Kornheiser: Caps have a ‘chesty fan base’


(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

I heard where Tony Kornheiser, beloved Washington institution, was talking the other day about how the Caps have a “chesty fan base,” and I was thinking I guess it is a pretty gender diverse crowd at Verizon Center, which could increase its chestiness, although I’ve never gone so far as examining the upper bodies of female Caps fans — nor of male Caps fans, for that matter, because sure, men can be chesty, whether due to excessive caloric intake or lots of push-ups — when suddenly it occurred to me that the beloved Washington institution in question wasn’t using “chesty” to refer to the literal size of the fan base’s collective chest(s).

No, he was just being kinda mean again.

See, earlier today I wrote how I would not be doing this sportswriting job, and how my life would be totally different and probably worse, if not for Tony Kornheiser’s Washington Post sports columns. That’s all completely true. I continue to believe, though, that maybe you can be a prominent local sports broadcaster person, and be provocative and compelling and unflinchingly honest, without necessarily insulting local fans.

Maybe not. I dunno.

“They seem to be engaged in a Georgetown-esque gag at the moment, the Capitals,” Kornheiser said to Barry Svrluga on his ESPN 980 program last week.

Svrluga, who has been moving increasingly toward commentary in his hockey writing, restated this position more mildly, saying that the team’s year-to-year trajectory seems to be moving in the opposite direction from what you would hope.

“Do you think the owner knows that?” Kornheiser asked. “Clearly the fans don’t know that. Do you think the owner knows that?”

Kornheiser here demonstrated — probably to his credit — that he hasn’t spent 193 hours reading the comments posted at the bottom of Caps blog items. Because “Caps fans” — commonly understood to mean the people who are intensely interested in and passionate about the Caps — have been spitting molten fireballs of bad-trajectory truthbombs for about three months straight now. Or maybe three years straight.

So Svrluga, being an observant chap, agreed that Ted Leonsis has sometimes been quite bullish about his hockey team, but he just ignored the fans part.

“But they got a chesty fan base,” Kornheiser said, and, like I explained above, he wasn’t talking about Morganna. “They got a fan base who will tell you that it is an entitlement for them. Because nobody knows hockey like people in Washington. You know, what do you do with that? What do you do with these [people]?…I have this great T-shirt, Rock the Dead. Somebody sent me that. I really like it.”

If the argument is that some people in Washington have an inflated view of their own importance, believe they know more than everyone else in the universe, are oblivious to how outsiders might perceive them and are locked inside their own little self-referential bubble of inconsequence….well, yeah. Maybe some people in Washington are like that.

Can’t think of anyone off the top of my head though.

(If you want to be serious for one second, yeah, some Caps fans maybe veer toward brash optimism and self-celebration. I have no idea if this happens in greater or lesser degrees with Caps fans than with other Washingtonians, or with fans of other NHL teams. If this is objectionable, the objection would presumably be “stop allowing your sports team to make you happy and hopeful, stupid.” That is not an objection I would want to embrace.)

(Via @ericfingerhut)

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · March 18

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