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Rangers Fans: Loud, Profane, Boring



Last night was the first time I had been in Madison Square Garden for a professional sporting event. Some quick, cheap observations, became no playoff series has really started until you start picking on the opposing fan base.

* They were loud. Really loud. Gutturally loud. It was a much different sound than is produced in Verizon, much more of a roar from the innards. And, for better or worse, they were loud without being prompted by rally videos or PA announcers. And I'm in favor of both at Verizon, but this was noticeably different.

Veteran NHL writers said that's one of the three loudest playoff buildings in the league; that D.C. isn't too far behind, but that the Garden is clearly louder.

* They were profane. Look, there's plenty of bad behavior in Verizon. Just yesterday someone forwarded me pictures of a Caps fan urinating outside the building on Saturday, in broad daylight. But I've been to dozens and dozens of games there, and the profanity last night was on a different level. TVMA would be putting it kindly.

There were dads cursing their brains out in front of little kids. Massive, rink wide "Bleep-hole" chants. Massive "These Refs Suck!" and "Bett-man Sucks!" chants. Repeated "Po-ti Sucks!" chants. Invitations for Poti to perform sexual acts. All variety of curse words directed at the officials. Homophobic slurs directed at people in Caps gear. I passed Bettman in the concourse; just as I noticed, so did a nearby Rangers fan. "I [bleeping] hate that guy!" the fan said to his buddy.

* They were front-running. After the Rangers got down, they got quiet. No knock there, because it happens everywhere, but it still needs to be said. (Ted's Take: "I was surprised that with 7 minutes left in the game and we were up 3-0, MSG emptied out. There were less than 10K fans left in the building. The building gets very quiet when the Rangers are down but WOW was the building loud when the game started! The cheering and the singing and clapping during the singing of the National Anthem brought out goose bumps for me.")

* They were less defensive than D.C. hockey fans. I'm sort of extrapolating on this one, but Nate Robinson was shown on the big screen, popping his Rangers jersey and pointing at his Rangers hat. The crowd went nuts, just nuts. There are plenty of all-sports fans in D.C., but the roar for D.C. athletes shown on the VC screen is never quite like this.

* They were boring. When I go to Caps games, I find it impossible to walk through the concourse without pulling out my camera. I don't know why it's like this, but from the mohawks to the absurd custom jerseys to the masks to the homemade t-shirts, Caps fans just aren't boring. Rangers fans looked like normal people wearing store-bought Rangers jerseys over dress shirts. And no shame there, but it was a jarring difference.

The only photo-op I saw was the pre-game glow-in-the-dark thunderstix, many of which were thrown toward the ice after various unfortunate events for the home team. Contrast that with the images below, from Game 2 in D.C.. Yeah, it was a weekend, but this is what it's always like there nowadays.














(Sure, these people don't look that crazy, but trust me. That little elephant there is a good luck charm for Jose Theodore. It's a fantastic story, one made less relevant by events on the ground, but maybe one day. Anyhow, I didn't see any lucky elephants in the Garden.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 21, 2009; 9:22 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , NHL  
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Comments

The CSN guys said that "coins and debris" were thrown on the ice at the end of the 3rd period. Can you confirm?

Posted by: rmontcal | April 21, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm almost shocked that is your first professional sporting event at MSG. I was late getting to a television so I missed the first period. Then I was watching other shows while watching the game. I thought it came across as quiet on television. I'm not sure if it was because of the broadcast, I don't care about NY fans, and/or I missed the loudness early on.

Posted by: sitruc | April 21, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to new york, you sound like you must have played a lot of tennis and golf growing up. I didn't know dressing up like an elephant made you more of a fan, i'll try that when i go to game four. Or i could cut my hair like my grocery bagger and get fired from my job for looking like a tool.

Posted by: HeartBeatsTalent | April 21, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I am a DC native but live in NJ for 9 years now. I was at game 1 in DC and went up last night to the Garden. I was in section 38 (corner behind Lundqvist in the 1st and 3rd) in the 5th row. The fans behind me were brutal. Luckily I had my back against a wall (literally, there is a wall at the 5th row and I was sitting against it), but each time I stood up, it was to a barrage of curse words, insults, and boos. I have heard nothing like it out of Caps fans in all the years I have been going to games (from the Caps Center to Verizon). I mean, these people were really angry. The train ride home was fine, as there were mostly families riding back to NJ. What it really comes down to is that game was ridiculously amazing and I will never forget it for the rest of my life. All those angry fans really just made it that much sweeter...

Posted by: wspanic72 | April 21, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight...shutting up when your team is down by four goals is front running? I was at the game and the Rangers played awful last night...they didn't deserve to be cheered with the effort they put forth.

But I will say one thing...at least the Rangers fans showed up to the Garden during the seven year run of missing the playoffs. Fans have put up with awful teams and continually rising ticket prices over the past 10+ years but still continued to show up and support the team. That is more than I can say for Captials fans who abandoned the team and then suddenly became interested again when Oveckin and a new set of uniforms showed up on the scene.

So yes...we are loud and we are vulgar...but we love our team and to state anything to the contrary is simply a lie on your part.

Posted by: rangers2319 | April 21, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

top photo on the left in the Team Russia sweater - is that a zombie-Putin mask?

Posted by: No_Quarter | April 21, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

You are completely spot-on. The Rangers fans are the most front running bunch the NHL has to offer. Because we all know continually selling out the Garden without winning a playoff game in 10 years is front running.

Sorry we don't need to paint our hair or have a 'red-out'; gimmicks that are usually reserved for less established franchises.

Funny how you say we are front runners while you played in a completely EMPTY building before Ovechkin got here. Give me a break. Try to sustain interest in your franchise without the best player in the world. Four years ago you could have been prime contenders for relocation/contraction given your apathetic and absent fanbase.

Posted by: hunterscheapshot | April 21, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Caps fans are very loyal and loud, but a truly great home crowd needs no prompting. Verizon Center can still show the rally videos but the crowd shouldn't need them to know when to roar. I'm sure there are Caps fans who dislike the prompting, too--show everyone how it's done. Maybe some flyers (Note: not "Flyers") should be circulated.
Hey, back in the beginning, Phish phans didn't automatically know how to respond to everything that happens during a Phish show; they had to be shown, and flyers were a primary way they were shown.
BEAT THE RANGERS!

Posted by: WaPoGuy | April 21, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The 2 Rangers fans have a point - However, it doesn't overcome their stupidity.
See Washingtonians are a lot smarter than NY-ers (highest per capital Phd's & Masters area).

We paid for a good product & didn't get hoodwinked into believing there was a viable product on the ice from '04-06.
U rags forget this area stood for this franchise since '75 with no consistent success. & when the owner told the fans of his master plan - as a fan you either put your money where it does some good or you throw it down the drain.

No wonder you guys have th highest cost of living anywhere. You hit the bid for nuthin on a consistent basis!!

I guess living in NY, the lack of affordability, is part of the hype by the media. U think u have to pay up for everything including sports & entertainment.
NY prices = stupidity. buwaahhahahaaa

Dummies.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

what is it about the Bog that attracts readers that hate it,a nd DC, from all over the country? I just cannot figure it out. Me, I stick with the local DC stuff and don't go trolling Larry Brooks' sorry excuse for reporting. Do you people not have jobs or something?

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 21, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Most of the season tickets for Rangers games are bought by corporations, especially in the lower bowl. That is why most of the fans are gone by the 3rd period. They are a corporate entity looking for a reason to curse in front of their kids.

For the earlier question, they were mostly throwing the inner light cubes that were part of the thunder stick. The fans actually had to TRY to throw something on the ice by tearing it apart.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | April 21, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I was at the Rangers - Panthers game in late February at MSG, and I'm a Caps season ticket holder. I was surprised at a few things:
1. Rangers fans left before the end of the game -- well before! -- when the Panthers scored to make it 1-1. The groans were to be expected, certainly, but the mass exodus to the subway completely caught me off guard. Not saying this makes them front-runners per se, but I've certainly seen anecdotal evidence to support that claim. (As a long-time DC sports fan, I have a keen eye for fans not believing in their team... this certainly met that description.)
2. My seats at VC are third row, my seats at MSG were in the 300 level. MSG was *much* colder than Verizon Center ever is. Perhaps that's why MSG has better ice than VC, despite the fact that MSG hosts about 23094820 more events a year?
3. It wasn't particularly loud. Regular season game, though.
4. MSG is uuuuuugly. TV shots don't do it justice, it's a remarkably horrible building.

Posted by: yatesc1 | April 21, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I don't normally check these out of state blogs out...but since this was pointed out to me on a Rangers blog I read, I felt the need to comment.
Yes, MSG is loud, you got that right. However, when the team is down 3-0 midway through the third, you will absolutely find the home crowd very quiet or possibly not there anymore. This is normal, especially when people have jobs and have trains to catch so they can wake up to commute back to their 8 am to 6 pm jobs. I myself stayed until goal 4 hit the back of the net...I figured a 4-0 lead for the caps was pretty safe and that my rah-rahing was no longer going to help or make the Rangers feel better about themselves (contrary to what Caps fans and bloggers may thing). NYR fans are not front running; find any fan in that 400 level and tell them they are front running, I promise you, the response will be VULGAR (apparently not the way Caps fans and bloggers like it). Understand that there are plenty of no-nothings in the lower levels though who go to games because their company has simply provided tickets for them.
Which leads me to my next point - VULGARITY (oh, no! Someone PLEASE think of the children!!). New Yorkers are vulgar - deal with it. I was in 419, row C last night. I didn't see any children around me...I assume the 30 to 40-somethings around me have used the word "sucks" in some context before. And if there were children around, well they will learn the word one day.
Lastly, Rangers fans are not mutant side show freaks. Most people showed up on a Monday night from their office jobs in Manhattan. Most brought their Ranger jerseys with them so they can show their team spirit over their business attire. We do not paint our faces, put our hair up in mohawks and dye them colors, put our hair into horrible looking mullets, or wear masks to create a side show about ourselves; we watch the game (GASP!). Most of the ridiculous thundersticks handed out last night were discarded (either on to the ice or into another section - yes we are rude and vulgar, I told you to deal with it) - we do not need some kind of noise making stick or motivational video to get loud. We usually save that for places like Washington to handle.
This concludes my rant.

PS - Nice bush league job by OV and Backstrom last night after the game. Actually nice bush league job by OV before AND after the game. Colton Orr is watching.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey hunterscheapshot,
If you Ranger fans are such purist then why did you have those stupid thunder sticks last night? Last time I saw those was at a game and in Tampa. Way to represent the Original Six. Oh, and throwing coins on the ice is so hockey purist. Get over yourselves. You've won one Stanley Cup in the last 65 years and it will probably be another 65 before you win it again.

Posted by: billieb | April 21, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

yatesc1,

MSG actually has notoriously bad ice. It's not considered any better than VC's.

Posted by: jec4p | April 21, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

thetruth,

ovechkin and backstrom weren't trying to insult anyone or show anyone up. they've been doing that after wins for most of the season, home and away. it's nothing new.

and @yatesc1,
MSGs ice actually isn't necessarily better than VCs. VC and MSG are both known for having pretty terrible ice.

Posted by: sirbobalew | April 21, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Anyone one else notice how bad the camera angles and lighting are on the live broadcast @ MSG? It is really hard to track the puck. It's like the cameras are farther away. Anyone know why?

Posted by: chasedano@gmail.com | April 21, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@TheTruth17

Bush? Anyone who has to root For Sean Avery, the epitome of BUSH, has no business calling the best player in the NHL bush. Also, besides having Brash, AO can handle himself pretty well. By the way,how many minutes haas Orr played?

Posted by: adhardwick | April 21, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"But I will say one thing...at least the Rangers fans showed up to the Garden during the seven year run of missing the playoffs. Fans have put up with awful teams and continually rising ticket prices over the past 10+ years but still continued to show up and support the team."

Wow, you guys sell out an 18,000 seat arena. Of course, being situated in a metro population of 20 million probably has nothing to do with that, does it? And everyone knows half your lower bowl is sold to the same blood sucking corporations that put this country in economic ruin. So yeah, be real proud you sell out your building.

Posted by: billieb | April 21, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

chasedano, yes, I've noticed it all season (and every season, actually). Its really not all that fun to watch games at MSG on TV because the lighting and camera angles are so awful.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 21, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I have to agree with the NYR fans on this board - to some level. I remember the days when I was the only 'idiot' starting "Let's Go Caps" chants at Capital Centre and literally getting the entire arena behind me. I also remember going to the Spectrum for 'the game' in 1985 (the year the Caps blew the 13 point division lead) in March, and being amazed at the intelligence of the Flyer fanbase to realize the Langway was goaded into a fight to 'get him of the ice' which was soon followed by a 3-goal Flyer rally from which the Caps never recovered - all the way to their disappointing choke to the Islanders that April.

But I digress. I have been away from DC since the '98 Cup run, and have experienced a completed Cup run in Tampa Bay, where the acoustics of the arena were deafening - yet still, the crowd 'sound' was never guttural, but more 'screamy' and still needed thundersticks (yuck! prefer towels which last longer) and the bogus loud music and teleprompting. Yes, I'm still old school.

All this said, I've been watching the "Red" resurgence and it just feels different than back in the 80s and 90s. While Verizon is not and never will be as throaty as the Garden or old Yankee Stadium, it IS much "throatier" than I've ever seen it. Great to see rabid fans pounding the glass - this never happened at Cap Centre. Best of all, players now acknowledge the Booth as a tough place to play, something that was rarely said for Cap Centre, especially through the 90s.

Most notably is the lessening of the "Pittsburgh factor". It was awesome to see the sea of red dominate the crowd during the last Caps home win against the Pens on NBC back in February. This might be key should the Caps continue their rally and eventually meet the Pens, perhaps for a trip to the Cup Final.

Did you see Philly and Calgary the past two days? Crowds can make a difference, especially for a desperate team coming home. The Rangers, not being as desperate being up 2-0, could've used the crowd to their advantage, but the Caps turned the arena silent. Good for them.

Go Caps.

Posted by: wxdancer | April 21, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

MSG's ice is terrible, but it doesn't take much to have better ice than VC.

Posted by: yatesc1 | April 21, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

AO = Bush. There ya go, I said it. Again. I love the guy...think he's the best hockey player in the world. There is absolutely no doubt about it. All that aside, he's a bush leaguer. One day when he gets his knees broken a few years from now, you will know why.

That is, of course, is Bettman ever steps down from running this pus league.

PS - Avery is bush. His antics are ridiculous. Don't jump to conclusions. And Orr hasn't played much, Torts doesn't use the 4th line. He has said that repeatedly. However, in hearing his comments about finding the crest of a team basically sacred, don't be surprised to see Orr out there for a shift or two to take a run at someone.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Haha Ranger fans are hilarious. Getting indignant because Backstrom and Ovechkin did a mid air chest bump celebration. Oh the humanity.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | April 21, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I think you missed the point, buddy. It was in response to the garbage blog entry above. The OV and Backstrom situation was brought after the fact. Pretty funny that you'd be first in line to knock a guy like Avery for doing that though.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I was once a Rangers season ticket holder before I moved to the D.C. area in 1972. I had season tickets to Caps' first, and several other, seasons as well as partial ticket plans.

Typically, a significant number of close to the glass, corporate seats were empty, with many nearby fans rightly complaining that the company should hand the tickets to employees for any game the company wasn't attending.

Also typically, regardless of the score, large numbers of fans would leave with 5 to 10 minutes left in the third period, accompanied by derisive shouts of "Goodnight, fans!"

Posted by: rw-c | April 21, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Avery is bush. His antics are ridiculous. Don't jump to conclusions. And Orr hasn't played much, Torts doesn't use the 4th line. He has said that repeatedly. However, in hearing his comments about finding the crest of a team basically sacred, don't be surprised to see Orr out there for a shift or two to take a run at someone.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 11:57 AM


& watch him gets wiped out by OV?
OV isn't bush he's obama.
Welcome to the 21st century holmes

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"& watch him gets wiped out by OV?
OV isn't bush he's obama.
Welcome to the 21st century holmes"

Thanks for proving my point about Caps fans being side shows.

A coherent response would be appreciated.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure "Bush League" doesn't mean what you think it does, TheTruth17.

Posted by: sitruc | April 21, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes it does. You people are confusing what I'm saying. You think I am telling you Ovechkin sucks when that clearly is not what I am saying.

Bush league means "second league"....an "inferior" quality. Mocking a team and its fans after the team has left the ice is the exact definition, guy.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for proving my point about Caps fans being side shows.

A coherent response would be appreciated.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:11 PM |

As oppose to you advocating violence by Orr - right cro-magnon -oooh -agggg -ooooo -aggg?

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

You should probably learn how to use a keyboard, Rocco. You can't even spell your own name right. I'd assume those "00"'s at the end of your name should be "oo"'s. And even then, it would make "Roccoo" which I'm convinced no one is named.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Also it should have been "opposed" not "oppose".

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh - grammar police.
Just trying to dumb it down for you NYC-ers.

ps - it's an internet handle just like your's. Unless you do go around introducing urself as the truth!
Doesn't surprised me tho - tuff guys like u.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Bush league means "second league"....an "inferior" quality. Mocking a team and its fans after the team has left the ice is the exact definition, guy.
Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:22 PM |

21st century definition - cutting a team & its fans heart out. Gutting it. Then dancing on their carcasses.
You all left the ice cause u had no fight left.
Gutless.

@ least the Cowboys defended their star from T.O. right there & then.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"Uh oh - grammar police.
Just trying to dumb it down for you NYC-ers.

ps - it's an internet handle just like yours...Unless you do go around introducing yourself as TheTruth17!
Does not surprise me though - tough guys like you."

Fixed your post. There were 8 errors
(1 - yours...not your's - not possessive. 2 - urself = yourself. 3 - it's TheTruth17. 4 - Doesn't should be "Does not" in that situation, it makes one look smarter. 5 - surprised is not past tense in this situation so it should be surprise ("Doesn't surprised" wow man...wow) 6 - tho = though. 7 - tuff = tough. 8 - u = you). Please work on this.

So much for us "NYC-ers" looking dumb.

Thanks for proving my point yet again. Have a good one guys (or gals).

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"21st century definition - cutting a team & its fans heart out. Gutting it. Then dancing on their carcasses.
You all left the ice cause u had no fight left.
Gutless.

@ least the Cowboys defended their star from T.O. right there & then."

Oh wow...Rocc00 has re-written the dicitonary. He did such a good job with grammar and spelling earlier that they let him re-write Webster's dictionary. Please do yourself a favor and shut up. You're giving Caps fans a bad name. Bush league
is absolutely not the definition you have provided. Also, the Rangers had left the ice...so you may want to take a look at who is gutless waiting until the team left the playing surface to do their bush league grind on each other at center ice.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Please work on this.
How about u join the blog-sphere in the 21st century ok?
There's a thing called twitter, txting, & blogging.

ESL baby!! ESL !!!!

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Blogosphere.

ESL makes you look half retarded.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh wow...Rocc00 has re-written the dicitonary.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:45 PM |

U mean the same english language that is made up here in the US for over the last 300-400 years? Is that why there are multiple dictionaries & updates?

I think u took 1 too many punches right tuff guy?

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

???

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

That last one was too dumb to leave at just "???" The US is 300 to 400 years old? English made in the US??

My God, man!

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Blogosphere.

ESL makes you look half retarded.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:47 PM |

ESL gives me an excuse - what's yours? Fighting on the net cause you can't do it in real life tuff guy?

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't seem to be the one looking to fight (you certainly do). I simply want to educate you. There's something seriously wrong with you.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

That last one was too dumb to leave at just "???" The US is 300 to 400 years old? English made in the US??

My God, man!

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:51 PM |

certainly cause you don't think the Queen's english is as changeable as the American 'make it up as you go along' right grammy? 2 bit hacks. Period.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

You've managed to confuse the piss out of me. I literally have no clue of what you're trying to convey here.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Yes it does. You people are confusing what I'm saying. You think I am telling you Ovechkin sucks when that clearly is not what I am saying.

Bush league means "second league"....an "inferior" quality. Mocking a team and its fans after the team has left the ice is the exact definition, guy."

TheTruth17: I think what people are trying to explain to you (some more rationally than others, but still) is that Ovechkin and Backstrom do that little jump in the air after every win. They've done it at home and on the road and it's definitely not meant to mock the other team or their fans - it's just their little celebration, nothing more.

You can choose to get insulted by something and read too much into it or you can ignore it and move on. Considering they did it after the OT win back in December and no one made a fuss about it then, I'm guessing this is all just playoff anger and that's it.

And by the way, I doubt Orr or anyone else would think that required any sort of "action", especially during the playoffs. He'd have to be pretty dumb.

Posted by: SEvanson | April 21, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I've been a Caps fan my entire life, and I don't consider Ovechkin to be bush league by any means. I do want to say however, that TheTruth17 is both hysterical, and thoughtful. No sarcasm intended at all. Rarely do I laugh out loud reading blog comments, but this guy's great. I, for one, would like to see him back here posting throughout the series. Thanks TheTruth17, for making my morning a good one.

Posted by: glb8p | April 21, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

SEvanson - thank you for the clarification and I appreciate the response - really, I do. Not being a moron. It was thought out and coherent and if that is correct, than I stand corrected myself. Maybe my reaction was out of line due to a tough loss.

GLB8P...I try my best. I'm glad you get all of this.

My original response really was directed at the writer of this entry. I understand he way of thinking, I guess, but I feel that I had to say something as a die hard who attends many games a year. I'm back at the game tomorrow up in the 400s. Should be fun.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

you poor washington writers are crybabies. how dare fans show passion. you came to philly last year belittling the fans here. now you go to nyc to the garden for the first time ever and cry about how upsetting it is to hear curseword chants and dads showing emotions? get real pal, your fans are the front runners. how about your fans showing no class, when the flyers put out the crapitals in game 7, how quiet and classless your fans became. throwing trash onto the ice, fans throwing bottles at carters face. the flyers put out the habs in their own building, but the crowd cheered the habs for the season. take some notes and welcome to the nhl.

Posted by: eraserintime | April 21, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

not a huge hockey fan, but a sports bog fan and I have to say that its comical to see these front-running rangers fans come out in droves and essentially prove the Stein's various points. keep it coming

Posted by: tedunni1 | April 21, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

In droves? It's basically me going nuts on one severely intellectually-challenged Caps fan. I'm not sure how it's proving his point considering I'm not a front runner.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Although I guess it does reinforce the loud and profane points...I guess I would refer you to my original post regarding those points.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

TheTruth17: No worries - I could see how if it was a one time thing or you weren't familiar with the little celebration it might seem obnoxious. Just thought I'd help you out a bit ;)

And from one diehard to another, here's to a good series!

Posted by: SEvanson | April 21, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

was at the garden last night so here are my observations:

1) yatesc1 is totally right about the stampede of people trying to get out of MSG. I have particularly strict rules about that (basically if I'm actually a fan I will stick by my team no matter what, I'm not going to have them looking at an empty seat. And that holds true to when we were in the bottom of the league and couldn't sell out the arena) but I was shocked that the fans gave up so quickly. Anything can happen at 10, 7, even 5 minutes. Those fans seemed really petty and fickle to me.

2) Stadium is so not built for hockey. Second time sitting behind the net, second time I couldn't see anything. Was in the section that celebrated the Rangers non-goal, because no one could actually see...

3) MSG was scarily loud at the beginning, although I thought it was kind of odd to be cheering during the whole national anthem... and how quickly they died down. Although no arena is that loud when you're losing.

4) As for the swearing... maybe its just me but I thought they were pretty tame. Didn't hear the homophobic comments, but they have Avery so they are well-versed in GLBT lingo I guess. Basically I swear just as much in Verizon, kids or no kids around, because I'm sorry, it's a hockey game.

5) Was warned time and time again about being heckled at MSG wearing my caps jersey but worst I got were death stares and boos. The heckling only started was when the Rangers fans were leaving, especially in the comfort and safety of their SUVs while driving by me. That's when the c-bomb etc came out. Pretty weak to heckle someone after the game, from your car, as the person walks in the rain, but if that's your game, go ahead and play it. Didn't stop me from celebrating one bit.

LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: mrszilla | April 21, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@hunterscheapshot: So are you an Islanders or Rangers fan? Your name would imply an Islanders fan and the attendance on the Island is a joke.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 21, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

OOOOO, they said the 'S' word, how awful.

Posted by: ckck94 | April 21, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

You'd be grumpy too if you paid for a 1-million dollar studio apartment in that dumpy city, then went to that dive of a building to see your team get steamrolled.

Seriously, why does it look like a high school gym in MSG?

Posted by: WhiskeyRobber | April 21, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Selling out an 18,000 seat arena in a place the POPULATION of nyc.. is not that amazing. I'm not hating on that. I'm just saying, you can't compare the two.. Not to mention a bunch of corporations that have destroyed the economy buy seats there..

Anyways props to rangers fans for being loud. Lots of dc area sports venues are filled with fairweather fans and tend to be quiet. I think nyc teams def have way too much arrogant fans but at least they cheer. It was nice to hear them get really quiet so early in the game though hahaha.

Posted by: kld34 | April 21, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

By the time of this post, it is almost redundant to say what I'm about to say, but here goes...

1. RANGERS fans are one of the most loyal fans in the NHL, maybe second to the Leafs and we show up when the team is playing playoff hockey or when they play like last night --- atrocious. THE CAPS WERE NEARLY BANKRUPT UNTIL OVECHKIN TOOK OVER.

2. You suggest CAPS fans are not boring because they wear face-paint and dress up, as opposed to the Rangers that store-buy their jersies. Obviously you are a big fan of Halloween AND WOULD NEVER MISS A CHANCE TO DRESS UP!!? Cool..that's your thing, but to classify RANGERS fans as BORING because they don't play your 'dress-up' game is pretty funny. We do buy our jersies and put them over our suits/work clothes, because after work ALL-SEASON we go straight from work to the Garden. THE CAPS season is half-empty during the season.

3. The Rangers clearly played horribly last night -- but guess what? WE ARE STILL AHEAD OF THE CAPS.

4. Tomorrow decides everything....

5. Go to www.thedarkranger.com and 'air' your differences.

tdr

Posted by: TheDarkRanger | April 21, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

dude, sorry to inform you, but getting a hand job from a guy in a Dennis Maruk mask is only done at Caps games; sorry we hold ourselves to a higher standard at MSG...

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

ps, mrszilla, had I been able to afford the $100 price of a first round ticket, I would have personally kicked your ass for wearing Caps merchandise - remember, most real fans can't afford these outlandish prices, so consider yourself lucky, next time you might leave MSG with more than just a sardonic attitude.

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't checking back after my last comment, but I think SEvanson covered my thoughts in his post at 1:07 PM, TheTruth17. In general, this bog isn't about a right or wrong way to support your team. It's about the fun and silliness around sports. Dan would be disappointed and call Duke fans at MSG during an early-season tournament boring if they weren't dressed up as well.

//yeah I went with Duke since they get more support than any non-hockey NYC area team at MSG

Posted by: sitruc | April 21, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Oooh yeah, Nostra, your comments show us that MSG standards are really high.

Posted by: capsfan77 | April 21, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

NostraChronus-

I got the ticket when I met a Devil's fan and paid for his bar tab- $27. He didn't want to just scalp it and end up with a non-fan next to him.

At least I care enough to show up with my jersey, you guys whine about DC fans being a bandwagon culture, but I've stuck with the Caps since my birth, and guess what, not you or the entire MSG can make me feel bad about that. I wear my colors proudly no matter where I am.

Also- I might hate on other teams but at least I have enough sense to respect other hockey fans, since there are so few of us...Basically what I'm saying is: get some class and enjoy the competition. It's a sport, it's more fun with there is some banter.

Posted by: mrszilla | April 21, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

capsfan77, folks mentioned we were tame; I'm showing you that it's the corporate interests that were at the game, not the real fans, so don't think MSG is some bathhouse like the Verizon Center just because the suits were gone midway through the third...enjoy your Club Scarlet membership.

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

get some class? Dude, the guy in the picture is wearing a fricking Star Wars mask with his Caps jersey!!!???

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

You're just proving everyone's points.

Posted by: capsfan77 | April 21, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@NostraChronus: And had you attacked me I would have grounded you, sued you, put you in jail, ruined your family, then taken whatever pittance you have back with me to my 6 figure job and awesome life enjoying a caps win. Though this wouldn't have happened because you can afford 100 bucks.

I really despise people like you. Trust me we have them in DC as well, people looking for a fight at games or talking big about how they would fight. You know what I call fighting over a multimillion dollar athlete? Stupid.


Besides you probably are all talk. Trust me dude I have had road trips with Swedish klacken, and seen some of my best friends brutally beat opposing crews of Ultras at 1860 M√ľnchen games. Compared to them you are just some poor fat loser who eats his hotdog and runs their mouth. The archetypal new yorker.

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 21, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Watch out, he'll be coming thru the inter-tubes to get you.

Posted by: capsfan77 | April 21, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Nah germany has a pretty good firewall up to stop unskilled workers from getting in.

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 21, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

sued me? Six-figure salary? Nice; typical Caps fan - no class, ragging on socio-economic status, but since you must know, I'm saving for the second and third rounds, along with the Cup, all of which will cost a lot more than steeply-priced first round games. You despise people like me? Dude, go pass some legislation.

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Dude, the guy in the picture is wearing a fricking Star Wars mask with his Caps jersey"

It's actually not a star wars mask, nor is it a Caps Jersey...

I'd invite you to try again, but I'm afraid you've gone Full Retard.

PS - talk about class, above you threatened to beat up a woman for wearing a jersey that represents a team that you don't root for. Tough guy you are.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 21, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

try again? Simple fact: Rangers lead the series 2-1, Caps lost home-ice advantage, and had I know it was a woman, I wouldn't have trash-talked like that...that being said, you have to be the lamest, most-PC fans in the entire league, and that's from fans at the other 28 NHL arenas, not just MSG.

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't really know if there is anything bad to say about Caps fans, I think we can all be proud of ourselves. Sure, maybe the decibel level is a notch higher at MSG, but we're loud too. We have lots of heart and passion. I have not seen many games at VC where there was a mass exodus after the game was basically lost. We always seem to wait until the final horn, maybe its just the false sense of hope we have sometimes. That we've made comebacks before and that this group of players doesn't give up very quickly. The thing that I think puts Caps fans above others like Rangers or Philly fans is that we have a little more class. I've never heard a**hole chants at VC before. Sure, there is the fair share of vulgarity but not at the level that i've heard at other arenas like MSG. I believe that is something positive and hope Caps fans will never become like that. Sure, chants of anger at the refs are great, but I think we should leave it at just the Ref You Suck! chant and mass booing. Hockey, every team sport, is about passion, hard work, never giving up, having fun and good sportsmanship. That counts for the Fans as much as the players, and I think on average the general Caps fan is very passionate, has a lot of fun, but we are good sports in the end. We seem to have a little bit more respect for other fans around us. In any case, I just think Caps fans are among the best fans in the league.

Posted by: jonsnoek | April 21, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Truth17, you don't leave early. End of story. Barring medical emergency, you stay and support to the end if you want to boast about your fan credentials. Leave early 'cause you work the breakfast griddle at BK, fine, completely understandable, but don't crow about how great the fan base is.

'Sides, being down 3 or 4 doesn't mean the game is over. Didn't we learn that lesson in a Caps-Rags game earlier this season?

See 'ya Wednesday!

Posted by: Sparky22205 | April 21, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Lets get back on the logic train here. You said you would beat up somebody named Mrs Zilla which is probably a woman and you are lecturing us about class?

And yeah I despise you. "Ug ug you have a different opinion and favorite team ug ug I beat you up". Really intelligent line of thought there. Legislation does not need to be passed to deal with people like you, it was done ages ago when assault was made a crime. Trust me though, this part I mean to all the "tough guys" at games. There is no reason for any fighting off the ice.

And yeah you are right, I went too far with the socio-economic thing. I know the rangers are the best thing that will happen in your life and I will try and be more respectful.

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 21, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

oh and we are not the most pc nice arena. You are thinking of Phoenix. They have awesome family time meal deals.

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 21, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

dude, I'm not in the habit of analyzing the screen names of blog posters, I had no idea it was a chick; also, what company is paying you six-figures to comment on this blog all day? As per the Rangers being the best thing in my life, not quite, but they're certainly a nice departure from the Mets and Jets. It's called trash talk, plain and simple - would I really, truly, sincerely kick your ass if you were sitting next to me at MSG wearing a Caps jersey? Probably not, but if you were as obnoxious as you are in this blog, I wouldn't have to - the rest of my section would take care of business.

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

He's funny, ain't he?

Posted by: capsfan77 | April 21, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

wait a minute, trunkenmath, this better not be TARP money you're taking me to task with.

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I am funny, and usually one of 18,200 reasons why watching a game at MSG beats Verizon Center any time.

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman-

hahahaha you are my hero! Was waiting for someone else to notice that he was totally wrong about the jersey, we may have a lot of Russians but the team hasn't gone completely ruskie to my knowledge.

NostraChronus-

So nice to see that you have begun polling the PC levels of every hockey venue, maybe not you will be too busy to even show up to support your team. And female or not, I can take your trash talk, if I couldn't I wouldn't have show up at the game. But really to threaten to beat up any fan, especially threatening that over the internet- that's just lame. You're just as bad as the people who insulted me as they drove away, hilariously lazy and classless.

Posted by: mrszilla | April 21, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I've been laughing for a a couple hours now. Seriously, if you and a few others always get this worked up over sports blogs, you will fulfill our comedy needs for quite a while.

Over and out.

Posted by: capsfan77 | April 21, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"...one of 18,200 reasons why watching a game at MSG beats Verizon Center any time."

I guess this year is your lucky year! Instead of watching good hockey twice in one year, you get to watch the Caps 4+ times this year.

Posted by: _828 | April 21, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, Truth17, you don't leave early. End of story. Barring medical emergency, you stay and support to the end if you want to boast about your fan credentials. Leave early 'cause you work the breakfast griddle at BK, fine, completely understandable, but don't crow about how great the fan base is.

'Sides, being down 3 or 4 doesn't mean the game is over. Didn't we learn that lesson in a Caps-Rags game earlier this season?

See 'ya Wednesday!"

You sure like the type to try and sound like you're better than people, don't ya? Maybe you should try being better than me at shutting your mouth. I left after Tom friggen Poti potted a goal with 1:25 remaining in regulation...Maybe in your magical world with fairies and leprachauns, my team would have found a way to win the game after being down 4 with a minute and a half to go all because I stayed to watch. I already know your response - "But you're not a TRUE fan if you don't stay till the end!!" That was the end of the game, plain and simple. You can save it, I'm not going to lose sleep over some jerkoff named "Sparky" telling me I'm a front runner.

MSG is an hour and a half commute for me between subways and ferries. I will do what I want with my time and money and at the end of the day I'll still be a true blue Rangers fan. Had that been the elimination game and the Rangers were about to be bounced out, I would have stayed and given the typical standing O that the blue seats gives at the end of any season, as I did in 06 against the Devils and 07 against the Sabres. "End of story."

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 21, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

_828, not sure how the English version of your comment would read, but the Rangers already played the Caps four times this season before the playoffs, and the Caps prevailed 3-1, I believe. I already know you're an idiot because you're a Caps fan, but is there more to that point?

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

ps, I don't bandy around my bank account to impress people with lower intellects, but even if I was financially poor, at least I wouldn't be morally bankrupt.

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Really, the Caps played the Rags 4 times at MSG already... I did not know that.

Posted by: _828 | April 21, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I stand corrected, _828, guess there was an English version.

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 21, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

MSG is also not as big, as far as ceiling height, that would also give into the roaring effect.

Posted by: NatyBG | April 21, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

NYC z dum!

kthxbai

Posted by: bs2004 | April 21, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Ranger fans....Do you remember not making the playoffs for 7 years....and no one went to MSG really not even those lovely wall street tickets were being used.

Your crowd could be tape recorded. The Caps have had the better crowd, which means nothing just that your fanbase is not vocal. Potvin Sucks....Do you know he has 4 cups and you were not playing the Islandrs.

You all signed up to rip this blogger, he got what he wanted from you and will get more. Kudos to him for using you as the puppets you are.

Your love of Avery, is just laughable, the guy can help win a game but sure can help lose one. Which is why he is not that great as an agitator.He cares about himself,his nails, and guys. Maybe one call was not valid on him and the Caps got the shaft on some BS calls onSaturday.

Punching the goalie in the face....that is just white trash like some of your fans. Throwing garbage on the ice because the Dolans make you spend a $100 in the worst seats at MSG>. Most of your fans should just bring the trailers with them next time.

The scene was dark....the blue lights were extremely gay and did not look good maybe just go with the towels are shirts next time.

Go Caps Go.

Posted by: neveragain1 | April 21, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Neveragain1,

Congrats...anything positive said by any Caps fan here was just negated with your stupidity.

All of our IQs collectively dropped for having read that post...Apparently you are deaf ("Rangers fanbase not vocal"...um, read the title of the entry...the word LOUD is in there..your GM described it as "scary loud") and blind (NYR is still up a game in this series).

We absolutely do remember those years NYR didn't make the playoffs. That's what makes being in the playoffs much nicer this time around. Those years sucked, but they are gone. By using your logic, I will pose this question to you: Remember when you didn't have Ovechkin? Washington was not an NHL hot spot, that's for sure. I don't think Peter Bondra was quite the draw that OV was.

You have no idea of the origin of the Potvin Sucks chant so please do not speak on topics that you don't understand. It only serves to make you look even more dumb than you actually are. The crowd could be tape recorded? You watched too much WCW wrestling as a child.

Ranger fans should bring trailers with them to MSG? I don't even know where they would fit on a city street. If you could draw up some kind of blue print, the NYR fan base would be most appreciative...or not...because I'm almost certain none of us at the Garden live in a trailer...and if we did, we certainly wouldn't be able to afford seats at the Garden for a playoff game.

Please shut your homophobic (big word to you, I know - look it up) mouth.

Posted by: TheTruth17 | April 22, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I moved to DC from NY 7 years ago, am a Ranger fan but have Caps season tickets because hey, hockey is hockey. Caps fans should think twice before talking smack about the fanbase of another team, especially the "frontrunner" comment. As others have said, Rangers support and attendnace has not faltered materially despite awful teams of the late 90's and early 2000's.

Now, I will admit that since the DC area is so full of transplants from other places (like me!), it's harder to have a full blown homegrown fanbase (unless you are the Redskins). Many fans are the "I root for the Caps unless the Red Wings are in town" type, which is fine, give them credit for at least supporting the local team and not only showing up when "their" team comes to town.

None the less, lots of new faces have jumped on the bandwagon at the Verizon Center since Feb/March of 2008. As recently as January 08, I could go to a weeknight game and be literally the only person in my section in the upper level. Once the wins started coming and the playoffs became a possibilty last year, people magically decided to support the Caps. In any book, not showing up until the team starts winning is the classic definition of frontrunning/bandwagoning/fair weather fan behavior. The Caps are now local media darlings, and sporting goods stores are now full of Caps merchandies, where before, you had to dig through to find even a hat.

And I think the people wearing masks and mowhawks etc is funny but it almost lends credence to the fact that people are just there because it's the in thing to do right now in DC since the other local teams are terrible. You can sit around folks like that and figure out pretty quickly that they are just there to say they were there, they don't know anything about the game and just seem more interested in drawing attention to themselves.

I've heard the "team was bad in years before so we didn't want to pay for a poor product" argument. That's bull. If you support a team, you support them through the good times and bad. If you can't afford tickets, watch it on TV. Buying a ticket does not guarantee you a win. The new Caps "fans" get all bent out of shape if they go to a game and the team loses, you should hear the whining in the stairways leaving the Verizon Center after those games. I have a good time at hockey games regardless of the outcome, it's a fun night out and a stress reliever.

If the Rangers eliminate the Caps tomorrow night, I can only imagine what some of these folks will do. They won't be able to feel cool anymore because "their team" lost. It's okay, we'll see them back in the stands in October or later, once the wins start coming again.

Posted by: RustyShackelford728 | April 23, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Steinberg. I would be interested to get your take on the atmosphere of game 4. I was at game 3 and 4 and to me game 4 was completely different, it was louder and more intense than game 3. The stakes were higher for this one and because the Rangers were in it the whole game, the crowd was into it. At times it was literally deafening. The crowd had the sense in game 3 that it was not our night, the team came out very flat from the start. I think thats part of the shared genetics of Rangers fans, things don't go our way so often that we can just feel it. MSG in game 4 was rocking

Posted by: JK111 | April 23, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

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