What could have been. Sigh.
Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee has yet to finalize the 2013-14 on-ice roster, but at least one of the organization’s off-ice squads is now set. Following two days of tryouts and interviews held at the Verizon Center over the weekend, the Caps introduced fans to the latest iteration of the cheerleading and community relations team known as the Red Rockers. But two rather visible Caps fans were turned away from the auditions.
Ranger Ryan and Ranger Nathan, the spandex-and-helmet-and-also-fanny-pack-wearing duo known as the Brouwer Rangers, had been training all summer in hopes of making the Red Rocker 2013-14 squad.
“What is there to say?” Ranger Ryan said when contacted by RMNB for comment. “We studied hours of tape, practiced our Gangnam Style dances until our feet bled, and spent weeks in the gym working on our t-shirt throwing arms. All for naught. I wouldn’t say I’m totally devastated, but I’m pretty devastated.”
“We really thought we had what it would take,” Ranger Nathan added. “The audition information said to wear form-fitting pants and form-fitting tops, Well, check and check. We’ve got that covered. But I guess that just wasn’t enough.”
Both Brouwer Rangers said they made sacrifices to prepare for the audition.
“I lost about 50 pounds over the last year,” said Ranger Nathan. “I told my wife it was for my health, but it wasn’t. It just wasn’t. I wanted to be in peak Rockin’ the Red shape for the audition. I feel like I’ve already regained 25 of those pounds from the comfort eating.”
The duo even had what they called “semi-non-professional” headshots taken to include with their applications and resume. Unfortunately, the effort to become the first male Red Rockers in five years was a no-go-go. The pair confirmed that they weren’t given a chance to strut their stuff, but it wasn’t because of gender. The Rangers were told that their motif “doesn’t fit the Red Rockers brand.”
When it was all said and done, the Brouwer Rangers understood the team’s decision and wished the Rockers all the best in the upcoming season. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a twinge of lingering bitterness.
“They didn’t even return our headshots,” Ranger Ryan said. “I want my headshot back.”