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Author Topic: Snow and parking spaces  (Read 10975 times)

1995hoo

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Snow and parking spaces
« on: February 20, 2015, 09:43:24 AM »

Read the whole post before giving a knee-jerk reaction.

We got a minor dusting of snow last Monday night, maybe 3 or 4 inches. I was parked in our garage and my wife's car was in the driveway.

Wedneaday morning I moved my wife's car so we could drive mine (it has seat heaters and such). There was a clear, available space around the corner. I should note we live in the suburbs and on-street parking is plentiful. There's no competition for space except every three years when the HOA resurfaces our street. There is also no "tradition" of "dibs" or "space-saving" like in Chicago and Boston, and even if there were such a tradition, no item had been put into this spot to indicate the person who cleared it might return. So I parked there.

So this morning (two days later), I found a profane note tucked under the windshield wiper saying "Not cool asshat. I cleared this space, not you!" On the left was an Internet printout about people in Boston dumping snow back onto cars that "steal" spaces.

My feeling is, whoever left the note didn't do anything to mark the space, so I had no way of knowing who was parked there, whether it was a visitor, a workman, whatever. Residents are not the only people who park on that street, and I should also note no houses front on that street so it's not like you're parking in front of someone's house where you can probably expect that person had been parked there. Setting aside the question of whether it is legal or right to attempt to "save" a space on a publicly-owned road, it seems to me that if you don't put anything in the space to "mark your territory," you forfeit any claim you may have had. I also think waiting two days to complain further forfeits any claim. You can't leave a space open for two days and expect it to be waiting for you when you return.

What say the forum members? (I recognize in cities where everyone has to park on the street there's a "street justice" outlook regardless of what the law may say, although I also know people in those cities put objects in spaces to "claim" them. I also recognize there may be room for debate based on the amount of snow that falls—the sort of snow Boston has gotten this winter is a completely different thing from the dusting we got Monday night. Hence why I felt it important to note that we live in the suburbs, that every house has a garage even if some people don't use theirs, that it was a very small amount of snow, and that there was no "space saver.")


Edited to add: My wife just demanded I move the car when I get a chance because she is afraid whoever left the note might damage it.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 10:38:27 AM by 1995hoo »
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

spooky

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 10:44:35 AM »

I say if it was the only spot cleared of snow, you have committed said accused asshattery.
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roadman

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 10:47:16 AM »

I say if it was the only spot cleared of snow, you have committed said accused asshattery.
Perhaps you need to re-read the defintion of public street.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 10:53:05 AM »

I am completely sick of this subject.  Your neighbor is an idiot who needs a good dose of real problems.  He also needs his internet access cut off because he apparently read about what goes on in the utter mess up here and thought it'd be neat to join in some part of that.

This is the most over-debated topic here, and it brings out the worst in everyone. 

And roadman is right.
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spooky

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2015, 11:03:02 AM »

I say if it was the only spot cleared of snow, you have committed said accused asshattery.
Perhaps you need to re-read the defintion of public street.

I'm not talking about legality, I'm talking about decency. I would expect my neighbor to think I'm an asshole if he shoveled out a spot on the street and I took it. Entirely different story if there was other available parking for said neighbor when he returned.

Your neighbor is an idiot who needs a good dose of real problems.  He also needs his internet access cut off because he apparently read about what goes on in the utter mess up here and thought it'd be neat to join in some part of that.

Regardless, there is no debate on this point.
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oscar

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 11:07:51 AM »

In my apartment complex (off-street parking owned by the complex), during "Snowmaggedon" a few years ago, people were putting chairs or other things in spaces they had vacated, to save them for when they got back from work, and those claims were respected. I used one cleared but unclaimed space, when I drove my car home from work (it was parked underground at the office during the storm), with no hassles from whoever left the space vacant. Maybe he left town after the storm (as I did later, fleeing north into Canada), so he didn't need to save the space for himself. 1995hoo may have had no reason to think the space he used was not going to be left vacant for a few days.

Before then, I had to take out my 4x4 pickup truck, which was parked at home during the storm and covered with two feet of snow. The only thing I did to "claim" the vacated space was to leave enough snow at the back of my truck so only a 4x4 could back out of or pull into the space. Sure enough, by the time I returned another 4x4 had taken "my space". Oh well, stuff happens. 
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2015, 11:24:17 AM »


I say if it was the only spot cleared of snow, you have committed said accused asshattery.
Perhaps you need to re-read the defintion of public street.

I'm not talking about legality, I'm talking about decency. I would expect my neighbor to think I'm an asshole if he shoveled out a spot on the street and I took it. Entirely different story if there was other available parking for said neighbor when he returned.

Decency also means spaces on public streets are available for others to use when you're not there.

I've lived in urban neighborhoods for the better part of a couple of decades.  Parking in some has required driving in circles for twenty minutes or more when the roads were clear and dry.  I didn't get to keep a space because parking is hard in cities.

The "but you earn it by shoveling" is a load of crap.  You earn the use of your vehicle by shoveling, not a free lease on common property. 

The police commissioner of Boston said recently that he tosses space savers while out on his morning runs.  I think that's irresponsible, because it invites retribution on innocents.  He should smash them to bits and leave the pieces in the space.
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Brandon

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2015, 11:48:24 AM »

If he didn't declare "dibs", then fuck him.  If he thought it was so important that he maintain his spot after he shoveled it out, then he should've had some old piece of junk to mark it.  Otherwise, he's shit out of luck.

The police commissioner of Boston said recently that he tosses space savers while out on his morning runs.  I think that's irresponsible, because it invites retribution on innocents.  He should smash them to bits and leave the pieces in the space.

If he did that in Chicago, there'd be a riot.  Even Da Mayor knows better.
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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2015, 11:54:24 AM »

Let the riot begin, then.  Something has to give in this idiocy.
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1995hoo

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2015, 12:32:12 PM »

In my apartment complex (off-street parking owned by the complex), during "Snowmaggedon" a few years ago, people were putting chairs or other things in spaces they had vacated, to save them for when they got back from work, and those claims were respected. I used one cleared but unclaimed space, when I drove my car home from work (it was parked underground at the office during the storm), with no hassles from whoever left the space vacant. Maybe he left town after the storm (as I did later, fleeing north into Canada), so he didn't need to save the space for himself. 1995hoo may have had no reason to think the space he used was not going to be left vacant for a few days.

....

If he didn't declare "dibs", then fuck him.  If he thought it was so important that he maintain his spot after he shoveled it out, then he should've had some old piece of junk to mark it.  Otherwise, he's shit out of luck.

....

These two comments underscore why I emphasized the point that nothing was left anywhere in the space to indicate the person planned to come back. If there'd been something left there, my feeling would have been that while I'm not obligated to respect such a claim, I probably would, in part because I'd expect the person will be overzealous and might vandalize the car. I'm told this happens in places like Boston and Chicago. But if you don't leave anything behind, you've abandoned the space!

I might have just parked my wife's car back in the driveway (thus avoiding such issues 100%) except there was some snow and ice on the roof over the living room bay window and I didn't want it landing on the hood and damaging the car. It's gone now, so since she wants me to move the car, I might just put it back in the driveway....or I might just use one of the several other open spots on the street. I'm torn as to whether park elsewhere, then take a shovel and throw the snow back into the space where I had been parked. I doubt I'll do that. No reason to escalate things.

I'll follow up later today with a picture of the street. If Oscar is in Northern Virginia this week, he can attest there really isn't a lot of snow out there. It's not like there's any need to "toil" out there "clearing" a space. (Heck, I used a broom to clear most of our driveway, didn't even need to shovel much.)

One last thought....I have no idea who left the note and whether that person might have moved here from Boston or Chicago or somewhere. But even if they did, too bad. You don't get to dictate that your new neighborhood must follow the "rules" from back where you used to live. As I said before, regardless of the legality of "dibs" or "space saving" or the like, I recognize why things like that can become the unwritten custom in a dense urban area where parking is a problem. (Similar to how on my grandparents' street in Bay Ridge it was accepted that you double-parked on alternate-side days but you ALWAYS left a card on your dashboard with your address so the person you blocked in could come and ask you to move.) But our house is not in a dense urban area! I also kind of wonder whether the person who left the note is one who filled his garage full of crap so he can't park a car in there. I have a lot less sympathy for that kind of person than I do for someone who has a car in the garage and parked the other on the street to avoid parking under a tree when there was a high-wind forecast or the like.
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oscar

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2015, 12:56:47 PM »

If Oscar is in Northern Virginia this week, he can attest there really isn't a lot of snow out there.

Nope.  In south Florida right now, where the cold snap dropped wind chill temperatures only to near freezing (and all the precip preceding it came down as rain), rather than around zero like in the D.C. area.
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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2015, 01:46:46 PM »

Pete:  Stop with the "public streets".  Everyone in the fucking world knows they're public streets.

The difference here is when there's snow.  People become territorial.  You have to go out and shovel your way out. It's freezing.  You have to clear the windshield.  Clear the windows.  Warm up the car.    The last thing someone wants to do is have to come home and find "their" spot taken.  Now they have to drive around.  There's generally fewer spots because snow is piled up.  When they find a spot, they may have to shovel it out again...which means they have to double park or block the road until it's done.

Yes, it's street creed.  There's nothing legal about saving a spot.  But it's generally an understood neighborly thing to do. 

As for this case, Hoo unintentionally broke that street creed.  Maybe the neighbor recently moved there from a city where he's had to deal with this every past winter and thought he wouldn't have to deal with it anymore in the suburbs.  Maybe this neighbor has parked there for months or even years, and Hoo never took notice. Yes, there's probably plenty of other places around to park  But that may involve reshoveling out a spot.  This week's snow was the fluffy kind...and it was only a few inches, which shouldn't be that hard to drive over.

He didn't give it much thought and a neighbor called him on it.  He moved out of the spot, which is what the 'owner' of the spot wanted.  Problem solved!
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1995hoo

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2015, 02:09:58 PM »

I am considering taking a huge pot of cold water and dumping it in said spot.....
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2015, 02:12:53 PM »

Remember, taking someone's spot is 568783128921296896[/tweet]]not OK.
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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2015, 02:22:54 PM »

I see this as lazy people whining. If you live in snow territory, snow removal is just part of the deal. If you ate trying to claim a space TWO DAYS after an event, move somewhere warmer.

I've lived in very snowy climates nearly my entire life and had never even heard of spot claiming until recently. People who do this need to grow a pair and accept that shoveling is part of life in a snowy climate.

1995hoo

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2015, 02:26:29 PM »

I tried annotating the picture, but it wound up too small to read. The offending space is straight ahead of the vantage point (the longer black circle). There was another semi-cleared space to the right behind that silver Ford (the car is now in that space) and another cleared space to the far right in front of my RX-7 under the car cover (a visitor down the block, who has not been here at all this week, showed up and parked in it). Ample other space that hasn't been shovelled but that doesn't pose much problem for parking.

You see why I say this is not a high-demand area for on-street parking, which is why I think it's rather absurd to try to "claim" a space, especially 48 hours after the fact.

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—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

corco

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2015, 02:28:01 PM »

I tried annotating the picture, but it wound up too small to read. The offending space is straight ahead of the vantage point (the longer black circle). There was another semi-cleared space to the right behind that silver Ford (the car is now in that space) and another cleared space to the far right in front of my RX-7 under the car cover (a visitor down the block, who has not been here at all this week, showed up and parked in it). Ample other space that hasn't been shovelled but that doesn't pose much problem for parking.

You see why I say this is not a high-demand area for on-street parking, which is why I think it's rather absurd to try to "claim" a space, especially 48 hours after the fact.



Yeah what the hell, there isn't even that much snow. As was said above, this person just wanted to be part b of something obnoxious.

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2015, 02:38:40 PM »

Honestly, I wouldn't even want to be parked there.  If the street ices up and a car slides thru the intersection, it would slide right into the spot.

The stolen space victim could have easily parked anyplace else and stepped onto dry pavement.

I return to my comment regarding the person may have moved there recently from a city environment and hasn't loosened up to the suburban environment, and he got caught up in that.

Or, maybe, he's just an asshole. 

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2015, 02:40:54 PM »

I would just park in my driveway.
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Brian556

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2015, 02:55:33 PM »

This is yet another problem caused by street parking. It has always been my opinion that houses should have enough on property parking that a resident should never have to park on the street. Street parking should be for guests only.

There are a lot of people in my neighborhood, who park in the street and obstruct traffic unnecessarily because they are too f-ing lazy to drive around back to their on property parking spaces in their driveways.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2015, 03:12:35 PM »


Pete:  Stop with the "public streets".  Everyone in the fucking world knows they're public streets.

Didn't I say this debate brings out the worst in people?

I don't know what your experience is in these kinds of situations, but I don't buy the "courtesy" argument because it is every bit as much about entitlement as it is about anything else. 

I have been yelled at by people for parking in an empty spot they cleared of 4 inches of snow a week earlier on a street with plenty of other places to park, because it is theirs now, because peoples'  recycling bins carry Street Law with them now. 

And you know what? If it should suddenly turned 70° for two weeks and melted away all this snow, space savers would still be out there, I promise you.  It happens every year.

You seem to have a pretty dim view of what 1995hoo has done in an area where there is no precedent for saving spaces, with nothing to inform him that someone was expecting the space to be saved for them, with negligible snow.  He has stated that he acted with no malice and in accordance with accepted custom in his neighborhood.  Nothing about this says discourteous to me. In fact, in this little misunderstanding, where was the courtesy shown by the entitled neighbor?  Hidden between the lines somewhere around the word "asshat"?

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2015, 03:15:49 PM »


This is yet another problem caused by street parking. It has always been my opinion that houses should have enough on property parking that a resident should never have to park on the street. Street parking should be for guests only.

OK, then every major city built before the existence of automobiles should have every third building leveled.

An equally reasoned approach would be to say that the problem is is that cars exist.
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1995hoo

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2015, 03:31:55 PM »

This is yet another problem caused by street parking. It has always been my opinion that houses should have enough on property parking that a resident should never have to park on the street. Street parking should be for guests only.

There are a lot of people in my neighborhood, who park in the street and obstruct traffic unnecessarily because they are too f-ing lazy to drive around back to their on property parking spaces in their driveways.

Heh. I didn't post a picture of the houses in our neighborhood. The single-family houses shown are across the way in the next neighborhood over. Ours is a townhouse neighborhood. Some of the end units have two-car garages; most of the rest have one-car garages with the exception of about ten houses down the end of our street that have no garages and instead have reserved parking spaces (not parallel parking) on one side of the street. It's quite easy to park in your garage and put another car in your driveway, though that can of course be a hassle if you normally drive the car that's in the garage because then you have to move them back and forth all the time or park your daily driver outside (which sort of defeats the point of having a garage in my opinion).

Of course, some people load their garages full of all sorts of detritus and then park outside, which is no big deal until they decide they're entitled to cram two cars into a driveway that won't fit two cars and so they block the sidewalk or stick out into the street (see two photos below taken on the next block over last July). That's rude to people who walk, especially to the people who have small children or who push baby strollers.



The way I see it is, everyone is provided with sufficient parking for two cars. If, like me, you have three (I have two, my wife has one), then you have to park around the corner on the street leading in and out of the neighborhood because the streets where we live are all yellow curbs with the exception of those reserved spaces I mentioned earlier and three or four designated "visitor" spaces per block. The "visitor" spaces are often hogged by certain residents who have too much crap in their garages, of course. But either way, there is ample space to park at your own house, and if you have to, or choose to, park a car on the street around the corner, you don't have any "claim" on that space. There's never been any kind of "dibs" or "space saving" here, and you can't just move in and unilaterally declare a new rule applies. But as I also said, because there is ample space, I would have left that space alone had the shoveller done something to indicate he planned to return. If you don't do that, you have no claim on the space, period, regardless of whether you're in a big city or a suburban area.



So after all this, I drove my wife's car earlier today and wound up having to put it in the garage. Mine is in the driveway. Reason? Her washer fluid is frozen and I need to find some way to thaw it out. Easiest way is to put it in the garage and turn up the heat in there.



....
You seem to have a pretty dim view of what 1995hoo has done in an area where there is no precedent for saving spaces, with nothing to inform him that someone was expecting the space to be saved for them, with negligible snow.  He has stated that he acted with no malice and in accordance with accepted custom in his neighborhood.  Nothing about this says discourteous to me. In fact, in this little misunderstanding, where was the courtesy shown by the entitled neighbor?  Hidden between the lines somewhere around the word "asshat"?

I think the vulgarity is part of what prompts me to have such a negative reaction to this person. I curse too, more than I should, but it's always seemed to me that leading off with a profanity (even a mild one) is not a particularly good tactic when you want someone to do something or to agree with your position on an issue.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 03:34:06 PM by 1995hoo »
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2015, 03:38:54 PM »

If it snows in my neighborhood, like a really bad snow (2 or 3 inches -- think relatively) generally people park where they normally park, and if that involves spinning your tires for 12 minutes to get into that spot, then that's what they do. Or they crash into the mailboxes and shrubbery. Either way, no one is competing. Hell, if it's snowing, most people don't leave their house, so I suppose the competition is less noticeable than when it's not snowing.

FWIW, if I had shoveled snow and somebody just pulled in afterwards and loudly proclaimed "public street!" I would have their head on a stake the following day. Not because they did anything wrong, just because he's a selfish twat :D. Of course, the preceding sentences don't apply to what we've been talking about (since Hoo parked in the spot well after the shoveling and there was hardly any snow to begin with).

PS -- unrelated -- am I the only person who parks in my garage?
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1995hoo

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Re: Snow and parking spaces
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2015, 03:44:36 PM »

....

PS -- unrelated -- am I the only person who parks in my garage?

I park in mine, though since we have a one-car garage and three cars we still wind up parking outside. (When I moved into my house, I was single and had one car and the two-car-garage units' asking prices were higher than I wanted to pay.) I bought a house with a garage specifically because I wanted to park inside.

I noted above the reason the second car wasn't in the driveway: Snow and ice falling off the house and landing on the driveway. Didn't want it landing on, and damaging, the car. (Also, as I noted earlier, it's a hassle if you want to drive the car that's in the garage and another is in the driveway. That's usually our situation: The one in the garage has seat heaters and the like, the ones outside do not.)
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

 


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