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Caps Fans Make Karl Alzner's Head Hurt


Making hockey players' heads hurt. (By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)


So, 18-1-1 at home, eh? Coincidence, or something grander?

"We build off the energy of the fans, and they've been unbelievable this year," Matt Bradley said today. "I mean, it's not a fun building for other people to come in and play in."

So it's easy to hear these fans on the ice, or you have to go out of your way?

"We definitely hear them, and when we hear them it really gets us going," Bradley said. "I don't think there's any louder building in the league, since the end of last year and this year."

And this is similar to what the newcomers expected, or different?

"I heard rumors that it was really good and I saw in the playoffs that it was good, but I didn't think it was gonna be as loud as it is," Karl Alzner said. "Especially when fans do the Unleash The Fury thing at the end? There's been times where I've [turned] to guys on the bench and asked them if their head's hurting, because seriously, it's so loud....I don't think I've ever played in a louder building."

Like, these are real headaches, or exaggerated headaches?

"One time--I'm trying to think who it was against, it might have been against Montreal--but it was so loud that I seriously was starting to get a headache," Alzner said. "I was hoping it would stop."

Uh, any other cases?

"Well, my head hasn't hurt, but it makes it very difficult to even talk on the bench," Bruce Boudreau said. "I mean, you have to start pounding guys on the back to tell them who's up."

Which is the case in a lot of NHL buildings?

"No," Boudreau said. "But it is in ours. That's a good problem to have."

Any favorite cheers, or is it too hard to pay attention?

"I love that [Unleash the Fury] video they play," Alzner said. "Whoever thought of it and put it all together, it's pretty genius of them. It's nice to have a little motto like that, and fans can say something and be proud. A couple games back--I'm trying to think, it might have been against Tampa--after one of the goals the fans stood up in the far corner from us and kind of did a college chant. They went '1, 2, 3, 4' for all the goals we scored, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I thought it was the best thing I had ever seen."

And this is similar to the old days, or different?

"I was thinking about it, we had some games in Cap Centre too, when we played Philly and stuff like that, fans were really going on then too, but it seems like it's more organized now," former Cap Bengt Gustafsson said. "Everybody's wearing their red shirt now. When I'm sitting up there watching down, it's crazy how everybody's really jumped on the train, put it that way."

How about this: similar to the more recent years, or different?

"Obviously a couple years ago there really wasn't much to cheer for," Bradley said. "Because we were struggling, we were rebuilding. The fans were still there back then, but now it's just building. Kind of a snowball effect. It's just great to see the city behind us."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 8, 2009; 2:58 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

And watching Theodore makes my head hurt.

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 8, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

that comment would make sense a month ago

Posted by: ahbest3 | January 8, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The title of this article makes my head hurt, my friend. It sounds so negative, like being that loud is a bad thing, and the article is about the city being behind them and being so loud they can't hear their "up" calls. (Wonder if that explains some of the slower line changes?)

You should go sometime, really. It's fun to be that loud. At the same time, though - you haven't heard loud until you've heard us drown out Horn Guy. (We have a few times.)

Posted by: kittypawz | January 8, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Hot streaks don't assuage my discomfort.

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 8, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The counting of goals wasn't all that was said... It wasn't cheering for the goals it was heckling the goalies. The quote was:"1,2,3,4,5,6,7. They're all your fault!" with ravenous pointing towards Mike Smith.... Very good stuff imo.

Posted by: Groovemaniac | January 8, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The other half of that chant was "1...2...3...4" [counting the goals allowed]..."all your fault" [directed right at the tampa goalie]

That was one of the funnier things I'd heard there.

Posted by: stormblue | January 8, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

That whole "Unleash the Fury" thing has been going on for a few years in ATL. I have not been to Verizon for it, but it does not get that loud during Thrashers games.

Of course, when you only have 12,000 people, if that, you cannot expect too much

Posted by: CBT2 | January 8, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

In college hockey games, the student fans taunt the opposing goalies all the time. In fact, Cornell students use a very similar chant to the one Alzner mentions after goals. And let me tell you, Cornell hockey fans are the loudest in the country (sorry Michigan). I'm hoping we can get a giant "Sieve!" chant going at the Verizon Center soon.

Posted by: MaxWass | January 8, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone, how about one the fifth goal when everyone yells for the free wing... The atmosphere now a days kick butt compared to 5 years ago. Unleash the Fury come on it doesn't get better than that...

Posted by: Berndaddy | January 8, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

wings...wings, people not wing....

Posted by: Berndaddy | January 8, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff, Dan! UNLEASH THE FURY!!!

Posted by: JillC | January 8, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Check out Section 108.

There is a guy who sits a few rows up from the ice..he is the 'captain' of our section. EVERY GAME..after we score a goal..the 'captain', always in his Chris Clark away jersey, waits until the scorers are announced after a goal and then he rallies the whole section for the chant. 1.2.3, etc.."it's all your fault" pointing at the visiting goalie. If you haven't heard this before at the Caps games..look down at 108 next game after a goal is announced and join in..it's fun.

Posted by: rebeccamilleson1 | January 9, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

In Section 419 we all chant "WHO CARES" after an opponent's goal is announced. Listen for it next time Johnny or Theo lets one in.

Posted by: schnervel | January 9, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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