On the top floor of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Ovie’s human parents, Mike and Kim Robertson, set up shop with their leashed and well-behaved pup, greeting Caps fans on their way down to the convention. He made lots of friends.
Alex Ovechkin high fives fans on the way to the locker room after warmups. (Photos by Chris Gordon)
Caps fans, finally back at a game, watch warmups.
At 7:12 PM on January 22 six ounces of vulcanized rubber hit the ice at Verizon Center for the first time in 258 days. It was May 9, 2012 when the Washington Capitals held their last home game here, a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Since then, there was a Game Seven in New York, a long summer, and an even longer fall. The almost four month long NHL lockout kept fans across the continent away from the game and for some separated them from their second home.
“I’m overjoyed to be back at Verizon Center because I feel like part of me was missing when they were gone,” said Caps fan Melissa Blum of Germantown, Maryland. “I grew up watching hockey and it’s my favorite thing so when it wasn’t there that was unfortunate. Now that they’re back so I’m happy.”
“It’s going to take a little bit of time to knock the fan rust off,” William Stilwell, better known as Goat, said. “This time of year I’ve usually gotten some yelling callouses build up but tonight it’s like boom, right into the thick of it. I’ve been doing a lot of screaming in traffic, things like that.”
Thank you to everyone who attended RMNB Party 4: Judgment Day at Front Page Arlington. Thank you to Front Page for being such terrific hosts and putting up with our crowd. Thank you to Wes Johnson for rocking the microphone. Thank you to Mathieu Perreault for scoring the game-winner.
The turnout was terrific, the game was great, and it scarcely could have gone better. Our own paparazzo, Chris Gordon, was snapping pics all night long; here’s a sampling behind the jump. If you’ve got more pics to share, please link ‘em up in the comments or share ‘em on Twitter on the #RMNBParty4 hashtag. If you’ve got a story to tell about the party (love connections, anyone?), let us know that as well. Thanks again!
Rituals bind us to one another. In a fan community, rituals take many forms. In the clothing we wear, the cheers we shout, the fives we high– that’s where togetherness happens. It’s like a wholesome mob mentality, and everyone’s allowed in the mob so long as they can do a couple simple things.
Problem is: sometimes those rituals get us into trouble. Some rituals become bad habits, and those bad habits have got to go. You know what I’m talking about: It’s all your fault, Who Cares?, RED!, and a certain nickname for Sidney Crosby. It’s not cool anymore. Let’s discuss.
I feel like I’ve seen this person before… (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)
Fans enter Verizon Center before the season-opener. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
One hundred fifty-seven days. That’s a long summer for Caps fans. And Saturday night at 7:09 P.M. Eastern Time when six ounces of vulcanized rubber tumbled toward the ice sheet it was finally over.
“The atmosphere was great,” Alex Ovechkin told reporters after the game. “The fans push us forward all the time. It’s nice to play at home, especially the first game. I know everybody was missing hockey here so it’s nice to come back.”
The trademarks of Caps hockey were all there last night: Sam Wolk pursed his lips to his horn and let lout three loud blasts at the drop of the puck; Wes Johnson bellowed out the name of Alexander Semin (heavy on the “r”) after Washington lit the lamp for the first time this season on Sasha’s tally; William Stilwell, better known as the Goat, let out a thunderous roar of “Let’s Go Caps!” as he stomped the metal beneath his feet when shown on the big screen in the second period.
This past Saturday, Goat married his sweetheart Jill. The ceremony, held at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in downtown D.C., was attended by friends, family, and a smattering of Caps notables. Sam “The Horn Guy” Wolk and our own Ian Oland attended. The wedding itself was officiated by the voice of the Capitals (and perhaps the only guy louder than Goat), Wes Johnson.
If you needed further proof that the apocalypse is indeed near, then check out the newest Maxim! In their October issue, not only can you marvel at Anna Kournikova and her wondrous curves in 3D, you can also read up on Caps Superfan Goat!
For those who have no idea who he is (how did you find our blog?), here’s the jumbotron video the Caps produced of him a few years ago:
Below the jump, we’ve transcribed the article he’s been featured in and included a scan of the page. You know, for the people who would never buy this kinda smut in a million years (Dan Steinberg).