As we enter the most wonderful time of the year, I am reminded of the superstitions that have brought the Washington Capitals to the Presidents' Cup and the top seed in the NHL playoffs – for we the fans, and our intricacies brought us to this point. Although they vary from person to person (and in my case, viewing location to viewing location) the intention is the same: helping guide the Capitals to a win.
Yes, the beard is well known. We also know Mike Green "rocks the hawk" every playoff season since Hershey, and Gabby is picky about where he eats a press meal- "If we've won in that building and I ate it, I'll eat it again. If we haven't, I won't." Ted is also very aware of what he wears, and when - including lucky ties and lucky seats within the owners box.
In Person: Wearing my Throw Me A Burrito shirt (boasting a 9-0-0 record) I exit the Orange Line at Metro Center, taking a left from the train and using the stairs furthest down the platform. Exit station walking under weird mural, taking stairs (not escalator) and walking to Verizon Center. Upon entrance of center, head to Papa John’s station at section 122 and purchase Summer Wheat – which must be consumed prior to finding my seat. The one time I transferred to the Red Line was the dreadful Pens game of Sunday, March 3rd where Nicky B own goal-ed with less than a minute left. *Shudders*
On The Couch: I follow the “if it’s working at the time, don’t change it” mentality. Turn my hat backwards and suddenly find we are on a 5-on-3 power play? Hat remains backwards the entire game. My poor friend Andy had to watch the remainder of the Penguins game from my kitchen, when his beer run prompted the Alex Ovechkin goal-a-thon on Superbowl Sunday.
While I do not have any stead-fast routines, I did watch a few games with my pants at my ankles though to spark a comeback. Just pants obviously...I'm not a pervert.
I have to wear my first edition RockTheRed.net shirt. Lacrosse/mesh shorts are also a must, as is at least 1 beer per period (beer type does not matter). I also sit in my chaise lounge, which is closer to the TV than my sofa, as when I do this my "willing the team" powers are stronger.
If I’m at my house – I have to be on the recliner directly in front of the tv. I also must be drinking Turkey Hill Blueberry Oolong Iced Tea. Oh, and you NHL catalogs they send? My coffee table often features two catalogs (a Caps one of course – that comes addressed to me, and a Pens one – that comes addressed to my husband). I have to turn the Pens one over so it is face down on the coffee table and the Capitals one has to be face up on top of it.
If I’m at my local watering hole (Champions)- I need to be on the opposite end of the bar from the entrance, in the second to last seat in front of the Megatouch. I’ve moved very large men from that seat to make it happen. They apparently fear a 5’4” rabid female hockey fan.
If I’m heading to a Bears game and the Caps are playing on the same day – I have to wear either my Brooks Laich t-shirt or my Quintin Laing jersery. If I wear anything else, the Caps lose.
- Back at the Capital Centre, when I was doing statistics for the team, between periods for several years it was my job to take the stats down to the coaches. I typically took the same route to the locker room but if the Caps hit a bad stretch I would change my route stupidly thinking that me taking a different way would "break the bad karma."
- Regardless of whether the Caps are on a winning streak, I try not to wear a suit, tie, or jacket that contains the primary colors of their opponents for that game.
- In fantasy hockey leagues I avoid picking Capitals players on my team because I don't want to be the reason they have a bad week or season.
- When the Caps are on the road, for some reason I think that if I wear any team gear during the game the club will lose. So I make an attempt to only wear Capitals clothing on off days.
- Stupider still, sometimes in the press box, if the Caps are struggling, I drink a Coke during the next period, instead of my usual water, in an attempt to get the team playing better. Apparently there was a period at some point where I switched from water to coke and the Caps went on a scoring binge and thus the start of a ritual.
- On my way to game 5 of the Rangers series last year, I called one of the off ice officials to find out what was for dinner in the press room. Since the Caps won that night, I called him before every home playoff game to find out what was for dinner and didn't stop until after Washington lost game 5 to the Penguins at home in overtime.
One rule - only drink out of my Hershey Bears pints/shotglasses during games.
Rituals are pretty simple at RMNBHQ. We watch all games near the laptop, so the first thing to is ENGAGE CAPS LOCK. Second, of at all possible cook tacos during the first intermission. The Caps are undefeated on taco night. Finally, should the game extend all the way to the shootout, declare that each Caps shooter is "due." This has worked wonderfully in several games this year. And oh yeah, should that one Legal Sea Foods commercial come on, I race my friends to IM each other the message "COCKLEGOBBLER!"
I always have at least something red on, even if I have to change shirts, I switch in to something red. I also always have my lucky necklace on because last time I took it off and forgot to put it back on we lost for a week (or it seemed like we did), and this next one is going to sound weird but I always like to try to eat Italian food for dinner on game nights. It seems like it works when I do.
If the Caps are down, I take a shower in between periods. Twice now I've done that and Caps have staged a comeback.
So tell us, Caps fans - what have you done this season to help propel the team to they're record shattering performances? We want to know!