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SUNDAY

No grown man should wear his favorite team’s jersey—the official kind, the one that the players wear, the one that declares, “I’m on this team, too.” But we do. Like chicken pox scars, our need to feel a part of our favorite sports team is a remnant of childhood. As a born and bred Michigander it took time for me to embrace Washington’s teams. While the Redskins still feel like somebody else’s—and they can have ’em—adopting the Orioles was easy, and over the past four years, the Capitals and, unfortunately, the Wizards, have gradually become mine. But with the Wiz locked out (or nearly locked up), it’s been the Caps who have me avidly opening the sports section, searching out fan sites on the Web, and paying outrageous prices for ice-level seats. And, last year aside, they stink. The Caps couldn’t score a goal if they shot the puck out of a cannon, and their defense is more steel sieve than iron curtain. But they’re mine: Olie, Oatesy, Huntsy. Even if the players won’t be there, skating on the same ice as my guys would be a dream come true. But sadly, I will be back in Red Wings country when the MCI Center hosts its first open skate as part of the Winter Wonderland celebration. Don your official jersey, bring your own skates, and check someone into the boards for me from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, at the MCI Center, 6th & F Sts. NW. Free. (202) 639-0908. (Christopher Porter)