You’ll probably be seeing the GIF quite a bit over the remainder of the Stanley Cup finals. No, not the one of Braden Holtby making the greatest save in Capitals history, which is impossible to watch too many times, but the one of Caps fan Steph Chewning dousing herself with beer to celebrate Washington’s first trip to hockey’s ultimate stage in 20 years.
Chewning, a 21-year-old college student from Northern Virginia, was among the nearly 11,000 fans inside Capital One Arena for last week’s viewing party for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
“Before the game started, I told my brother, if we win this game, I’m going to do something crazy,” she said.
That something crazy came after the raucous crowd counted down the final seconds of the Capitals’ 4-0 win at Tampa Bay.
“When it came down to it, I still had some beer in my hand, so I was like, ‘It’s going on my head,’ ” Chewning said.
Narrator: The beer went on Chewning’s head. #BecauseItsInTheCup
WAMU visuals editor Tyrone Turner, who captured some incredible photos of Capitals fans throughout the night, was there to document the sudsy celebration.
“I didn’t know that he was going to take the video, but I guess my brother told him,” said Chewning, who impressively attempted to capture the moment on her own phone.
WAMU tweeted the GIF of Chewning’s celebration again after the Capitals’ win in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday. At least one person replied to ask why someone would waste a
perfectly good beer, in this case a Michelob Ultra.
“When it comes down to it, what’s half a beer and a scenario of us making it to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 20 years?” Chewning said.
I asked Chewning if she’d ever dumped a beer over her head before.
“I don’t think so,” she said. “It was kind of in-the-moment excitement. But for a lot of my friends, it’s not even like a surprise to them anymore, because I do a lot of crazy stuff like that all the time. It’s like of just like: ‘Oh, Stephanie did something else. Stephanie did something stupid.’ ”
Chewning said the reaction from her family, with whom she’ll attend Games 3 and 4, was much the same.
Chewning was inside Capital One Arena for the Game 2 watch party Wednesday, and as the seconds ticked down on Washington’s 3-2 win, she celebrated the best way she knew how.
“I think everyone should pour a beer on their head if we win the series,” she said.
If you’re sitting in Section 433 on Saturday, you might want to pack a poncho.
Update: The Capitals won Game 3 and Chewning celebrated by dousing herself with beer.
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