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Scarlet Fever Breaks Out Among Playoff-Bound Caps -- and Their Fans

Yes, Virginia (Maryland and D.C.), there is a Santa Claus. He's a Caps fan who joined "Rock the Red," an effort to make Verizon Center rosy for the playoffs.
Yes, Virginia (Maryland and D.C.), there is a Santa Claus. He's a Caps fan who joined "Rock the Red," an effort to make Verizon Center rosy for the playoffs. (By Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post)
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For example, here came Dave Leven, 20, wearing a Boston Red Sox sweatshirt, along with a Red Sox baseball cap, red baseball socks and Red Sox sneakers.

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"It's like he thinks [David] Ortiz is going to show up for the game or something," said his unimpressed friend, Alex Bastow.

There were, in fact, red shirts representing the Washington Nationals, the St. Louis Cardinals, Liverpool FC, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, D.C. United, Team Canada, Team USA, the English national soccer team, the University of Louisville, the University of Arizona, Ohio State University, the University of Maryland, the Hagerstown Bulldogs, Amstel Light, Southern Comfort and, what's this, the Redskins? Who's providing the color advice here, Jim Zorn?

"I got a voice mail from Ted Leonsis reminding me to wear red," explained Russ Johnson, who was dressed in a Darrell Green jersey. "I haven't gotten my new Caps jersey yet. This is as close as it was going to get."

Dozens of burgundy-clad fans evidently shared Johnson's opinion, but they were hardly the night's most unique dressers. For example, consider Trevor White of Silver Spring, who, as usual, came to the arena wearing a red cape -- "basically a symbol of service, how can I help this team," he explained. White does tarot readings for the team once a month (and publishes the results on his blog), and carries two "rays of light" which he activates and waves in front of his body at key moments, including during the team's warm-up skate. Is he blessing the Caps?

"It's not so much of a blessing," he said; "it's just my way of saying hi."

(Happily, a team executive promised a "Rock the Red integrated campaign" for the playoffs, featuring red pom-poms, in-game videos and yet more excuses to break out the red underwear.)


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