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Capitals fans need a reality check

Mar 29, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

CapsFans.pngIt’s amazing what is happening in Washington. The Capitals and Alex
Ovechkin have been able to turn the D.C. area into a thriving, intense
and absolutely crazy hockey town. In fact, it’s generally considered
that the Verizon Center is the most exciting place to watch a hockey
game. The fans are loud and boisterous, and think of some of the
greatest and most inventive ways to show their fanaticism.

The
Capitals do their part as well. Out of 34 home games this season, the
Capitals have lost just nine — only five of which were in regulation.
That means that 85% of the time fans go to a home game, they’ll watch
their team get at least a point. There’s absolutely nothing for them to
complain about.

So imagine my surprise yesterday while watching
the Capitals host the Flames when boos rained down on the team from the
stands, as the home team entered the first intermission down 4-0.

There
is not team in the NHL that deserves to be booed at home less than the
Washington Capitals. I understand that it was a rough period for the
team on Sunday afternoon, against the Calgary Flames no less, but in the
course of a season it’s going to happen to a team. There are going to
be games where the other team just happens to play better.

The
fact that it hasn’t happened very often for the Capitals does not make
it right to boo them when it does. Coach Boudreau was just as shocked as
I was.

“When you’ve lost four out of 35 at home, give the guys at
break,”
Boudreau said in his postgame press conference. “I could see it if we
were doing this on a regular
basis.”

Be thankful for the times when you have an insanely
dominant team, and support them in any and every way possible while you
can. It’s not going to last forever. This is a team that is one of the
most dominant teams we’ve ever seen in the NHL, and you boo them after
one bad period? Nevermind that the Caps were able to come back and
actually make it a good game, before eventually losing 5-3.

The
Washington Capitals have had a four-goal deficit for less than ten
minutes — total — all season long. TEN MINUTES out of more than 7,500.

Yep,
that’s boo-worthy.

  1. NCCaniac - Mar 29, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    I laughed very loudly when I heard the boos. Get over yourselves, Caps Fans. I am a Carolina Hurricane Season Ticket Holder and I have YET to BOO my team off the ice. This season has been boo worthy if you are in other markets, but not here. Caps fans (and some players) need to learn to lose graciously. Booing your team is not a sign of fandom but of showing how STUPID you can be. Leaf fans boo their team all the time, do you think it is working to motivate the players???!!!

  2. Trey - Mar 29, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    I totally agree
    It would be one thing if booing was the crowds version of a coach yelling at the players but it’s not.
    I hope DC fans don’t end up like Philly fans… HAH

  3. Bob - Mar 29, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    i’m at caps fan, and was at the game yesterday.
    caps fans, in general, are very neurotic and angry, they often boo a bad power play or their own goaltender when he’s pulled. Yesterday they bronx-cheered Varlamov on his first save after allowing a goal.
    They are relentless on the refs and the other team from the outset, chanting together at the opposing goalie after he gives up a score, saying “all your fault.” This bothers me as a hockey fan in general, there is no need for poor sportsmanship.
    I’ve been to other arenas, and there is no arena like the Verizon Center for atmosphere, and the in-game experience. Nearly every fan is in red or a jersey, but it’s time to tone it down a notch caps fans. I understand washington doesn’t get too many chances at a championship in any sport, and we are scared as heck, but there is no need to be mean spirited or angry.

  4. Matt - Mar 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    They could stand to lose a few of those bandwagoners.
    Considering that 95% of that crowd has never seen a losing Caps team, it’s not a surprise.

  5. capsfan2840 - Mar 29, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    I’m a Caps fan and glad I wasn’t at that game. The boos were undeserved and totally not classy. How about pumping up your team instead of making them feel bad? Many members of the team were out at community meet and greet events the day before, and do a lot for local charities. Have some respect.

  6. hockeyfan - Mar 29, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    Stay classy Caps bandwagon fans. Way to show no respect to your team, and make yourselves look pathetic in the process. I’m sure the true Caps fans, the non-bandwagon Caps fans are just as disrespected as the players must feel. You have one of the 3 best players in the world, you’re leading the league in pretty much every offensive category, you’re going to win the President’s trophy, yet you boo. Disgraceful!

  7. Hockeyfan - Mar 29, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    Stay classy Caps bandwagon fans. Way to show no respect to your team, and make yourselves look pathetic in the process. I’m sure the true Caps fans, the non-bandwagon Caps fans are just as disrespected as the players must feel. You have one of the 3 best players in the world, you’re leading the league in pretty much every offensive category, you’re going to win the President’s trophy, yet you boo. Disgraceful!

  8. TK - Mar 29, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    Keep in mind, these are the same fans that threw hats on the ice when Ovie scored in the shootout — He had 2 goals in regulation.

  9. JMac - Mar 29, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    I was at the game and as far as I am concerned, I was boo-ing the Refs – NOT the CAPS. The refs are unbelievably blind sometimes and their failure to make painfully obvious calls in the 1st period motivated me to boo them as they (just the refs) came on to the ice. Maybe that’s the problem with all these ‘observations’ – the fans at the game were fed up with the refs…not as assumed the players. Sorry Coach Boudreau, didn’t mean to offend you or the team – WE LOVE THE CAPS!!!

  10. Bro Sneeks - Mar 29, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    I was at the game yesterday too, and although I didnt boo them I wasnt upset that some of the fans did. It wasnt as loud as the story makes it out to be but over the past 3 seasons as the Caps have gotten better they have still found a way to become lackadaisical and play to the level of their opponent. The fans have been spoiled to see the Caps play at a high level for so long, but some boo because they expect more. When you spend 200+ dollars to come to a hockey game the last thing you want to see is your team slip up to an inferior team just before the playoffs. The same crowd that boo also came right back out and cheered every positive aspect of the game. Every chance to scream “Lets go Caps” was echoing throughout the 2nd and 3rd period.I have watched the caps since the mid 80′s and they weren’t always pleasant to watch but we still watched. And yes there are a ton of bandwagon fans in D.C. but what else can they cheer for? The Redskins are the laughing stock of the NFL the Wizards have been a joke for years, the Nationals….. seriously come one. The one thing people around this area have to be excited about is the fact that the Caps are great. Do you really think that Philadelphia Eagles fan think twice before they boo their team that is consistently a good football team? No, their just passionate about their team and they cheer as hard as the boo. You stink, they let you know. SOME of the fans at yesterdays game just made it known thats how they felt.

  11. juicefan - Mar 29, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    I was also at the game yesterday and I was very embarrased to hear those boos! I actually turned to some in my section and asked why they were booing at the Number one team in hockey and they really looked confused.
    Kinda think these folks have spent way too much time watching the many other losing franchises in our area and are normally booing them. Some you can’t reason with though and that is when I asked them the last time they played hockey and if they thought they were so much better why they didn’t have a contract.
    I for one am very proud to call myself a caps fan and really am enjoying the ride! There is not a team I can remember that never suffered a loss or just a off night. Keep putting it out there Caps and your true fans will continue to cheer either way!

  12. varesident - Mar 29, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Come on JMac- be serious. I’ve been to 3 Caps games to see my team play them- and every single game Caps fans start the “refs you suck” chant. Maybe the bandwagon fans should learn the rules of hockey- cause when you commit a penalty, the refs are gonna call it, no matter who your superstar is.
    Classy is not something that goes with the new Caps fans. Too bad- cause the old fans- the ones who won’t go away if Ovie does- are getting a bad name from the new jerks.

  13. RUSS - Mar 29, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    Just another example of how Caps fans have no class. Trust me I would know, I am a Philly fan who lives in Maryland. Been to many Caps games, but will never forget game 7 of the 2008 playoffs when trash rained down from the stands just because their team lost in overtime. Caps fans are worse then philly fans, we would never throw trash at our players. Simply Disgusting.

  14. Blando - Mar 29, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    So true, the bandwagon fans make me sick… hopefully the young fans who could grow up loving hockey, will realize their parents are acting like idiots and not do this in future years…

  15. Stan - Mar 29, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    I was at the game. I was not one of the fans who was booing. Been watching hockey for over 40 years and understand that teams cannot be emotionaly involved every game especially when there is nothing to play for. Yelling “ref you suck” usually come after they clearly miss several penalties that should have been called against the visiting team than call some bs call against a Cap.

  16. Adam - Mar 29, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    Admittedly the Caps had a horrific period. However, the booing was certainly over the top. The Bronx cheer of Varly was easily more despicable than the boos. He was totally screened on the first goal he gave up. Being a Wild fan transplanted to DC I have to say the vast majority of Caps fan just don’t get hockey. I had a guy tell me that the Caps play really well in the fourth period and he was serious. You have the most exciting team to play in the last decade, enjoy it while it lasts.

  17. Jill - Mar 30, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    I was at the game and I was not surprised by the booing, but I thought it was completely uncalled-for. As a season-ticket holder since 2001, I was at virtually every home game throughout the Cassidy and Hanlon eras — you know, when there was actually something to boo about. I’ll take 20 minutes of bad effort out of an entire season. It’s nice having a full building, but the newer fans just don’t understand how good they have it. They weren’t there when the building was 75% empty and the players looked like they’d rather be anywhere else. They’re spoiled by a great home record and sold-out building.
    C’mon guys, our team rocks. How about a little support?
    P.S.: @Russ – Caps fans have never thrown trash at the players. They may get upset or pissed off, but never at the players. They were angry at the officials. I know…I was there. Don’t presume to understand the collective mentality of another fan base.

  18. Darryl - Mar 30, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    To all of you calling Caps fans classless, Why dont you go and watch the standing ovation we gave them last year in game 7 against the Pens with about 2 mins remaining in the game. That game was over in the 1st period and there was no booing then. So shut it and relax.
    Fans have a right to boo if they want, If the team is not playing up to standard we as paying customers have a right to voice our opinion.
    As it was stated before, When they started to play better we were all right behind them. And to the Flyer fan we werent throwing trash at our players, We were throwing trash to your Philly scum that got lucky with a PP to win a game 7. And Philly fans have no right to comment about being classless.. Would you like to Youtube Eagles fans booing Michael Irvin leaving the field on a stretcher? Think before you speak.

  19. griz0615 - Mar 30, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Lots of jealous people on this board. Let’s go Caps!

  20. Hoven - Mar 30, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Have to look at the bigger picture here. Calgary is living on the edge, they’re essentially playing each game like it’s an elmination game. Clearly came to DC with guns blazing. Games like this will happen, those who understand the game get this. They got up early and often – frustrating yes, but games like this happen.
    The booing aside, what’s discerning are the fairweather fans who really seem to expect the Stanley Cup come to DC this year. I was at the Pittsburgh game last Wednesday, sitting near Penguin fans (that is never easy), and was astonished by the number of Cap fans who just expect this team to roll through every game on the way to capturing the Cup. As great as the game was (Caps won in a SO), I was quickly deflated by the number of fans beating their respective chests afterwards over ‘owning’ the Pens. Guess nobody remembers last year, or of teams past – Caps can’t quite boast a great amount of playoff success.
    As far as being classy – Caps fans don’t hold a candle to some of the behavior I’ve seen from followers of other Eastern Conference teams (calling out Ranger, Devil, Flyer, and Pens fans).
    Lot of work for this team yet to do, I believe the pieces are in the right place. True Caps fans will stay patient, and supportive no matter what.

  21. aybee - Mar 30, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    Maybe people boo because such an unispired performance so close to the playoffs brings back memories of last year’s game seven against the Pens. It was very similar.
    It’s very interesting to see the responses from people who are basically outsiders: Carolina season ticket holders and Minnesota Wild fans…right. You’re opinions will carry a little more sway after you’ve been through a decade of reading “Choking Dogs” articles from Tony Kornheiser in the Post, having rival superstars traded to your team only to watch them sandbag it for years while on your team, watching your team get imploded and replaced by no-names, and then seeing your “best team ever” forget to show up for a game seven against your arch rivals. Suffer through that, then get back to me.
    You say that Caps fans don’t get it; maybe you, outsider, don’t get it.

  22. jenny - Apr 5, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    I love the CAPS. I have never booed or will ever boo. If you
    booed then u don’t know what unleash the fury really means.
    Use ur energy to unleash instead of booing. I don’t pay to
    hear you boo. I pay to watch the best team in hockey.
    SO WHEN THEY ARE HAVING A BAD TIME OF IT (which doesn’t happen often) Unleash the fury, and show your support to the team the
    way they do for us

  23. Fecteau - Apr 9, 2010 at 8:25 AM

    I think anyone can say shame on you for booing your team. But when you’re spending a minimum of 60 dollars a ticket on back row seats and your team doesn’t show up at all, it gets frustrating. At the money the fans are paying to go to the game, we want to see a good show. When your team looks like they’re playing half assed, there isn’t any consideration about the other 35 games, of course, as you’re at that game, not all the others. I’m sure, as I watched the game on TV, that a good amount of the boos came when the refs were screwing everything up as they do all the time. I can’t win, between being a Caps fan and long time Red Sox fan, there’s always BS calls…
    To Brandon Worley,
    I don’t see how this article is newsworthy. Who hasn’t gone to a game and heard boos from the home crowd? That’s like saying on the other end, if the Caps were playing crap hockey and no one cheered them on. As a consumer we have the right to cheer or boo if we please… Did you watch the game, by the way? It was a combination of bad playing along with bad officiating. ANY team’s fans would have booed if put in that situation

  24. Beast - Apr 12, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    Brandon Worley is a tool and a Caps hater…That said, a lot of Washington fans do not understand the game. The DC area is a transient area with a lot of people from all over the world, who just want to do what is “in” and right now that is the Caps. It is annoying, but just as in any city, there are also intelligent fans. And Philly fans are the most idiotic fans ever–they boo’ed Mike Schmidt all those years. Right, he was terrible.

  25. RUSS is RETARDED - Apr 15, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Yea right. Philly is the city with fans that bombard opposing coaches with batteries, set off flare guns in the stands, boosSanta, and laugh when Michael Irvings career gets ended. Go kill yourself.

  26. Phuck Philly - Apr 15, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Yea Russ. Philadelphia is REALLY known for having good fans.
    http://deadspin.com/5373997/flyers-fans-scuffle-in-jersey-stab-each-other-in-philly

  27. Russ sucks - Apr 18, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    you are a retard. Philly fans are the worst and everyone in the country knows it. you don’t even live in philly so how would you even know. when the redskins play in philly, fans throw beer at the team, coaches, fans, and family of players. now thats class

  28. Carla Sarabia Reyes - Apr 26, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    i think hookey is stupid like almost all of u exept me i only like the weanatche wild they rock

  29. Rusty - Apr 29, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    How are Caps fans classless, when they gave their team a standing ovation after losing to the canadiens, just like they did last year against the Pens. They won the president’s trophy and ended up losing in the first round, and yet at least 75% of the fans stayed at the end to give their team one last cheer. If this were to be the Flyers, their fans would have been booing. Caps fans are classless, give me a break! The Caps fans are the classiest in the league. How many games did the fans stay until the end of the game, to see the Caps comeback and tie or win it in the final minutes? Multiple times! Stay classy Caps fans! Can’t wait until next year! Rock the Red and Let’s GO CAPS!

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