Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Too much hype

Dear ESPN, TSN, Pierre McGuire, Don Cherry, etc:

Stop talking about my team. Pretty please? Stop talking about our "Cinderella run", how under-rated we are, how hard working, how we are definitely going to trounce the Flyers. Please, please, stop. Have I officially lost it? Maybe. Read on, then judge.

I've had Caps season tickets for two years and watched them on and off for a handful of years prior to that. What I have liked most about being a Capitals fan (and this is essentially selfish) is our little community. Yeah, there isnt a huge hockey community in DC. But the community here is tight and we all sort of recognize each other, going in and out of the metro to the Verizon Center for six months. We see each other at practice, nod hello on VC escalators, comment each other to death on blogs. And since DC is a classic band wagon town, we'll see a our ranks swell when the Caps are on a run, then even out again to the loyalists. Its as intimate an experience as you will ever get in professional sports.

But all of sudden, the Caps are everyone's team. And after watching a painful rebuilding process for the Caps, I cant help be a little weary of all these new accolades coming our way. As Shan pointed out, where are all the gloating Caps fans? Well, we are hiding behind our computers and vintage Langway jerseys, hoping that all this sudden attention doesnt distract our very young team, the majority of whom have a season or two under their belt and no playoff experience. I cant help but be a little fearful when I hear that the press box can hardly contain all the out of town journalists, after the press box used to ring if not emptily, then at the least was a bit lonely with beat writers from the Washington Post and Washington Times as the only print news regulars.

I also want to add the caveat here that I am not worried about all the chatting blogs are doing about the Capitals (including, of course, my own). I'm superstitious about all the talking heads claiming that the Flyers are going down because the Capitals are hot, hot, hot. And Cinderalla. Or some version of that.

Its entirely possible and likely that I am being paranoid, and as the Caps are consummate professionals, they will go into the playoffs with the same vigor and determination they showed in the last weeks of the off season. But I hope you dont blame me for being just a bit scared, and crossing my fingers every time I see the words "Cinderella" and "Capitals" in a story.

x-posted to Cap Addiction


Shan said...

Hey, thanks for the mention!
I think I need to move to Washington--fan community at the arena? affordable tickets? Why am I living in a city with a team I don't even like?

As for the Capitals, I don't think you need to worry. If they have what it takes to beat the Flyers, they will. I don't think they're going to become all awestruck whether their run is Cinderellian or Snow White in nature. They may have made an improbable run, winning at a torrid pace to make the playoffs, but that happened because the team is actually that good. They have second line scoring! That makes them a lot better than the Senators. The Capitals are a better team on the ice, in the dressing room, on paper, in goal, and in the standings than they were 4 months ago.

Lack of playoff experience might actually work in their favour because they have a burning desire to win.

Aside: Fedorov was my favourite player as a kid, so I'm excited to see him return to relevance.

Dare said...

The Capitals have Pat Sajak on their side. There is no need to fear. All aboard the Wheel of Fortune!

Debcapsfan said...

Look, I've been watching this team for twenty-five years, and I'm not that worried about it. I do feel a bit like I'm living in some sort of alternate universe, but that's another story.
They deserve all the hype and the praise. Bring on the playoffs. I can't wait!