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John Pence (Meet the D.C.’s Greatest Sports Fan contest finalists)

John Pence is one of 10 finalists in The Washington Post’s D.C’s Greatest Sports Fan contest.

About me: Non-fiction television executive and a small business owner as a media consultant. Married since 2009, my wife and I enjoy traveling to places we've never been and regularly attending Capitals games. 

Defining moment as a D.C. sports fan: I vividly remember begging my mother to and later attending the Washington Redskins victory parade in February of 1983. My mother pulled me out of elementary school and we went downtown, stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the soaking rain with the other half million in attendance and sang “Hail To The Redskins” many times over. When the players rode by in their busses everyone went crazy and it felt like the city was one big happy family. Perhaps a naive assessment from a starstruck nine-year old boy, but I felt the love on that day, and I was forever galvanized a Redskins fan. Ever since I've embraced being a Washington D.C. sports fan and I'll never turn my back on our teams. 

Unheralded local athlete: Olaf Kolzig. He played goalie for the Caps during a time in D.C. when hockey truly was a niche sport. After leading the Caps to Cup Finals in the 1998 season, Kolzig won the Vezina Trophy in 2000, but was often overshadowed by the other headline grabbing talent on the Capitals teams of the day, including Peter Bondra, Dale Hunter, Jaromir Jagr and later, Alex Ovechkin. Between 1994 and 2008, he won 301 games with the Caps (the most in franchise history, along with saves, games played and losses) but his most benevolent performance was as co-founder of Athletes Against Autism, boasting a number of high profile athletes across all professional sports. Olie the Goalie's impact truly extended beyond the goal crease, and still does. 

Why I should win: Third generation D.C. sports fan with a basement full of memorabilia. Stood in the rain for the Redskins championship parade in 1983. Have a cat named Moseley and another named Brooks. My license plate reads "70 CH1P." I've visited many NFL stadiums traveling to watch the Redskins play. After sitting on the Redskins season ticket wait list for 12 years, I had four seats for ten seasons until this year when my wife and I grew tired of lining Dan Snyder's pockets. I attended the Hall of Fame inductions for Darrell Green and Art Monk. Enjoyed Capitals season tickets since the Ovechkin era began. Refuse to refer to the Dallas NFL franchise as anything other than, “Cowgirls” in casual conversation. Have a sports blog at, jocktoons.blogspot.com 

What the judges had to say:

Dan Steinberg: He’s got an amazing license plate — you have to be a real fan to get it.

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