One thing that Caps fans in the metro DC area may not know about is the unofficial group for the Caps known as the Caps Road Crew. Started in December 2000 by co-founders Jay Brooke and Glenn MacDiarmid, with the hopes of expanding the Caps fan base outside of the DC area. The trips, starting with semi-local arena such as Philly, NJ or NY has expanded to arenas across the us and Canada. If enough fans request it, the Caps Road Crew tries to make it happen. Now organized by Sherri, with the help of Sam “The Horn Guy” for the website design, you can find her outside section 400 for most weekend home games. The stories she can share about past trips is much more entertaining than I can express in this blog post.
The trips are split into two types of trips, bus trips and “find your own way” trips. They are always determined based on the away schedule and will usually fall on a weekend unless a holiday involved. Some years the schedule is kind to us, but other years not so kind, but somehow Sherri always manages to get trips scheduled. Most of the bus trips usually always include NJ and NYR. Popular find your own way trips tend to be Nashville, Tampa Bay/Florida when they are back close together, same with Anaheim and LA.
While I can’t comment on the “find your own way” trips, I have been on a number of bus trips and they have always been a blast. It’s always nice to see other barns and compare them to the Verizon Center as well as having 45-55 fans sitting together in the lower bowl of a barn cheering the Caps to a win. We are usually loud and heard during the game but we have always been respectful not only to the home team but also because we are representing the Capitals organization even as an unofficial group.
We meet at a metro station for the bus trips. Usually Greenbelt, but have also met at Springfield as well. The bus is equipped with televisions, a bathroom and some have Wi-Fi. The trip up is spent watching a previous game against the opposing team to get us psyched up for the game. We generally stop about midway for food/smoke break, then continue on to our destination. The Caps Road Crew always manages to find a spot against the boards for warmups. On more than one occasion the fans have appeared or have been mentioned on the Comcast Sports Net pregame show. Sherri has an excellent reputation with the sales reps with other teams and manages to get us great seats in the lower section of the arenas. The ride home is equally enjoyable and entertaining as we watch one or two of many hockey themed movies. There has been showings of classics such as Miracle and Goon, but also some lesser known (at least to me) movies such as Net Worth which I thought was incredible.
If you have never been to an away game, the Caps Road Crew is definitely a resource you should look into. Nothing is more satisfying than being at an opposing teams barn who is rowdy and obnoxious to the Caps fan only to be quieted by the Caps winning.
By Robert Kruck