Caps Sell Cowbells, and Other Notes
An assortment of random things learned at the Caps game Saturday night. Pretending last night's game never happened.
* Yes, those were cowbells you heard all over the arena. Several hundred red cowbells reading "Rock the Red" made their debuts at concession stands, retailing for (I think) $8. There were a lot of people who had been drinking St. Patrick's Day-related beer that day, and many of them wound up with cowbells in their hands.
Good? Bad? Indifferent? I tended to think good, until I heard some of the particularly insistent cowbell shakers, which made me think possibly bad. There are no plans to pass out 18,000 cowbells for the playoffs, in case you were wondering. One fan approached me out of the blue and asked for me to register his extreme disapproval, since he thought it was a rip-off the non-Devilish Rays.
As for what they were doing there, the "More Cowbell" clip has become a regular part of the in-game entertainment, and some folks have even come with homemade t-shirts.
"A vendor came to us and said 'We've got these cowbells.' I said, 'Well, we like to make noise,' " Larry Grimaldi, the retail manager for Aramark at the Verizon Center, told me. The initial order was for about 500; we'll see if more are needed.
* The playoff motto for this season will, once again, be Rock the Red. Stick with what works, on that regard.
* The Scarlet Caps, the team's female fan club, already has more than 4,000 members.
* Another quote from rapper Wale's first NHL game, when I asked him to explain his Wale Ovechkin alias.
"What he does, man, he's the best," Wale said of Ovechkin. "You know, some might say Sidney Crosby, whatever whatever. It's debatable at the very least, you know what I'm saying? I want to be like that. I want to be the best, by a landslide though. Now I got to see it live. I only had ESPN before, but to see it live, it's like he's so much better than everybody else. You can see it. And I'm not even a hockey guy, I can' t critique nothing. But the way he moves, its like another level, like he's freakishly better than everybody. That's how I'm trying to be."
Another writeup, with better photos, is available at Metal Lungies.
E-mail from fan to Caps Web site: "Hi, my name is Guilherme and I'm from Brazil. I'm a huge fan of the Capitals and I hope I can visit the stadium soon to watch a game. Here in Brazil I watch all games through the Internet because not even all this distance is able to separate me from the team that I love."
* A story I haven't yet tracked down, but apparently a homeless guy who loves the Caps frequently watches the games outside the arena on the big screen. It was raining Saturday night, so he was ushered into the arena to watch the game from the owner's box. Naturally. Anyhow, as he was leaving he received a parting gift from Ted Leonsis to help him buy some provisions. "Thanks," he apparently said, "but I'd rather have an autographed Mike Green jersey.
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