The only thing F.P. Santangelo wants more than a Washington championship in June is another Washington championship in October.
He bellowed as much as he climbed on the bar at Clyde’s restaurant at Gallery Place on Monday night and led the place in cheers of “C-A-P-S! Caps! Caps! Caps!”
As the Capitals march toward the District’s first sports championship in a generation, figures from the city’s other sports teams have jumped on the bandwagon. The Wizards’ Bradley Beal went running through the tunnels of Capital One Arena on Monday night celebrating Washington’s Game 4 Stanley Cup finals win. Former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs was the honorary fan of Game 3. The Nationals’ Max Scherzer and Ryan Zimmerman showed up in sweaters, gloves and helmets holding hockey sticks to do the honors at Game 4.
Here is another such crossover: Santangelo, the Nationals’ color commentator on MASN, rallying fans before Washington’s 6-2 romp that put the series in a three-games-to-one stranglehold. He wants the Cup.
“I hope it breaks the door down for the Nationals and Redskins and Wizards to go win championships of their own,” he said in a phone interview.
Santangelo started calling Nationals games eight years ago. Four years ago he moved to the Washington area full time. Now he’s adopted every D.C. team as his own, and especially the Caps. They’re “his team” during baseball’s offseason.
Since the Caps’ postseason run has bled into Major League Baseball’s season, he and play-by-play man Bob Carpenter keep the hockey playoff games on in the booth while they call the Nationals.
“I’m taking peeks at the game during commercial breaks,” he said. “I do it more than Bob.”
Now about his jump on the bar.
It wasn’t the act of some liquored-up homer. Santangelo said he’d only had one beer at the time. But the bartender was a buddy, and Santangelo was pretty fired up about the Caps’ win. He asked once, and the bartender said no, Santangelo said. But a manager came over a few minutes later and gave him the green light.
“When you’re winning, anything goes,” Santangelo said. “You can do things you normally can’t do.”
Like jump on a bar. In a crowded restaurant. And spell a single-syllable word over and over.
“It wasn’t a big ‘me’ moment,” he said. “It wasn’t about me. I just got caught up in the moment. If everybody believes as a team, as a city as a region, it’s incredible what you can achieve.”
Like — maybe — a Stanley Cup championship. Or a World Series.
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