Glory Days benefits from Caps' hot streak
There was no more depressing radio spot this fall than the Papa John's ads that ran after particularly nasty Redskins losses. Remember, you get one free topping for every touchdown, and double the toppings after wins. There were at least two losses in which the Skins never reached the end zone. That = zero free toppings.
Glory Days Grill is currently enjoying the other end of the scoring giveaway spectrum. The local chain offers 10 free wings (with any purchase) to ticket holders every time the Caps score at least five goals at home. The deal was brokered with the idea that the Caps would reach that threshold perhaps once a month, maybe 10 times on the season.
Well, try six times in the past 12 home games. Try four times in the past three weeks.
"Obviously right now they're on a little bit of a hot streak," laughed co-founder Richard Danker, a lifelong D.C. sports fan who helped arrange the promotion. "Hey, they're winning and it's driving some traffic, so we're happy."
The offer is good for seven days after the game, and Danker told me the chain's 20 locations generally host about a thousand ticket-holders seeking free bird during every giveaway. While Glory Days advertises 10 free wings, the restaurant serves orders of 6 and 12, so they just go ahead and give away the full dozen.
A dozen wings retail for $10.99. The Caps have already scored at least 5 goals 10 times this season (including the preseason). That's
five six figures worth of poultry, gratis.
The low estimate by the Glory Days folks was perfectly understandable. Two seasons ago, the Caps averaged 3.09 goals at home. Last year, the number rose to 3.45. This year, they're lighting the lamp an average of 4.0 times a game, the highest home number in the league.
And it's like the players don't know the score.
"I just wanted to give the fans free chicken wings," Alex Ovechkin recently joked, after scoring the fifth goal in a game.
"Another 5 goal game, do any of you guys actually go for the wings?" Eric Fehr asked on Twitter Wednesday night. "Or do you just like to see us score 5 goals?"
Danker, meantime, has spent most of his life rooting for the Redskins and Bullets; he went to the final Senators game at RFK Stadium and served on the D.C. Baseball Commission. Now, his restaurants show all the Caps games on television, hold Caps viewing parties, and court wing-seeking Caps fans to stay for more than just the freebies.
"It's nice, especially at this time in Washington, to have a winner," he told me. "The Caps are hot. It's amazing. I'm old school--football basketball baseball--but there's a lot of magic in that building, and it's neat to see....No complaints. Let's go Caps. It's been great."
(RMNB says it better than I did:
In olden times, victorious warriors would gather in the great mead halls to celebrate battles well fought. They would drink ale, swap war stories, consort with wenches, and tear into massive legs of meat. Our world today is not much different. Sports fans- proxy warriors themselves- return from high-scoring games to gather at a modestly priced, appetizer-crazy sports bar to drink diet soda, talk about the game, flirt with disinterested waitresses, and eat complimentary buffalo wings.
That's the stuff.)
(And if you're wondering whether you've read this before, yes, I did write about a different local restaurant chain handing out an unexpectedly large number of free wings during the Caps' late-season hot streak in 2008. I hadn't even remembered that until I started typing. This must be how Wise feels when he realizes he's made yet another reference to Jeff Van Gundy in print.)
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