Give Me a Reason to Believe…
I have been a Caps fan going on 14 years now. I will admit, I haven’t been this passionate about the Caps for that entire time, but for the past 6 years, I have been as dedicated a Caps fan as I can be. I got used to the winning ways. It usually goes like this: the Caps have an active off-season, a brilliant regular-season, and at best, heartbreak inducing post-seasons.
The 2011-2012 Capitals are the most frustrating team that I can remember. Not since the pre-lockout days have Caps fans been so down in the dumps, granted, I’m sure there were fewer of us then. Back when the Caps were a terrible team, with terrible black home sweaters (yeah, I went there) the seasons were disappointing for sure, but they also were not as frustrating. The team was losing a lot, but then again barring a miracle, losing seasons were expected.
Then all of the sudden, the Caps won the draft lottery and picked up that kid from Russia; and things started to come together. The roster was soon switched from a rebuilding team to a Cup contender. We watched the regular season wins pile up, and we all suddenly had visions of that shiny, silver Cup being hoisted over the National Mall on a sunny day in June. We saw late season runs in almost every season since the lockout. Winning streaks and dominant hockey that either helped the Caps clinch a playoff spot, or solidify their standing. The Caps always seemed to peak in late-February and March.
This season, it seems the spark is gone. We are already looking past this season, and into the offseason. We have begun speculation as to who will be coming back, who will be removed from their jobs, and how the team can compete next year. Baseball spring training is already starting to fill up my Twitter timeline. And most of the Caps chatter has a nothing but negative references.
Now I’m as much of a realist as I can be. I know the chances of the Caps making a deep run in the playoffs are growing bleaker and bleaker with every loss. I’m not going to call out every pessimistic Caps fan and tell them to have faith. In all honesty, they are probable right in their assumptions anyway. The team just isn’t winning the games that they must win. Besides, people are entitled to their opinions, and unless you are a complete moron, I will respect people’s opinions.
But this is what I want. I want the Caps to give me a reason to hope. I want someone wearing a Red Sweater to put the team and the City on his back and say: “Follow me to the Promised Land fellas!” I want the Caps to come together, right now, and commit themselves to see this season through to the end. I want the Caps to give people a reason to bring signs into Verizon Center that say “BELIEVE”. I want to hear the fans cheer again.
I want to see that spark and desire of a team that will never quit on themselves, their teammates, their coaches and staff, their fans or their city. I want to see players doing whatever they can to help the team win. I want to see emotion, and a “never say die” attitude on the bench. When the camera zooms in on the Caps bench, I want to see fierce determination in the eyes of every player. Teams that are committed to winning, never stop pursuing victories, despite whatever the score is.
Will this be all the Caps need to make a run and get into the playoffs this next month? Probably not, but that doesn’t so much matter to me. I want to see what this team is made of. This is a time where everyone is auditioning for the team, other teams in the league, and for their fans. If I were a player, I wouldn’t ever want anyone to think that I am a quitter who’s looking forward to an off-season and a fresh start. I would make everyone know that I don’t give up on anything.
So there it is Caps. Playoffs or no playoffs, give me a chance to have hope this last month. Give me a reason, to believe.
After all, what else is there?