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01-06-2009, 10:15 PM
  #1
Unstable
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A salute to the Capitals and their fans

There is an argument that this belongs in the Flyers @ Caps GDT, and I don't mind if a mod moves it there. But I want to make a separate post because this is really about this long hockey evening I spent at the Verizon Center.

Now, I have to admit that I have never attended an NHL playoff game in person, and that I only get to one or two games at all most years, but tonight was without a doubt the best hockey game I have ever attended live, and the most fun I have ever had at a hockey game.

You know about the game. Great defensive play, brilliant goaltending, Caps dominating along the boards but the Flyers establishing puck control late. It was a true hockey fan's hockey game, and I have to say that I'm glad I gave my other two tickets to veteran hockey fans.

I should mention that I have a huge soft spot for the Caps. I've been in DC for a year and a half now, and since they are one of the most exciting teams to watch in my favorite sport, have completely classy people in the organization from the top to the bottom, and do not play in Philadelphia's division anymore (ahem, Redskins, Nationals) it is really easy to root for the Caps. So even as I went in in my Mike Richards jersey, I wasn't really feeling the intense rivalry that I know many fans of both teams want there to be.

I was sitting in the absolute top corner between sections 423 and 424, and it was a fantastic atmosphere. I've never been to a playoff game, but it was what I always imagine when people write "playoff atmosphere" in the context of a regular season game. The Phone Booth was louder than any other time I've been in it. I thought some of the big screen bits that were nods to the visiting team were fun - the Philly association poll (Obnoxious Fans won with only 80% of the vote?) and the favorite song by a Philly artist. The few sections I was near had a decent number of loud Flyers fans, and we would start up the "Let's Go Fly-ers" chant which was the call to the "Fly-ers Suck" response. I assume that on TV or down in the lower bowl the Caps fans were so much louder that we could barely be heard, but right up top amongst us we were louder at first and as the chanting went on the Caps fans would gradually swell louder each time until they were deafening. Awesome.

It's easy to enjoy a game, of course, when your team comes into an atmosphere like that, goes down early, comes back, and walks away with a 1-0 shootout loss, but I don't want to detract from the Caps fans. When the game was over there were congratulations and back slapping all around, and we all walked out with our heads held high.

The entire night exactly two people said negative things about the Flyers directly to me, both on the street after the game. And I think one of them was a Redskins fan.

So keep that up, and I'll have to see if I can get some tickets to a game against someone other than the Flyers. I'll even contribute some red to the panoramic shots! (With a Phillies shirt, I imagine. )

And thanks for a great night.


Last edited by Unstable: 01-06-2009 at 10:22 PM.
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01-06-2009, 10:29 PM
  #2
Drake1588
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Caps fans are fair weather fans, unfortunately, but when they do believe the team is better than just average, they definitely fill the building and the place gets well and truly loud. Lately, it's definitely had that vibe, and there has been a healthy number of sellouts to show for it. A playoff game I attended last Spring was insane. Good stuff.

Grudgingly, I really love the team Holmgren has put together. That core is nicely balanced, well tailored to be competitive in the playoffs. Here's hoping they meet again soon. Result notwithstanding, that was a fun series last year, and I really like how these teams match up against one another. Tough, tight games.


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01-06-2009, 10:49 PM
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I am going to be honest, no malice intended.

Last year in December the Caps had 10K in attendance.
The Caps have not sold out playoff games routinely, they had to go to make special zipcode provisions in the playoffs to lessen the impact of Pens fans in 2001...only in 2003 when playing Tampa to have over 4K empty seats for an elimination game.
This prompted their owner to publically cry.

Last year when they clinched the playoffs their owner had a recorded phone call to all ticket buyers pleading with them to buy tickets and keep out Flyer fans.
He also called up local schools begging them to wear "Red" to school.

This year he made sure if you buy Sabre or Pen game tickets you must buy 5 other games.

The Caps also have rules flashed up on the board...even though they have had the sport for 30 years.

The owner also feels the need to make a big deal out of their recent attendance and manufactered, inflated, fair weather base, further showing his own inferiority complex.

They are not THAT great a base nor are they THAT knowledgeable.
Far from it.

If they were...they wouldn't have to beg people to wear red, flash the rules, and make special rules to keep road fans out.

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01-06-2009, 10:55 PM
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Ovys Missing Tooth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blades212 View Post
I am going to be honest, no malice intended.
Last year in December the Caps had 10K in attendance.
The Caps have not sold out playoff games routinely, they had to go to make special zipcode provisions in the playoffs to lessen the impact of Pens fans in 2001...only in 2003 when playing Tampa to have over 4K empty seats for an elimination game.
This prompted their owner to publically cry.

Last year when they clinched the playoffs their owner had a recorded phone call to all ticket buyers pleading with them to buy tickets and keep out Flyer fans.
He also called up local schools begging them to wear "Red" to school.

This year he made sure if you buy Sabre or Pen game tickets you must buy 5 other games.

The Caps also have rules flashed up on the board...even though they have had the sport for 30 years.

The owner also feels the need to make a big deal out of their recent attendance and manufactered, inflated, fair weather base, further showing his own inferiority complex.

They are not THAT great a base nor are they THAT knowledgeable.
Far from it.

If they were...they wouldn't have to beg people to wear red, flash the rules, and make special rules to keep road fans out.
Re bolded part: really?

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01-06-2009, 10:56 PM
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Nothing to note yet.

Respect will be earned.

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01-06-2009, 11:04 PM
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Just got back to my hotel after the game, and just wanted to agree that I (minus Briere) really like the way the Flyers are put together.

It is a shame that they met in the first round last year and not later. It was one of the best series I have ever seen.

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01-06-2009, 11:17 PM
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Unstable
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blades212 View Post
Last year in December the Caps had 10K in attendance.
Oh, man. One of the guys I brought hadn't been to a game @ Verizon since November of 2007, and when we got there at maybe 6:45 and found our seats he was like "let's move down as soon as possible." My response was just "Uh, yeah, sure, we'll see about that, yeah right."

Quote:
The Caps have not sold out playoff games routinely, they had to go to make special zipcode provisions in the playoffs to lessen the impact of Pens fans in 2001...only in 2003 when playing Tampa to have over 4K empty seats for an elimination game.
This prompted their owner to publically cry.

Last year when they clinched the playoffs their owner had a recorded phone call to all ticket buyers pleading with them to buy tickets and keep out Flyer fans.
He also called up local schools begging them to wear "Red" to school.

This year he made sure if you buy Sabre or Pen game tickets you must buy 5 other games.

The Caps also have rules flashed up on the board...even though they have had the sport for 30 years.

The owner also feels the need to make a big deal out of their recent attendance and manufactered, inflated, fair weather base, further showing his own inferiority complex.

They are not THAT great a base nor are they THAT knowledgeable.
Far from it.

If they were...they wouldn't have to beg people to wear red, flash the rules, and make special rules to keep road fans out.
Ownership seems committed to building the franchise, what's the big deal? Not everyone has a huge fan base and the NHL needs all the fans it can get.

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01-06-2009, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blades212 View Post
I am going to be honest, no malice intended.

Last year in December the Caps had 10K in attendance.
The Caps have not sold out playoff games routinely, they had to go to make special zipcode provisions in the playoffs to lessen the impact of Pens fans in 2001...only in 2003 when playing Tampa to have over 4K empty seats for an elimination game.
This prompted their owner to publically cry.

Last year when they clinched the playoffs their owner had a recorded phone call to all ticket buyers pleading with them to buy tickets and keep out Flyer fans.
He also called up local schools begging them to wear "Red" to school.

This year he made sure if you buy Sabre or Pen game tickets you must buy 5 other games.

The Caps also have rules flashed up on the board...even though they have had the sport for 30 years.

The owner also feels the need to make a big deal out of their recent attendance and manufactered, inflated, fair weather base, further showing his own inferiority complex.

They are not THAT great a base nor are they THAT knowledgeable.
Far from it.

If they were...they wouldn't have to beg people to wear red, flash the rules, and make special rules to keep road fans out.
Why do people keep bringing that up when the Penguins did the same damn thing THIS PAST YEAR.

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01-06-2009, 11:31 PM
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Check your shoes....

..... somebody stepped in a pile of Penguano.

I am overcome by a Gilbert and Sullivan aria from Mikado: "I've got a little list.....they'll none of them be missed."

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01-07-2009, 02:27 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foy View Post
Why do people keep bringing that up when the Penguins did the same damn thing THIS PAST YEAR.
I wondered that myself, yet no one complains when they do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blades212
This year he made sure if you buy Sabre or Pen game tickets you must buy 5 other games.
This only applies to GROUP SALES not individual game tickets.

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Old
01-07-2009, 08:19 AM
  #11
brs03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blades212 View Post
I am going to be honest, no malice intended.

Last year in December the Caps had 10K in attendance.
The Caps have not sold out playoff games routinely, they had to go to make special zipcode provisions in the playoffs to lessen the impact of Pens fans in 2001...only in 2003 when playing Tampa to have over 4K empty seats for an elimination game.
This prompted their owner to publically cry.

Last year when they clinched the playoffs their owner had a recorded phone call to all ticket buyers pleading with them to buy tickets and keep out Flyer fans.
He also called up local schools begging them to wear "Red" to school.

This year he made sure if you buy Sabre or Pen game tickets you must buy 5 other games.

The Caps also have rules flashed up on the board...even though they have had the sport for 30 years.

The owner also feels the need to make a big deal out of their recent attendance and manufactered, inflated, fair weather base, further showing his own inferiority complex.

They are not THAT great a base nor are they THAT knowledgeable.
Far from it.

If they were...they wouldn't have to beg people to wear red, flash the rules, and make special rules to keep road fans out.
If this post is to compare the Caps with the Flyers, for example... well, the Caps weren't the team handing out free shirts to get everyone to wear the same color in the playoffs. You have to give Ted credit, he's a businessman. He got 18000 people wearing red and created a great atmosphere, and he got most of them to pay him for it by ratcheting up the hype and selling the merch.

As to the overall sentiment, yeah the fanbase isn't what you'd call seasoned right now for the most part (although there's still plenty of diehards that are as loyal and knowledgeable as they would be for any team, even if there aren't enough of them) but that's the nature of the beast. This is a 'Skins town and hockey is only now getting stronger because the team is just getting good after years of bottom dwelling.


Last edited by brs03: 01-07-2009 at 09:02 AM.
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01-07-2009, 08:28 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blades212 View Post
I am going to be honest, no malice intended.

Last year in December the Caps had 10K in attendance.
The Caps have not sold out playoff games routinely, they had to go to make special zipcode provisions in the playoffs to lessen the impact of Pens fans in 2001...only in 2003 when playing Tampa to have over 4K empty seats for an elimination game.
This prompted their owner to publically cry.

Last year when they clinched the playoffs their owner had a recorded phone call to all ticket buyers pleading with them to buy tickets and keep out Flyer fans.
He also called up local schools begging them to wear "Red" to school.

This year he made sure if you buy Sabre or Pen game tickets you must buy 5 other games.

The Caps also have rules flashed up on the board...even though they have had the sport for 30 years.

The owner also feels the need to make a big deal out of their recent attendance and manufactered, inflated, fair weather base, further showing his own inferiority complex.

They are not THAT great a base nor are they THAT knowledgeable.
Far from it.

If they were...they wouldn't have to beg people to wear red, flash the rules, and make special rules to keep road fans out.
While I agree with most of this, the same can be said for many US based franchises.
And as much as many want to praise Ted and GMGM for this "rebuild", none of this is happening without lucking out to get Ovechkin in the draft; but something has to be said about Ted's eternal optimism, it has an effect on the team and the fans. It's great to see the building rocking; but this is a very fragile fan base. Another one and done playoffs and it could be tougher to sellout next season.

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01-07-2009, 09:38 AM
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Unstable
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I think this thread has suffered a bit of trolling, which makes me sad.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcs...dont_hate.html

This is a very good article, although it leaves out the good feelings after the game was over. And, of course, the comments are troll-filled.

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01-07-2009, 10:03 AM
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""Where were [Caps fans] three years ago?" said Philly fan Eric Rothstein, the gent pictured here with matching Flyers tattoos on both sides of his shaved skull. "They're Johnny Come Latelies if you ask me. I don't hate them, I just think they're frauds.""

Yea, very complimentary. I am trying to think how flyer fans would react to a team that missed the playoffs 5 seasons out of 6 and had not won a round of playoffs, but one season in the last 10 or 15?

Their superiority is nausiating. Glad you didn't come with that attitude yourself.

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01-07-2009, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blades212 View Post
I am going to be honest, no malice intended.

Last year in December the Caps had 10K in attendance.
The Caps have not sold out playoff games routinely, they had to go to make special zipcode provisions in the playoffs to lessen the impact of Pens fans in 2001...only in 2003 when playing Tampa to have over 4K empty seats for an elimination game.
This prompted their owner to publically cry.

Last year when they clinched the playoffs their owner had a recorded phone call to all ticket buyers pleading with them to buy tickets and keep out Flyer fans.
He also called up local schools begging them to wear "Red" to school.

This year he made sure if you buy Sabre or Pen game tickets you must buy 5 other games.

The Caps also have rules flashed up on the board...even though they have had the sport for 30 years.

The owner also feels the need to make a big deal out of their recent attendance and manufactered, inflated, fair weather base, further showing his own inferiority complex.

They are not THAT great a base nor are they THAT knowledgeable.
Far from it.

If they were...they wouldn't have to beg people to wear red, flash the rules, and make special rules to keep road fans out.
Not sure how old you are but it sounds like you've got a bit to learn about how to run a business, about branding, marketing, and especially the bottom line ($).

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01-07-2009, 10:26 AM
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Unstable
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Well, like I said, I'm practically a Caps fan ... just not when they're playing us.

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01-07-2009, 10:40 PM
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With all this "rivalry" talk, who do the Caps consider to be their rival?

Because as a Flyers fan, I have to agree with that guy in the article. Our rivals are the Rangers, Devils, and Penguins. There's a lot more history there between the Flyers and those three than there is with the Caps.

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01-07-2009, 10:49 PM
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Capitals fans generally consider Patrick Division teams plus the Penguins as their rivals. I am not surprised that Flyers fans see other teams as greater rivals. Fans of many teams forget the Capitals even exist.

However, the Caps have great playoff history with the Flyers, the Islanders, and the Penguins where the only southeast division team they have played in the playoffs is Tampa Bay.

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01-07-2009, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinerary View Post
With all this "rivalry" talk, who do the Caps consider to be their rival?

Because as a Flyers fan, I have to agree with that guy in the article. Our rivals are the Rangers, Devils, and Penguins. There's a lot more history there between the Flyers and those three than there is with the Caps.
I consider Pittsburgh more of a rival than the Flyers, I've been around since the Patrick division days.

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01-07-2009, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinerary View Post
With all this "rivalry" talk, who do the Caps consider to be their rival?

Because as a Flyers fan, I have to agree with that guy in the article. Our rivals are the Rangers, Devils, and Penguins. There's a lot more history there between the Flyers and those three than there is with the Caps.
The rivalry between the Caps and Flyers was a lot more active in the late 80s and early 90s. It looks like it's coming back, but without being in the same division it probably won't be the same.

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01-08-2009, 07:06 AM
  #21
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I think the more that it becomes obvious that to get the cup you have to get thru the capitals the more washington is a rivalry for anyone in the east.

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01-08-2009, 07:21 AM
  #22
Drake1588
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinerary View Post
With all this "rivalry" talk, who do the Caps consider to be their rival?

Because as a Flyers fan, I have to agree with that guy in the article. Our rivals are the Rangers, Devils, and Penguins. There's a lot more history there between the Flyers and those three than there is with the Caps.
The NHL reconstituted the entire Patrick Division as the Atlantic except for the Capitals, who got booted into the division of crap. Fine, it makes it easier every single season to qualify for the playoffs, but it also killed rivalries that were, at one time, pretty decent.

The 1980s/early 1990s divisional playoff format (Divisional Semifinals, Divisional Finals, Conference Finals, and Cup Finals) ensured that division teams ended up hating one another. The Caps had many series against the Penguins, Rangers, Islanders and Flyers in that era. (The Devils... less so at that time).

Now? The Capitals don't really have a good rivalry with anyone. That is partially because the team has been crappy for five years, and for the five years before that, it was disappointing, either just missing the playoffs or bowing out in the first round despite a couple of regular seasons in which the team was at or over the 100-point mark.

The bottom line is that because of divisional realignment and the fact that the Capitals have been irrelevant for a long time, the team doesn't have many good rivalries. What is happening at present is the beginning of what could be some new ones. Time will tell.

The Flyers have much more recent history with other teams, no question of that.

When a team stinks, it's not a rival to anyone. The team stunk for a few years. Shrug.


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