A Day With the NYC Caps Crew

Posted March 20, 2018

(via the Crew)

By now, I am sure many of you have heard about the group of Caps fans in the New York City area known as the NYC Caps Crew. Last week, I joined the crew for the second and third periods of the Caps 7-3 win over the New York Islanders in Brooklyn at the Barclay’s Center.

According to Fatou Bah who has been on NBCSWashington a couple of times, the Crew got started in 2010, the year after the Caps lost 6-2 to the Penguins in game 7, when the fans realized they needed a bar of their own to watch the games. However, the Crew really took shape in the 2015 postseason when the Caps and Islanders had a shall we say, spirited, playoff series.

The Crew experienced racial taunts and had their cars vandalized in the parking lots. This prompted a story in the Washington Post that helped the Crew mesh to become the family that they are now.

As most of the Crew are DMV transplants living in New York and the surrounding area, whenever the Caps are on the road to play the Devils, Rangers, and Islanders, it is a home game for the Crew. Especially in Brooklyn where the tickets are cheap and they can all sit together.

“This is a place where we can come and everyone can afford it and they have the tickets available,” said Avi Gould when talking about games in Barclay’s. Gould added that sometimes the Crew has upwards of 50 people at games against the Islanders because of how easy it is for the whole Crew to sit together when compared to Madison Square Garden.

Gould is a manager at a bar close to Barclay’s called The Montrose, and the Crew usually meets up there before the game to pick up the tickets and have a little fun before piling into the arena. The Montrose has become the home for the Crew. At the first game of the season, the Crew also distributes there famous “NYC Caps Crew Book of Chants.” Some of these chants include “What time is it? Grub-hour” When Capitals goaltender Phillip Grubauer is starting and makes some key saves like he did last Thursday against the Islanders. The Crew also does a “C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS” chant after every goal and start of each period. Another popular chant, is whenever the ref misses a call or makes aa made bad one, the Crew chants “The referee’s a wanker, the referee’s a wanker.”

Both Gould and Bah recognize that Islanders fans in Brooklyn are very different than those on the Long Island. Both were appreciative of how many Islanders fans came up to them and apologized for the way that a few fans behaved and made sure it did not happen again.

When the Caps are not playing in New York, the Crew will occasionally gather at the bar to watch the games. “The biggest thing about us and the reason we are a family is we do meet ups,” said Bah. “As this season is going on, we do more and then definitely playoffs. Its every playoff game. Its a family, its fun, we do it at our bar, we’ve had people from DC come up because they’re like ‘this is a family and I feel like I’m in DC’ its been an amazing experience.”

“Since I have been with the Crew, I would rather be at a bar watching [the game] with this group, than at a home game live,” said Gould.

With the game not being played in DC, the Crew has to improvise one cheer that Caps fans have grown accustomed too for years now.

In addition, they feed off the other team’s fans trying to create energy by turning it into their own.

The Crew, like many of us, was moved after the racial slurs Devante Smith-Pelly experienced in Chicago and the donations that ensued for the Fort Dupont ice rink in DC. The Crew has actually set up their own fundraising page and is more than halfway to their $2,000 goal they hope to accomplish by the April 7, the end of the regular season.

The group is always welcoming to new members. “If you want to feel like you’re in DC again, join us,” said Bah. She also invited the invitation to all hockey fans. “If you like hockey come join us.”

The easiest way to join the Crew is to follow them on Twitter, and join their Facebook group.