC’s hockey team runs deep, first falling in love with the Capitals during the team’s inaugural 1974-75 season. During the Ovechkin Era, Mike heard his dad say “I just want the Caps to win one Stanley Cup before I die” several times.
“My dad started following them when they came to the Capital Centre that year and watched a Flyers game,” Mike said. “Dad went to the Caps’ on-ice party at the Columbia ice rink with Yvon Labre and Ron Lalonde and that turned him into a fan for life.
“He began playing hockey the next year,” Mike continued. “In the 1980’s, he was the manager of the Paint Branch High School hockey club when there were five high school teams in the league. He also played hockey at the University of Maryland on the first hockey team to ever exist there.”
Jay’s love extended to his family, where his son Mike first started playing hockey in elementary school.
“I played my freshman year for the Virginia Tech Hokies, and I’m actually on the way to tryouts right now as I’m talking to you,” Mike said laughing. “I’m a senior and miss it too much to not play again.”
Late Wednesday, Hurricane Florence weakened from a category-three storm to a category two and is now projected to go more south, likely lessening the chance for a knockout blow to OBX.
“We are hopeful,” Mike said. “Dad’s got a few properties with one literally on the beach that’s going to get hit hard and might not make it, but we’re hoping the hurricane changes paths and goes more south like it’s been predicted recently.”
Perhaps Florence saw the message and the mettle the Caps showed during the playoffs, and decided to go a different route.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.