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Capitals Urinal Art: A History

I got a casual e-mail from die-hard Caps fan "N---" last night, alerting me that I might want to check out the Verizon Center restrooms tomorrow night. You know, just in case.

Turns out, this was the 35-year-old mastermind behind the years-old campaign to provide male Caps fans with restroom entertainment and, shall we say, directional practice? Surely you remember the Sidney Crosby-inspired "I'm Thirsty" campaign of yesteryear, which I actually wrote about back before I knew how to take my own photos? Yup, that was N---.

Anyhow, N--- left the area, and the arena's urinals have been barren for many months. But Saturday night he returned with a Rangers logo, pictured here. And tomorrow, expect little pictures of Daniel Briere, accompanied by the fairly brilliant caption, "Peeiere." In the interest of history, N--- and I completed a little e-mail Q and A, on the history of what he calls his "Pee-Pics." That's why newspapers exist, right?

When did you start making Pee-Pics?

Lemme start by saying they didn't start out as Pee-Pics. The first time I decided to create something for everyone at the then-MCI Center, it was the Penguins logo of the skating, flightless bird. I adorned their chests with numbers, a couple sheets got Lemieux, some Kasparaitis, and the most were dedicated to Jagr. My memory is a little foggy on the date, but I believe I started doing this in the 2000-2001 season.

What inspired you?

I'm obsessed with bodily functions, so it was natural for me to "express" my creativity in a way that would make everyone chuckle as they do the thing the guys do so well. And let's face it, we have bad aim, so this helps the staff at Verizon by keeping everything where it belongs. It was this obsession, coupled with a disdain for the Penguins, that gave birth to what are now called Pee-Pics. Why Pittsburgh? Well, let's face it, they kicked our [behinds] throughout the '90s with disastrous collapses with 3-1 leads in best of sevens, and they had Jagr. Need I say more?

(Image from Japers.)

How do you actually make them, and how many do you make at a time?

It's pretty low-budget, really. I use my mad Photoshop skills to get a bunch of them on one sheet, print them out, laminate them (usually involves 2-inch wide strips of packing tape), and then cut them into nice, neat pictorial urinal decorations. Depending on the design, the number of Pee-Pics I can get on a page varies from 16 to 20. That means I end up printing out and cutting roughly 130 individual pics. This gives me enough ammo to cover every urinal on the 100 & 400 levels. My mom pitched in this year so we cranked them out in record time.

Who helps you distribute them, or is it a solo effort?

Ninety percent of the time, I go it alone. Many of my family and friends share my love for the Caps, and see the humor in this, but they don't all like the idea of getting that close to other people's pee. And, of course, there is always a slight risk of a sucker punch from an embarrassed opposing fan. After all, size matters.

How do you go around dropping things in urinals without looking like a freak?

Well, ask anyone who knows me, and they'd say "Yeah, I can see him doing that." Not sure I'd be voted class clown, and certainly wasn't in high school, but since then my personality has definitely shifted to a more freakish and deviant side. I take it even further than just dropping them in unmanned urinals. I don't hesitate to walk up behind a man in full-stream and toss one of these in from the side with a flick of the wrist. Sure, it freaks most guys out to have another dude so close to his junk but when they see the gift I have left them they usually chuckle and aim a little more precisely.

How do you decide which teams/players deserve Pee-Pics?

Unfortunately for Pens fans, they have had to bear the brunt of this since 2000. They are just a good "target" for this, as they always seem to have someone one the team that we don't really like all that much. There was Jagr (obvious), Kasparaitis (obvious). More recently, it was Sidney. Hard to hate Sid, but it frustrates all Caps fans that he has garnered most of the attention while OV sits back and wins all the trophies. Which is quite alright by me. Expect to see Briere making a visit to a urinal near your seat soon. 'Cuz he's Briere. Sometimes you don't even have to think "what guy will it be this time?" The choice is obvious.

Why the Flyers this week?

I think we all know the answer to this. Well, at least one of them. Philly beat us in Game Seven last year, terminating a dream season for Caps fans. One that saw our team win trophy after trophy for player and coaching achievements. The second is we were embarrassed in Philly two weeks ago, and they'll be here, in our house. So why not welcome all the Pennsyltucky transplants with open arms! Lastly, I am living [out of the area] now, and make it back for only a few games a year, so I have to take advantage of my time in D.C.

How do you know what the feedback is? Do you stand around and wait for someone to approach the urinal?

As noted above, the feedback can be instantaneous if someone is taking care of business when I drop them in, but the feedback can be heard in many places around the arena. I myself naturally have to partake in the showering of praise between periods, so as I wait in line I get to hear exiting fans talk, chuckle, or scowl as they pass me. It's even more fun to see a fan from the other team standing at a urinal and giving them some encouragement, like "It's not nice to p--- on your team," or "Stop p------ on yourself," or "Shower your team with joy."

I really know that I have made a statement when I hear banter outside of the bathroom. I have heard people talking in the concourses, and at their seats, and that is a good sign that I have inspired a legion sympathetic to my cause. I am working on a prototype for the stalls. Oh wait, that's it: Staals! There's four of them in the league, right!

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 5, 2009; 1:08 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Thanks for this one Bogman. I was at that Pens game, and got quite the laugh out of the picture. I'm looking forward to future Caps posts, and maybe if you're feeling saucy, some Caps/cheese crossovers.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | January 5, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I am so looking forward to peeing tomorrow night...

Posted by: TheFingerman | January 5, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I would also say that the State of Pennsylvania in a pee-pic would also work for tomorrow. Doesnt even have to be hockey related.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 5, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

You know, every time I get into a discussion with a DC sports fan and they start going on about how classy and well behaved their fan base is in comparison to the fans of Penguins and Steelers, I always point out the urinal pics. Once again, Dan, you've managed to glorify the worst fan behavior, just as you did with the nice ticket-takers at the Redskins game who made a very clever rhyme to a guy wearing a Tony Romo jersey. Do I need to list more examples? It's people like N--- and you that make going to a game a bad experience.

Posted by: LionelMandrake | January 5, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lionel, for the record, I'd have fired that guy at FedEx. I don't think I ever glorified him, and I certainly didn't mean to if I did. Shouting out homophobic slogans to a crowd of people? I mean, cmon, that's disgraceful in my book.

The urinal pics, to me, seem different. I just think it's kind of funny, although I guess it's in poor taste too. But to me, drunken louts make fan bases non-classy and games non-fun, not little urinal pics.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | January 5, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Lighten up Mandrake! Classless is pouring beer on someone, getting into fights, cursing in front of children, etc. This is clever, playful, harmless, and confined to private spaces.

During Game 1 or 2 last year he also did Daniel Briere and it said "Shower Please!"

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 5, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

We noticed it and thought it was brilliant.

LionelMandrake. Do you bubble wrap everything you own?

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | January 5, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The funniest part of the Crosby ones were the Pens fans who were trying to fish them out of the urinals. I wouldn't put my hand in there.

Posted by: genericrepub | January 5, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Well I have to be honest ... I can't take credit for the Briere sightings in the playoffs last year but I'd personally like to shake that guys hand. After he washes them of course ;)

Posted by: Enis_ | January 5, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Dan, I'll back up my earlier comments. I found your article from November 17 and this is what you wrote:

"So yeah, two weeks after being out-cheered and out-golded in their own stadium, Redskins fans fought back. There were at least three versions of T-shirts involving anti-Dallas profanity. There were at least two models of T-shirts involving anti-Dallas homophobic jokes. One usher used a similar slur to direct Dallas fans to a different line than Redskins fans."

You referred to this as "Redskins fans [fighting] back". I think it's a reasonable assumption that when you say their fighting back, that you approve of their actions. You didn't condemn them and as far as I know you didn't inform the Redskins as to what usher was making these remarks.

Posted by: LionelMandrake | January 5, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I know we're only five days in, but this is easily the best thing I'll read all year. Thanks, SA-Town.


I would also say that the State of Pennsylvania in a pee-pic would also work for tomorrow. Doesnt even have to be hockey related.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 5, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Dan didn't know my nickname, well frankly I didn't have one at the time, but I have been initiated and knighted, to be forever known as Enis_ to the Caps faithful. Underscore you ask?! Well plain Enis was taken, but who doesn't like a little extra length :)

N--- has become Enis.

Posted by: Enis_ | January 5, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

AWESOME! This is the only instance that I hate being a urinal cake in the women's bathrooms!

Posted by: NatyBG | January 5, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"You referred to this as "Redskins fans [fighting] back". I think it's a reasonable assumption that when you say their fighting back, that you approve of their actions. You didn't condemn them and as far as I know you didn't inform the Redskins as to what usher was making these remarks.

Posted by: LionelMandrake | January 5, 2009 2:55 PM "

I laughed outloud. Twice. Thank you for the laugh and for the argument based on nothing.

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | January 5, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse


You are my newest hero.

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | January 5, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Now all we need are colored urinal cakes carved like team logos... this could be a nice little online cottage industry, but sort of the opposite of FatHeads.

Posted by: johnb5 | January 5, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I still have a picture saved from my old phone of my stream hitting Sid in the head.

Posted by: TheHornGuy | January 5, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Do I need to list more examples? It's people like N--- and you that make going to a game a bad experience.

Posted by: LionelMandrake | January 5, 2009 1:53 PM

Yes, please list more examples. The only "bad" experiences that I have had at games have revolved around overly drunk Philly and Pittsburgh fans. I challenge you to list unruly Washington instances.

Posted by: Dead_Horse | January 5, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

the pic i sent dan from saturday had a nice long pube next to the rangers logo but i guess he thought that might be a bit over the top.

Posted by: Enis_ | January 5, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Dead Horse, how about this article:

Or this one:

The fact is that fan behavior, in DC and every other stadium in the country, is out of control. And this guy, Steinberg, keeps glorifying it.

Posted by: LionelMandrake | January 5, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Do you read the Sports Bog? You a total idiot and an ass hat if you think Steinberg glorifies out of control behavior. That is all

Posted by: skins1110 | January 5, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Famous inscription over the urinal at RFK: "You don't buy beer, you rent it!"

Posted by: StevefromSacto | January 5, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Well I don't think I'm going to convince you about this. And I've probably glorified some meatheads in my day. But I think explicitly calling out a ticket taker for "homophobic" remarks does not constitute an endorsement. The "fight back" headline was meant to be sarcasm, and I'd think most people would have interpreted as such.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | January 5, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for a story on a classless hater that gives real Caps fans a bad rep. Maybe he should scrub all the urinals out with a toothbrush.

Steinberg - great job at glorifying rude behavior. I'm sure you would appreciate if folks protested this blog by dropping your photo in some urinals at the next few games.

Posted by: tbowersva | January 5, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to piss directly on Daniel Briere's face tomorrow night just in your honor.

Posted by: JBrooke4 | January 5, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

And for you I will drop a huge turd in that urinal, thinking about you and Lionel the whole time.

Posted by: skins1110 | January 5, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Famous inscription over the urinal at RFK:

Posted by: StevefromSacto | January 5, 2009 5:36 PM
It's funny because it's redundant.

Posted by: Section117 | January 6, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I guess there are some people who are more "pure" sports fans than me who can root for the Caps with no emotional involvement. The behavior of Flowers fans in the playoffs last year when they were attacking the buses of the Caps players and representatives is rude and dangerous behavior. Dropping a picture of an opposing player or logo is funny, and no one will get hurt from it. It would be even funnier if Briere wanders into one of the toilets (since he's injured) and has to piss on himself. He deserves it.

Posted by: ds_kelly | January 6, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The only possible issue I see with this is that somebody has to clean the urinals.

Sure, they already have to clean them and replace the urinal cakes but it doesn't make their job any easier when they also have to remove urine-soaked pictures.

Beyond that, I find it pretty funny.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 6, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

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