Until last night, I took for granted a belief about watching sports with other fans: that it can change your watching experience depending on who you’re with and where you choose to watch the game. Sure, the ideal situation would be to be present at the actual game, but when that’s not possible, you have to turn to the television. Many folks choose to surround themselves with like-minded people; fellow fans of whatever team they’re cheering on.
Last night I watched the Caps’ Game #7 against the Boston Bruins with a few friends at a local hotspot for Caps games viewing, Carpool in Arlington. Normally, the bar is bustling during a Caps game, showing it on their many t.v. screens. Last night however, the bar was a Caps party, jam packed with fans sporting their red. It was as close as you could come to being in the Verizon Center for a game, that a bar could probably offer.
I will never forget the roar of the entire bar when the game ended, sending the Caps on to Round 2 of the playoffs. Seriously, the eruption about the Caps win at the packed bar was incredible. The glorious response mirrored the magnitude and (almost) loudness of being at an actual Caps hockey game- just immensely scaled down. (Though probably the smaller size and cramped conditions sure helped to magnify the sound.) The old phrase, “And the crowd goes wild” would almost be an understatement to describe last night’s experience.
Never again will I now opt for the safe and easy choice of staying home to watch an important Capitals game. Being around a crowd definitely makes the game watching experience more fun and memorable. I don’t know what I had been thinking all this time…