City Desk

Tim McVeigh, the Father of DC Street Hockey?

Today's Washington Post has a multi-media package about the street hockey community that has hung out on Pennsylvania Avenue NW since the strip in front of the White House was closed in 1995.

The piece comes out just as President Obama's getting verbally cross-checked by Capitals fans for talking up Alex Ovechkin in Russia despite never having gone several blocks east to the Verizon Center to see him play.

The article makes no mention of the evil-doer responsible for shutting down that pristine patch of asphalt: Tim McVeigh, who also happens to be the biggest mass murderer America has ever convicted.

Were it not for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the players wouldn't have that downtown rink to play on. Fear of domestic McVeigh copycats, not Islamist foreigners, is what got this town to start walling off its most cherished sites.

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  • Q

    Uhmm, nice try Dave but I disagree. In some instances, Street Hockey is prohibited on that certain stretch of Pennsylvania least without a permit and Secret Service blessing. Using the McVeigh logic, we can say Osama binLaden is the father of the Transportation Safety Administration and God-Father to the restrictive airspace 30 miles surrounding Washington.

  • Dave McKenna

    Q:so you're taking away my alt pulitzer already? damn. but i have no idea why you're quibbling with me.
    let's review:
    april 1995: mcveigh's dirty deed
    april 1995: white house is closed off to traffic
    right after april 1995: pickup street hockey shows up in front of the white house on the closed up portion of PA. Avenue, giving the sport a presence in DC FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!
    and, i don't know if osama bin laden is father to anything but all those kids. he was a public enemy long before Sept. 11. But i'd say mohammed atta spawned all those restrictive things you cite, surely as mcveigh's murders opened the space where dc's street hockey scene was born. were it not for that PA. Avenue "rink," they'd all still be playing on tennis courts in northern virginia like before. again, how can you quibble with that?

  • Q

    No...your alt-weekly Pulitzer is still there, this is a different category however. While I understand yours and the Post's figurative language, to be a father of something means that "he" intimately contributed to the creation of something. Then again, where McVeigh last lived, it didn't snow often enough to freeze the pond, so maybe I could picture him in rollerblades and pads.

    Street Hockey was bound to hit DC sometime. Would've been here sooner than 1995 with all the asphalt available if DCPS kids adopted it...wait, they don't field (sorry for the pun) those types of teams.

    BTW, it is true Atta probably deserves more of paternal credit, but Osama was definitely his inspiration.