Now that the Washington Capitals are moving onto the second round of the playoffs, they are finally garnering enough regular media attention to attract even more new fans. Fans that would have been singing “Hail to the Redskins”, if there was anything about the Redskins to sing about. Lots of faithful fans are now moaning “Ugh, bandwagoners”. It’s okay, faithful fans, everybody has to start somewhere. But, newbies, there are rules you need to adhere to, rules the faithful fans follow, rules that if you don’t know them, will make you stand out like a sore thumb.
So, to help you fit in, here are a few things the faithful would like you to know when you are lucky enough to gets seats to a hockey game at Verizon Center or even if you are just one of the hundreds of Caps fans on Twitter:
The team’s owner is Ted Leonsis; or Uncle Ted as we call him. He is NOT Dan Snyder, please treat him with a little respect. He welcomes you to the fold, appreciate that and save your bitching for Dan. Follow him on Twitter (@TedLeonsis) and soak in the love.
When people talk about rocking the red, we really do mean it. Wear red to the game. Really.
Hockey fans are a very superstitious bunch. Do not mention “shutout” before the game is over. Even if there is only 30 seconds left in the game, nothing is guaranteed before the final horn blows, so shut your yaps and keep your fingers crossed.
There are other players on this team besides Alex Ovechkin. Yes, we all love Ovi, but learn who the other players are. You don’t need to learn every nuance of their position, but if you only cheer when Ovi has the puck, the faithful around you at Verizon Center will recognize you for the newbie you are.
DO NOT lean forward in your seat, unless you are seated in the back row. I know it’s tempting, but if you catch yourself doing it, please sit back. Leaning forward really does block the view of the people behind you.
Obey the puck in play rule. Yes, I know, when you gotta go, you gotta go; but wait for a whistle or timeout. Hockey moves so fast, the one split second you stand up and start moving down the row of seats is when a goal may be scored or a penalty occurs, and the rest of us paid good money to see it, so WAIT!
Please remove any large obnoxious head gear when seated at the game. Yeah, giant puck hats are funny, but when not when they block your view. Take them off, or better yet, don’t buy them at all.
DO NOT start or participate in the wave. EVER. Period.
DO NOT boo our team. EVER. Period.
Please be classy and do not bitch to other fans. Most likely, you’ll come off looking stupid, so stifle it. Most of us really love our team and really really really do not want to hear it. Save your rant for the ride home. Thank you.
There are 2 guys you need to know about: Horn Guy (@TheHornGuy) and Load Goat (@LoudGoat). Just chant along when you hear the rest of us chant at their prompting. Learn their sound/voice because there are a few wannabe’s in the crowd (who really need to leave it to the experts but can’t seem to STFU), and if you follow their prompting, you’ll look like a rube.
Be prepared to Unleash the Fury in the third period. Stand up and unleash it loud and proud. It’s a tradition and our trademark and every fans’ obligation to encourage our boys down on the ice. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Your homework before the second round starts is to search it on YouTube.
DO NOT leave early, even if the game is so lopsided you figure you might get a jump on the crowds at the Metro. Our guys came to play a full 60 minutes, the least you can do is show your support and hang in there with them. Besides, you’ll miss seeing our guys salute us when the game is over, which really makes you feel appreciated for your support. If you can’t handle that, please sell your tickets to me.
Finally, it's ok to ask questions to fans around you or to people on Twitter. We really do want you to understand the game and we are more than happy to share our infinite wisdom with you! Too shy? Then follow and read the great hockey blogs you see listed over there on the right side of this page, anything you want to know you can find there. Remember the old adage: knowledge is power.
So, newbies, welcome to the fold…Any questions?