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Last night’s announced crowd of 16,168 people at the Verizon Center for the Washington Capitals’ match against the Colorado Avalanche was one of the largest I’ve seen there all year. Which was great, but where the hell did all of you people come from? Is it because the Caps are suddenly winning, going 12-6-4 since Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that last night’s game was one of three games that—as a thank-you to its full-time fan base—the Caps organization was offering a set of free lower-bowl tickets to season-ticket holders. (My regular seats are in Section 413, but last night I got to life the rich life on the Caps’ dime and sat in Section 118.) Or maybe it’s just because, due to the NHL’s crazy schedule, the Avalanche haven’t played in Washington, D.C., since dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
Honestly, I don’t really care. The huge crowd was a nice change of pace. What I do care about, however, is how some of you fucking n00bs don’t seem to understand basic sports-arena etiquette.
It’s OK. The Caps won 2-1 after a thrilling third period, so I’m in a good mood. But here are two helpful tips: 1) As the announcer will tell you pre-game, the usher will tell you throughout the game, and any person whose view of the game you happen to be obstructing will yell at you, DO NOT walk to and/or from your seat while the puck is in play. Wait for the next whistle before standing in the aisle searching for your seat while talking on your cell phone and looking like an ignorant jackass for five minutes. And, in the same manner, wait for a break in play before dragging your whining children down to the concourse for another round of nachos. 2) DO NOT lean forward in your seat the entire game. People do not shell out good money to have 1/3rd of their view obscured by the back of your huge friggin’ head. A good rule of thumb: It’s natural to lean forward when an amazing play is about to unfold, and that’s fine—but, after it’s all over, keep your ass and lower back against the back of the seat. (And, for the love of God, DO NOT cop an attitude when the person behind you taps you on the shoulder and politely asks if you wouldn’t mind not leaning forward so much, as it blocks the view of the people behind you.)
These are the things that separate man from beast, people.