While we all wait to see even a twitch out of GMGM (which he’s not indicating anything) and for a jam packed Sunday.. I’m gonna quickly touch on something.
Read this article from our friends over at Capitals News Network.
Now I get it.. everyone wants to be a “true sports fan” and say things like, “I’m in it for the game, win or lose”, and “the players don’t’ owe us anything”.. but that’s horse shit. Individually, no they don’t. But collectively both the organization and to the fans, absolutely. I believe strongly in always being a fan of your team no matter how the season goes, but I’m not gonna cover up my disappointment with acting as if I’m some sort of sports snob and say it doesn’t bother me.
There is a big difference between entitlement and expectations and loyal fans have their expectations and they have their entitlements. I saw a comment that read something like “we as fans aren’t entitled to anything and if you’re not happy and if they aren’t winning, stop going to games”. What the dick is that?? I bet that guy is a Steelers, Yankees, Lakers, Duke fan…. from his couch. If your fans are consistently selling out games and creating great buzz around the city, then yes, you owe them a cup. If you as an organization and team set the standard as winning no matter what… then YES, you owe your fans a cup. I know that may sound like a dickhead comment, but think about this…. Even though hockey players are known as being the least flashy in the professional world (see, “how many NHL players are on Twitter vs NBA players), they still depend on fans just as much as any other sport. The fans are just as important as the players, coaches and management. What’s the first thing you always hear any one of those in the organization say when they are given some type of award or honor… “This is for the best fans in the world” which is sweet of them right? Now I’m sure that every player in the NHL would still play even if it was for peanuts, but that wouldn’t work would it? Money makes everything function the way it should. When you buy that $200.00 sweater or pound those $10.00 beers, just think of the distant fan in Oregon that is thanking you for keeping the whole system running and keeping his game on Versus or the NHL network.
I’m ranting a tad, but the bottom line is this.. Yes, Caps fans, you are entitled to a Cup. Just as the New Jersey Devils fans, Boston Bruins fans, and even yes, The Shitsburgh Penguins fans are entitled to a cup. The day that you stop believing in winning, is the day you stop caring about the game all together.
Sorry for the jumbled post… Rizzle.
I was fortunate enough to catch most of Lunch with a Legend today on ESPN 980’s the Sports Fix featuring Ted Leonsis. The host, Kevin Sheehan, boldly came right at Mr. Leonsis and asked the important question “Will the Capitals win the Stanley Cup this year?” Mr. Leonsis responded with the politically correct answer “I hope”. He continued to say that he respects the process of the season and Stanley Cup playoffs and believes that he and GMGM have put together a team that can compete now and for years to come. Later in the interview he showed a little more fire in stating “We want to win NOW!” and referenced the trade deadline additions as proof of that.
Also mentioned during the trade deadline additions was the Capitals plan. That plan being; to keep the core of young players on the team while continuing to develop prospects in Hershey and making key additions of role players in the offseason and throughout the season. The deadline proved this by obtaining what was needed for the stretch run while only giving up Brian Pothier from the roster, prospect Oskar Osala and a few minor draft picks. Mr. Leonsis also spoke about John Carlson, a topic Nasty Nate covered on March 8th. He seemed real pleased, as I think many are, with Carlson’s play and would’nt be surprised to see him have significant ice time in the playoffs.
The 2010 Olympics were discussed as well as the controversy over the 2014 Olympics in Russia. FYI Ted’s rooting order was for the US to win Gold and if they could’nt then for Russia to take it. Mr. Leonsis greatest pleasure seemed to be that all of his players made it home without any injuries. The negative aspect he spoke of was the total amount of time players were “absent” from the team. He estimated the absence totaling a month; whether it was the mental break players took prior to the Olympics, the 16 days they were gone, or the rust once they came back.
As for 2014, Mr. Leonsis seemed hesitant as to whether NHL players would be going back. He spoke of the above mentioned month affect it has on the NHL season and the amount of guranteed contract money (estimated $150 million for the Capitals) being sent to Vancouver this year. As we all know, the Olympics in Russia mean a lot to Ovechkin and he has stated that no one will keep him from playing in them. Ted Leonsis has spoken with Ovie about this and quoted Ovie as saying “They would stop wars for these games, I think we can take off 15 days.” He continued to say that he has Ovechkin’s back and that the NHL is a players league and if they want to go, we will do it. I could’nt agree more with this and I hope NHL players are allowed to go and provide us with the best hockey out there.
Another thing discussed was Ted Leonsis’ book The Business of Happiness, which is currently the number 4 bestseller according to the Washington Post. I was in and out during this discussion but basically the theme seemed to be that you should be happy and success will follow rather than being successful, making a ton of money, and then expecting happiness. Sounds like a logical concept to me. Overall it was a great 2 hour interview and I wish I could have heard the entire thing without constant interruption from co-workers.