Ron Burgundy and a Parrot at the Caps Game
With the Caps the only team within 300 miles of WaPo HQ currently generating smiley-face passion, their fans have clearly become the most overtly and weirdly wonderful of any in the area. Or non-bashful, anyhow. Their stars will be regularly featured in this space.
"This is the Zeitgeist!" the giant parrot told me as we wandered the packed 400 level concourse during the second intermission Saturday night. It was the first time I had ever heard a giant parrot use that particular phrase. He wasn't done talking.
"I was a Nationals season ticket holder," the parrot confided in me. "Not any more. Here, you get your money's worth. Even if you're in a parrot costume. Am I getting you good copy here?" he wondered. I assured him he was.
"Follow Gumby," the parrot told me, so I did.
"All right," Gumby said, stopping outside his section. "Where is Superman, and where is Flash?"
So sure, the Caps are winning, and sure, they're selling out, but here's another way to measure the moment. Wizards fans go to games wearing jerseys of injured franchise players who haven't played in months. Redskins fans go to games wearing Adam Archuleta jerseys bought on remainder. Nationals fans don't go to games. And Caps fans go to games dressed as giant parrots, Gumby, Superman, and, why hello there, Ron Burgundy.
"My mustache is falling off," Ron Burgundy noted.
Look, it's ok to gloat a little when you're having a moment. Some Caps fans asked Rod Langway Saturday night why the NHL media weren't all embracing this hockey team and its star; "they're probably jealous," Langway said. "That's probably why he's not getting the love. They know what's up and coming."
And when the wave is cresting, there's no point in hiding behind a giant foam finger. So on the night that they had scheduled both a superhero costume party and a Caps bar crawl, these six brave fans figured they might as well do some multi-tasking.
And so Gumby, who was green, wore the number 52. There was also an Alex Ovechkin, in uniform. Superhero? "Absolutely," fake Ovechkin said. "For a lot of us in D.C., he is."
Then there was the Flash, who wasn't paying tribute to Tomas Fleischmann but theoretically could have been. Superman wore a tight blue "It's Sweden!" t-shirt under his costume, in honor of Nicklas Backstrom. I pointed out that, unlike most of his peers, he was actually dressed like a superhero.
"That's because I'm a MAN, just like Backstrom," Superman said.
"What an idiot," the parrot said.
(Superman's tights, I should note, were extremely tight. So much for being a man of mystery, if you get my drift. "Superheros aren't what they used to be," the parrot noted.
"When was the last time you saw a Gumby costume?" Gumby interjected.
"Not at a Redskins game," the parrot chimed in. "In your face, Dan Snyder. Print that."
Plus, there was Ron Burgundy, whom passing fans kept calling Ron Jeremy. Same difference. I wasn't convinced Burgundy was a superhero, either.
"Apparently tonight he is," the parrot said. "I'm not really in charge of who is and who isn't a superhero. Ask the editors at The Post."
Hey, I've asked worse. Anyhow, Edmonton Oilers fans surely showed up in Clark Griswold costumes during the '80s, right? Canadiens fans must have dressed like the Pink Panther in the '70s. This is just how happy fans behave.
"Stay in school,' the parrot told some kids who stopped to gawk.
"Why are you dressed up like a parrot?" one of the kids asked.
Listen kid, don't ask too many questions. Just enjoy it while it lasts.
"All right," Superman finally concluded. "Let's go get a beer."
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