Weird, Wonderful Caps Fans: Earrings and Boas
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.
When you're walking up from behind this guy on the 400 concourse and you see the "69' jersey paired with the word "Minor," it makes you wonder.
But look, his name is Jim Minor, and he's a longtime Caps fan, and it turns out that the jersey isn't nearly the most interesting piece of his Caps fandom. Instead, that would be the 2008 Ford Edge he won from the team last spring by sliding three pucks into a net.
See, Jim was chosen as one of three contestants during Fan Appreciation Day last spring, after entering the contest once a day for as long as he was allowed. He got the call telling him he'd been chosen as he was driving to Camden Yards for Opening Day, and since it was March 31, he took another look at his phone to make sure it wasn't April 1. It wasn't.
Minor never played hockey, so he immediately called the Prince William Ice Center, which is a couple miles from his house, and asked to speak to a manager. Hockey director R.J. Zeigler called him back the next day.
"How soon can you be here?" Zeigler asked.
"Two minutes," Minor answered.
So they ventured out onto the ice together and started firing pucks from center ice. Zeigler told Minor to avoid slap shots and keep it simple. Minor promised to buy Zeigler tickets to the game of his choice if he won. The more he practiced, the worse he got, so Minor quit after two sessions and about 100 shots.
Then he went to center ice during the first intermission of a Caps game, went three-for-three, won the car (though his Passat kept the "Got Caps" license plate), and rewarded himself by buying season tickets in the same section as Alex Ovechkin's mom
"Very nice lady," he said.
Anyhow, I guess a guy who got a free car from a team-sponsored event is likely to have positive feelings toward the organization, but Minor certainly qualifies.
"I've been through the highs, I've been through the lows, and I'm just absolutely thrilled with the team, the management, the ownership, the whole organization," he said.
How did I find all this out? When I asked him about his jersey, he explained that as one of the contestants, he was given a free jersey by the team, with the chance to add his own name and number. And so why, at long last, did he choose "69."
"The obvious," he said. "My wife was like, 'Why did you DO that?' I just thought it would be funny."
Also this week, I met Ike Durishin, whose Red Rocking is Poison-inspired. Ike, it should be noted, is in The Leg Warmers, billed as "The Ultimate '80s Tribute Band."
"Dude, this is Bret Michaels, full effect, c'mon!" he said, when I asked him to describe his look.
And at some point this year, I met the gentleman pictured here, with the Caps Weagle earring. It takes a bold man to throw that thing into his ear, and he admitted to not having seen any other Caps fans similarly bejeweled. His name was lost to history (until
someone puts it in the comments) after I left my notebook in Nats Park, but if I recall, he got the earring as a Christmas present and wears it in and out of the Verizon Center. Top that, SuperSkin.
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