Meanwhile, In the Capital One Mob

By Jordan Viener – I’ve been to rock concerts, I’ve seen top rap concerts, I’ve stood in playoff ticket lines, I’ve been in student sections for FCS playoff games, I’ve been to NFL, NBA, and yes, even NHL playoff games where the game was actually in the stadium, but I’ve never been in an environment like the Capital One Red Wave Mob.

The Capital One Mob (COM) is really something you had to be there to understand, but I will try to explain the scene for you. Imagine a city street about 20 yards wide including the sidewalks, there are buildings about three stories tall to the left, and to the right is a nice looking building with iron fences and a eight foot lawn between the street and the building. Fifty feet in front of you is an arena about nine stories high another street about 15 feet wide is running parallel to that arena, with two massive screens showing a hockey game. Behind you is about 200 yards of street. Now, every street and sidewalk, every space not occupied by a building, or that lawn to the right, pack them to absolute brim with people in deep red attire. When I say pack them to the brim, I mean so tightly packed that you barely have space to breath, let alone elbow room. The lawn to the right has about 20 cops watching, waiting for something to go wrong. It smells like alcohol and marijuana (remember, it’s legal in the district), but that doesn’t matter, everyone is fixated on the game.

Now you have some vague idea of what it was like in the COM. You may think it was just people looking to have a good time, but it wasn’t, there were chanting breaking out every few minutes in some distant part of the mob, when Jakub Varna was one on one with Marc-Andre Fleury you could hear the entire crowd hold its breath, waiting to erupt.  When Vrana put the puck in the back of the net, the outdoors erupted. It was ballistic, everyone was jumping and hugging, we all desperately wanted a win.

And so it went, with the games highs and lows reflected in the massive crowd that simply wanted to be there to witness DC’s first major sports title in 27 years, and it was worth the wait.  The score was 3-3 and Caps were back on the offensive after being down 3-2 only a few minutes earlier, then, with 7:37 left in the game, Lars Eller scores from behind Fleury, and the mob goes what can only be described as “cookoo bananas crazy”.

We have some video of the moment, but even that wouldn’t justify what it was liked in the COM. A few minutes later the infamous “Unleash the Fury” video blasted across the speakers and the fury was unleashed. A roar of fury from 70,000 fans jammed in the streets.  They, we, have been called a “transient city” a “city without a soul” “a town where the only real sport is politics” the soul of DC the city where I, and my family, grew up.  The new DC and the whole DMV area screamed “Unleash the Fury” and a bridge towards being a hockey town was crossed.

I think for a lot of people, that’s what the COM was really about. We all wanted to win the cup sure, for me winning the cup means sun, moon, and stars, but the COM was also about showing to the world, and to each other, that people are from here, multiple generations have grown up here in this area and that sparkled  last night. More than anything COM shows that sports have an amazing ability to bring people together.

For the entire DMV – one more big – LET’S GO CAPS!

Capitals, Jordan Viener, Pro Sports
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