Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dealing with Attendance

If you haven't noticed, more people are showing up for Caps games. Comparing the first seven home dates of last year to the first seven home dates of this year, the Caps have seen 3,447 more people (on average) spinning the turnstiles at Verizon Center (17,684 average). That is a 24.2 percent increase over the first seven home games' average of last year (14,236).

That is a good thing, from the perspective of the Caps' bottom line and the level of crowd spirit in the arena. But, with so many new fans hitching a ride on the Caps' bandwagon, there is a certain lack of knowledge about how to behave at such events. And, being the helpful sort, your old pal Peerless has some tips for you newbies to Caps games. Herewith are our top-ten tips and things to remember for the novice hockey fan...

10. It is not funny to shout when an icing call is made, "Icing?...I didn't even know we were having cake!"

9. Interference does NOT get a 15 yard penalty in hockey.

8. Don't get into the habit of shouting "OH!" during the Star Spangled Banner. It sucks...really. And, it's more a Baltimore thing, anyway.

7. No, the little guys who play during intermission are NOT the "second team" or the "junior varsity."

6. Speaking of intermission, there are two of them. There isn't a "half time." Don't go home after the second period.

5. There is a "Horn Guy," "The Voice," and now, a "Cowbell Guy." If you have ideas about becoming your own rooting section, the positions have been taken. You're not going to improve on this.

4. Unless you bring kazoos...we love kazoos.

3. For you basketball fans new to hockey...they give TWO assists for a goal (even though a goal counts for two points in basketball...well, most of them).

2. Shootouts me.

1. And here is your number one tip. Consider it a warning. You LEANERS out there. You know who you are...the folks sitting in the first row of the balcony who think nothing of leaning out to the edge of your seat without a thought in the world about the fact that the folks behind you now can't see half of the ice sheet?...You paid for the whole seat. USE IT!

Thank you, and happy hockey watching.


Gustafsson said...

Bravo, Peerless.

Well done.

Joe said...

Jeez, tell me about it. I sat behind a leaner at the Tampa game.
A leaner with poofy 80s hair.

Semvechkin said...

I agree with some, for a few you're just making filler :)

Never experienced #10 nor someone confused with #9, at least not someone confused enough to make a big deal out of their lack of knowledge.

#8, yeah it's a Baltimore thing, but I grew up an O's fan. I think I've done the O thing only once over the past couple years, but really does it matter? Let people cheer for who they wish - it's tradition, regardless of locale.

#5, yeah - friends new to the game that I bring always want to start something, as if their attendance of 5 games over the year will really help become a fixture :)

Anyone else not a fan whatsoever of cowbell guy? He's just an annoyance to me, leeching off Horn Guy's Horning.

I'd support a theremin.

#1 Leaners piss the hell out of me. I feel bad enough just moving my head to look AROUND a leaner. Do people really have no sense of their surroundings?

Now I'm a big guy myself, so I feel I have every right to say this, but the larger folks with the tendency to have a 'permanent' lean - come on. If I can sit back in my chair, you can.

Ruined the TB game :(

this space for rent said...

Agreed. Also add the people who get up while the puck is in play, or wait for a break but then take thirty years to get back into their seats.

On the leaning -at the risk of getting dogpiled, I'm going to play a little bit of devil's advocate. Ever sat in one of those seats? If you sit back in your chair totally, the rail is too high. It obscures most of the near boards and a lot of the goal crease. And no, I'm not short. Maybe that's something to approach the phone booth about.

And no, I'm not short.

Caps Dreamer said...

The leaners have ruined 3 games for me so far this year. We talked to a guy about it on Monday and he said he couldn't see if he didn't lean. Arghhh.....

Hooks Orpik said...

"8. Don't get into the habit of shouting "OH!" during the Star Spangled Banner. It sucks...really. And, it's more a Baltimore thing, anyway."


Semvechkin said...

TSFP: Agggh! People who took forever to get to their seat were killing me on Monday!

1995hoo said...

Another: If you arrive at your row right as the puck drops, there are empty seats, and either you'll have to climb over someone to reach your seat or you see that someone is in your seat, just SIT DOWN in the empty seats and wait until the next stoppage to work out who's supposed to sit where. Yes, you waited for a stoppage in play to enter the seating bowl, and I applaud you for that, but standing in the middle of the row while figuring out who sits where is arguably WORSE than walking down the aisles while the puck is in play. Just take a seat and wait for a whistle, then proceed down the row.

Joe said...

Number 11:
When the puck is in play, stay the flunk out of the way!

Section 119 said...

Thanks, Peerless! Agree with the "O" - it totally sucks and I wish everybody would stop it. It's a hockey game, not a baseball game. Goat and Horn Guy are good; the cowbell and Slapshot's drum I can do without. Horn Guy wasn't at one game and we really missed him.

People coming and going while the puck is in play are just plain rude. I don't hesitate to yap at people who do this.

Anonymous said...

I believe the yelling of "O" during the National Anthem at Caps games is geared toward Ovechkin, not Orioles. I'd hate to think people are doing it for the Orioles as bad as they've been for over a decade. Regardless, I never participate in the yelling.

The Peerless said...

It isn't any more directed at Ovechkin, in my opinion, than it was toward Olaf Kolzig when he was here or even "Olf" Dahlen (yes, I realized that's misspelled). It's just "O" for O's sake.

Frankly, it makes more sense to whout "RED" at the appropriate lyric, but I'm not advocating that, either.

It's the national anthem...Yeah, as a song, it really does suck, but have a little respect.

tg said...

How about, "When the team is up three goals midway through the third period and on a power play, and the other team clears the puck, that doesn't mean you have to boo. They're trying to score, they know you want them to score, but guess what, the other team is working just as hard to keep the puck out of the net. They're not going to score every time down the ice, and they're not going to win every game. If that upsets you so much, get off the bandwagon and go watch football."

Or, as I wanted to get on the loudspeaker and say during the Tampa game when Johnson didn't have his stick, "Trust me, the goalie knows his stick is in the corner. He knows that it isn't in his hand. He's not completely clueless and realizes that it is an important piece of equipment for him. But having thousands of people yell, 'You don't have your stick!' really isn't going to change the fact that, should he go out to get it at the same time the other team gets the puck, it could have disastrous consequences."

Or even, "Sometimes Capitals players will commit penalties and the ref will make the correct call. Not all calls are proof of a bias against your team, or that the ref has an ulterior motive. A correct call is just that, and insulting the ref when the call is justified just goes to show that you're not paying attention."

Phew. Thanks. I needed that.

cows3500 said...

Peerless, was that YOU behind me at the game on Monday? I did indeed lean, though I wasn't at the edge of the balcony, but had that stupid railing in front of me. However, when the gentleman behind me asked me to lean back before the 2nd period started, I did my best to comply, though my neck was slightly stiff from trying to see under the rail. And, yes, I am short :-)

Bucky Katt said...

Yep..what Joe and Space for Rent said (And bought up during Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN on Tue)-

#11 Get your booty outta the way when the pucks in play!

Can't tell you how many times this season that we have had inconsiderate people trundling slowly along to and from their seats right in the middle of the action. Grrrrr!

Murshawursha said...

I clearly represent the minority here, but I have no great problem with the O!. I really don't understand why it bothers so many people.

I carry the O with me to any sporting event I go to, even out of state... Granted, some people look at me like I'm nuts, but if another Marylander is in the crowd, it's sort of an inside joke kinda thing. To me, it represents this area in general more than the Orioles in particular. However, it started, that's how it feels now.

That said, I've kinda stopped doing it (or at least doing it loudly) at Caps games out of respect for those of you who hate it. Plus, I rather like the RED! at rocket's red glare.

And I still enjoy a shootout. Nerve-wracking as they are, I find them exciting. Plus I hate ties. It's like kissing your sister, as my high-school coach would say before he pulled the goalie with a minute to go in a 2-2 game.

Though never-ending OT is still second to none. Might be a little much for the regular season though, to me that's what's special (well, one of the things anyway) about the playoffs.

Christopher said...

The leaners drive me nuts. There's someone in my section who at times actually hangs all the way OVER the glass on the top of the railing. Which is awesome, because it causes the person behind him to lean, which in turn makes the guy behind HIM lean and so on. I've spoken with a few of the people, but because so many of the fans in my section now are single ticket or 6-game package holders, rather than season ticket holders, I have to go through the whole routine every game. Now I just don't bother - I lean over them.

It seems to me that the ushers should be doing something about the leaners and the people who are up and about during play. Heaven forbid they actually do anything constructive, other than "help" me find my seat, as though I'm not going to be there 41 times (hopefully more) this year.

Does anyone here think there's a chance that we could get some sort of action from Ted/Management on the leaner issue? It really detracts from the game.

Christopher said...

TG - I'm totally with you. I get so annoyed with people around me who scream and complain any time the opposition DARES to play defense.

I was also pretty offended at Monday's game by the people who were razzing Olie. The guy gave the best part of his career/life to this franchise and this town. You think we could have at least waited a game before jeering him.

Jimmy Jazz said...

Fair weather jerks annoy the hell out of me, but it's not like we can get the VC rocking with our 10k or so dieheards.

Anonymous said...

I am starting to believe that if you are a STH with seats in Row A in the 400 level and you sell your tickets that you should have to include instructions on how to sit in the seats with the tickets, that is, do not lean forward and put your elbows on top of or over the glass. I sit in Row A and I have noticed that the regular STH sit back in their seats but if the tickets are given to someone else that the new people lean way forward as if they think that have to look over the glass and cannot see through the glass. I do believe that these folks have no clue as to how their actions impact others.