Why I Gave Up My Season Tickets

bovim

[Ed. note: Eric Bovim shares his perspective as an aggrieved season-ticket holder. - Peter]

I have invested nearly $60,000 since 2008 as a season ticket holder into the Washington Capitals. But it’s time to put that to an end.

Even with the overdue changes to the Caps front office announced this weekend, I have decided to give up my tickets as a protest to ownership. I doubt the voice of a lone STH matters much to them; no doubt they will quickly sell my two seats in my section 102, row F to someone on their waiting list. Management never knew me. But I will not let them forget about why I have made the decision to forfeit my precious seats.

For the past 6 seasons, from those seats by the faceoff circle near the glass, I have seen it all. I remember the time I took my little boy to his first game – early 2009 – when he was merely two and a half. Alex was so young then I had to bring along his diaper and pacifier. His mother packed him his bottle. I bundled him up. We were playing the Canadiens. Jose Theodore was out goalie then. We won 3-0. I still remember his face that night at the game, him cheers along with the Horn Guy, him falling asleep later that season in the third period as the Caps rallied to beat Detroit. He stayed asleep even as Verizon Center celebrated a vintage Mike Green goal. I stood and held him as he slept. It was not easy, but it was fun.

We saw many other games over the years together. We became quite comfortable at Verizon together. We had our pre-game dinners all mapped out. He made his tour around the concourse, seeking free handouts from the Red Rockers. When I told him that I had given up the seats he was rightly upset. The games with dad were a childhood ritual that I have abruptly ended. He expected to be able to go. It would be hard to explain to him, however, that I expected much more from the Capitals this year, and that I felt like I was pouring my money down a hole.

Since the dismal season ended (I did not even attend the last game) the Capitals organization hangs in limbo. The Caps now are searching for new leadership to helm an adrift organization. Fans are still waiting for a change, and it’s doubtful that this change will materialize overnight with a new GM and coach. The roster that won less than 40 games remains the roster for next season.

The Capitals marketing department, however, has been hard at work to lure me back. The other day, I received what can best be described as a laughable email from them. It sums up the state of the entire franchise when you read it. Here it is:

email

The litany of reasons why I should remain a STH is as sad as it is amusing. The Caps were once the toast of the NHL. We were like a loaded weapon. Every position was filled with talent and our prospect pipeline was deep. It’s sad to see the stark reality now of the organization described this way: “talent like Michael Latta”; the “always impressive and hard-working ‘Green Line’”; the chance to watch an “extremely exciting” power play. Years ago, when I would get my end of season letter from owner Ted Leonsis, after the inevitable playoff disappointment, there was at least meat on that bone: the letters talked about the desire to win a Cup. It reminded us that the team was stacked with talent and that the window to win the Cup was still open.

But those days are long gone.

The facts are that the Caps are not very good anymore. They are no longer legitimate Cup contenders. How did this happen? I will let the professionals evaluate the reasons why. Even with their sweeping decisions in recent days, I have to ask if the Capitals might have a Ted Leonsis problem. Dick Patrick should be thrown into that conversation too.

Ownership conducted extensive exit interviews in order to reach the conclusion that it needed to revamp the front office. That was the right outcome. But the time-consuming process by which they arrived at this conclusion was alarming. Was this dreadful situation not apparent to them months ago, or even two months ago? What did the exit interviews reveal that was not apparent to fans? The bottom line for the past few seasons was always the same: the Caps were in steady decline since the 2010 Halak series and GMGM and the rest of the organization did not intervene strongly enough to arrest the decline.

Leonsis has already issued a startling mea culpa on his blog, stating that he was wrong to state at the beginning of the season that the Caps had no weaknesses. Any owner who was that foggy-eyed about the potential for this year’s collapse surely could have hamstrung his franchise over the years by prohibiting his GM to make moves that would have improved the team. I recall, years ago, during the Caps’ epic 6-game losing streak during the Winter Classic season, that Leonsis told media he was puzzled by the fan’s fervor and their willingness to do things like fire Boudreau and trade Mike Green. Well, they finally did fire Bruce and that, in retrospect, has proved a fatal mistake. As for the ever-brittle Green, how could they not have seen over the years that he was always a defensive liability that scored goals? Now that he can no longer do the latter, there is talk that the final season of his $6.5 million contract will be bought out? Well, who approved this contract in the first place?

The Capitals, much like the Canucks, have become the NHL’s Cinderella story in reverse. Where is the turning point? The Caps defense is thin, small, and gaffe-prone. The Caps offense is not the juggernaut it was. The goaltending is a question mark. What will our new system be this time? When will we stop the unnecessary criticism of Ovechkin, a player paid to score goals who is scoring lots of them?

This is why I gave up my seats.

I loved those seats for the first few seasons. I witnessed Fedorov’s game 7 winner up close. It was an exhilarating live sports moment. I saw the dueling Crosby/Ovechkin hat tricks. That was unreal. I saw the acrobatics of Varlamov (perhaps maybe GMGM’s worst trade of all) in the Pittsburgh series, the come-from-behind thrillers of the Boudreau era, the toe-drag goals of Semin. It was all wonderful when it was happening, but it was not happening like this anymore. Somewhere after hiring Dale Hunter, the games got stale. The energy in the building changed too. It got quieter. This year especially, it was not the raucous Rock-the-Red atmosphere from the heyday of 2011, when we thought we might win the Cup and every rush up ice was would become a scintillating scoring opportunity.

I guess I gave up my tickets because I don’t think we can win the Cup anymore. I don’t want to invest my time in watching a slow-motion decline anymore. It’s too hard to watch. Not when I recall so clearly what it was like before, in the heyday when we would score at will and there was still optimism after every playoff loss.

Maybe was the coach. Maybe was the GM. Perhaps it’s the fault of the owner and President who may not know what to do with the ruins that lay before them.

Eric Bovim is a former STH. He can be reached at ebovim@mcbeestrategic.com

  • Chris

    Boo-hoo.

    Signed,
    A Redskins Fan.

  • Chris Cerullo

    I actually laughed at those reasons. That’s hilarious to me.

  • SLM131

    I expressed frustration with the performance of the team and with the front office staff when I let my account rep know I was not renewing. Following our 20 minute conversation about the various [poor] decisions the Caps have made recently regarding players, my account rep sent me an email stating that I expressed told him I was unsatisfied with the “value” I was getting out of my season tickets. In the email, he proceeded to explain all the benefits of the Club Red points, the happy hours, etc. None of this was ever something I complained to my rep about. That simply re-affirmed my decision not to renew my tickets – clearly my actual complaints are not being heard or are just blatantly being ignored. Either way, I have absolutely no regrets about cancelling my season tickets; the season tickets I had from the 2006-2007 season.

  • Andrew Tomlinson

    Have to say this screams “typical Caps fan” stereotype with the whole “only had tickets since 2008″ conveniently when they finally started winning.. now they aren’t winning and he is giving them up?

  • Witter

    I heard he just got Wizards season tickets

  • Matt Mendelsohn

    I think he nailed it on the head. Great letter.

  • Mark Chaffer

    Good, somebody else who wants to watch the game can buy them. Have fun at home you fairweather fan.

  • Yo8

    Go home… I had low expectation for the Caps since the beginning of the season but I still support them and if I could afford it I would get those tickets.

    https://kmpunksays.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/stolenseat.gif?w=830

  • anonymous

    Hi Eric, I could not agree more with your post. I too gave up my Season Tickets after 7 years. And you know what, I think it mattered and played into the calculus for ownership. I know a lot of people, including a good friend who was a STH for 25 years, who didn’t renew. And the waiting list is not what it once was. I have received numerous calls and emails asking what they can do to get me back. Sadly, unless Ted buys out half the phone booth, our sellouts are over, although they truly were not legit all year…

  • Joey Diluzio

    I mean seriously. Stick with the team. We had a couple of down years in a row. Even as a bad team we were fighting for a playoff spot. If you can’t support the team when they are down then good riddance.

  • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bigjimsports BigJimSports

    So you get the tickets when they start winning and give them up after the first season they miss the playoffs? Yeah, typical bandwagon fan… we won’t miss you

  • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bigjimsports BigJimSports

    you bandwagon fans will be back.

  • bskillet

    Ok so goodbye Eric, no need to explain just goodbye. Go Caps, excited for ’14′-’15′. See ya at Verizon…..well some of you.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    The split in reactions is fascinating to me. I’m somewhere in the middle (deeply unsatisfied with the team, but I’ll obviously still invest my time into it). If I were making the huge investment of season tickets, frankly, I’d have downgraded or cancelled in 2012.

  • Jones

    Fairweather coming from folks sitting @ home ? lol Been doing this since early 80′s, and now split mine 4 ways. Only reason I still have them is our 2 kids love the games. I went to one game last year, sold the rest….fair-weathered indeed. I’ll sit at home like the rest of the real fans and enjoy the fandom.

  • Patrick

    “We have Olympians….” And that makes you special, how?

  • http://pucknhockey.com Eric Rigsby

    I think this whole discussion would be a lot different if fans weren’t price gouged at every opportunity by Uncle Ted.

  • Pat Magee

    Part of being a fan is fighting through the tough times. You could change to a plan that had fewer games.

    This giving up thing, is not cool. I understand where you’re coming from, but if I was able to get season tickets, I absolutely would. I love this team through thick and thin!

  • Peter

    If the Caps are no longer a source of fun for you and your son –
    especially given how expensive season tickets are – this is by all means
    the right decision for you. But at the same time, I hope your seats are
    filled by someone who enjoys them for the sake of the game, not just
    because they’re winning.

    Hopefully with more fans at Verizon who
    support the team win OR lose, it will get back to the atmosphere you
    seem to miss so much.

  • ksadljf;ksadlj

    hes right and he’s wrong, the reasons to renew are garbage, but he’s wrong in other points like trading varly who was always hurt and was a russian flight risk at the time. also this team is now as bad as it appears, it needs a few tinkerings yes. but it most importantly needs an offensive coach who knows what the hell hes doing and also demands 110% from his players all the time.

  • CapsFan4403

    You know who else was probably writing “open letters” like this a season ago? Wizards “fans.”

    As everyone else as said, Lulz @ buying in when the team is hot and SuperMax lulz @ selling when the team gets cold for *one* season.

  • Josh Carey

    Agreed. I can understand if it’s a money issue as season tickets are expensive, but you can’t just hop off the bandwagon when things get tough*.

    * Missing the playoffs by 4 points.

  • Graham Dumas

    I feel Eric’s pain to an extent, (I’m sure we all do). But season tickets are not an investment–by definition you’re “pouring money down a hole,” no matter what happens. That’s what happens with entertainment.

    Yes, it’s incredibly frustrating when your team doesn’t live up to expectations, and no, I’m not sure any of us are feeling particularly ready to forgive the front office its many sins, but bailing on your tix “in protest” is a bit much.

    On the other hand, I suppose I understand why you would no longer wish to continue paying for something you don’t enjoy anymore. So give up the seats. But don’t call it a protest.

  • Umad

    Seeya buddy. I understand not wanting to give up big $$ to go to every single home game but you still gotta believe. Just buy way cheaper tickets on stubhub and stop complaining.

  • anonymous

    Just like the media writing about a player that is underperforming to get them going or media criticizing a team that has lost their identity can result in pressure on the organization to make changes, so too can fan spending. Doesn’t mean anyone is giving up on the team or supports them any less. It just means that people are no longer willing to fund the marketing machine that was always more important to this organization than winning a cup.

  • Mark E. Haase

    Totally. Ticket prices ramped up really quickly in the Ovie era, and results on the ice haven’t kept pace. I wonder how much they’ll go up this year?

  • Alex Hughes

    Well that was depressing…. I wish I had this guys problems of having season tickets. Where is the optimism, the passion. Heaven forbid the Caps have a poor season. One can’t lose complete hope after one season, c’mon now. Not every season is gonna be win every game by 5, the presidents trophy, and a top 3 seed in the playoffs. You gotta ride the wave of the ups and downs of any team not just the Caps, not just hop on the bandwagon when times are good, and immediately jump ship when there is a bump in the road or a poor season. I would die to be a season ticket holder but being only 16 I am going to have to wait a couple of years.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Here’s my thing: if the Caps were playing good hockey and missing the playoffs by 6 points, I’d consider STH a better value than what fans saw this year. That was a bottom-5 team that looked awful 75% of the time (i.e. during even strength).

    Without evidence of a better on-ice product coming, I think it’s a perfectly defensible reason to cancel the tickets.

  • JenCo

    I decided to downgrade from season tickets a few years back. I make my own plan every season using ticket exchange and it’s MUCH cheaper. I receive constant emails to purchase season tickets again, after being “warned” when I gave them up, that it would be almost impossible to get them again. I think the waiting list, doesn’t really exist. I was asked to come to the select a seat program tonight and pick out another set. It’s been 3 seasons since I’ve even been a STH. I would have at least waited until after the Winter Classic though, Eric. That’s gonna be a tough seat to get and you had 2 gauranteed.

  • Umad

    Exactly. Everyone’s upset/dissapointed/confused by the last year but you’re still going to watch and care and believe and hope the next year. Being a sports fan is like an investment you can never walk away from, just gotta ride out the bad times. But yea just calm down and stubhub from now on.

  • JD Hix

    This guy comes across as a guy who likes watching a team win more than a true hockey fan. Hockey’s great because it has the action of a fast full contact sport and the statistical analysis and strategy that make it fun for a fan to follow in between games. Get into some of that and I think you’ll appreciate more than just winning by 3 goals all the time. Don’t teach your kid that you give up on a team when they start losing.

    I don’t think we’re even quite in the terrible team zone yet having only missed the playoffs by a couple of games. I think we just need a couple of players to round out the squad and some good leadership capable of adapting to other coaches gaming their system. The fan noise, player motivation, and fun will come back if these little things are addressed. We’re getting new leadership and we have plenty of money to get two players that can make a difference.

  • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bigjimsports BigJimSports

    And I’m willing to bet if we go to the ECF, SCF or win the cup in the next 1-3 years… you guys will be back on the waiting list with the “true fans” who “just couldn’t take it anymore”

    I’m sorry, but the people who magically became “hockey fans” when the Caps started winning, but after 1 season of no playoffs… you’re a bandwagon “fan”. And it means you only “support” the team when it’s good for you to.

    Be a fan, or don’t!

  • Graham Dumas

    Absolutely. I’m just saying that calling it an act of protest is… well, I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe tilting at windmills? Or a little bit self-indulgent (as if Eric personally means so much to the mgmt that his non-renewal will change minds upstairs)?

    This is a tough league in which to build a team. The salary cap and player injuries make it a little bit of a gamble. Did the Caps do it right the past three years? No. Did it suddenly become a lot crappier to be a Caps fan? Yes. But this letter is just a little much, in my opinion.

  • Tony Fajardo

    giving up your season tickets is one thing. i may not renew our partial plan for next year but thats just because of price and time. but to give up on this team is idiotic. and premature…ive been a fan since the late 80s..the first game my dad took me too(we didnt have much money growing up) was in 95 when peter bondra scored 5 goals in a come from behind victory against the isles….i stuck around through the bad era around 2003-2007 and im here now and not going anywhere players and choaches come and go and good teams and bad teams come and go but to be a fiar weather fan who has only seen 7 years of this organization i say good riddance…your the reason i cant afford season tickets. your the reason that i can no longer go to a game for under 40 bucks(hell i went to game 7 of Flyers/caps in 09 for 40) yes it was nice that the caps are /were popular but at the same time i hope to see a mass exodus of the false fans. the social fans who know nothing of hockey and share no real passion for the sport outside of it being either a:another drinking night or B: a social experiment to bring your figure skating watching hipster girlfriend….

  • seandlax9

    Rich people problems

  • tomas

    Personally, I believe 65% + of the 100 level crowd is just like this guy. Bought their tickets during SMG and is dropping them/not showing up now that times have gotten a little tough.

  • Tony Fajardo

    agreed i take my tickets for our 5 game plan down in 118 and ive had to bit my tounge a couple of times from people who were just talking out their ass the whole time.;.i mean if your going to a game you should at least know what number ovechkin wears…i had a guy argue with me during warm ups with ovie sitting right in front of us that he wasnt on the ice because he was on his way to sochi….

  • Carlton_Hungus

    Yeah, this sums up too much of the DC fairweather fan stereotype. I understand the financial aspect of getting rid of your tickets when the team isn’t the darling in town. As an STH I don’t go to all the games, and I rely on the secondary market to try and recoup my expenses when I don’t. For better or worse in DC, when they’re not winning it’s tough to sell tickets meaning I eat the cost. I’m still hanging on to my tickets but it’s understandable to downgrade, split your plan with othersor just give them based on economic reasons. But I’m a Caps fan, not just a “winning Caps” fan (though I certainly prefer the latter). It also may not be so easy to get those 107 Row F seats again if the team turns around quickly.

    Another thing I have a problem with (as someone who spent my youth years ago in customer service jobs) is ragging on your ticket rep. He’s not on the ice letting in goals, do you think he had a direct line to Ted/GMGM/Oates’s to relay your concerns? His job is to sell tickets, his salary probably depends on it. To that end he’s going to emphasize the positive aspects of the team; and yes his job gets tougher when the Caps aren’t the President’s Trophy juggernauts of five years ago.

    There are problems with the franchise, the letter lays out some of them. But Caps tickets are (I believe) in the middle of the pack in terms of price. Until Ted or the other Caps powers-that-be start actively trying to screw the fanbase over, rather than just making mistakes (however egregious they appear in perfect 20-20 hindsight) while trying to win, I’m keeping my tickets.

  • Joe Fox

    This is the part I agree with the most: “Somewhere after hiring Dale Hunter, the games got stale. The energy in
    the building changed too. It got quieter. This year especially, it was
    not the raucous Rock-the-Red atmosphere from the heyday of 2011, when we
    thought we might win the Cup and every rush up ice was would become a
    scintillating scoring opportunity.” Dead on.
    I’ve considered giving up my seats – the security lines keep getting longer, the number of entrances fewer, food prices keep going up, the action on the ice gets worse, and the songs during stoppages in play more predictable. The main thing that keeps me from StubHubbing a few games each year rather than holding on to my full-season plan (that I share with friends) is the community of fans that I don’t see anywhere else. The Caps fanbase is the best in sports at that, and hopefully that doesn’t change.

  • Topher Gee

    My 2 cents from §405…

    Sorry to see you go… If you didn’t enjoy going to the games this year than you might have made the right decision to drop the tickets. I would urge anyone looking to buy season tickets that if you cant handle a loss or still be entertained by the game then its not for you. 40+ games with commuting isn’t the place for fairweather or someone who casually enjoys the game. If you were looking for the profit then yeah be upset, but if you enjoy hockey, next year will bring the same entertainment… maybe we get extra games in the playoffs, maybe we miss them again but I still LOVE this game. I wrote this in December and the feeling still stands. http://clearthezone.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/the-view-from-seat-8-section-405/ \ P.S. just because he might have bought them in 2008 doesnt mean he started liking the team then, that’s just when he bought the tickets.

  • Max

    Exactly. Way to teach your kid the great life lesson that your loyalty requires winning.

  • JoeA

    My wife and I ask the same question every year when deciding to renew our season tickets:

    Is going to Caps games more fun than not going to Caps games?

    The answer has been yes every time, even when mediocrity has reigned supreme these last couple of campaigns.

  • tiredbutstillacapsfan

    Been a caps fan since Hunter, Berube, Bondra, etc. Not about to quit now. If I had a small fortune I’d take those seats in a second so all I have to say is…

  • HMA8

    As pissed off as I am about what has happened to the Caps over the last few seasons, I will not be giving up my season tickets. And when they start winning again, I won’t have to run back to sign up again. I’m in it for life.

    -STH in the 400s since ’09

  • tiredbutstillacapsfan

    Where did my pic go?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Ditto for me, except I’m not paying anything and my seat is on my couch, and I’m usually in my underpants.

  • VeggieTart

    I sincerely hope they can hire a coach who will “bring sexy back”, for lack of a better term. And convince the in-game entertainment folks to play a bigger variety of music.

    Not a whole lot to be done about the concessions–I think it’s part of the deal with Aramark–but you can try writing Ted about the quality and price of the concessions.

  • tiredbutstillacapsfan

    grr

  • Daryle Elizabeth Lademan

    Yes, Eric bought at the peak and exited at the valley (and who knows how wide or deep the valley may be). Yes, bandwagon fan. But that doesn’t invalidate any of his criticisms. At the end of the day, for most of us, *sports is entertainment* and tickets to games compete for whatever we might have in the way of discretionary income with other things that might entertain us (travel, dinners out, football or basketball tickets). The simple fact is the Caps were incredibly entertaining for the first few years of Eric’s tenure as a STH. Even when they lost, they were fun to watch. But somewhere along the way, the Caps ceased being entertaining. And yet we were still paying a premium price for a sub-standard product. We bought a room at the Four Seasons, got used to those 3,000 threadcount sheets, then suddenly found ourselves in a Motel 6. Free showercap, baby! In short, I have no problem with Eric making the decision to take his money and spend it elsewhere – whether he’s been a STH since franchise inception or just bought in when we won the President’s Trophy. Being a fan doesn’t take away your right to make a basic financial decision, that you get more value for your entertainment dollar somewhere else.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    On further consideration, that’s not much of a ditto at all.

  • tiredbutstillacapsfan
  • JoeA

    The best part of attending games is the fact that you cannot crunch stats. You are forced to watch the game as it unfolds, without charts and graphs. It is quite liberating, actually.

    It’s then fun to run home and read great recaps from fine sites such as RMNB to get the opinions and analysis to back up what these lying eyes laid witness to.

  • sean

    I bet Eric has never even heard of the Capital Centre. How does a fairweather, bandwagon fan rate a whole page on RMNB? Only thing missing were the tears from his son.

  • Eric Bovim

    Statement in response to all of this Haterade: “I have been a fan of the Caps since seeing Game 7 against the Devils in 1989 for my 13th birthday. That was fun. Watching the Caps get shutout at home this season, however, was not.

    There is a thin line between being a fan and being a fool. I choose to keep my money and reserve the right to not fund mediocrity. Take that Uncle Ted.”

  • Eric Bovim

    Sean -
    I was there before you were born.

  • Daryle Elizabeth Lademan

    Many of us were fans long before we could afford season tickets.

  • Eric Bovim

    Stick with
    the team? Really? So that means spending $10k per year? Easy when it’s not your money.

  • http://twitter.com/theonlyliston Liston Jackson

    I can’t criticize Eric because I don’t have to pay for season tickets. I’m sure they are not cheap, but I have no idea how much they cost. However, I do live in Chicago and for the last 4 years I’ve been paying for NHL Gamecenter Live to watch every game. (I know it’s not the same investment). If I was living back in my hometown DC area, I would probably be a season ticket holder. I know times are tough and you don’t owe the team or Ted Leonsis anything but to be a fan means hanging on through bad times. In Chicago right now there is a ten year waiting list for Blackhawks tickets. They sell out every game and playoff tickets run $120 on StubHub for standing room only. A few years ago, they were playing in front of an empty building. They were in the midst of a 40 year Stanley Cup drought and the fan base was miserable. Things can change vey quickly in sports. The foundation is there and I believe that as long as Ovi and Backy are here the Caps can be very successful. Those season ticket holders who give up their seats now could find themselves on the outside regretting leaving.

  • John

    Ticket prices didn’t go up this year but you are spot on about them ramping up quickly. I believe the largest increase came from 08-09 season to the 09-10 season. My tickets are in section 117 and they went up from like $65 to like $75 per seat per game (don’t quote me, but this is just from memory).

  • Diller M

    I love RMNB, the caps, and this community. I respect Eric for his decision, however I believe that ownership is legitimately doing the best they can. Being a teacher and living out of town I’ve never owned season tickets, but the pain is as real throught the computer speakers as it is up close. In conclusion, I think Ted will get us to the promised land, I will be there through thick and thin, and if anyone is tired of going to every home game, I will be happy to take donated season tickets.

  • Mike

    I just bought tickets in section 426. Hopefully they can turn it around

  • Diller M

    Sadly I think the false fans are actually good for the team overall. False fans support the bottom line which allows for max spending every season. I’m fine with false fans as long as they bring their real wallets. Plus I don’t wanna go back to having more pens and flyers fans than caps fans at home games. Those days were so sad

  • Greg

    My biggest problem with Eric’s decision is that hockey, like any other sport, is entertainment. The real value isn’t in how well the team is playing, but in the enjoyment of going to the games. And in this case, the quality time spent with his son and the memories he was building would seem to me to be more important than how the team was doing. All of his highlights mentioned at the beginning of the piece involved his son…yet his decision to not renew his tickets was all about the team. To me, the opportunity to have those experiences and memories with my son would be worth a lot more than how the team was doing.

  • 70Caps
  • JH

    Wow that is lame. He recounts all these wonderful moments and then essentially says there won’t be any great moments anymore. Really? If you love the sport of hockey, you don’t have this attitude. Yeah, sure, sometimes you look at the cost and it’s not worth it because you have other spending priorities – fine. And I get that it’s hard to pay money to watch a truly crappy cellar-dweller team. But the Caps are not that.

    But overall, dude – what a steaming pile of hopelessness. I find hockey entertaining. I find live hockey more entertaining. I find Ovechkin to be immensely entertaining. And that is regardless of the W-L record.

    Go spend your money on the Redskins. There’s a sports franchise that’s really got it together.

  • OlietheGoalie

    I feel for the Caps staffer that had to write that e-mail. I’m sure he was saying as he typed it (or instead filled in Eric’s name in a form template), “look dude, I understand why you left. Just doing my job”.

    I hope Eric is one of many voicing their opinions. The Rock the Red drones will still be there, but even they have to start saying “wait, something is messed up with this team” by now, right? Not everyone can drink the Kool-Aid for this long.

  • Eric Bovim

    Greg: I guess, been there done that, hard to justify such an expense to watch such B- hockey.

  • Diller M

    this is totally Eric supporting Eric ……..anonymous indeed

  • Donnie

    I understand the frustration, but only one team wins the Cup each year. Deciding you don’t want the tickets any more as soon as you deem them to not be a true contender means you liked winning more than the actual team or the sport of hockey. I guess when they do win the Cup it will just mean more to those who stuck with them.

  • Anton Filatov

    I’m a long time reader of this blog, but first time poster.

    I am stunned by the general response to this post, even though this kind of “bandwagon” criticism surfaces every time fans of a team dare to do the only meaningful thing fans of a team can do to express dissatisfaction with the course the team is taking: vote with their wallets. Immediately, the shouts of “I’ve been a fan since…” and “You think this is bad, I was here when….” begin. This is a cookie cutter, non-thinking response.

    Eric’s money is his own. Eric’s time is his own. He does not owe the Capitals his support, and neither does any other fan. The team has to earn that support, through the quality of the on ice product, through community outreach, through just being good entertainment. When they earn that support, the players, the management, the ownership are all rewarded handsomely.

    Did the Capitals do enough this season to earn the support and loyalty of their fans? Eric thinks they did not, and I do not blame him in the least for it.

  • OlietheGoalie

    He’s spent $60k in about 5 years. That’s a lot of money. It’s not lame – it’s him saying enough is enough and he’ll watch from home. Fan of the sport or not, you can’t just blindly shell over your paycheck for an inferior product.

  • Eric Bovim

    It’s called: playoff failure for 4+ seasons and declining team.

  • Diller M

    Someone buy that man a drink!

  • j

    Remember that the bandwagon fan that becomes a bigger caps fan when they’re good is still infinitely better then the guy from Washington who roots for the Patriots or a team from another city for any reason. Stamp.

  • Nick Palastro

    I wonder how many of you who are saying ‘typical Caps fan’ are dropping the kind of cash he’s dropping… He’s got a family to support. Why the hell should he drop thousands and thousands of dollars on a lackluster, rather boring team to watch. Yes, they’ve become that to an extent. You people say that are a joke. Just because he’s not dropping a load of cash on a failing team does not mean he’s not a ‘true’ fan.

  • OlietheGoalie

    Agreed. No one should be forced to part with his money, even if it’s for the glorious sport of hockey. If Eric was saying “screw hockey I’m never watching a game again”, then I’d have a little issue with his thought process. BUT he’s saying “I don’t want to spend $10k a year anymore”, and I’m fine with that.

  • http://twitter.com/theonlyliston Liston Jackson

    Not be a jerk, but I live 1000 miles from DC, where I grew up. I root for the Caps by watching on Gamecenter Live and following fellow fans on twitter. If I’m lucky I make it to 2-3 games a year, usually only 1 at Verizon. It’s a little hard for me to see someone complaining about getting to watch their favorite team live every night, even if the team is struggling. Sorry, but there are plenty of fans who would kill to have season tickets but simply can’t afford it. If Eric wants to move on, so be it.

  • OlietheGoalie

    I agree with this statement, but I think the biggest factor is the $10k/year he was spending. If it was apparent he was still going to a game here and there then it wouldn’t sound like he was jumping the entire ship.

  • Diller M

    Peter I solomnly request that you take that letter with reasons to renew and dust it with your powers of hilariousness and repost it for all of your adoring readers.

  • CJR

    Feels very bandwagony, but I do agree on several points. One in particular, is his questioning of Leonsis as an owner. I personally don’t think the team is capable of winning with him involved. The Caps will never tell us who was actually in charge of the hiring of coaches since Leonsis took over, nor any player transactions.

    Ted has always been very clear that owning the Caps is a business venture first and foremost. He can lube the conversation and mention “trends,” “competing,” “Stanley Cup,” etc, but none of that matters until they actually win, and under Leonsis, they’ve come nowhere close. His interest in purchasing the Capitals was to later own the Verizon Center and the Wizards. It’s no secret he’s a basketball guy, and even the announcement about the fate of McPhee and Oates revolved around the Wizards and their schedule.

    The Caps fund the Wizards. Sure, Leonsis spends to the cap and I commend him on that, but I seriously doubt he’d be able to sell out the building without doing so. Again, it’s a business.

    Hunter and Oates just reek of poorly thought out ticket-centric hires. Calle, Kolzig, etc. “ooh a familiar face, cha-ching.”

  • JH

    I think that the OP is saying he’s *entitled* to a Stanley Cup winner. If that’s your attitude, you’re deluded.

  • Eric Bovim

    I bought these tickets when I could finally afford them. Now, I find that I cannot afford to fund mediocrity any
    longer.

  • Anton Filatov

    Andrew, you can’t think of any other reason why Eric would not have had tickets until 2008?

  • Eric Bovim

    Who is giving up? I am simply giving myself back my money and watching the games form home.

  • OlietheGoalie

    The OP feeling like he is entitled to a Cup is insane, I agree. However, him not wanting to spend thousands is also a smart move. I’m in the middle on this whole thing, I guess – if he wants to save money then so be it but don’t be a bandwagoner.

  • capsyoungguns

    Well I understand the frustration. And like the writer I also came to hockey and the Caps in 2008 (though through my son learning to play the sport). And I miss the glory days of Boudreau and the team going on offensive tears. Like so many of you I found Oates hockey the bardes of all to watch due it’s ineptitude and want to scream in frustration as the team slowly dwindles in effectiveness.

    But I see it as cyclical. The team won’t stay bad. Or rather mediocre. I am feeling more hopeful given that Oates has been fired (thank god), and changing GMs will change the direction and flavor of the team. Huge changes are coming. I hope that they are good changes.

    We actually changed our 400 seats from the corner to the center this season (this was the first time we attended a Select-a-Seat event) because I still love this team and I still love to attend hockey games.

    I may never see Ovi and Backstrom or Carlson and Alzner or Holtby raise a Cup in Washington. Though I have hope. But it doesn’t matter. Through thick or thin, I will stay true. I will always be a Caps fan.

  • JH

    The more I think about it, it’s really the grandstanding aspect of this that sticks in my craw. Fine, cancel your tickets – but then broadcast it to the universe and dump on the organization?

  • http://twitter.com/1bscarbro Benjamin Scarbro

    This is how I feel. http://youtu.be/eJWcVFsMqoY

  • Darrin Phillips

    Not sure what this says about me. Loyal to a fault? I’ve been a STH since 2001. Funny thing is I’m only about 15k more invested then Eric. I guess the two lockouts saved my wallet!

  • Shaun Phillips

    Yup. The few games we went to while we were in DC, almost all of the noise seemed to be coming from the upper section (where we were).

  • warriorinside

    I gave up my season tickets this year as well, but for different reasons. (1) Price, (2) time (hard to see a game on a work night when you get up at 5 AM and have close to an hour drive home after the game), and (3) I’ve really come to dislike the fans in the stands in the upper sections. Too much talking during the game, too much rude behavior, standing up, booing, and the fans of the other team are often more numerous and louder. It got old and it got to be a drag.

    Bottom line – live games stopped being worth what I was spending on them in money and time. The emotional investment is still there, but the stadium experience isn’t worth what you spend on it.

    That said – anyone else think Ted Leonsis needs to be kicked in the shins? I think he went ‘ooh shiny ‘ when the Wizards dropped into his lap, gave GMGM his head and went off to play with his new toy (the one he really wanted when he bought the Caps) and he’s only now going ‘hey wait where’d my money supply go?’ when the Caps went downhill and people stopped renewing.

  • fingerman

    If this guy doesn’t want to spend his money on the team anymore, that’s certainly his choice. And I agree with a lot of his analysis about how the team has been declining in recent years. Having said that, to say that going to hockey games only is satisfying if the team is a Cup contender is a little short-sighted. Being a sports fan is about the journey as much as the destination. Sure, the team laid some eggs this year. Sure, the building isn’t as electric as it was a couple years ago. But if you could attend Ovechkin’s four-goal game against Tampa Bay, or the comeback shootout win against Philly in December, or that crazy game (and loss) against LA late in the year, or the comeback on opening night against Calgary and not say, “That was a lot of fun, even if we’re not going to win the Stanley Cup this year” then maybe you’re not much of a fan.

  • Graham Fisher

    LOL at Varlamov being “perhaps” the worst trade of all when McPhee got an excellent return for an RFA who had a pending offer in Russia (if I remember correctly) and an NHL trade request. Unless he thought Varlamov was traded directly for Erat, which I wouldn’t put past a guy like this.
    I’ll still be in 412 so whatever.

  • Shaggy

    Why not find 2 or 3 families and split them, and continue your support?

    The thing for me is seeing a pic of your kid. My son is 5 and I will never forget this year, as he went from hating hockey and crying at the sight of a fight in the preseason, to knowing more about hockey at the end of the year than most of my family.

    It is one thing not being able to financially afford the tickets, another to give up on the team when they likely need the support now more than recent years. It was worth it to me to see a Caps fan being born in my family, and it may sound cheesy – but that was worth the cost to me this year.

  • capsyoungguns

    We splurged and got center club seats for two seasons and I’m grateful that one of those seasons was when the team was still dominant. It was a fun ride and the view was amazing.

    But we kept the 400s and sold them to friends and online. We knew, even before the team started to slide, that we would have to give them up.

  • Steve

    If you aren’t enjoying the games you’re paying 10k for a year the. There’s nothing wrong with sitting back at home and watching the games on tv like 99.9% of the rest of the fan base. Buy some individual tickets and go to a few games a year for fun. You don’t have to have your face touching the glass to have a good time at a hockey game.

    The guy can bitch about how the team is being managed all he wants. I do it with my friend every day. He’s not the one behind the bench or in George McPhee’s old office calling the shots. If he’s giving up on the team entirely then he should pack up his family and move to Chicago. At least we’re not toronto or edmonton or florida fans. Edmonton probably has more season ticket holders than the caps.

  • Jonathan Cribbs

    I give no quarter to impatient fans like this. Been going to Caps games since the late ’90s. Boston Red Sox fans didn’t bail en masse when it took them a freakin’ CENTURY to win a championship. It’s hard to win a Stanley Cup. And sometimes you have more competent and earnest teams/management than others. Sometimes you don’t. This column reminds me of a great column Tony Kornheiser wrote when the Caps were headed to the Stanley Cup. He wrote of “Tony’s Zamboni,” which he metaphorically drove around the ice helping people onto it. But as soon as the team lost, people would be leaping off it like it harbored the plague. Get over yourself. Seriously. Such a pathetic D.C. cliche.

  • Anton Filatov

    I’d say that’s Eric’s personal choice, just as it’s our personal choice to read his opinion and respond to it, or ignore it. And really, if the organization really is healthy, and the fans really are happy, would the opinions of one fan provoke such a response?

  • capsyoungguns

    That same fair-weather fan stereotype is found in nearly every franchise.

    And I believe that the team will turn it around. Not if. So you’re right that those seats will be impossible to get back. We know several people who have been STHs for all of the franchise’s history. These days don’t even come close to the dark days that they describe.

  • Shaun Phillips

    If I ever have kids, I can’t wait to take them to Caps and Wings games. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are my dad taking us to Joe Louis, Tiger Stadium, and the Silverdome. I can’t imagine having the opportunity to do that with my kid and giving it away.

  • fingerman

    Did you ever think of moving up and buying cheaper tickets? I have season tickets up top and they’re about one-fifth the cost of yours.

  • Anton Filatov

    Chris, what reasons would you give to stick with the team? I’m genuinely curious. If you were trying to convince someone new to hockey to root for the Caps, versus the other teams in the league, what arguments would you use?

  • Mike Bradford

    Despite the growth of the game, especially around the DC area, this is a very typical American reaction – win or I’m gone. Up here in Southern Ontario, people are paying tens of thousands of dollars (all the way up to 100k plus for a similar seat to yours) for yearly seat licenses at the ACC (granted its for everything but very few people are die hard Raptors fans) and they’re not even complaining. This is pathetic considering the Leafs are an abomination on ice and off it are biggest money leach in the NHL. Hell, people are paying upwards of $700 a package for 8 games, only 3 of which are guaranteed to be with Dale Hunter’s London Knights. The Caps have some of the most affordable tickets in the non sun belt/California area and you quit now. I respect you as a man but feel like you haven’t investigated the prospect pipeline and will be clamouring for your tickets again in 2-3 years time.

  • Eddie

    Right on, Eric.

  • Chip

    Stupidly I upgraded from 2 seats to 4 before this season hahah

  • Eddie

    We honestly can’t afford it. My wife has given up our seats in the 400s (she’s had them since she moved here in 1999) because of the outrageous price increases.

  • Eric Bovim

    at which time i may choose to grab tix off stubhub if worse comes to worse.

  • Anton Filatov

    usubscribe

  • Sarah

    That list is ridiculous. They totally forgot:
    1. Bloggers
    2. Bulldogs
    3. “Bailamos”
    4. Beagles
    5. Braden Holtby’s hair, although maybe only if you’re a female fan

  • Sarah

    Oh God, and Brouwer Rangers! How did I forget?

  • alchemistmuffin

    Look, I can understand the frustration. I felt the same way last year. I was pretty much ready to give up on this team. I started following the Caps around 2008 when the rise started and at the time, I did kind of feel like a bandwagon fan. And I kind of felt the same way again in 2013. But one thing that kept bringing me back to Capitals hockey is that this team has something unlike any other hockey team: personality.

    Watching other teams play, I just don’t get that kind of excitement. Take for instance this year’s Stanley Cup. I’m rooting for the Habs to win it all, because it’s the Canada’s only hope of getting the cup back. I did the extensive background research on the team, and I cheered with them as they won again, and again, and again, etc. But every time I watch a Habs game, I just don’t have the same feeling when watching the Capitals play. They lack the overall personality character that is close to human emotion. I just don’t have that emotional connection. The Habs feels too robotic and manufactured.

    Sure the Caps are in the dumps right now. It sucks, and lots of fans are mad at the owner for taking this long. But I know most of the fans who are mad right now are still loyal to the team. If they were not, they would have just abandoned the team after the season ended, just like this guest author. (Yes, I’m looking at you Eric and some fair weather fan) For those people, there is a team down North in steel town that are willing to take you in. As for me, I have my seatbelt fastened and ready to drive into the unknown future the team has. That’s what the true fan would do.

  • JackPFranco

    Fair weather fan…plain and simple. The tried and true will be there next year rocking the red!

  • Owen Johnson

    While I can understand why he did this as season tickets are expensive. But, despite all the shortcomings at the moment, this franchise is not terrible. Sure we had a bad season (coach’s fault: remedied) and have been on decline the last few years (GM’s fault: remedied). I’m not going to be too down on this team as to give up on them.
    If you want to look at a sports franchise to boycott, look no further than Ashburn. The only sports owner more evil than $nyder just got booted out of the NBA.

  • Sarah

    Mmmm… Kool-Aid.

  • Stefen

    Cake eater

  • Chip

    I think it’s easy for people who aren’t STH’s to critique another’s decision to cancel their ticket plan. While I think it’s the easy way out to brand Eric as nothing more than a fair-weather fan, I don’t see that as the case.

    I’ve been a season ticket holder for the past 3 seasons and upgraded from 2 SRO “seats” to 4 before this current season, costing me $2,500 per seat. Thankfully, I’m able to afford this and will continue to pay the money because I love my team and hanging out with my friends. Not everyone has the same luxuries that I do.

    When the team is struggling, like they were for most of this season, it was nearly impossible to find people to go to games and was almost impossible to sell them for face value. That’s just the reality. People can view it as “quitting on your team”, but why should you be forced to pay for a mediocre product just so you’re not labeled as “fair-weather”. If your teams management is doing something you don’t agree with, your best course of action is to speak with your wallet. To me, it has seemed rather obvious that Leonsis cares more about filling the seats during the season than how far the team goes in the playoffs.

    I *should* have cancelled my season tickets after ANOTHER lock out and sent a message to Ted and the other owners that they shouldn’t take fans for granted. Had they not gotten rid of McPhee and Oates, I probably would’ve cancelled after next season as protest.

    That said, I didn’t cancel my plan and I’ll be back at VC next season screaming along with everyone else. But don’t judge Eric just because he had the balls to let his wallet do the talking for the shortcomings of the ownership.

  • Owen Johnson

    I agree. Varly is probably the best player we’ve traded away recently, but there was a reason we traded him away. He lost the starting spot because he couldn’t stay healthy. It was the right move at the time. I’m fine with Holtby.

  • Can we do anything?

    Alright if we have enough cap for next year why don’t we bring in a player that will actually help? We can’t keep getting 3rd line players in the mid of their prime and expect them to become top 6 guys. I SAY WE TRY FOR NISKANEN. Shittsburgh won’t have enough cap to resign him along with orpik and I can’t see they let him go. Honestly Niskanen is playing like a mad man. Let’s just call up Ted right now and have him hire Laviolette for Coach and someone who knows how to GM then we sign Niskanen, BOOM our team has a 2nd defensive pairing that can play hockey

  • ThrowmetheWHIP

    He had the tickets since 2008, I’m sure he’s been a fan since before that. I get why he’s frustrated. I don’t agree with him but I certainly get it. I live with a die hard pens fan which is a team we haven’t beat in 2 seasons. It’s not fun but I’m addicted to hockey what can I say?

  • sean

    You have that backwards, my first Caps game was in 1975. I don’t begrudge your decision, it’s your money not mine. If you are a true Capsfan you have to know heartache and loss. You can’t get too high on them and you can’t get too low, that’s how I have managed being a fan for so long.

  • 117 fan

    I had season tickets in section 117 since 1999. I was a season ticket holder when the ticket reps still visited you at your seat, knew your name, and checked up on you. Now, you are just a number to them. I gave up my account this year for the the reasons I just stated, as well as many of the reasons this article covers as well.

  • RY

    That email made me laugh

  • Lawrence

    I gotta be honest, I don’t want this to come off too harsh but this is not a good outlook to have as a fan. It’s okay to have become a fan of the caps when they started winning, but to give up as soon as they start losing shows zero loyalty and defines the bandwagon fan. Ask your son what he thinks of the caps. I’m sure he would tell you he loves going to the games, loves spending time with you, and enjoys the whole experience. Most of his enjoyment shouldn’t come from the team winning, or you are doomed to never follow a team in any sport. Losing happens. 29 teams lose every single season, as a fan you have to learn how to lose. Very bad lesson to teach.

    See you when the caps start winning again.

  • Joey Diluzio

    You sound incredibly fair weathered right now. Being a fan of a team is realizing its not all sunshine and rainbows. You support your team no matter what. If you dont want to spend 10k per year, move to a cheaper location.

  • Amanda

    Being a fan is about more than just winning. This isn’t a team in ruins and to compare it to one is laughable. Have you even seen the Oilers?

  • borr

    So you’ve been an STH for six years and you’ve had enough. Fine. You’ve got better uses for your money. Fine. But your “letter” is frankly nothing more than grandstanding for attention. You want misery? I’ve been a full season ticket holder since 1974. That’s 40 years and counting. You think you’ve seen bad teams? Please. I watched Caps teams that would have had a hard time beating the Navy club team. And let’s not even get into the money aspect of 40 years of fandom. And while I can comfortably afford my tickets now, there were lots of years where I had to choose between the Caps and vacations or new furniture or a better car. But not once in all those years have I ever thought about giving up my tickets. The reason is that while I love the Caps, I love hockey even more. I love going to the games. I love watching the skill of the players and the passion with which they play the game. I love sitting with my fellow Caps fans and hearing the screams when a goal is scored or a better yet, a game is won. I’ve experienced a lot of ups and downs with the Caps over the decades, but I could never imagine not spending my winter evenings at the Cap Centre or Verizon because even if the Caps don’t win, I still got to see hockey being played by the best players in the world. Apparently, you only want to spend your dollars on a winner. That’s your prerogative and there are probably others like you. Hopefully, your seats will bet bought by not only a Caps fan, but a hockey fan as well.

  • JP Gornick

    Whoa…my last comment struck a nerve as it was quickly deleted.The internet is full of great information!

  • JenniferH

    I wonder what it says about me that I became a fan of the Caps during the the Hunter playoffs and it really hit into high gear during the Oates years? LOL! I’ve never actually seen them in their glory. I can’t wait until that moment comes!

  • Bilal

    lol same with me. I was more of a casual fan before (I was young, kay) 2011/2012′s and for some reason I freaking love this team even though they have gotten worse since then…….I’m like anti Bandwagon….

  • Jonah

    well as fans like anton said above, we only have one vote and thats with out wallets. i don’t see this as a fan saying “oh no look at me i no longer want to watch a not-presidents-trophy-winning hockey club pouty face pouty face” i see it as “i have seen this team be better, i have seen bad decisions take this team downhill, and i do not want to support these bad decisions.”
    as one man, there is not that Eric could do besides writing and making his grievances known.

  • Bucky Katt

    Exactly! Eric is not the only STH to give up tickets. I did as well as I could not justify paying that amount of money for the product Ted was putting on the ice. I even said so to my STH rep in a phone call. Absolutely no effort by guest services to work with me. Just emailed admonishments about what I would “lose” (for example access to playoff to 2014 playoff tickets…that caused me to have a good laugh). I was also temporarily locked out of my ticket account which resulted in email exchanges and phone calls. I also received an email stating that they ( caps ticket mgmt) understood I was not renewing due to “time” reasons which was never cited as a reason. I’ll watch from home on tv and keep up via this blog, japers and others….but I couldn’t justify the expense anymore based on the on ice product.

  • factoryofsadness

    I can see both sides of the argument here but I also think that when it comes down to it, DC sports have a worse owner than Ted that they should be dealing with.

  • alchemistmuffin

    Agreed. No matter how many oil changes they go through, every year, it breaks down. The whole team at this point, is a lemon.

  • alchemistmuffin

    Better yet, there is a seat with your name on it in Pittsburgh waiting for you. (Seriously, Pens far nothing but bandwagon just because of Crosby)

  • alchemistmuffin

    That’s the same feeling I have. Was bandwagon, now I’m just a loyal follower. No matter how much someone will try, I will never stop cheering for the Caps as long as I live, and forever hate the Waddling bipeds from Antarctica who lives in Pittsburgh for life.

  • Fickle

    You are the worst type of fan! Go watch the wiz they are winning right now.

  • GR in 430

    As a STH since 1998 and regular attendee since the mid-80s, I understand Eric’s position, but my seat partner and I decided to keep our seats for next year. I am just as disappointed in the team’s decline, but won’t bail unless the new management really turns me off.

    For those hammering Eric, please remember that, while expounding on message boards might be fun, the only REAL vote we fans get is with our wallets — the only leverage we have to change management attitudes is to stop spending money on the team. If enough folks stop buying tickets, bad food, beer and sweaters, management will definitely get the message. Whether the changes will be positive or not is another question (the food has gotten a tiny bit better).

    But not spending money doesn’t mean not being a fan. It means trying to change behavior via market forces. If I ever give up my seats, I’ll keep watching (and pontificating on message boards) and with the money I save I could buy a really nice 4K TV in a couple of years…

  • Barrett

    True, but if you watched the Pittsburgh-Columbus, NewYork-Philadelphia, Anaheim-Dallas, Colorado-Minnesota, St. Louis-Chicago, or San Jose-Los Angeles series….you would easily see how little personality/heart/determination/whatever-you-want-to-call-it the Capitals have had in recent years.

    I watched the Columbus Blue Jackets fight back from a 4-0 deficit in the 3rd period with under 10 minutes to score 3 goals, pull their goalie and still almost tie the game – which they had done multiple times that series.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • John Warner

    The amazing thing to me is that he’s rooted for the Caps for 6 years and doesn’t understand the basic principles of Caps fandom. This has been going on for 35 years, it didn’t just start with Ovi’s era. Every year (for the most part) the team is exciting and entertaining and then they break your heart in the playoffs. Didn’t he know what he was signing up for?

    The change is that this year they were downright boring or worse frustrating to watch. They’ll hopefully rectify that by hiring an actual coach instead of Ray Liotta’s stunt double and go back to entertaining. I’m never giving up!

  • John Warner

    Yes they went up quickly once the team got good under Ovi, but they were artificially low for ten years before that. It is after all a business. If you look around the league, the Caps were still one of the best values price wise compared to any of their rivals.

  • Mike

    Smh, bandwagon fans

  • Lawrence

    Haha, that’s pretty funny, you missed some good years there. I’ve always believed that its not when you become a fan that defines your fan-hood, its when and how you decide to leave that determines if you were a bandwagoner or a loyal fan.

    I think a big reason there is so much negativity involving the poster’s decision has little to do with not being a season ticket owner if it was because of money reasons or enjoyment, but he based his argument on the fact they are losing and is trying to “get back” at the owner. Well guess what pal, your seats will be filled and hopefully it won’t be with someone who is a bandwagoner.

  • Dark Stranger

    I myself am keeping my season tickets. In my case, I have held them since 2008 (getting 6 games and 3 game plans) and then upgrading to full Season TIckets. I was a fan of the team since 1975 and would attend about 10 games a year, on weekends only. Then when the kids came along and got involved in activities, my game going ceased but once they grew up, I was back.

    And while the fan who posted his article could be considered a fair weather fan, he’s one symptom of a growing problem. I’ve seen some very upset fans over the last two year. I’ve heard of some (very) long term season ticket holders (including a blogger) give up his tickets — the recent lockout turned him off. Between the lockout and getting disgusted with behavior of the management, I’ve seen about 4 fans (still living in DC) who changed their allegiance to the Carolina Hurricanes. The couple in front of me at games, who have been STH for 30 plus years were threatening to make this coming year their last year if GMGM wasn’t fired. And, in a final indignity, a long term fan (who I met) who’s been a loyal Caps fan since the 70′s, even after living in Florida and then living in California, was threatening to give up the Caps and become a Free Agent fan if changes weren’t made. So, the signs of our fan base are not good.

    I’ll likely stick with my Caps season tickets, until the price becomes too much, and/or I lose my job. I know that I could not renew if I were retired and the cost of 2 season tickets reaches 10K or beyond

  • Seth Malaguerra

    I bailed on my share of an STH plan before last season started. I don’t really care what was going on in the locker room, coach’s office, front office, between Leonsis’s ears. Bottom line is the on-ice product stank. Not going to spend money on it til the Caps show up again on the ice. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

  • John Warner

    That’s fine, but don’t expect the rest of us to be lining up with a handkerchief to console you. When you write something like this in a public forum, it makes all Caps fans look like bandwagoners (which we are not).

    It’s your right not to continue to pay for season tickets. This season sucked. You didn’t have fun. I don’t begrudge you for giving them up (in fact it’s probably the right decision). But why would you write some missive about how much you suffered? It’s insulting to Caps fans that have paid much more money than you and suffered through far longer periods of disappoint and disillusionment with this franchise.

  • Kelli

    Thanks for taking your time to write this article. As you can see we are all passionate about our Caps. Giving up your STH was a good choice for you. I invested in NHL Gamecenter and loove it–much cheaper than season tickets. I’m glad they brought you good memories though.

  • JP Gornick

    There was another after that…I had three comments total.

  • Chris Cerullo

    First of all, former season ticket holders are not “new to hockey”. Secondly, they should not have to give reasons. Thirdly, I don’t believe in convincing anyone new to the sport to root for my team. That should be a natural choice made with their own reasons.

  • John Warner

    Braden’s hair is universally loved. Straight men bow in its presence.

  • Phil Owen

    TL:DR
    Yet another example of what society has become. Who gives a steaming piece of fecal matter whether one individual has decided to not purchase season tickets?

    Kids, I strongly urge you to not buy into the notion of “if you don’t succeed you suck.” I support the OP’s decision to not renew his season tickets. I’m wholeheartedly opposed to a relatively well-read blog providing a platform for the OP to whine. Seriously, dude – buy or don’t buy your tickets. The rest of the world could give a shit.

    You are most welcome to adopt whichever teams strike your fancy. You can choose to purchase tickets or not. But this attitude of entitlement has to go. All you’re owed when you purchase season tickets is the ability to attend games and sit in the same seat every time. It’s foolish to base your ticket purchase decision on outcomes. You have zero control over anything that happens on the ice. Buy tickets for whatever reason makes sense, but shut your piehole if you feel a need to rationalize or justify your decision.

  • Nolz

    To some up this article… Wah

  • Anton Filatov

    Chris, you may have noticed that there were two separate questions in my response. Your “first of all” point is thus moot.

    Your third point is well taken.

    As far as your “secondly”, I invite you take another look at the amount of money Eric mentions paying for tickets, and then reconsider your response. Alternatively, if you do know of a way to get tens of thousands of dollars from people without giving reasons for it, please share it.

  • Jeff See

    Nice life lesson for your boy – “When the going gets tough, just bail out”.

  • Max Otis Mulitz

    lol. You can be a fan and not be obligated to invest 10k in a shitty product. Saying “Im a Bruins fan now” would be not supporting the team, not donating 10k to watch bad hockey is totally reasonable.

  • alchemistmuffin

    I have to disagree. All those series, I see little personality from all those playoff teams. They look so robotic, their playoff effort looks so manufactured most of the game. As I type this and watch the Rangers Flyers play, I don’t see the same level of heart the Capitals have during the playoffs. (Except last year Game 7) For example, 2012 playoffs against Bruins. I have never seen a team with with that much heart and guts in the playoffs. That was the point that made me stick with the Capitals for life regardless of what happens.

  • Jayleigh

    I understand the necessity of saving the money because he feels it’s being wasted on something he’s not enjoying anymore. That’s an intelligent decision for his personal finances. We grow up, have families, and financially our priorities change. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    But…

    I have an honest question for Eric. What’s the point in going public with your decision? Seems to me it’s just a way to stick it to the team on your way out the door. If you got guaranteed seats–center ice near the glass–at games all season long every season you paid for them, then you got exactly what you paid for. You were never guaranteed a win or a cup with those seats. If I still lived in the area I’d buy those seats off of you for 2014-15. In a heartbeat.

  • Harjot Singh

    I wasn’t going to renew my season tickets if Oatesy didn’t get fired sooo. Yeah. But in my defense my and my dad have had season tickets since 2002 so yeah

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I’m not a big moral panic guy, but I’d saying not reading the article and then commenting anyway is a worse indicator of society. Maybe that’s just me.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Sometimes DISQUS can be flakey sometimes. Be patient.

  • Lisa

    The reaction to this post is interesting. I’ve been a Caps fan since the 90s and a STH since the early 2000s. I’m also spending 10k to watch the sport I love and have questioned the value of this, especially in recent years.

    This has nothing to do with my Caps fandom, which is deeply rooted, it has to do with having a finite entertainment budget and whether I’m deriving enough enjoyment out of what I’m spending per season. For this reason, it’s hard for me to judge since there’s no denying the team hasn’t been much fun to watch. And frankly, the blaring music, crappy food, and annoying product endorsements are more bothersome when the on-ice product sucks.

    After considering StubHub as a viable alternative, I decided to renew for another year but it’s getting harder to justify, without moving to cheaper seats or selling more games, which is difficult to do since the secondary market is abysmal. I’ll never stop loving the Caps or live hockey but there are limits.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    sum

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Low blow. I think you can find a way to disagree without impugning the author’s parenting, rather cheaply.

  • Phil Owen

    It’s the text equivalent of food pictures on Facebook. Who cares? It’s all “Look at me, I’m disappointed, blah blah blah.” The societal erosion component is many people’s belief that their moment of angst is worthy of commemoration.

    NOBODY CARES. Buy tickets or don’t buy tickets, but don’t launch into a passionate speech about it on the Metro or in line at Costco.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    You’re leaving a lot of comments for a person who does not care.

  • Tony Fajardo

    as much as i hate to say it i cant disagree with you on this. and its the frustrating thing about fandom we have no real say outside of the almighty dollar.

  • Hoping not to lose my shirt

    Would one of you non band wagon fans like to buy our Sts in 111. we were not as bold as EB, but the reality is the fun factor has gone down significantly and 125 per seat per game is too much to watch bad hockey.

  • Phil Owen

    Interesting. Never knew two (now three) constituted “a lot.” I care not one iota whether any individual chooses to purchase/not purchase Caps season tickets.

    If the gentleman who wrote the original post claimed he was no longer purchasing season tickets because he could no longer afford them, or because he decided to contribute that money to charity, would it have risen to the level of a guest post on RMNB? I doubt it. All I’m attempting (poorly) to say is that the decision to publish that whine bears a faint muckraking odor. I’m willing to bet there are numerous people who’ve decided to give up their season tickets for many different reasons, just as there are numerous people who’ve decided that now is the time to try to purchase season tickets for the first time.

    I’m glad the playoffs are progressing so we can all see which teams suck, since there’s really only one team per season that doesn’t. (Sarcasm)

  • BANANA_HANDS

    Now you’re being silly. It’s not like you wrote this to explain how you’re giving up your seats for economic reasons. You have tied it directly to the performance of the team. So, his point stands.

    And to his point, think about LA. Imagine being a Kings fan prior to the 2011-2012 season; hell, imagine being an LA fan when they had Gretzky and still didn’t win a Cup.

    If you’re not willing to take the good with the bad, then you’re probably better off not following the Caps.

  • Amy Natterson Kroll

    Well, I can say from 4 years of sitting next to Eric that he is ANYTHING but a fairweather fan. That being said, what I really will miss is his extremely intelligent (and sometimes very salty) commentary on the game. So, I think, Eric, you owe us regular contributions to RMNB in lieu of game time commentary.

  • Marc77

    Sounds more like you were investing in the Caps…expecting some return on your 10K per year. I feel sorry for you.
    My kid was born in January of 2013 and I can’t wait for the day I take him to his first game. I have seats up in 431 and I love them. I support this team through thick and thin, just as I have since the white-out days at Caps Center. And I love hockey. I managed to get to about 10 games this season due to fatherly duties, but prior to my kid being born I pretty much went to them all. Next season I am splitting my tickets with a friend for financial reasons, but “mediocrity” is hardly a reason to jump ship. If you’re in the 100′s they will find you seats up top if you’re a true fan. Doesn’t sound like you are.

  • Jeff See

    Truth; now known as a “low blow”. The man even admitted how it upset his son. I wasn’t speaking to the entirety of his parenting, just this particular incident.

    Anything else I can help you with?

  • VirginiaPatriot

    In college in the fall of 1975 I took a job at the Capitol Centre so I could hopefully see the games (since I was paying my own way through college and could not afford tickets). A couple seasons ago I had to give up my season tickets because of economic reasons. I’ll grab tickets to a game when I can afford it. I wish I still had the ability to be a STH. Being a fan is like a marriage. I’ve been married 37 years, through good and bad times. Been a Caps fan for 40 years, through many bad times, but plenty of good times. I am glad we are losing this type of “bandwagon” fan.

  • Diller M

    I disagree, while perhaps not the most poetic language, he has a point. This is not a great example, but the attitude that quitting on something when it is not going your way is rampant today. I’m constantly surrounded by kids who quit everything from sports to class when something doesn’t go their way and they learn this behavior from their parents. Now we don’t know how the situation went down, maybe he explained his decision to his son in a different way, but if the conversation went something like the letter, then I think that Jeff has a point.

  • Geez

    Blah blah, amazing memories with my son, blah blah. Lets end a tradition your child cherishes because of what again? Just say you can’t afford the tickets anymore, nothing wrong with that they are uber expensive.

  • Diller M

    What shortcomings of ownership? Is the fan experience at VC bad? Nope. Is the team consistently in the toilet? Nope. Is the owner aloof and shut off from the public? Maybe a little, but ownership is largely accessible when compared to others in sports. I understand that the Caps have not grout home a cup, but the ownership you fault has transformed DC into a legit hockey town, I don’t believe this would have happened with another owner. This owner leverages anything he can to get the teams in the public eye and make money which is then reinvested in the team. Ted is not making tons of money here, and yes prices have gone up but so have costs. Ticket prices will ALWAYS go up along with the salary cap that’s how the CBA is structured.

    A poor owner will raise prices and not reinvest, or will spend to the floor and not worry about the product, NYI, FLA. if there is one problem with ownership they had faith in a guy who helped them rebuild a franchise and a fan base that had eroded throughout the 90s, despite on Ice success. If that is the one fault of my owner sign me up.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Or perhaps he’s teaching his son the value of a dollar, or about when to take a stand on principle, or not to throw good money after bad.

    We don’t know, and we shouldn’t speculate. You can disagree with the author, but it’s cavalier and arrogant to say his decision to cancel his STH means he’s a bad parent.

  • Jedi74

    I love the Caps and always will. But, I also know that it’s hard to pay for something and not feel you are getting your money’s worth. Fiercely loyal doesn’t mean fiscally stupid.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Well the whole new to hockey thing is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand anyway. The reason I stated “That’s hilarious to me” is I could come up with about 50 counterpoints to all of those “good” things they mentioned. The team is not in a good spot right now and they cannot expect fans to be jumping at the bit to renew their plans although, I’m not saying deserting your team is a viable option.

  • Mike Lunsford

    Even if they are “disappointing,” I will still go see them play. I will take my 5 year old son to a game. I want them to win a Cup more than I want any other DC team to succeed. For crying out loud, whatever happened to loyalty? Maybe my attachments to sports teams are different than yours, but regardless of how many times they break my heart, I always come back because they are MY team. The emotional investment pays off if they end up winning a Cup. It paid off when I got to go to my only game this year (when they played the Blues) and they scored 3 in the first period! I get it, season tickets cost a lot of money…but come on man. This post just makes you look like a fair weather fan.

  • Mike Lunsford

    WOW. This is dead on.

  • Myles

    My problem with Eric’s missive is not about bandwagoning – I have no idea what his fandom history is. Instead I find it arrogant and grandstanding. Every caps fan – especially those on fan forums – invests in the Caps, whether it’s a STH, NHL Gamecenter watcher, stubhubber or just an apparel purchaser. The decision on whether to continue to “invest” is purely personal. The idea you need to publicly rehash all the problems of this year that led to you canceling your tickets reeks of self-serving publicity hounding – “look at me, I’m making a statement by canceling $10k seats.” No one cares about your opinion when it comes to making a very personal decision of how much to invest in this team. I’m sorry your 10k seats no longer have rich-man coolness to them. Go complain about $300/bottle wines at a food blog. We won’t miss you at Verizon Center next year.

  • cobra617

    Best reply of the night.

  • Progny

    I agree that it’s not fair to rag too much on the ticket rep for doing his job, but he should really come up with some better bullet points. The final point about the Winter Classic was the only one that resembled a rational thought.

  • Sam

    I have a legitimate question, how many of Ovi’s goals were off the power play? I just ask cause though his job is to score goals, a lot of them aren’t off him making plays, its just someone delivering good passes to him. I think that’s why Beagle was put on the top line cause Oates figured anyone could give Ovi a nice pass to score, he was wrong obviously but it shows he can score on the PP from his spot with the help of a precision pass, other than that he is useless. He didn’t score 50 goals, the team did cause they never would have happened without them.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    If I had the money and still lived in DC I would. I prefer the upper levels anyways. Better view of the play. Don’t need to spend that much money on ice level tickets. Some of the coolest STH are in the upper levels. Sat next to some real fans that have been STH since the beginning when I was at the Backstrom OTGWG game against Montreal.

    They aren’t concerned with being on TV twanging on the glass or picking their nose behind the coach or the status of sitting close to the ice. They are there to support their team through thick and thin.

    I love this team. I have supported the Nats and Redskins through shit years and will support this team through shit years.

  • http://www.twitch.tv/barrowsboy Andrew

    Sorry but this is bullshit. It’s your money you spent it, buyer’s remorse is a bitch, but a real Caps fan isn’t the guy who drops cash, it’s the guy who watches every game from home on his small tv cause he can’t afford game tickets. We won’t miss you. All this stuff you’re saying is typical. Don’t expect us to be loud when our team is losing. Don’t expect a team to be winning constantly.

    RMNB, shame on you for sharing this, this is pathetic. Maybe you posted this as an example of the people us true Caps fans aren’t, even then this guy doesn’t deserve all the negative attention.

  • Skibrent

    Eric, if money is your issue, then I have no quarrel with your reasoning. However, if money isn’t an issue then move along. I am so sick of the attitude that is festering among Caps’ fans that the team is some kind of abhorrent failure. Puhlease. We missed the playoffs by 2 wins. Hell, 3 more wins would have put us in 5th place. We saw some uninspired mediocre play this year, but also saw glimpses of grit and brilliance that shows that we have the core to compete for a Cup (see 3-game late-season West-Coast swing). There is a ton of parity in the NHL these days and it is hard to stay consistent year-in and year-out. Yet the Caps have done it with 6 straight seasons in the playoffs . . . one of only 5 current teams to accomplish that feat. To abandon after 1 missed playoffs by a very thin margin is an absurd overreaction . . . especially when their problems seem to lie more with coaching and inconsistency than a lack of talent. Both of these issues can and will hopefully be remedied. Case in point is the Colorado Avs who went from a hopeless 29th in the league last year to a division winner this year with a change in coaching. In the meantime, 8 more teams were shown the door this week. Were their seasons so significantly better than ours because they got to play another few weeks and still end in the same disappointment as us?
    However, my bigger issue is that your choice deprives your son of not only the wonderful experience of attending live games, but the experience of attending them with his father. I am 47 years old and began attending games with my Dad in the first season back in 1974-1975. Yes, we’re one of those annoying “STH’s since day 1.” I cherished going to those games as a kid, even though I saw 8-win and 12-win seasons and plenty of games where the Caps lost by as many as 12 goals. I remember one game against Montreal during the first season where 5 Caps went off for a line-change and nobody went on and Montreal had a 5 to 0 breakaway! Classic. But we stuck with the team and I grew up going with my Dad to games. In the early 2000s, I took over the season tickets. We are in Section 100 and I am paying through the frickin’ nose. But now I have three teenage daughters who have grown up going to games with me and those experiences and memories have been priceless regardless of the game outcomes. It would never occur to me to give up my seats no matter what decisions management makes that turn out to be awful in 20-20 hindsight. We (me and my daughters) love the Caps, love going to hockey games, love sharing the experience together and start each season with the hopeful delusion that this will be the year. For those reasons, I get my money’s worth every year no matter what. In fact, this season BECAUSE of the mediocre play, I actually didn’t mind that we didn’t make the playoffs. It saved me some money and will hopefully give the team a solid reason to regroup and come back with renewed focus. Methinks you think too much.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    We posted this because there are many opinions out there, and this one is important and indicative. The various degrees of freakouts are important too. This is a tumultuous time. You don’t have to agree with the guy.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Dear RMNB, please don’t post these. Being a season ticket holder since the Caps became a cup contender, then bailing when they didn’t make the playoffs for the first time in 4 year is NOT a damning statement.

    There are people who have been season ticket holders for over 30 years who will not give up because of one bad year. I have been a caps fan for a while now, but not as long as I have been a Redskins fan. I am only 27 years old, so I was too young to remember the last time the Redskins were truly a good tea,. Yet I root for them every year and every game. Just as I will do for the Captials, the Nationals, and the Texas A&M Aggies…

    When I spent the money to travel to Dallas and watch the Caps inevitably lose in an utterly boring fashion, I was asked by Dallas fans as to whether I was mad. I wasn’t, I was disappointed we lost but I was able to watch my team play the greatest sport on ice and see some of the greatest players in the world. It was but a tear drop in the trail of tears that was this season. If the caps had another game in Dallas before the season was over, I would have gone again.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I don’t think any reasonable person reads this as a condemnation of STHs. This is one person’s opinion and gauging by the conversation, it’s got merit.

  • BondraOvie412

    Rock the red…from your bleeding heart lol. We could be Toronto!

  • Jeff Smith

    Anytime I read “I’ve been a season ticket holder the past 6-7 years” , back during the magical seasons we had. But now I’m not renewing, I say good riddance. The dude never experienced the seasons where maybe 11k seats were full, where I could get 19 tickets in a group down in middle 100s for a great price for a great time with co-workers. You couldn’t even give away tickets back then.
    Please please please all the bandwagoners don’t renew, write your dumb letters to Ted, let the true true Caps fans who know that the Caps used to play in black jerseys among other things take your tickets.

  • Chelsea Winot

    I agree with most of the comments, rather than this letter. I used to have AHL season tickets to a team that wasn’t my primary team just out of love for the game (and location), then they changed teams (not uncommon in the AHL). I wish I had the luxury of living close to Hershey or DC so I could go to games more than once a year. That being said, from that perspective I have no sympathy.

    I’ve sat in 111 at Verizon so I know how expensive one game is, a whole season is obviously more of an investment. I can totally get someone saying “100 level is too much for me” or “life changes mean I can’t afford season tickets anymore” or even “I’m downgrading to a partial ticket plan” but this sounded more like “I only pay to see winning teams”.

    Let’s take money out of the equation for a second. Season tickets should be about love for your team, not performance. You shouldn’t get season tickets solely for the status of saying “I got to see my team win a championship”, you get them to say “I love this team”.

  • Chelsea Winot

    On a side note: tiny hockey fans in tiny hockey sweaters makes me happy. Love the picture.

  • Bucky Katt

    Depends on how you define “value”. Recent study of all professional teams looked at teams success and dollars expended. Caps were not anywhere near the top.

  • Daniel Walker

    “Great talent in the pipeline like Michael Latta?” Haha. Reminds me of the O’s after Cal retired when they tried to promote Jay Gibbons as the next Orioles great. Management is defiantly grasping for straws with that one. That being said….. The guy who wrote this is not a real Caps fan. He is a fan of winning and as a fan of winning, it makes perfect sense that he drop this team like a bad habit. We haven’t won for 40 years and if we do ever trip and fall into success, I don’t want to share any of the glory with these types of guys. Might I suggest the Yankees?

  • Chris Cherry

    My thoughts are (even if the team sucks right now), if you can still afford the tickets, it is a tradition that you and your son can enjoy together. The actual game and team performance should only be a small portion of it.

    If I had the opportunity to take my son regularly to hockey games, I would not care how the team was doing – it would be for the experience for my boy! He’ll remember you for it long after you are gone.

    They’ll come out of this, and when they do, you’ll be on the sidelines without the fun of bonding with your son at the events.

    I simply can’t be an STH, since I live in PA and it’s a 3 hour drive to get there. Once in a while we will go, but more often than not, we sit at home for the games – but we don’t miss a single one.

  • VeggieTart

    There are still too many Pens/Flyers/Rangers fans at the game. It’s really depressing when the only way you can tell who scored is the siren going off.

  • Scooter254

    LOL!!! All these people complaining lately are the same ones that don’t know what the US Air Arena is!!!

  • VeggieTart

    I became a hockey fan in the mid 1990s in San Jose (and oh, my goodness, they sucked horrifically two of the three years I lived there), sort of fell out of hockey after the 2004 lockout, and then got back into it in late 2009. I’ve been through the ups and downs and hope I never have to go to a game 7 in which the Caps are playing (they’ve lost all three). I love the mechanics of the game, even though there were times this season when it was utterly painful to watch. But I’ll still go because, hey, it’s worth it.

  • VeggieTart

    6. Braden Holtby’s superstitions. If you get there as doors open, you can see him meditating on the bench on days he’s scheduled to start.

  • Scooter254

    Did you get your Season Tickets for the Wizards next year???

  • Phil

    I tend to agree. I’m a huge caps fan just like everyone else, but to me this sounds like it was a tradition for him and his son mainly. “Oops sorry the caps suck now so we’re not going to any more games son. I can’t possibly see spending money going out and spending time with you if we’re going to watch someone lose. If they’re not winning then its not worth dragging you to a game.” That’s basically all I got from this drivel.

  • John Warner

    Your point is well taken. I was basing my statement on entertainment as “value.” Personally, I would much prefer to watch the Boudreau era Caps even if they never won a Cup than the ’90s era Devils. At least then I would know that nearly every game I went to would be exciting and the atmosphere would be electric. IMHO the entertainment value is flat out better. I am content that they never won a Cup (even though it was painful) because they reminded me of the reasons why hockey is the greatest, most fun sport on earth. However, I understand that not all fans share that feeling or have that perspective.

  • CJ

    This article aggravates me to no end. I’m glad you guys here posted it because it should remind the fan-base that everyone gets to have their own view of the Caps and some are both cynical and fair-weather. He criticizes Ted Leonsis for taking “too long” (less than 1 week) to fire both GMGM and Oates yet states that Ted was reluctant to fire BB and then agrees that it was in the end the it was a bad decision. So you have a problem with the owner being careful and professional as well as extending a courtesy to his employees by actually thinking his decision through? Where is the problem with that? Many of us knew these changes needed to be made months ago but we are the fans and he is the owner, he has other people to rely on for that work.

    Also just as a point of fact, there is a quote from Mark Cuban I absolutely love and applies to all sports franchise owners as well as big businessmen. “The most valuable asset a man in my position has is not influence, money, or power. It’s time. My time is expensive.” This applies to Ted as well and he didn’t become a billionaire by owning the Caps. He spends his time with his business and running it.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    THANK YOU

  • Eric Bovim

    Changes needed to be made a month ago? Really CJ? Not after it was apparent this team needed retooling after the epic ’10 collapse?

  • Eric Bovim

    Myles – Your ad hominem attacks betray your ignorance. My decision resides solely in my dissatisfaction with the trajectory of the team. Period. I don’t need publicity. Rich-man coolness? What is that?
    Ps- in my experience $300 wines are rarely complaint-worthy.

  • Eric Bovim

    I can afford the tickets. I cannot afford to fiscally stupid by paying for a sub par product any longer.

  • Eric Bovim

    True fan? You don’t know me well so please do not make snap judgments.
    Investment in the Caps? Damn right. I spend a lot of time and money. Was it worth it? Read the piece. Yes. Do I value the investment as much looking ahead at the future? No. I’d rather be at home with my little girls instead of watching the Caps play like ones.

  • Eric Bovim

    Amen Amy!

  • Eric Bovim

    I went public to try and make clear to MGMT what is in the minds of people like me right now. And that is: you are putting an inferior product on the ice and it’s not worth my precious time and $$ anymore. Get it fixed before more fans walk away. Period.

  • Eric Bovim

    Jeff – Your ignorance is in plain sight. My son plays competitive hockey and soccer. I am teaching him a valuable lesson: invest your time wisely.

  • Jokey McGee

    Betrays his lack of his real understanding of the team with his criticism of the Varly trade–GMGM had two options: 1) let Varly leave for the KHL, get nothing in return 2) try to get something in return for a guy who other teams knew was leaving the Caps anyways. That he got a 1st rounder for the guy is probably one of the BEST lines on his resume, not one of the worst.

    I look forward to his return as a STH the year after the next time the team makes a playoff run.

  • Adam Schwager

    Varlamov was GMGMs worst trade? Varly said he was either traded or going to the KHL. We traded THE RIGHTS to a player we were going to lose for a first round draft pick which turned out to be a top 3 prospect. What happened after that, well…

  • Myles

    There you go using big latin words to make my point. We get it – you’re smart, rich, got a cute kid and not happy that you’re not watching “winning” hockey anymore! Now go find something else to do with those attributes – in private. Caps fan base don’t need your perspective. We’re busy trying to speculate on the next GM and coaching staf..

  • Eric Bovim

    which we traded for Martin Erat which we traded for…..AHL players.

  • Eric Bovim

    Daniel: So you are NOT a fan of winning? Otherwise, that is called a masochist.

  • Eric Bovim

    So I should blindly fund the team in order to support them. This is illogical.

  • Marc77

    Of course you would rather be home with your little girls – it’s the same reason I went to fewer games this year. But had the Caps had a better season you would have kept your tickets and your little girls would continue to wonder where daddy was all the time. So that argument is bogus. Truth is, you jumped on board when the team started doing well and expected, in return for your money, that you would continue to get a good return (i.e. wins). The second your stock hit a snag you dumped it.

  • DashingDave314

    I hope his seats go to someone who will enjoy them more than him. Eric, if you don’t mind me asking, are you going to stop going to games altogether? I’m not calling your parenting into question, it sure sounds like you love your son a lot, but if you and your son can bond over hockey, do it.

  • Jayisthemac

    Wow — I’m pretty surprised at all of the “typical Caps fan” and “Bandwagon” comments here in response to Eric Bovim’s oped. So before I explain why this guy is a hero for turning in those season tickets, here’s a few facts about me:

    I’m 37 years old. I’ve been a Caps fan since I went to my first game – a 4-0 Caps loss to Buffalo at the Capital Center. Can’t remember the exact season, but I was six or seven years old and I still hear drunken Buffalo fans chanting “Hey Ho Buffalo” from the Liberty Bell lot in my nightmares. I listened to Ron Weber call the Caps seemingly annual playoff collapses against Billy Smith, Denis Potvin, and the rest of the Islanders in the time before cable television. When my family got cable tv….circa 1984….the only thing I cared about was Caps hockey on HTS. My baseball and soccer numbers were always my favorite Caps jerseys: 16 (Bengt Gustafsson), 10 (Bobby Carpenter) or 15 (Alan Haworth). To this day I watch/listen to every game every year. I’m a loyal fan and have been for 30 years.

    I purchased season tickets in 2007-2008. Why? Because I always wanted tickets; I was an adult and could afford the monthly installment plan; and the team was worth paying to watch on a nightly basis. The cost of two seats in section 433 started at a little over $3k per year. The total price increased almost $1,000 by 2012.

    So – I’m not a bandwagon fan. I actually remember Craig Laughlin playing in a Caps uniform and I remember the trade that sent him to LA in exchange Grant Ledyard. But I gave up my season tickets just like Eric Bovim because they dramatically decreased in value in 2012. I’m not speaking of resale value. I’m talking about the value proposition presented by the Caps. It simply didn’t equate to the ticket price – and I’m not even including ancillary costs of attending a game including transportation and dinner. You don’t think about it, but 41 round trips from Vienna Metro to Gallery Place is a substantial amount when you’re already paying an average of $2,500 a year for tickets. Throw in dinner and some drinks and hockey becomes an expensive addiction. And let’s not forget…season tickets don’t include playoff tickets. That’s another expense starting at about $1,000 for one round. That said, I’d have kept my tickets if the Caps had iced a good team (with a good coach). I may have even bought an additional ticket.

    The problem was that attending games went from being tons of fun to an utter chore under Boudreau 2.0 and Dale Hunter. I laugh my ass off every time I hear some boob (I’m looking at you Brooks Laich) say the Caps were closest to winning the Cup under Hunter. Literally? Maybe. They did make it to game 7 of round 2 against the Rangers. I’d argue they were closest in 2009 when they made it to game 7 against the Penguins in round 2. Regardless, anyone who thinks that team was close to a championship needs to go back and watch just how bad it was — blowing 2 goal leads with 5 minutes to play against Winnipeg while scrapping for a playoff spot and struggling to score more than 2 goals per game – every game. Fans, bloggers, and analysts complain about the shot differential this year! The Caps could barely muster 5 shots per period under Hunter. I don’t care one iota that they somehow managed to beat Boston. Blind squirrels find nuts. That team stunk and they still stink. Not only did that team stink, but sitting in the stands turned into an anxiety riddled hate fest. Nobody had fun that year and everyone was looking to unload their tickets because games just weren’t worth the effort or cost. Prior to 2012…win or lose…games were fun. That ended in 2012.

    The fact of the matter is, the Caps right now, are not worth the price of admission and they haven’t been for the last 3 years. We, as fans, gobbled up season tickets and sold out the Verizon Center when the team put a quality product on the ice. The quality of that product has diminished drastically and the best avenue for fans to show their displeasure is to not purchase season tickets. That’s not being a fair weather or bandwagon fan. It’s not failing to support your team. That’s being a smart consumer.

    Now, when the Caps ice a good team, I’ll again look into purchasing season tickets. But until then, it’s my obligation as a fan to let team ownership and management know that I’m not going to pay their price for their product until it’s fixed. This inane concept that good fans should buy season tickets regardless of whether a team is good or bad is absurd. It sends a clear message that the team must improve or revenue will decline. So, thank you Mr. Bovim. I wish more STHs in the expensive seats would follow your lead.

  • Jayisthemac

    What you’re not taking into consideration, Phil, is that the games simply weren’t fun anymore. You’re assuming the kid wanted to continue going to games. Both father and sun were probably full of anxiety on the edge of their seats waiting for the Caps to do something…anything…good every game. Instead, what they’e gotten for the last 3 years is a bad hockey team that could barely muster 20 shots on goal per game and could only score on the PP. That’s not fun to sit through 41 times a year. So yeah, if the team loses, the tradition becomes untenable.

  • DashingDave314

    If going to games feels like a chore to you, then by all means don’t go.

    I find the “good fans-intelligent fans” insult to be extremely disrespectful. If you don’t want people to throw around “typical Capitals fan” and “bandwagon fan”, it’s not wise to turn around and start talking about what a “good fan” is. Quite frankly, that sounds outright hypocritical.

    I bought Orioles seasons tickets back in 2008 because I loved the Baltimore Orioles. I guess that means that I’m not a “good fan”? I guess I should have waited until last year to support them with season tickets.

  • Jayisthemac

    I’m complaining – and I know that the US Air Arena was an unfortunate rebranding of the Capital Center.

  • DashingDave314

    Peter, will you be getting more perspectives from ST holders? I think it’s interesting to hear different perspectives.

  • Robert

    Yes, but don’t you think management is trying to do that anyway? Particularly after Oates and gmgm were let go, it seems pretty apparent that management understands there is a problem. If you don’t enjoy going to the games anymore, fine, but I don’t think your protest is informing management of anything they don’t already know.

  • DashingDave314

    That epic ’10 collapse where they significantly outshot the Canadiens but a goalie stood on his head? They did make changes and “retool” after that anomaly. They became more “defensively focused”. Those changes are the whole reason the Capitals are in this situation right now.

    Also, well stated CJ. Patience is an underrated virtue. Panicking gets you nowhere. There’s a huge difference between “panicking” and “acting quickly”.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    We read everything we get sent, but we don’t post it all. I’m all for equal time. I considered this an important voice, even if it’s in the minority, and one that had been under-represented here lately.

  • Jayisthemac

    Dave, I apologize to you – and anyone else I may have offended. My response was geared toward those comments that labeled Mr. Bovim as “a typical Caps fan” or a “bandwagon” fan. Whether he buys season tickets or doesn’t has nothing to do with whether or not he is a “loyal fan”. What it boils down to is the value of the tickets. The value has diminished and Mr. Bovim appropriately canceled his STH plan. If he enjoyed the game experience – complete with mediocre hockey – he no doubt would have renewed. But the man should not be attacked for taking an appropriate step to show his displeasure that something he and his family enjoyed has been devalued. I empathize with Mr. Bovim because I experienced first hand the decline in both the product on the ice and the atmosphere in the stands. It was drastic.

    As for your O’s tickets – you enjoy going to games regardless of the product on the field. That’s fine. The O’s value proposition met your expectations for price. I would, however, submit that fans who purchase season tickets (not individual game tickets) validate management decisions and contribute to prolonging the status quo. Fans have one option to affect how a team performs – and that’s how they spend their money.

    I’d be very interested to see the Caps STH renewal percentage this year. We’ve now had a coach and a GM fired (essentially). I’m curious if that is a direct reflection of an increase in non-renewals.

  • Jayleigh

    I guess I can see you’re point, but I don’t agree with it. You could have accomplished that just as effectively by writing a letter to management. I guess I come from a different perspective. I live in Columbus and the STH here for the Jackets maintain their seats for two primary reasons: they love the sport and they love the team, win or lose. We all know with the Jackets it has been traditionally on the lose side. They don’t take success for granted. They expect the worst and are elated with the best. They may moan and groan but they continue to support their team and maintain their seats because to them any live NHL game is a good time. Maybe in that respect I have an advantage being a Caps fan. I don’t take playoff appearances for granted because I live in Blue:Jacket territory and I know what it means to truly support a team. Through good times and bad.

  • Jayisthemac

    Dave – I reread my post and you’re right. I deleted a line as I think it was offensive.

  • DashingDave314

    I definitely agree. It’s good to hear the minority voice, even if I didn’t agree with it.

  • DashingDave314

    I agree. Don’t attack people for having a different point of view. I don’t agree with everything Eric said, but I respect him. Outright disgraceful that people attacked his parenting over his opinion. I just hope that if he and his kid bonded over hockey, that they continue to do so. It’ll be beneficial for both of them.

  • Chelsea Winot

    I’m completely logical, you just choose to cherry pick from my response because you don’t like the criticism. Your reasoning never once included “I’m spending too much money” it was all about how you don’t think the team will ever win again. You can’t suddenly bring up money like it is your deciding factor. People much less fortunate than you would be over the moon to have the opportunity you have to go to games, much less take a child. You don’t have to spend a dime on tickets ever again for all I care, but you opened yourself up for criticism by writing this. Your reasons for both getting and ceasing your season tickets are just shallow.

    But hey maybe it’s the fact I was raised in Red Sox territory where fans had to blindly wait for years for a series win. That’s how I view the being a fan. Again, not talking about money, but being a fairweather and only supporting performance says a lot about a fan.

  • Eric Bovim

    AMEN!!

  • HockeyCoachBen

    Having read through as many of these comments as I possibly could, I offer this…

    Is it not possible that a life-long fan waited until the team got to be a consistent cup contender…waited until the ownership and management made it look like they gave a crap about winning…before he/she invested in season tickets? I mean why invest your money and time into the team when the owner and management didn’t for so long? As soon as Ted, et al. cared enough to really invest in the team, many fans chose to do the same. Now that level is investment doesn’t seem to still be there, the fans’ investment is no longer there as well.

    That’s not ‘fair-weather’ at all. In other walks of life, that’s called smart investment.

    Look at it like this…how many can really say they owned shares of Apple stock when the company was tanking and nearly out of business? As soon as the management of the company started investing in quality & innovation, the stock sales rose. Makes sense, no? And if Apple tanks again, guess where stock ownership will go?!?! Down as well!

    But, me? I’m just the opposite…I loved going to games when tickets were cheap, the team sucked and the environment at games was much more casual and much more fun! As soon as the building started to fill up, I stopped going, because I saw a dramatic shift in how the team operated, how the team presented themselves to the public…and yes, the fans really no longer mattered. Only their money mattered. Sell out streaks and raising prices to maximize profits mattered. Actually winning…real winning, like Stanley Cups, was NEVER a priority. Selling the promise of a Stanley Cup without real investment means maximum profits. That was the goal all along.

    To me, the Caps & Leonsis are the ‘fair-weather’ lovers in this equation (for lack of a better term). Don’t call the fans ‘fair-weather’ for giving up their season tickets, regardless of how new they are to the game.

  • Matt Dorsey

    Sam, very few people score goals all by themselves. Ovi scored 24 PP goals, first in the league, but take them all away and he is still the Caps top goal scorer and one of the top 5 on 5 goal scorers in the league. And if anyone can just fire away and score, why aren’t they doing it? BTW, his 10 Game winning goals were second (leader had 11).

  • CadleCreek

    the question is why did it come down to trade me or I’m leaving.

  • CadleCreek

    Not sure where you live in PA, but there is some good hockey to be found for a lot less money in most parts of that state. Love getting to Johnstown over winter to watch the Tomahawks. With the cost of a hotel, travel and seats on the glass for 4 of us, it is still much less expensive than VC and great fun.

  • Cherry

    Hershey is our alternative, as it is only about 90 min away. My boy absolutely loves going to games with me.

    I don’t think I would be willing to take that away from him – or me for that matter, unless I could not afford it.

    If money is the real reason, then the OP is fine in my book. Basing it on team performance is another thing entirely. Things aren’t going to stay this way

    Right now I am enjoying taking him to his beginner hockey practices. So fun to watch.

  • CadleCreek

    we try and get to Hershey once a year at least. My son plays competitive hockey and just loves watching the game. We hit ‘AAA’ games and junior games when we can because we can sit right on the glass and see the speed and power up close. i priced it for a 10 gamer at VC near the glass and decided to take a cruise to Bermuda this summer instead.

  • Turnz H

    All arguments about the tenets of Caps fandom aside. He’s going to regret giving up those seats when the Caps are good again.

    I have a friend who gave up his 100 level tickets before the 2004-05 lockout for basically the same reasons… to this day regrets it.

  • boss

    I feel just like you. Of course I want to see the caps win, but I go to NHL games mainly for the Hockey. There is nothing better than watching skilled hockey players and since I play hockey myself I enjoy every game. That’s also what I hate about most caps fans. They don’t appreciate the beauty of game.

  • cjbr89

    umm… Does anyone else think this guy isn’t a fan? That he just want to watch winning? and I mean, who doesn’t? But I’ve been watching this team since I was 7, watching Peter Bondra and Steve Konawalchuk and Oates, etc. and I was a fan through the Glen Hanlon years.
    Varlamov was his worst trade? lol, nope. Varlamov was going to be an UFA at the end of the season and wasn’t going to resign with the organization. And then do you know who we got for nothing? Filip Forsberg, the one, the only, the swedish Ovechkin… which brings me to my other point. Filip Forsberg was his worst trade ever. Varly turned into a draft pick, which was Forsberg, which turned into Martin Erat who is now a 4th round draft pick.
    oh, and the second round draft pick we also got for Varly? Mike Ribiero
    A player who doesn’t want to play for Washington anymore for Forsberg/Ribs = Good
    Forsberg for 4th round draft pick = wicked terrible
    If dry spells are good for anything, they’re good for cleansing the fan populace back to its true fans. This is part of the cleansing. There will be more like him. I’m still in the wrong washington hoping to see a cup some day. Keep the faith, true fans.

  • cjbr89

    My first NHL game was at the Capital Center. Also its last season, then, the MCI Center was born!

  • Shaggy

    Does it bother anyone else that the only time that this guy has posted here – was this article and the replies afterward?

  • Jeff See

    Apparently Disqus broke when I went to reply to this before, so excuse the double response if it shows up.

    Either way, your own actions in this instance is what I’m referring to, not what you do to/for/with your son otherwise. Nice how you and one other response, (they deleted it), alluded to the idea that me addressing this one instance is somehow a statement to the entirety of your parenting skills. I suppose the time you spent at those hockey games with your son wasn’t time well spent? Or it only justifies as “invested wisely” when your own personal desires are met completely?

    If you could have afforded tickets while they were winning, you could have afforded them while they’re losing, if supporting the team was in fact your intention. Imagine the shape any team would be in, if all of their fans acted like you did. You end up simply coming off sounding like “ooh, look at me, I can afford good seats! But you better win, or I’m taking my marbles and going home!”. In this instance, your actions seem petty.

    “I guess I gave up my tickets because I don’t think we can win the Cup anymore.” I sure hope your son’s hockey and soccer teams post winning seasons.

  • Jeff See

    Not sure why I’m being shown different versions of this comment section depending on which response link I click. Apologies for redundant postings, if they are in fact making it here.

  • Myles

    Do we really think what Eric says about the Caps is in the minority? I don’t think you’ll find many Caps fan who’s not disappointed at our performance the last three years. BUT whether that disappointment translates to spending on the Caps is completely a personal choice – factoring your disposable income, time allotment and other life interests. A minority opinion would be someone who defends the Jay Beagle on the 1st line fiasco. This “op-ed” is just one person’s complaint that he’s not getting “value” (winning) for his money ($10k) – who knows what the value proposition is here. Eric could make $20K a year vs $20M a year and his “opinion” would be totally perceived differently given those two scenarios. That’s why it’s disappointing that RMNB got suckered into believing that this somehow a piece worth publishing. Instead, an op-ed piece on what Ted should do with ticket prices moving forward would’ve been a much more relevant article.

  • Myles

    In addition, the piece wasn’t even particularly well-written. Hiding behind the “poetic proses” are just a bunch of 20/20 hindsight criticism, attack on Caps ticket managers doing their job, and hopeless whining. Eric’s true colors shows in many of the comment responses he has posted since, resorting to calling anti-author sentiments “Ignorant” and “illogical”. It’s a shame because we could’ve had such a better piece to generate a civil discussion on the “value” of season tickets moving forward.

  • Jack Flag

    I love these fair weather fan comments. C’mon people. Most people these days couldn’t afford the tickets at that price. Though I know he stated his decision was performanced based. Not financial.

    Just because he doesn’t have season tickets anymore. Doesn’t mean he won’t watch the games on TV or even go to a few games along the course of a season. (Unless I missed that in his posting). He’s not ignoring the team now. He’s just not spending $10,000 on tickets he won’t enjoy. I’ve been a Caps fan for more than a couple decades. But I couldn’t see going to every home game and spending $10,000 on tickets for a less than stellar product. I don’t see how him not going to all the games and holding season tickets makes him a fair weather fan.

    Get real and grow up people. All us Caps fans suffer together. But that doesn’t mean that even if we can afford season tickets. We should spend that kind of money to show how hardcore we are. It’s always easier to complain when it’s someone else’s money.

  • D’Arcy Butler

    Peter, I think you could have picked a better fan submission to post.
    I understand that it’s important to represent lots of different views, but the tone of Eric’s post (and some of the comments that it has generated) seems a little too spiteful. It’s possible to appreciate that the Caps players and management have massively under-performed without getting vindictive. After all, there’s not one person involved in the organisation that isn’t doing their best to win a cup, even if some of their efforts (Ovi/Beagle) make no sense.
    Eric could have summarised his sentiment as: “I’ve spent a lot of money on the Caps previously. I’m no longer spending that money because I want the organisation to know that I think their decisions are making the Capitals a weaker team.” That view has merit. But the rest of the piece is just vitriol that kick-starts the “real fan” / “bandwagon” rubbish that plagues the discussions on NHL.com and goes nowhere.

  • Jack Flag

    We all like to see our favorite team winning and I’d still go to some games. Or still have season tickets, just cheaper ones. But he’s supposed to spend $10,000 and muddle his way through a season while spending so much money?

    I love the Caps. I’ll follow and watch them no matter what. But going to the games are supposed to be fun and entertaining. When the team is mediocre and not fun to watch. I’m better off sitting at home watching on TV. Then spending a crap load of money. Not just on tickets. But on gas, food, etc.

  • ilan

    Dear the guy who wrote this and everybody else,

    I am also a STH and hopefully I always will be. This guy is upset, and I too do not enjoy games as much when the boys lose, but we can all see clear as day he doesn;t have the unconditional love for the Caps that we want our fan base to be comprised of. That is absolutely ok. If that is how you feel just quietly go home and watch the game on HTS…. or WB20…or Comcast Sportsnet…or NBCSN…or Monumen– hah no.

    Many of us are calling out Ted right now and I am one of them. I am truthfully disappointed that Mr. Leonsis has been 2 steps too slow to react to some significant problems in the last decade, but hindsight is helping me see that one. One thing people forget is Ted was was always more of a basketball guy and has had to rely on his business sense to hire his hockey people who make or advise him on hockey decisions. All we can do is hope the personnel he brings in consist of smarter hockey people who know how to create a plan with the assets we have and execute it.

    I CAN’T, however, defend the season ticket renewal letter. I agree with this guy that it was embarrassing to read that list boasting all of those cliche’ BS bullet points of a team that is in a decline. Honestly I think you have to do that from a business standpoint so It’s ok to include some of them, but it was borderline the biggest polished-turd necklace I have ever seen in a jewelry shop window in my life. Hockey is not strictly a business of standalone stats, and our Caps are not polished turds, nor are they turds at all so do not advertise them so lightly. This renewal letter completely lacked what true hockey fans go to games for: the atmosphere, the community, the family. If you advertise hockey that way you are going to get shallow fans to buy tickets. I wouldn’t be surprised if this years renewal letter is very similar to what made this guy buy tickets in the first place. What I would like to see is a letter that advertises to the right kind of fan. I’m talking about the kind of fan that will care just as much about the heart of the organization and the fans in the stands as much as he does about the team featuring elite players.

    —Stepping up onto a chair to shout the rest of this—

    To the guy who wrote this article, I am sorry that you had a bad experience with your son this season. If what you wrote is actually why you stopped buying tickets ask yourself this: “is that the example you want to set for your son?”

    When things don’t go your way, you don’t give up, you don’t get spoiled, or throw a tantrum, whine, or cry. You deal with it, and maybe think of something you can do to make the hockey community you are part of a better place. That is what makes the Caps fan community a desirable place to play hockey and to be a fan. That is he reason we HAVE people like GOAT, and HORN GUY, and the popcorn throwing crazies in the 400s (whats up guys). Anybody who has a team to root for and a tv set is the best owner, GM and coach in their own opinon, but not everybody actually owns a team. All us fans can do is make DC a desirable place to play hockey, support our team, and support our organization while at the same time have the chutzpah to be honest and share our fair opinions with Ted. We are lucky to live in a city that has great sports and loyal fan bases, despite the BS other team owners may be up to (see what I did there? nudge nudge, wink wink). Let’s Go Caps. Period. See you in November. Come visit the upper concourse for a popcorn shower.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I think Eric’s tone was indicative of an important but minority group of Caps fans.

  • DashingDave314

    I’d call it a minority opinion because it’s one that we don’t hear too often on here. And defending Beagle on the 1st line is more along the lines of “asinine opinion” than “minority opinion”.

  • Nickki

    Yea reading this guy’s story seriously just gets me annoyed. I live in Atlanta where there is no NHL team anywhere close let alone any Caps games. The only way I get to keep up with my boys is Gamecenter Live, Reddit Caps threads, RMNB and other news articles. Being a season ticket holder doesn’t make you a better fan than others and giving them up and writing a sob story about it doesn’t get you any sympathy either. Being a fan is rooting for them during their ups and downs and the good and bad whether it be in front of your television, computer or at the game. I’m glad he “gave up” his season tickets, no one wants any fair weather fans like him around anyway.

  • Ryan Odell

    Thanks, enjoyed this comment.

  • capsfansteve

    HOW DARE YOU NOT LIGHT YOUR MONEY ON FIRE, ERIC! BAD FAN IS BAD!

    I’m kidding of course. I paid nowhere near what you paid and still couldn’t stomach the expense. Ditched my tickets when Ted and his fellow owners locked out the players.

  • JoeA

    Perhaps you are discounting the road to the playoffs a little too much in your decision making. Last season (2013) was a part of what you would describe a decline, but those last fifteen or so games to make the postseason were one hell of a ride, and certainly worth the money I spent.

    I also think that perhaps you have taken for granted how good this team has been to actually make the playoffs seven years running. Granted, the playoffs haven’t gone their way.

  • Ryan Odell

    This makes sense. He doesn’t want to continue investing in the current product and he validated his position as to why. Doesn’t make the man a lesser fan, necessarily. All franchises have to earn the passions of their fans. Columbus, for example, just found out they could sell out a home game… earned that. At one point we were all casual observers until we actually had something to cheer for. I will always love the Caps, but it sucks to have to try to ignore that they’re bad right now and that they’re employing people who edit and approve gag-evoking market ploy emails.
    This sh*ts expensive you guys. Eric Bovim will be a STH again when the franchise earns back the investment.

  • Ryan Odell

    The inverse is true, a thousand words (broken into many separate comments) can make a beautiful painting. Or just a painting. You really care about this guy, man, I can see it.

  • tferragut

    Ok to quit as a season ticket holder, Eric. I have been one for over 20 years and have at least a state school 4 year college tuition invested in those tickets. Lots of money to love a sport and love a team that is out and out frustrating. But, love ain’t always nice. So we stick around.

    I still find it tougher to deal with the selfishness of the strike than recent poor performance of the team. During the strike we dropped two of four tickets. And never wanted them back. To me, the players were so dumb and warranted a drop in support. And it cost them lots of money in salary cap, and helped me send a message – don’t take me for granted.

    So you sent them a message – don’t take me for granted. Congratulations. More people need to do that. Send a message: don’t take me for granted

  • Harvey Shymanski

    Dear Eric,

    The Buffalo Sabres have a waiting list of over 5000 for season tickets. The Sabres stink, have and will for the for seeable future. The difference between DC and Buffalo? DC isn’t a hockey town. DC is an OV town. We had seasons from about 2008-9 til we moved to Buffalo recently. Here’s the deal. As soon as OV became less exciting, DC fans (?) started becoming frustrated. OV’s play changed when a) he was made captain b) when Boudreau decided to take the most effective offensive in the NHL and make them a defensive team. Dale walked into a mess, and Adam was never a good fit for the Caps. Big deal, that’s the NHL. Buffalo fans haven’t quit on their team and Buffalo is a train wreck. How do you call yourself a Caps Fan if when the going gets rough you bail out? If it’s the money I can understand. If not…. Don’t teach your son to quit when the going gets tough. There are no guarantees in life or the NHL. STICK WITH YOUR TEAM!!!