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Posted at 11:09 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

The Caps' new opening video

By Dan Steinberg


Ok, this one here isn't technically the new opening video. But you might recall this above video, which was shown before Caps games early this season. The theme is pretty clear: "We are a hockey town." The theme is highlighted via 5,000 people saying "We are a hockey town."

If you go to Caps games regularly, you might also have noticed that the video has been different lately. Instead of "We are a hockey town," the players are now saying "We are Washington." Ted Leonsis's "We are a hockey town!" clip is also gone.

"Dan, you gotta look into this," Reader Andrew wrote me, one of several readers who asked me what's going on. "Maybe the Red Wings sued them over Hockeytown or something."

Well, no, I'm told this isn't actually what happened.

"We always had two versions, 'We Are a Hockey Town' and 'We Are Washington,' " Michael Wurman, the team's game-day entertainment guru, e-mailed me. "We [also ] inserted some more current footage, including the Winter Classic. All in the name of just keeping it fresh."

Speaking of which, Reader Rory sends in another Caps game-day question, of equal importance.

"What is up with the Capitals and the Cowbell?" he or she asks. "We have been to several home games this season and have not seen the Cowbell video. I personally think this has a direct correlation to the Capitals' subpar performance this season."

Well, Rory, again, Mike Wurman has answers.

"We have only played it once this season," he wrote me. "We are trying to figure a way to give that new life, and not simply play the same clip over and over. That's just being lazy. Plus, by not playing it much or at all, when we bust it out, that gives it more clout."

And now you know.

By Dan Steinberg  | February 8, 2011; 11:09 AM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

Whoever the Caps are paying for these slogans the last couple years needs their skills re-evaluated.

"Rock the Red," while great at selling jerseys, is about as cheesy as it gets. Then we're going to push this rock & roll crap to no end and dress up our players as rock stars... ugh.

"Building America's Hockey Capital" - why are we building? No one wants to build a house, they want to live in it when it's done. I understand this wasn't a strong market in the past and the team itself was rebuilding, but we're past that stage. And by the way, STOP trying to be Detroit. Be your own entity.

"We are Washington" .. really? Did the team name not give that away?

Seriously, poorly done.

Posted by: Semvechkin | February 8, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I prefer the "We are Washington" to the "We are a hockey town" for the simple reason that one is true and the other isn't. DC is and always will be a football town above all else.

While the local sports fans have begun to embrace a Capitals team that has shown they can compete in the regular season, and the 89 consecutive "sellouts" at Verizon Center are an impressive streak, anyone from here with a moderate level of awareness knows the Redskins are the number one draw. When they get good again the Caps will lose a lot of that fanbase that is just plain sick of watching a subpar team lose over and over and over again and have jumped on the Caps bandwagon as a result.

DC is as much a hockey town as Tampa Bay is. The Lightning won a Stanely Cup in 2004. Are they a hockey town? Look at the St. Pete Times Forum now: it's two thirds empty on weekend games against major draws like the Capitals. Calling DC a hockey town cheapens the title, like lumping Christina Aguilera in with true divas like Aretha Franklin.

DC is a strong sports town, but the NFL will always be #1 here.

Posted by: HornGuy | February 8, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Havent' the caps won awards for their in game presentation. hasn't 'rock the red' revitalized the fanbase and even been copied by the nationals.

What great ideas does Semvechkin have?

Posted by: boywaja | February 8, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

How about we just get rid of the whole Cowbell thing? That was old over a decade ago. It's embarrassing when that comes on at this point, like when Adam Sandler shows up for school in an REO Speedwagon t-shirt in Billy Madison.

Posted by: FlyersSuck | February 8, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'd leave Semvechkin alone to his ideas. He's probably rocking a mullet in Pittsburgh and listening to that awful "Black and Yellow" rap song. *snicker* That song didn't do much good this weekend.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 8, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Boywaja, I'd guess moving up from the fry station to the front-line cashier position counts. Gotta make baby steps.

Posted by: GFisher1 | February 8, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

People have been ringing cowbells at Caps games since I started going in 1983. Same with the air horn. (Pretty sure it's a different air horn guy nowadays...but he's a tradition in and of himself now.)

Now it may have only been one dude with the cowbell back in the day, but I remember it nonetheless. It's a Caps tradition, perhaps something that newer fans don't appreciate, but it certainly predates Will Ferrell.

As for the we are Washington - that's a good thing. We are better than everyone else and we should let everyone else know it. Especially when we have teams from dreadful places like Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Philthy, or Long Island show up. We should start the "We are DC" chant. Maybe we'll have to start that tonight.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | February 8, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

They haven't been playing the cowbell thing and it's been GLORIOUS! there is nothing more annoying than those tinny little bells all over the place and that guy with the over inflated sense of importance they put on the screen (not christopher walken). They need to end the cowbell nonsense once and for all.

Posted by: mitchdisaster | February 8, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey, while you are at it, find out what happened to the disappearing Hockey Song. That used to be played all the time, but not now. A bit hokey I guess, but kids love it.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 8, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I think they usually play "The Hockey Song" when the Caps are losing and it's clear that they're not going to come back. It's usually in place of "Unleash the Fury".

I thought the rock video entrance video was one of the best ones. But my favorite was the Mission Impossible one they did in the early 90's.

Posted by: TwoBuckChuck | February 8, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Actually the Caps aped "Rock the Red" from the Nats. In 2006, when the Nats were still new and, therefore, relevant, the new owners launched the "Get Your Red On" campaign. They relaunched it after the Caps started winning and, as a result, got popular.

I remember seeing lots of red curly W hats at the Verizon Center in 2008, when the bandwagon was forming. Now you see more Caps caps.

Look, I'm from here--DC is a bandwagon sports town. We're not a great sports town and never will be; our demographics and transiency prevent it. Still, we're a decent town that can get behind and love its teams, when they win.

What the Verizon Center is like now for Caps games is what it was like in 2005-7 for Wizards games, for 2005 at RFK for Nats games.

Posted by: rodeorob | February 8, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Considering the differences between what the Capitals present and what some of the other NHL team present during live games, including Stanley Cup winning teams, I have to look at it as a great thing no matter which version I see at a game.

I'm the "positive vibe" woman, so as usual, I have no real issue with "Rock the Red" or mostly everything else. I'm glad there's an internal understanding that we prefer to see new things every once in a while.

I think we'll always be "building" until the foundation is solid. That foundation is the Stanley Cup.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: creasesinger | February 8, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"DC is a bandwagon sports town. We're not a great sports town and never will be; our demographics and transiency prevent it."

"Whoever the Caps are paying for these slogans the last couple years needs their skills re-evaluated. ... Seriously, poorly done."

"DC is as much a hockey town as Tampa Bay is."

"How about we just get rid of the whole Cowbell thing? That was old over a decade ago. It's embarrassing when that comes on at this point, like when Adam Sandler shows up for school in an REO Speedwagon t-shirt in Billy Madison."

"there is nothing more annoying than those tinny little bells all over the place and that guy with the over inflated sense of importance they put on the screen"

--------------------------

Dan, you have one of my favorite blogs. But, unfortunately, you have what is bar none some of the most negative and whiny readers I have ever seen on the entire Internet. Not your fault, of course.

Posted by: theamazingmouse | February 8, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Good job Caps, nothing says 'hockeytown' more than a Rhianna song!

clowns

Posted by: philarmy | February 9, 2011 6:57 AM | Report abuse

How about a new montage? I am TIRED of the Al Pacino "the inches we need" speech every game. GET OZZY OUT OF UNLEASH THE FURY! He has no clue what hockey is and is DEFINATELY not a Caps fan.

Posted by: irascible1 | February 9, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@irascible1 - Good friend of Ozzy's, are you?

If not, how do you know?

Posted by: irockthered | February 9, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

irockthered: I heard it from your mom.

Posted by: irascible1 | February 9, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

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