Pump Down the Volume

Posted January 17, 2012

Even Fez can't take it any more (Photo courtesy of the author)

During the Caps game Sunday against the Hurricanes, the TV camera lingered on a shot of Eric Staal. It was a pretty non-descript moment that probably would have passed completely unremembered if not for one horrific thing that occurred in the midst of the shot.

And that was children (or one child, in stereo) howling, “LET’S GO CAPS! LET’S GO CAPS! LET’S GO CAPS! LET’S GO CAPS! LET’S GO CAPS! LET’S GO CAPS! LET’S GO CAPS!” at about the loudest volume they could possibly scream.

I’m assuming Staal was perturbed by this too, because he turned to the guy next to him on the bench as if to say, “you have got to be kidding me with this.” The camera cut to Troy Brouwer, who looked like he wanted to remove his own head. As bad as it sounded, I was watching this at home. I can only imagine it was about a million times worse in-arena.

I don’t want to sound too much like beloved old curmudgeon Andy Rooney (may he rest with the angels), and I know most in-game arena entertainment isn’t skewed towards my particular demographic, but man alive, if they’ve got to do this stuff at Verizon Center, can they at least cut the volume down by, I don’t know, say a third?

Look, I expect noise at an arena. When the crowd is organic and loud and spontaneous, there’s almost nothing that’s more energizing and fun. What I don’t expect is to have my ear drums pounded like Alex Semin bangin’ on the bongos (like a chimpanzee!). It’s downright painful at times between the ear-splitting frat rock power chords, the endless “get loud” teasers, and now, screaming children. I hope they take that promo and bury it under the pavement on 7th Street.

I used to think about getting season tickets from time to time and dream about how much fun it would be to go see my favorite hockey team 41 times a year. But if I have to choose between my hearing and my hockey team, I’ll choose my hearing.