Paper Bag Head at Caps Game
So I was peacefully watching last night's Caps game with former DCU goalkeep Nick Rimando and wife Jacqui, who were there with United MF Clyde Simms and friend, when I noticed a guy in a Flyers jersey sitting directly behind one goal, with a paper bag directly over his head.
Official Caps Beat Writer Tarik El-Bashir had actually promised me some Flyers Paper Bag Heads earlier in the day, so I was most-pleased by this sighting. And so naturally I went over to talk to Mr. Paper Bag Head, who turned out to be 17-year-old Fairfax High senior Zack Angeline, who turned out to be a Caps fan!!! An imposter!!! Are Imposter Paper Bag Heads, who are actually home fans in road jerseys taunting opposing bottom-dwellers, a big thing? I love it. You get to wear a paper bag on your head, and you get to humiliate the opposing team, and all it costs you is the price of an opposing team jersey. Plus the cost of a paper bag.
The bag in question turned out to be from Hollister, which Zack informed me--in a tone often reserved for one's greatgrandparents--is a clothing chain for teenagers. One side of the bag said "Last Place Game Face...." The other side said "Will Trade Whole Team 4 Ovechkin."
Zack, as it turns out, has about 10 jerseys of non-Caps players, even though the Caps are his favorite team. He has some weird thing about loving players as much as teams. "No one understands my concept of The Player," he said, although I'd beg to disagree.
Anyhow, The Player in question for the Flyers is Joni Pitkanen (???), so Zack busted out his Pitkanen jersey for last night's game, but then he found out Pitkanen had the flu and would not be on the ice. And then....inspiration hit.
"I was like, 'They're in last place, might as well put a bag on my head,'" Zack told me. "I was like, 'They suck, why not?'"
So when they roll up downtown, Zack and his friends get out of their car and head to the arena with Bag in place, and everyone points and stares and laughs, and at least 20 people ask him to pose for pictures, and several Philly fans come up to commiserate with a Caps fan in disguise! One Philly fan advised Zack to forget about the Flyers and concentrate on the Eagles. Zack isn't an Eagles fan, but he knows how to make friends.
"I was like, 'Ok, go Eagles! E-A-G-L-E-S!!!" Zack said.
Then they got down to their seats, and Zack became convinced the Flyers noticed him. I mean, he was in the front row, and all. He described the look they gave him as "You've got to be kidding me. This is a joke."
Sitting next to Zack was family friend (and loyal Bog reader!) Preston Calvert. I asked whether he was embarrassed by spending the night next to Zack.
"Most nights, yes," Preston said. "This night, certainly not."
Turns out Zack has done more potentially harmful things in the past. Preston and Zack and Zack's dad went to a Flyers game in Philly, and they sat right next to the Flyers bench, and when Ben Eager declined a chance to fight Donald Brashear, Zack chose to scream "Drop the gloves, you [bad word]." Eager heard him.
"He stood up and gave me a death stare," Zack said.
"You know I wasn't going to save you, Zack, no way," Preston said.
"I thought we were dead," Zack said.
Point being, I wondered whether Zack would take to dressing up as Paper Bag Head for future opponents, just to crush their fighting spirit, and he said he would indeed. After all, one of his 10 non-Caps jerseys is of Sergei Gonchar, from when he was with the Bruins.
"Boston's in last place, too," Zack pointed out.
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