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Watch Your Step

One of my favorite hockey writers, Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated, has a funny column about one of the game's quirky traditions: Don't tread on the team logo in the dressing room. It's a respect thing, I guess.

Almost every club has its logo imprinted on the carpet, smack in the middle of the floor. Farber writes about an Ottawa intern's struggle to keep media members from walking all over the centurion's face.

The Caps also have this problem. Except reporters and bloggers aren't only ones guilty of stepping on the logo.

Late last season, I was talking to Chris Clark after a win when I noticed he was getting distracted.

"Hey!," Clark said, turning his attention to something over my shoulder. "Gordo! That's a $100 fine."

Boyd Gordon stopped dead in his tracks, looked down and noticed he was standing on the logo. I don't remember exactly what he said, but I'm pretty sure it can't be repeated on a family blog. (I've seen owner Ted Leonsis inadvertently step on the logo, too. But I didn't hear any players asking him to move.)

I learned my lesson years ago during the Stanley Cup finals. I was in the crammed Tampa Bay dressing room when I got a stern warning from a PR guy after stepping on the Lightning Bolt logo. Apparently, I wasn't the only one to commit the misstep. Because the next day, the team had roped off the logo.

Farber writes:

Now, my feeling is this: if you don't want somebody to step on something, you probably shouldn't put it on the floor.

I tend to agree.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 19, 2007; 8:29 AM ET
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Based on the size of the Caps logo on the dressing room floor I would imagine it is tough NOT to step on it while players are changing and media is milling about. Good Luck Tarik... would hate for you to have cough up a hundred!

Posted by: Chris | May 19, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Based on the size of the Caps logo on the dressing room floor I would imagine it is tough not to inadvertently step on it while players are changing and the media is wandering about. Good luck Tarik, would hate to see you have to cough up a $100 for that discression.

Posted by: Chris | May 19, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of superstitions, I noticed that Alfredsson didn't pick up the Wales trophy. I couldn't tell if he touched it or not during the presentation.

Posted by: zamboni | May 20, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

You never pick up the conference trophy, It's not what you're playing for

Posted by: Dan L | May 20, 2007 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Well, Tarik, you were right about the Sens. As I recall, most of us in this space (me included) picked the Sabres. With Buffalo out, can we already start talking to Drury? That would be tampering, I suppose... Everyone in Cap Nation should read the recent SI article about Buffalo's #23 - for me, it settled our recent Briere-or-Drury debate with finality. The Caps should land this guy - he knows how to win (um, despite the results of the Ottawa series).

Posted by: tokyo fan | May 20, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I honestly think of that whole "don't step on the logo" superstition as the dumbest superstition in all of sports. Why not make players fearful about where they put their feet while they're in their home locker room? Especially when the damn logo takes up most of the floor space in the room. Heaven forbid they should feel comfortable and relaxed in there. Harumph.

And not skating around with the conference trophy? Scott Stevens skated that thing around every time the Devils won it, and he has three Stanley Cups to show for it. Of course, that's because Scott Stevens is a ninja.

Posted by: norske | May 20, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand it, but hockey players are strange. I suppose having superstitions makes them feel comfortable because its something they can control and make part of a routine.

And if I was on the caps I'd tell ted (jokingly of course) that for stepping on the logo he needs to cough up 4 mil per year for a defenseman

Posted by: Graham | May 21, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

You could've/should've done more than step on the Lightning logo.......

Posted by: Kim | May 21, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

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