The Green Miles grew up in Boston & during my high school years, I took full advantage of the Red Sox sucking. The team finished an average of 4th & while attendance remained strong at 30,000 a night, there were plenty of cheap seats & standing-room-only tickets for a kid with $10 & a T pass.
By the time the Red Sox had won World Series in 2004 & 2007, you could add a 0 to the end of that ticket price. Hardcore fans were priced out as going to Red Sox games became the trendy thing to do. Attendance was less a statement of your dedication as a fan than a fashion statement. The wave of new fans became known by its most recognizable symbol — the Pink Hats.
I couldn’t help but think of that brand-new-baseball-cap-and-chinos crowd on Friday evening as I walked past this fan sitting outside a wine bar near the Verizon Center. Apologies for the low-quality cell phone pic, but imagine a Frasier Crane lookalike in a pastel polo shirt with a brand-new, still-stiff Alex Ovechkin jersey folded neatly over his shoulders. Horrifying, but telling — it seems like DC’s Gallery Place neighborhood is overrun the night of every Caps game with fans who only know the Red Line as what they took to the game.
As the Caps prepare to close out the Canadiens tonight (knock on Eric Belanger’s new teeth), I kick of this Caps open thread with a question: Is Caps fandom at risk of being overrun — and possibly even defined — by bandwagon fans like this guy?