New Banners Draw the Ire Of Caps Fans

Posted January 17, 2012

What next, a participation certificate? Photo credit: Alena Schwarz

Before the Capitals took the ice against the New York Islanders, the team unveiled two new banners that are now hanging on the rafters of Verizon Center. Both celebrate the Capitals clinching the number one seed in the division and the conference. While it is a positive thing to honor a team’s accomplishments, these banners should’ve never been raised to being with.

When the picture was first disseminated via social media there was fan outrage, and justifiably so. The reputation that the Capitals have is that they are a team that can get it done during the regular season, but collapse in the playoffs. These banners feed into that reputation by lauding regular season feats. If you want to do that, do so by raising division championship banners and Presidents’ Trophy banners. But please do not raise a banner that announces “Yippee! We finished in first place in our conference during the regular season!” In hindsight, the Capitals have nothing to show for it except playoff futility. Besides, pay close attention to the banners for the 2009-2010 season. Note the banners that say “Presidents’ Trophy” and “Regular Season Eastern Conference Champions.” The latter banner is a pointless one. In order to win the Presidents’ Trophy, you must come in first place in your conference. Where else would you finish if you achieve the highest point total in the entire league in the regular season? These banners just remind fans that every year the team falls short of expectations.

If you are going to hang banners to celebrate a team’s success, at least do it when the team and the fans are there. Let everyone celebrate together in the joy and success of the previous year. Don’t just hang a banner from the rafters and have everyone find out when they walk into the arena (or, in this case, social media). It takes away the symbolism a banner holds when not only do they get raised for no apparent reason, but when the people who are emotionally and physically invested into making that season happen aren’t there to celebrate it.

Hopefully these banners come down sooner than later and the next one that gets raised says “Stanley Cup Champions” on it.