Well, Caps fans, it's been an interesting run, once again. I am not going to ruminate over Caps coaching problems or player's lack of drive. I'm going to leave that to my more experienced and more knowledgeable bloggers. I have just one wish for next season: no more Prima Donnas.
I may be the only one in Caps fandom that feels this way, but I doubt it. And I don't know what happens with players on other teams, maybe they have this problem as well. All I can say is; I would like to see less of our team in commercials and twitpic'd partying; then I can believe they take their jobs seriously.
Before you start bashing; yes, it is great to see Ovi doing commercials, but I think he's being used by behind-the-scenes moneymaking machines. He doesn't need this extreme exposure, he's currently one of the most famous hockey players to hit the ice in years. Famous for his skill and personality. Let's face it, do you use a certain product just because he endorses it in a commercial? If so, click the big red X in the corner of your computer screen right now, this post is definitely not for you. But, quick trips to New York for magazine photo shoots or commercial tapings during the season should be off limits, even if it's Ovi, Green or Boudreau. He and the rest of our team have a job to do and get paid pretty well to do it. Let's concentrate on that next season. As for the others, you know you groan when one of their commercials comes on for the one billionth time. I wish some of these commercials involved some dignity, but alas, this is not so. Better to not have them at all then to become the butt of jokes.
And, yes, 24/7 was great. I loved watching all that went on in the Caps' and Penguin's locker rooms. I still laugh when I think of "Fuck you, Geno", but I have to believe it was a distraction, no matter what Caps' management says. I wasn't surprised when the team's slump coincided with the HBO cameras watching everything they do. (Well, not exactly coincided with their arrival, more like coincided with the series airing). How would you feel if you knew a camera was watching every move you made? I'm sure the guys got used to it, learned to ignore them, rose to the challenge and overcame the intrusion (the win at the Winter Classic kind of tells me they did). But, even though it was interesting and entertaining, you and I know two of the most ridiculous moments were watching our coach get interviewed with some kind of sauce on his chin and insisting on stopping for ice cream at 10 a.m. while Christmas shopping, and that only added more fuel to the fire of ridicule from fans of other teams.
As to the partying, boys will be boys, I know this. Of course they are allowed to do what they want, they are grownups, but a little decorum should be used here as well. I don't think the management needs to issue curfews like our guys are in high school, but I do think the guys need to remember that they are professional athletes and not in the cast of Jeresy Shore. Party within realistic boundries, guys. Save it for when you don't have a game the next day. Show us you care about your performance so we can have faith that our hard earned dollars aren't being wasted on tickets to watch you play.
Admittedly, a great deal of the emotion I feel right now is based on that ridicule from other teams' fans. I do not enjoy feeling like we are the laughingstock of the NHL. I do not like hearing that one of our fans had beer poured all over her by a fan of the opposing yet winning team. And, honestly, I can deal with it when my coworkers from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia seem drawn to pointing out how silly our team looks in insurance or rug cleaning commercials. Based on Twitter responses, even Caps fans know how silly our team looks. And that is the point of this diatribe. Prima Donnas do not enhance, they detract.
I hope next season is not filled with promises of the Stanley Cup. I would rather it be filled with promises of professional, dignified, and serious concentration on the task at hand. Our team is filled with talent, we should be able to hold our heads high at the end of next season, no matter what the outcome; knowing that our team worked their hardest, gave it their all and acted like professionals the whole way. Winning is a serious business, even if it is only a "game".