The pizza delivery guy, wearing black sweatpants and a red Papa John’s shirt, climbed the steps up to a front door in Virginia on Friday evening and rang the bell.
“Pizza’s here,” he said, as the door opened.
“Oh my god,” said the man who answered.
And that, honestly, seems like a pretty fair reaction. Because on this trip, the pizza delivery guy was Alexander Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals star. And really, what would you say to that?
Ovechkin on Friday evening made the rounds as a local Papa John’s delivery guy, surprising customers with their dinner. In total, three delivery stops for a Papa John’s location in Sterling, Va., were treated to appearances from Ovechkin, the Caps’ captain and star of this Papa John’s advertisement.
Back to the scene on the stoop, which was the first stop of the night. The man called over a little girl, saying: “Look who’s here! Who is this guy?”
“Oh my god,” he said again.
“Holy s—,” another man could be heard saying inside.
“I just need a signature,” responded Ovechkin, because he is a true professional.
Ovechkin’s Friday night appearances caused a minor stir locally, according to a Papa John’s employee at the location. There was a “significant” increase in calls, he said, including some that requested Ovechkin as their deliveryman.
News of the stunt apparently leaked before Ovechkin arrived at the Papa John’s, which is located in a local shopping center. Before his white Mercedes pulled up, a small group of kids were waiting outside.
“I’m going to ask him to sign my forehead,” said one. “How cool is that!”
Kids peered through the storefront glass to watch as Ovechkin made a pizza after he arrived, the first time he’d made one himself. In the store, he also divulged his favorite toppings, which — I’m sad to report — seem like a Somewhat Gross and Very Bad combination — ham, mushrooms, pineapple and tomatoes.
(Alex!!! What is even happening there. The textures!!!! Think of the textures!!!!!! Can someone on the Caps talk him out of this? Barry Trotz, show some leadership.)
Let’s move on. I can’t talk about it anymore.
It has already been a pretty good year for fans of both the local hockey team and delivery pizza. Papa John’s has a Caps-focused promotion: half-price off a regular menu price online order the day after the Caps win and score four or more goals. This season, the online order discount code has been used about 135,900 times.
But not every Papa John’s customer is a Caps fan, as it turned out. On Ovechkin’s second delivery run, he walked up to a blue door and rang the bell, same as before.
A boy answered, along with a teenage girl.
“Hello,” Ovechkin said. “Pizza.”
Yeah, there was no reaction. I mean, I guess there was technically a reaction, if you count general confusion at this delivery guy who was wearing a GoPro camera and surrounded by a crowd of people who had their phones out to film what appeared to be a relatively normal pizza-related transaction.
“Do you guys recognize who’s delivering your pizza?” someone finally asked.
“No,” responded the girl, 17-year-old Tatyana Bailey.
“Number 8, from the Washington Capitals?”
“I don’t do sports,” Tatyana said.
“It’s a good thing!” said Ovechkin, amid the laughter.
“I’m sorry,” the girl responded. “I’m sure this is probably very exciting for someone.”
A little boy wearing a red Caps jersey watched as Ovechkin pulled up for his third and final delivery of the night. The door was answered by Lisa Joyner, who shouted “Oh my god!” and tried (really, really hard) to wrangle two small kids for photos.
“One more picture!” she said, running off to grab her phone before he left. “Sorry!”
“And the receipt, please?” Ovechkin responded.