Running out of Red Jokes
Highlights from the Capitals fifth consecutive entreaty for fans to slather their bodies in all manner of strange red garments.
* Red mullets? Well, sure, there were dozens if not hundreds of those. More rare was the prized red mul-hawk: half mullet, half Mohawk, all Capital Centre. It was sported by Brian Rollins of Vienna, whose hair simultaneously cascaded down his back and sprouted, fully erect, from his skull, and it was grand.
* Red dresses? Obviously. But some were particularly noteworthy. Like, say, the red maternity dress spotted on the upper level. Or the fairly mundane number that was enlivened by its bearer, the sprightly Aaron Risdal of Alexandria, who happens to be a guy.
"Seemed like the thing to do at the time," he said of his dress, which fitted him fairly well, but might have fitted him a lot better if he were a bit chestier, let's say. "I wore it to the first game of the season. I wore it to the last home game against Carolina. We won both. Figured why not bring it back out again."
"Hey cutie!" shouted a passerby, eying Risdal's legs.
* T-shirts? Naturally. Thousands and thousands of red t-shirts. Still, a few stood out for their from-the-streets originality. Like the "[Expletive] the Flyers" shirts, with a puck cleverly standing in for one of the letters in the [Expletive]. Or the closely related "[Expletive] Duke" shirts. Or the for-sale shirts featuring Alex Ovechkin as Che Guevara. Or the handmade Sergei Fedorov shirt, with Fedorov's number spelled out in masking tape, underneath a perfectly Washington nickname: "The Fed."
* Or, perhaps, the red t-shirt paying tribute to budding heartthrob Nicklas Backstrom.
"Oh Nicky You're So Fine, You're So Fine You Blow My Mind," read the shirt, constructed by 18-year-old Rebecca Kling of Martinsville. It was signed by Backstrom, who added a little heart underneath his name.
"He was just kind of stunned," Kling recalled of the signing. "He was like, 'Ok, you made this really weird t-shirt for me.' "
In fairness, Kling made the t-shirt in December, and the late-season winning splurge hadn't changed her feelings about Backstrom.
"No," she said sagely, "he's still the same cute."
* There were, in fact, scores of similar shirts worn by young women of a similar demographic, with Mike Green appearing to have the largest number of t-shirted groupies, but that's not to say teenage fellas didn't also get into the act. Fourteen-year-olds Jay Williams and Chris Clark were shirtless, their bodies covered with a canvas of red-hued Capitals graffiti. Their backs read "I [heart] HUET" and "I [heart] OV," respectively.
"We were just sitting in the car, and we were like, 'I want to get on TV, today,' so we just started writing stuff," Clark said. But the pair averred that they did, indeed, love those hockey players. Although neither mentioned their cuteness.
* And last, Wizards rookie Oleksiy Pecherov, who had great seats but not a trace of red on his body.
"I'm having support from my heart," he explained.
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