Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Believe Ms. Lopez Said It Best...

We find ourselves in the middle of yet another Caps dry spell, so I had a chance to tune into the Canadiens-Sabres game last night (Habs lost, gosh darn it). As I watched my other boys lose to the streaking Sabres, all I could focus on was how loud it was inside the Bell Centre. It didn't matter what the score was - the noise was deafening from the opening faceoff to the final seconds of the game, whether it was booing or cheering.

That's what I loved about Canadiens games during my time in Montreal; the energy of the crowd made the game exciting regardless of how well the teams were playing. Fans are knowledgeable about the game and are very vocal, willing to politely share their views with the refs, opposing fans, the hot dog vendor, etc. The Canadian Phone Booth was always a fun place to see a game against any team.

That excitement from the crowd is something I hope will return to DC once the Caps start their climb to the top of the standings. I have very vivid memories from my childhood of an arena full of white-clad people waving towels or shaking pom-poms during the playoffs. People even used to get excited about regular season games - there was a fan in my dad's section who rang a cowbell, one with an air horn, and another who played the trumpet. People wore costumes, made signs, and showed their pride in their team.

I see it starting to emerge again...the '8' heads are a particular favorite of mine, and who can forget the horn guy or the guy who yells really loudly. I understand that the excitement and attendance levels are usually directly related to how well the team performs - only diehards cheer loudly when the Caps are down by 5 or 6 goals. But this team is going to get more and more exciting to watch over the next few years, and I just hope that DC fans start to recognize what we have here. So in the profound words of J-Lo, "let's get loud!"

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