It’s not unusual for Stanley Cup champions to get inked up as a way of memorializing their achievements. Literally dozens of players have gotten tattoos after achieving their dreams of winning the Cup… but none of them have a tattoo quite like Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie.
In an article for The Players Tribune, Caps goalie Braden Holtby recalls his favorite moments from his team’s miraculous Cup run last Spring, including a hilarious story of how Oshie ended up getting a Mario Kart tattoo.
In Holtby’s own words:
This was all Nate Schmidt’s idea, for the record. A couple seasons ago, he went to an old-school game store in Toronto and bought a used Nintendo 64 (and Mario Kart 64). On the road, you have a lot of downtime, especially during the playoffs. So it was kind of a genius idea. But you know how these things go. First it’s like a little joke — it’s him and a few guys up in his room after the morning skate, messing around.
But then you start hearing guys chirping a bit in the locker room.
“You shoulda seen how I hit Beags with the Koopa Shell on Rainbow Road. Home stretch. Nailed him.”
I have never owned a video game system in my life, so I barely knew what they were talking about. But then, you know … you’re coming back from dinner or something, and you hear the guys yelling from behind the door of some hotel room….
“WEEEEE-HEEEEEE! Boom! You’re done! You’re done!”
So I got a little curious. Next thing you know, by the playoffs, we had about half the team up in a hotel suite watching every race.
You can imagine how the whole thing escalated. We’re hockey players. So any excuse to be competitive, right? You had guys who were dedicated to being the greatest Mario Kart racers in the world, and you had guys who were dedicated to being the best Mario Kart color commentators in the world.
“He’s got the banana peel! Luigi’s got the banana peel! This is trouble for Oshie! MAMA-MIAAAAAAAA!”
It was pure comedy.
Makes sense. Guys having a little harmless fun, blowing off some steam and goofing off with their teammates. But… where do the tattoos come in?
Again from Holtby:
And then I’ll never forget, we’re sitting around one day before the finals, and somebody … I think it was Oshie who started it, was like….
You had guys who were dedicated to being the greatest Mario Kart racers in the world.“If we win, I’m doing it. I swear. I’m getting him inked on me.”
Then someone’s like, “You won’t do it. Come on.”
And Oshie’s like, “Oh, I’m doing it.”
“Oh, I will. If we win the Cup … I’m getting a Wario tattoo.”
… and then… he delivered.
I don’t even know who said it. But they remembered. They remembered the promise, man. They were like, “We said we’d do it. We’re doing it.”
And then Oshie was like, “We’re doing it, dude. I’m getting a Wario tattoo. I’M GETTING A WARIO TATTOO! HOLTS! CALL THE TATTOO GUYS!”
So I called the tattoo guys.