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A lockout or strike in any sport affects everything from ticket sales to merchandise sales. This year it was no different. “Our NHL business was off substantially,” reported Mitchell Modell to Puck Daddy in reference to the recent lockout. Modell is the CEO of Modell’s sporting goods stores. “Thank God for the NBA, because it came back strong last year [after that league's lockout] and they are more than offsetting our NHL sales.”
Even charity events such as Pick-a-Stick took a hit this year. Last year, the Caps Cares campaign brought in almost $19,000 for The Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation. This year they made $16,840. Not bad, but a definite decline. Though there are Caps fans that refuse to support millionaire owners and players, feeling that greed is the basis for all that ails the NHL, many fans continue to show their support by buying and collecting Caps merchandise, and displaying their Caps-FAN-alia proudly.
What is Caps-FAN-alia? It is any item or memorabilia a fan displays, uses or wears to represent and/or support the Caps.
Take avid Caps fan, 26-year old Jake Drengwitz. “My favorite piece of Caps memorabilia is a game-used Peter Bondra stick. He was my favorite player growing up and he signed it for me.”
Fans of all ages love their Caps-FAN-alia. Zack Newman, a 12-year old hockey player for the Bowie Bruins, recalls a special day. “At my very first hockey game some of the Caps players, including my favorite Alex Ovechkin, signed my jersey and hockey stick. That’s why my Caps jersey and stick are my favorites!”
Like Jake and Zack, most people consider their favorite piece of Caps-FAN-alia something that is autographed by one or more of the players, but 18-year old Andy Wallace is different. He and his dad collect things of all kinds from comics to pins to bobbleheads. He owns 32 bobbleheads in all — 27 Caps, 4 Hershey Bears, and 1 Baltimore Clipper.
When asked about his most prized piece of Caps-FAN-alia Andy explained, “My favorite has got to be my Rod Langway bobblehead, simply because of its rarity. It took so long for one to even show up on eBay that the fact that I even have one makes it all the more special.” (Wallace recently joined Caps Outsider as a contributor who focusses on collectibles)
Despite the shortened season, fans continue to support the Caps and value their Caps merchandise. It’s not unusual to see people wearing Caps’ jerseys on every street corner, especially on game day. So, what is your favorite piece of Caps-FAN-alia? Let us know in the comment box and, as always, keep Rockin’ the Red.