Stuff Mason Students Like #7: The Caps

Ovechkin jerseys are almost as popular as North Face and Ugg boots at George Mason University, if not more so. (Cathi Acosta) 

On Thursday, April 15, the sea of red that flooded Washington, D.C. spilled over onto George Mason University’s campus. A handful of Mason students were spotted with their Capitals gear on.

It was the day of the Caps’ first playoff game against the Montreal Canadiens in D.C.’s Verizon Center.

The Caps’ fan base is increasing among Mason’s student body; more and more students can be spotted wearing red Caps shirts or Ovechkin’s #8 jersey. Wins like tonight’s only help that move along.

But another reason why several students root for the Caps is because they seem to be the only sports team D.C. can be proud of.

Sophomore Brooks Stephens affirms this by noting, “In a sporting sense, they’re all that D.C.’s got. The Redskins and the Wizards were both supposed to be good and people had high hopes for them, but they ended up being huge disappointments in the past few years.”

D.C. did not have much luck in baseball either; the Nationals still have not found success here since relocating from Montreal in 2004, when they were known as the Expos.

It seemed all hope for putting D.C. on the sports map was lost. However, since the Caps have greatly improved their performance in the past two seasons, the D.C. area can be proud of one of its teams. As Stephens puts it, “The Capitals’ success is like a rainstorm in the desert of D.C. sports.” With the team placing first in their division and making it into the playoffs since the 2007-2008 season, D.C. has found its saving grace of sports in the Capitals.

To be fair, some Mason students were fans of the Capitals long before their bandwagon came rolling around. A good number of these students, like communication major Ross Wilkers, date their love for the game and for the team to their youth.

Wilkers attributes his love of the team to his dad. “I have been a Caps fan since I was five, when my dad took me to my first game. They played Philadelphia. I love hockey and the Caps are the first team I started following, so that’s why I’m a fan.”

Although the Caps lost to Montreal this past Thursday night, they won Saturday and tonight, and the fan base and support for the team found in Mason’s student body will not waiver. In fact, it may grow larger as the playoffs continue and catch other students’ attention to the sport and the team. The Caps’ skills and performance create a fan base among Mason students, establishing a stronger connection between the student body and the city of D.C.

“The team plays attacking hockey that is fun to watch and has characters like Ovechkin and Coach Boudreau,” says Wilkers. “I hope [Mason students] discover how great hockey is and keep watching.”


Writer's Note: Inspired by the popular blog, Stuff White People Like, “Stuff Mason Students Like” is pretty self-explanatory in drawing attention to the stuff that George Mason University students like. This column aims to foster a common culture among Mason’s student population, publish what people are thinking and say, and most importantly, to poke some fun at the Mason student body.


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