For decades, 96-year-old Lorenzo Crowe has had the same routine when he arrives at Capital One Arena to watch a Wizards game. He purchases a raffle ticket, and before he begins the trek to section 110, he shifts his attention to what he’ll have to eat.
Walking gracefully toward his courtside seats with a light brown coat and matching dark brown cap at a recent Wizards game, Crowe didn't make it far without being stopped. He greets arena personnel, who know him as "Mr. Lorenzo." The server tasked with taking Crowe’s dinner order receives a hug and a warm greeting after he settles in.
Despite his age, Crowe still makes his way downtown to watch every Wizards game. His son purchased season tickets for Crowe, who has attended just about every Wizards, Nationals and Redskins game he can remember.
“I get scared sometimes thinking ‘What’s going to happen tomorrow?’” Crowe said. “Is it coming later or what? I’m just enjoying it as I go.”
Crowe’s passion for sports emerged in 1937, when he played with the Negro League’s Baltimore Elite Giants. He appeared in three games because he didn’t have an agent, an unwritten requirement for players who wanted to remain in the league. The team sometimes played multiples games a day throughout the week, but Crowe never suffered an injury and played sports until he was 85.
“I can really be critical of these guys,” Crowe said, “because when I played -- I’m not being modest -- but I was really good.”
Now, Crowe receives his competition fix from watching D.C. sports. He can’t remember the last time he missed a Redskins game but anticipates it’s been more than 50 years. When the Washington Senators left more than 40 years ago, Crowe struggled to get his baseball fix. But since the Nationals played their first season in the District in 2005, Crowe hasn’t missed a beat.
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“I’m so happy with the Nationals now, I don’t know what to do,” Crowe said.
And when he ventures to Capital One Arena for every Wizards game, Crowe becomes a creature of habit.
“I have to have something to do,” Crowe said. “You’re looking at one of the happiest old guys you’ll ever meet.”