Seven wins, seven losses. Per our trusty calculator, that works out to roughly .500 hockey. To put that in less confusing, non-mathematical terms: at this point in the season the Caps are neither good nor bad. There are things they are doing great; there are things they need to improve upon. Through 14 games, they are an average team.
The word “average,” however, elicits such boring, nondescript thoughts. Lucky for us, the Capitals’ fan base is a diverse bunch. Average – or, as others may say, “even” or “rational” – does not exist in our vocabularies. That’s what makes hockey fans great!
But it can also make being a hockey fan confusing. How are we supposed to tell apart the angry fan who threatens your family from the anonymous general manager who knows the exact path to hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup? The fan spewing obscure historical stats from the tired-eyed, gray-haired fan who was born into a Capitals household?
We at Capitals Hill are here to help. Next time you get into a Twitter argument – or real life argument for that matter – use this handy guide to divine what sort of fan you are dealing with. Then, use that knowledge to your advantage to CRUSH THEM IN AN ARGUMENT … or maybe to bridge the divide and shake hands as new friends.
The Purebred: This fan with graying hair was born into the franchise and would never accept another team as its own, regardless of division or conference. Capitals fan until death. This fan is the happiest man on Earth after a Caps win, but should be approached VERY carefully after a Caps loss. Loyal and humble to a fault, this fan is probably your best friend, or should be. Not to be confused with:
The Capster: “Did you see that game when Labre did a one-timer in the old Capital Centre? Do you remember how Langway’s hair had the exact shade of burnt siena? Do you know who scored the first hat trick in the 1981-82 season? Oh, you don’t?” Approach this fan carefully; misquoted history can result in fierce attacks by shivs fashioned from wide-rimmed glasses. See also: “hipster,” “retro fan.” The
Eternal Optimist: Sometimes known as “The Footstool GM,” this fan is sometimes described by the very offensive term “pollyanna.” This fan never questions George McPhee, blames losses on extrinsic circumstances, and allows the team to prop itself up even after countless playoff failures. Will accept ticket price increases no matter how high they go! Comfort this fan heartily and buy him or her at least one drink. Often shares dual-personality disorder with The Purebred.
The Armchair GM: This “know it all” fan transcends all sports. Compensates for limited hockey knowledge by using fanatical, short-sighted “popular” inferences to make ridiculous three-team trade rumors and preposterous line combinations. Frequently cites the plus-minus stat. Calls for Ovechkin in goal and Erat as 1C. When aggravated, this fan is best mollified by a gentle nod and positive reinforcement in order to defray potentially explosive situations.
The T-shirt Savant: Analogous to a fairweather fan, this fan either (a) bought an Ovechkin tee or (b) received an Ovechkin tee as a gift after the Caps won the Southeast Division again. Cheers loudly for goals, boos 3-on-5 situations. Often spotted next to Armchair GM, who probably bought the shirt in the first place. Disappears from all fan communities during losing streaks, only to reappear after a handful of wins. Commonly refers to sweaters as “jerseys.”
The Statistician: A fan who is truly never happy, this person often has “Regression to the Mean” tattooed on his or her thigh and has a picture of Jim Corsi in his or her wallet. Abbreviations like Sh% and ATOI get this fan’s heart racing. Surprisingly, this fan is often extremely fun and engaging at parties. Sometimes referred to as “The Greenberg” (sorry bro, we love you).
The Unleasher of Fury: Caps’ goals will drop this fan into a berserking blood rage. DOG penalties transform this fan into a dangerous psychotic. This fan has spent at least a hundred bucks replacing TV remotes so far this season. Best to keep 911 on speed dial if seated by this fan.
The Grit: This fan’s favorite things on Earth are his Matt Hendricks t-shirt and a bucket of sand, which he periodically snacks from during games. Will often look back wistfully at the NHL lockouts and break into sepia toned stories of gritty things he has seen, such as Dino Ciccarelli’s helmet and Michael Pivonka.
The Barker: Loves shouting stuff like: “If you think Ovechkin can [expletive] keep this up, you’re a [expletive] [expletive]!” “How can you like Holtby, you [expletive] dumb [expletive]?!” “If the Caps don’t win I WILL MURDER YOU.” Often owns a well-mannered lap dog and has a collection of Yo Yo Ma CDs and Zach Galifianakis blu-rays. Completely harmless.
Doctor Schadenfreude: This fan is equally happy whether the Caps win or his arch-nemesis team loses. After a Caps loss, can be found reading disaster porn. After a Caps win, can be found reading Sabres recaps.
The DC Sports Fan: “The Caps are going to figure out a way to give up this 3 goal lead, I can just feel it… Oh great, here we go again.” Very passive-aggressive; best to give this fan a wide berth.
The Rocker of Red: This fan watches most Capitals games and enjoys the experience, whether or not the Caps lose. Realistic about the team’s strengths and shortcomings. Cheers loudly when Ovechkin scores; claps and utters supportive words to players going through a slump. Wins make this fan happy, but not to an unhealthy extent. Though she may be upset after a loss, negative feelings are quickly overcome by a few cathartic tweets and positive thoughts about the next game. This is a rare fan indeed; please report sightings to Capitals Hill and to National Geographic.