The Washington Times - April 1, 2011, 09:25AM

Thank you Jason Chimera.

Chimera’s overtime goal at Verizon Center on Thursday night gave the Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets and sent most of the crowd home very happy.  As Stephen Whyno noted in his story, the Capitals also went over the 100-point mark for the second straight year.


My thanks go to Chimera for another reason.  His goal allows me to continue watching live pro sports this season.

You can’t spend a lifetime in the sports writing business if you don’t enjoy watching sports.  As I’ve noted in previous entries, I enjoy watching sports even when it isn’t for work.  Baseball and hockey — very different games in terms of the spectating experience — are two of my favorites.

Thursday offered a chance to do both, a chance to do something else that makes me very happy to be living in this area.  Baseball at 1, hockey at 7.  Time for a quick trip on the Metro and a bite to eat in between.

But I have a long history of being bad luck.  This was my fourth Caps game of the season with a purchased ticket and Washington lost the previous three.  Losses to Boston, Montreal and Vancouver are a little more understandable than a loss to Columbus would have been.  Had that happened, I would have figured it may indeed be me.  So I told my son if the Caps did lose, I would do the team and its big fan base a favor. I’d stay away. 

(And I don’t want to do that, especially since I’ve already bought tickets for Saturday night’s game against Buffalo).

Chimera made it a moot point.  We’re doing the Nats-Caps doubleheader again on Saturday.

So thanks again.

I tend to fret too much about logistics and I worried about that Thursday as we plotted our path.  We’d take Metro from West Falls Church to L’Enfant Plaza, transfer to the green line and go to Navy Yard.  Afterward, we’d take the Metro to Gallery Place-Chinatown, eat and hit the hockey game. From there, walk to the Metro Center to avoid a transfer and back on the orange line.  We were back in the door 12 hours after we left.  My son (a Braves fan due to his upbringing in Richmond with the Braves’ AAA team) considered it a perfect day.

Of course, everybody in the area seemed to have the same plan.  We got probably the last parking spot at West Falls Church.  It looked like the entire 39,000-plus crowd at Nats Park was waiting to transfer with us. No matter.  Metro had some extra trains and it all went relatively smoothly.

The only glitch in the day was a ridiculously long wait for food during the Nats game.  I’d noticed this in previous seasons.  If you are hungry and Nats Park is crowded, either plan on not eating or plan on waiting much longer than you should.

We sat in the club section in the 200 level (can’t remember what it is called). I waited two full innings for an order of nachos.  They ran out of ingredients and there was a long delay while they prepared more.  Amazing they weren’t more prepared for what they knew would be a capacity crowd.  The nachos are good and reasonably priced at $12 but an hour to get them is not acceptable by anyone’s standards.  Someone behind me in line was complaining they’d left another concession station because the wait was too long, only to walk into this problem.

I paid $150 for two seats in the club, a bit high but not terribly unreasonable.  For that money, though, you do expect prepared concession stands.

That glitch, and the cold, didn’t spoil the day, though.  We had fun, even if I did have to listen to my son gloat a bit.  It all served as a great reminder about why I’m so happy to be here.