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Donald Brashear to Chirpers: "Come and See Me"

Not chirping. (By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)

I spent a few moments yesterday asking several members of the Caps about on-ice chatter. As an admitted newcomer to this sport, it's something I'm not too familiar with. And it's a lot harder to piece together dialog than with NBA trash talk, which is plenty easy to hear from court-side, or NFL yapping, which players constantly describe to the media.

In the NHL, it's universally called "chirping," and it seems considerably more under-the-radar. I'll have more on this in a bit, but I thought Donald Brashear deserved his own entry on the topic.

"Well, guys like Brash, they don't even need to chirp," Brian Pothier explained. "His lefts speak for themselves."

So I asked Brashear whether any of the league's most notorious chirpers had ever gotten under his skin.

"Not really," he said. "Not just from chirping. Because I think it's stupid, quite frankly. You know, if it's from the play, if I hit a guy and then the guy starts chirping at me, then yeah, I get into it. Like, 'Yeah? Yeah? you don't like it? Well, I'll do it again. Come and see me.'

"You know what I mean? I do the real chirping. Like, 'Yeah, you want to chirp, come see me and we'll figure it out,' you know what I mean? That's the chirping I like to do."

That's some real Godfather stuff there, Donald Brashear asking you to come and see him so that together you can "figure it out." I think I'd decline the invitation, more often than not.

But I asked Brashear whether he hears a lot of this talk from others, and he said he doesn't, and that he tunes it out regardless. "Why would you say anything to him?" a colleague pointed out.

"Some do," Brashear said in response. "But a lot of times it's more screwing around than anything, or maybe they're just making fun. Because quite frankly, they know they're not the ones that are gonna come out and fight me. Basically they're trying to get under your skin. If you just turn around and smile at them, then they stop. If you start chirping at them back, then it goes into a chirping battle.

"Sometimes it's good because it keeps you in the game. You get lulled a little bit if you're sitting on the bench, but if they do something, you chirp at someone a little bit and then you get into the game. Sitting on the bench for five, six minutes, it gets long, it gets boring, you can fall asleep, you start looking everywhere and you don't focus on the game any more. So you want to stay in the game and you'll try to do something like that."

There's a lot to chew on there. And actually, a lot of beat writers keep detailed play-by-play notes, even though teams in every sport hand out play-by-play sheets; the beat writers are trying to keep their minds in the game. Guess they never thought of chirping. Anyhow, more to the point, Brashear confirmed Pothier's view that he's not much of a chirper.

"Sometimes it gets into that," Brashear said, "but...I always felt the guys that chirp, most of the time some of those guys are the most likely not to do anything. The guys that chirp, it's because they need the attention, to try to do something, to try to get under your skin. That's their role. They're trying to do something different. I just like to focus and play the game. And I'll hit when it's time. No matter how much you chirp me or how much I chirp, when I go out there I've still got to do the job. That's what's most important."

Ok, more on this in a bit.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 31, 2009; 12:51 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Anything that gives me an excuse to post this NSFW (language) clip of Bryan Trottier and Kevin Stevens "chirping" at Brian Bellows...

Posted by: Section117 | March 31, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Since Dan is an "admitted newcomer to this sport," wouldn't it be nice if the Washington Post got someone knowledgeable to write about hockey?

I guess I shouldn't complain. This seems like the first blog ever that Steinberg wrote that didn't mention a certain someone's name. I don't want to say it. We'll keep it anonymous by calling the un-named person "Sidney C."

Posted by: KellyBuchbergersHelmet | March 31, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"Since Dan is an "admitted newcomer to this sport," wouldn't it be nice if the Washington Post got someone knowledgeable to write about hockey?"

Ummm...they do. His name is Tarik and he write the Capitals Insider Blog. If you want "Knowledgable Hockey," go there. This is the Bog, we like to talk about Haircuts, beards, tattoos, parties, curling, handball, and chirping.

"I guess I shouldn't complain. This seems like the first blog ever that Steinberg wrote that didn't mention a certain someone's name. I don't want to say it. We'll keep it anonymous by calling the un-named person "Sidney C." "

I can only assume you are a Penguins fan, given your limited knowledge of the Bog.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 31, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I am a Penguins fan who reads the Washington Post. Tarik is a fine hockey blogger.

Maybe I don't fully understand the Bog. I do understand that Steinberg wrote an article that did not mention Crosby's name, which is truly amazing. Instead of taking the time to truly get to know the sport of hockey, he has just spent all of his time writing more articles about another team's star than his own team's players.

I like the Washington Post, and the many knowledgeable writers they employ. If Dan Steinberg continues to write stories like this about chirping, and quits writing 4 blogs each month about Crosby, then maybe he can join the other respected writers.

Given his infatuation with Crosby, Crosby's looks, Crosby's lips, Crosby's legs, is looking like a longshot.

Posted by: KellyBuchbergersHelmet | March 31, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty obvious to anyone and everyone who reads the Bog that Steinberg has no desire to be "respected." This place is for fun and games, not "articles." Take it for what it is and stop being a turd.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | March 31, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Right above the thing at the top of the page that says "DC Sports Bog" there is a link that says "What the heck is this?" Perhaps you've noticed a different style and general tone to the bog that you don't see elsewhere, KellyBuchbergersHelmet, but that doesn't mean other Post writers are respected. This bog is proof that Dan understands the area more than most other reporters.

Posted by: sitruc | March 31, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse


I will take your suggestion, and my turd-ness will stop. Maybe.

I guess I was just expecting more out of a blog associated with a major newspaper.

This argument has covered up the main point that I was trying to drive home. Dan Steinberg wrote an article and it didn't mention Sidney Crosby's name. It's a cause for a celebration! Can is the third most Sidney Crosby-obsessed person in the world (behind the person who spent $180 on a Crosby Sucks jersey and the lady with the pacifiers), and I can't believe that he didn't find a way to bring him into this.

Posted by: KellyBuchbergersHelmet | March 31, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

*Dan*...not "Can" bad

Posted by: KellyBuchbergersHelmet | March 31, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

This-here's a bog, not a blog, and clearly labeled as such. Maybe you should whine to an editor, or punch a copyboy in the nads...

Posted by: redlineblue | March 31, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Look to the left and click "Caps" or even "NHL" under the "Categories" banner. Who was that you mentioned?

Posted by: sitruc | March 31, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

KellyBuchbergersHelmet is just another one of those Pittsburgh fans we discussed in Dan's chat today. You know, the ones who don't get that the whole making fun of Sidney Crosby in the most absolutely absurd ways possible is just one fantastic in-joke for Capitals fans.

KellyBuchbergersHelmet, please, educate yourself. Dan has written a large number of entries on hockey-related topics that have nothing to do with His Whininess (as voted on by his peers!)

Actually, you remind me of those people who complain about Reliable Source or Celebritology--because apparently such columns and bogs don't belong in the Washington Post, according to such people. Don't lie it? Don't read it. I think wilbon is an idiot, so I don't read him. Easy.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 31, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I just find it comical that a whole fanbase devotes so much time and energy into hating one person so much. Outside of Ovechkin, I am sure that Caps fans hate Crosby more than like like any of their own players.

But it is a rivalry now, and I guess if that's what stirs the Pittsburgh pot, then so be it. It's kind of like how Pittsburgh fans bring up the fact that it seems like Washington, D.C. has known that it had a hockey team for 2.5 years now. (Then Caps fans say "where were all the fans in the early 2000's when the Pens sucked" followed by the automatic response of "the Penguins consistently have had some of the highest local TV ratings for their broadcasts, even during their dark a city of 300,000" and then it goes back and forth).

I don't know what Reliable Source or Celebritology is, but by the sounds of it, they don't belong in the Washington Post.

The sad thing is that I may like Dan Steinberg if it weren't for all of the hate-mongering that he does. He is like Bill O'Reilly or Keith Olbermann...more concerned with making you hate the other side instead of liking your own side.

Posted by: KellyBuchbergersHelmet | April 1, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

"I just find it comical that a whole fanbase devotes so much time and energy into hating one person so much. Outside of Ovechkin, I am sure that Caps fans hate Crosby more than like like any of their own players."

You find it "comical" because your perception does not fit the reality. Ignorant attempted "jabs" like "Steinberg has written a post not about Crosby hooray!" Makes you look like more of a tool because out of the last 200 bog posts, maybe 10 have mentioned Crosby at all.

Caps fans don't hate Syd Crosby. We mock him. It's a big joke to us, and that's the thing you sad little birdie fans can't quite wrap your IC-Lite addled brains around - It's a joke, Syd's a joke, your town is a joke, and you're a joke. We are mocking you. We save "hate" for people we respect.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 1, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Funny, when I read the actual post here, I was thinking to myself "Isn't it great that the Post is now doing this kind of fun, behind-the-scenes coverage of our beloved Caps now?". Really, it's terrific. This is the fun kind of stuff that a casual fan might read and have it pique their interest and get them to watch a game, after which time they'll surely be hooked, right?

As long as we Caps fans have been complaining about the lack of media coverage, I, for one, am really happy the bog exists!

Keep up the good work, Dan. I really enjoy reading your Caps posts.

Posted by: nafspac | April 1, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Chirping isn't limited to the ice, it seems.

Regarding the story, to paraphrase C3PO, "Let Brashear win."

Posted by: WaPoGuy | April 2, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

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