If you haven't noticed, more people are showing up for Caps games. Comparing the first seven home dates of last year to the first seven home dates of this year, the Caps have seen 3,447 more people (on average) spinning the turnstiles at Verizon Center (17,684 average). That is a 24.2 percent increase over the first seven home games' average of last year (14,236).
That is a good thing, from the perspective of the Caps' bottom line and the level of crowd spirit in the arena. But, with so many new fans hitching a ride on the Caps' bandwagon, there is a certain lack of knowledge about how to behave at such events. And, being the helpful sort, your old pal Peerless has some tips for you newbies to Caps games. Herewith are our top-ten tips and things to remember for the novice hockey fan...
10. It is not funny to shout when an icing call is made, "Icing?...I didn't even know we were having cake!"
9. Interference does NOT get a 15 yard penalty in hockey.
8. Don't get into the habit of shouting "OH!" during the Star Spangled Banner. It sucks...really. And, it's more a Baltimore thing, anyway.
7. No, the little guys who play during intermission are NOT the "second team" or the "junior varsity."
6. Speaking of intermission, there are two of them. There isn't a "half time." Don't go home after the second period.
5. There is a "Horn Guy," "The Voice," and now, a "Cowbell Guy." If you have ideas about becoming your own rooting section, the positions have been taken. You're not going to improve on this.
4. Unless you bring kazoos...we love kazoos.
3. For you basketball fans new to hockey...they give TWO assists for a goal (even though a goal counts for two points in basketball...well, most of them).
2. Shootouts suck...trust me.
1. And here is your number one tip. Consider it a warning. You LEANERS out there. You know who you are...the folks sitting in the first row of the balcony who think nothing of leaning out to the edge of your seat without a thought in the world about the fact that the folks behind you now can't see half of the ice sheet?...You paid for the whole seat. USE IT!
Thank you, and happy hockey watching.