(Photos by Caps Outsider) It was all about the fans Saturday night...
Who Are You Wearing?
Verizon Center has the Alex Ovechkin Russian jersey for sale. (Caps Outsider)
Whether Caps fans are watching games while relaxing at home, with friends at a local sports bar, or are lucky enough to Rock the Red at the Verizon Center, one thing is for sure—they’ll be wearing a jersey. In fact, since the announcement of this long awaited, yet abbreviated hockey season, Caps jerseys have been popping up everywhere.
According to Dan Tumolo, assistant manager of Total Hockey in Rockville, MD, “Sales of Caps jerseys have really increased since the end of the lockout.”
The front wall of the recently opened, monster hockey store is lined with red, white, and blackout Caps jerseys. “We primarily sell Ovechkin and Backstrom jerseys. Other players can be ordered online,” he adds.
For many fans, choosing a jersey is a very deliberate and personal thing. Which begs the question: “Who” will you be wearing this season?
An Ovechkin jersey is the choice for Jamie Lyons, a mechanical engineer from Ellicott City, MD. “I chose Ovie because he is a world class player and his goals are spectacular!”
Thousands of Caps fans feel the same way. Thursday evening, at the team practice held at the Verizon Center for Fan Appreciation Night, Ovechkin jerseys were the obvious, number one choice for fans young and old. But there were exceptions.
Just ask construction worker, Mike Hammers. “I prefer the defensive side of the game so I wear a John Erskine jersey,” he explained. “I enjoy watching him play. I think he has an underrated slap shot. He’s a beast!”
Katie Lewis, a grad student from Salisbury, Md. wears a Troy Brouwer jersey to the games. “I really like Brouwer. He’s my favorite player. I love when he scores!”
Some fans like the specialty jerseys. Greg Mumma, an accounting clerk and adult league ice hockey player from Middle River, MD, wears a Michael Neuvirth Winter Classic jersey. “I play goalie and I wanted a goalie player jersey.”
Even Zach Leonsis, son of team owner Ted Leonsis, has his own system for picking jerseys.
Many of the Caps are involved in charity work and Melissa Wilkins, an elementary school teacher from Annapolis, MD, admires Mike Green for his work on and off the ice. “My fiancé is a season ticket holder and I went to my first Caps game 5 years ago. At first, I liked Mike Green simply because I thought he was cute. I finally met him, and he was funny and very personable. I found out that he does a lot for the community. He’s a good person and I wear his jersey because of that.”
Whatever their choice of jersey, fans are certainly excited, decked out and more than ready to cheer on the Caps.