In the story of these Washington Capitals — or, really, the story of any team on a playoff run — there is the tale of the fan convinced that this is, finally, “our year.”
Meet one such fan: Robert Zoldos II, born and raised in Leesburg, and the mayor of Lovettsville, Va., population about 2,000, 10 miles southeast of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., in northern Loudoun County.
“It’s been a hard road, but we’re back in the Stanley Cup [finals],” he said this week. “This year, I really feel like this is their year.”
And as Washington was finishing off the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the playoffs, the mayor hatched an idea: If the Capitals complete their run through the Eastern Conference and reach the finals, Lovettsville — affectionately known as “the German settlement” for its early Western inhabitants — would temporarily change its name to “Capitalsville.”
Well, now the deed is done.
The Capitals vanquished the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night. By late Thursday night, a motion was passed with a voice vote before the town council.
“Be it further resolved,” the council decreed in resolution 2018-05-0002, “that from this date until the end of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Town of Lovettsville shall be known as ‘Capitalsville’ and we urge all citizens, organizations and businesses to support our Home Team by displaying or wearing red.”
Does the resolution really mean anything, though?
Not quite. Small towns like Lovetts — err, Capitalsville pull quirky stunts by naming things after people or groups all the time, Zoldos said. If a particular volunteer went above and beyond his or her civic duty preparing for the annual Oktoberfest celebration, which routinely attracts 10,000 people, the council would consider naming a day after him or her.
The same holds true for the Capitals who, after all these years of heartbreak, have finally gone above and beyond.
Plus, it’s a great way to attract fans from outside Capitalsville to patronize some of the town’s businesses during the championship series. If you can’t get to Capital One Arena for a game, the next-best place may as well be a nice little town renamed in honor of the team, Zoldos reasoned.
“Most people have never heard of Lovettsville, so if we want to bring business here, we have to bring population here,” he said. “The way we do that is by having a ton of special events year-round.”
The town this weekend will put up signs around its Broadway main street to celebrate the team and the renamed town. Zoldos, the other council members and a few private citizens are fronting the cost on behalf of the town.
The celebration will coincide with the town’s MayFest, a spring picnic that features a nationally recognized cornhole tournament. (Yes, really.)
“We’ve been doing quirky for a long time now,” Zoldos said, “but this is the biggest, quirkiest thing we’ve done so far.”
The town is still in talks with the Capitals on what particular perks it is entitled to after sacrificing its name. Zoldos said it’d be nice to get some help with decorations for the town square, but the main goal is to create watch parties.
Lovettsville, pre-name change, was planning on hosting family movie nights on the town green. How hard would it be to replace the movie with hockey, Zoldos wondered?
“Capitalsville,” he said, “if we can help more people get involved with the Capitals, it’ll be worth it.”
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