Caps are the best team in the NHL. Skins suck. Wizards Suck. Nats Suck. Can you guess which of these teams is the hardest to find on TV?

Last night I was fuming at right around 6:59pm.  When I sat down to watch the Capitals and turned on our local Comcast Sportnet channel only to find that the Wizards were being broadcast instead of the Caps.  My first thought was that the game must be on Versus tonight so I tuned into Versus only to find that the game being shown there was the Bruins vs Rangers game.

WTF?  Where was the Caps game being shown?  I started trying to navigate through the FIOS guide and gave up after a few minutes of trying to find the game anywhere on that clusterfuck (I really do hate the way that “guide” works).  I tried to use my TV Guide app on my phone…no luck there.  I then grabbed the Post to take a look there…OK, I found that the game was on something called Comcast SportsnetPlus.  WTF is that?  It isn’t listed anywhere on any guide.  It is like some made-up channel that doesn’t exist.  Was this some kind of joke?

After another 5 minutes of just scanning through channel after channel I finally find the game.  FINALLY.  So I kick back with my drink in hand and settle in to watch the game when I realize that the game, while being broadcast on an HD channel, is not in HD.  Again, WTF?  Trying to watch any hockey game on Comcast that isn’t in TV is like trying to watch the game through a haze.  It is like they spread Vaseline on the lens of every camera to make the game some kind of visual challenge.

Once again, being a Caps fan in this town just means you want to punch someone from Comcast right in the dick.  Last night was just one more night of showing the fans where they rank in the eyes of our local Sportsnet channel.  The only team in town with any skill is relegated to the Where’s Waldo channel while the Wall-less suckhole Wizards get top billing…again.  So those people that enjoy watching Thugball were lucky enough to see the Wiz get blown out by 31 points in beautiful High Definition.  That is right, 31 points.  I guess the Wiz wanted to prove they could almost be as embarrassing as the Redskins.

Meanwhile, over on the Non-HD, Blurry-as-Fuck “Plus” Channel the Capitals win yet another game in front of yet another sold out home arena to improve to 10-1 on home ice.  Oh and the Caps also just added a couple more points last night to improve on their league leading point total.  The hottest ticket in town is a ticket to a Caps game and yet the team still gets no respect when it comes to broadcast air time.

So the best team in the NHL and the only winning franchise in town has to take the backseat to the bottom feeding Wizards…again.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when this happens anymore but I really did think that the winning ways of the Caps would change the dynamic here in town.  I guess the DC metro is just happier watching a couple of teams of overpaid losers.

Oh well at least the Winter Classic is only a little more than a month away. (BTW, the video on that link is awesome)

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18 Comments

Filed under Capitals, DC, Rant, Sports, TV

18 responses to “Caps are the best team in the NHL. Skins suck. Wizards Suck. Nats Suck. Can you guess which of these teams is the hardest to find on TV?

  1. Brendan

    I was at the game last night. It was my second game of the year, the first one being opening night. Opening night was the most amazing sporting event I had been to in my life. The crowd was electric the team played great in the 2nd period, and the fights in the 3rd period capped off an amazing experience.

    Compared to that, last night was a dud. It looked like the upper deck was full and the crowd up there was into the game. But down where I was in section 116 there were a lot of empty seats. The cues from the Jumbotron were not working. People were NOT making noise. People were NOT on their feet. I saw too many people looking at their cell phone, their date, or their baby. There was one vocal section of the crowd. The Sabres fans.

    I also watched Tuesday night’s Wizards game, when they played possibly their best game of the year at home in virtually empty Verizon Center. Announced attendance was 11k, but it looked more like 3 to me. Neither John Wall or Yi Jianlian suited up for this one, so you could predict that it was going to be poorly attended. Thing is I was at a sports bar having dinner at the time, and I had to ask for them to put the game on, otherwise I would have been watching women’s college basketball. The idea that watching them get destroyed by the Celtic would get priority over Caps v. Sabres is preposterous, but I am guessing that’s the deal Ted Leonsis and company worked out with Comcast.

    It’s great that Ted own’s both teams now, but I worry that he will put so much energy into getting the Wizards popular again that he will neglect the Caps. Raising ticket prices this season was a bad move. Yes the tickets are selling, but people aren’t attending. Season ticket holders can’t get rid of their extra tickets. Hockey fans are already sold on the Caps. Now he needs to turn sports fans into hockey fans, which is a much more difficult job. The Caps need more exposure in the media. They are on AM radio, the Wizards are on FM. The Redskins are the topic of 90% of the sports talk in town. The hosts on the radio need to talk more about the games, and the players need to get out there, much like Chris Cooley does with his weekly 1 hour radio show. I think it hurts that the best players on the team are European and have a bit of a language problem. 1 hour of radio with Ovie or Semin might actually hurt the team. But an hour with John Carlson or Mike Knuble might be interesting.

    It may be a bit much to expect every night to be like opening night, but what was the atmosphere for a home game like in Chicago when Jordan was playing for the Bulls? Or in RFK when Riggo and Theisman were playing? If through some miracle the Wizards were winning 60+ games a year you better bet that every seat would be filled every home game and they’d be on the front page of the sports section every day the Redskins weren’t. Maybe we have to accept that hockey is about as popular as horse racing. Maybe hockey needs to be on ESPN before it will become more popular in the US. Maybe the Caps need to win the Stanley cup in order for them to get the respect they deserve from the local media. All I know is that some of the greatest athletes I will ever see are playing for my home team right now, and I love watching them any way I can.

    • Unfortunately the “poser” fans are part of what comes with the success of this team. When the Caps weren’t winning you could pretty much get tickets for any game in any section you wanted. But now that going to a Caps game is the place to be…you know, that hot ticket…you have those lower bowl seats all bought up by the suits that either come to the game and barely pay attention or don’t show up at all. I always say that to measure the actual fan base at a game look to those upper level seats. If those seats are all filled up then you have an actual sellout.

    • Section 430

      I also noticed the fervor of the Sabres’ fans on Wednesday night. At least they don’t come by the busload anymore as they did in the bad old days. But they did seem to intimidate the Caps’ fans until the third period. The most important thing is that however loud the Sabres’ fans were during the game, they went home unhappy.

      Two questions about home games so far:

      1. Where’s the Capstronaut? I don’t miss him, I’m just curious.
      2. What school of mathematics explains 71 consecutive “sellouts” when there were dozens of empty seats evident on Wednesday night? (And not just in the 200 sections which supposedly don’t count or something.) Something does not compute.

      • 1995hoo

        Whether a butt is actually in a given seat is irrelevant to whether a game is a sellout. A sellout is determined by the number of tickets sold or distributed (“distributed” being a catch-all phrase that covers things like tickets donated to charity, tickets given away in a radio contest, NHL or team holds, etc.). If all the tickets are sold or distributed, the game is sold out, even if some of the ticketholders choose not to use the tickets for whatever reason. If you think about it, you can easily understand why that has to be the case: Once a ticket for a particular seat has been sold or distributed, that seat is not available for someone else to purchase.

  2. geonarcissa

    I think I watched the Ovechkins destroy my team (Leafs) recently. I have to shell out $30 a month to get Leafs games because I live in Ottawa.

    • I feel your pain on that one. I am a Chicago Cubs fan too and at least we get some of those games on WGN but if I want to see more than a handful a year I have to buy the MLB package. Those packages get pricey too.

  3. Jason

    I believe this is a bit of an overreaction. This was the first game out of the 19 that the Capitals have played that has been relegated to CSN+. If you were a true Caps fan you would realize that over the years the games on CSN+ have dwindled. You should be very happy that the Caps have been chosen to be on CSN over the Wiz many more times this season already. It had been announced in advance that this game was on CSN+ and you had plenty of time to figure out what channel is was going to be on. Unfortunately you are a Verizon Fios customer and apparently their CSN+ feed did not come through in HD. Both Cox and Comcast in the DMV area had a full HD feed. I had no issue avoided the horrid Wizards game. Don’t blame CSN for your personal issues on the matter. You were unprepared and you apparently have the wrong cable system. It would be a perfect world if the Caps were on CSN every game, but even though they are the better team, their ratings are not much better than the Wizards so every once in a while they are thrown a bone. Next time the game is on CSN+ pony up the dough and go to the game, it looked like there were plenty of empty seats for a Wednesday night game.

  4. dude

    Dude, I think you need to calm down a bit. It’s not often that Comcast bumps the Caps for the Wizards. As an avid fan of both the Caps and Wiz, and as a religious CSN-DC watcher, from what I’ve seen, they’ve bumped the Wizards to CSN+ moreso than they have with the Caps, and Caps are slightly more accessible because they’re a better team. They only did so this time around because they were playing the Celtics, who are a championship caliber team with 3 superstars. Other than Ryan Miller, most DC “hockey fans” probably can’t name 2 other Buffalo Sabres off the top of their head. CSN was just looking at the schedule to see what might bring in more viewers. DC is arguably still more of a basketball town than it is a hockey town. Can’t be too mad at them for making a business decision.

    Not to mention, this could have been avoided had you looked at the Caps and CSN websites beforehand. You could have also easily found their CSN+ HD feed, had you done that as well. With the age we live in today, that kind of information is easy to find my friend.

    • I wish there was an HD feed to be had for me. Unfortunately I was on the “HD” feed for the game and it was definitely not in HD. But as others have pointed out here…I guess I should have focused my anger on FIOS and not Comcast. But hey, this isn’t a freakin’ news site. It isn’t like I stop to do research. 🙂

  5. Lars Rover

    I’m a NoVA FiOS customer, too. I was prepared and knew the Sabres @ Caps game Wednesday night was going to be on CSN+, which is aired on FiOS channel 1 in SD and what I thought was going to be in HD on FiOS channel 501. However, I was completely fucking annoyed when the game started – fucking 4×3 image with stupid fucking FiOS 1 HD sidebars. And the fucking 4×3 image was NOT fucking HD.

    As the previous commenter Jason noted, however, this was NOT a CSN+ problem. This was a 100% FiOS problem and major fail. Levy your complaints to FiOS. Such a shame, too, because up to now I’ve been really pleased with FiOS. First time for everything, I guess.

    • Part of my anger is probably just from years of being a Caps fan and always being the last team mentioned on the local sports or having to look to Page 6 of the Sports section to read the hockey news. I know that coverage has been better in recent years but I have seen this same thing happen on the old Media General, Comcast, Cox and now FIOS where the Caps get bumped. I guess I should be happy that they just got bumped to a different channel and it isn’t the old days where they just weren’t televised.

  6. On the Fios remote you can click the right side of the big circle thingy and search the guide by category. Select sports (or HD then sports if you got an HD box) which will cut the guide down to a managable list.

    My bigger issues were

    1. The Fios HD channel 501 seemed to be rebroadcasting the low def signal from channel 1 with bars on either side of the picture.

    2. No Joe B which mean more Laughlin; I like my caps with Koken as the color guy; HTS style. I guess that makes me old school……

  7. atnight

    While inflammatory, these comments are justified. I live in Arlington, VA and generally only watch television for Caps Hockey as I can only afford a handful of visits to Verizon Center each season. I have no need (or $$$) for some extravagant cable package. In previous years/seasons, CSN+ was available on CH 8 or CH 77 and I could watch the games. On Wednesday night I discovered they moved it to CH 21, which per Comcast is only available with a Digital Cable package, which costs more than 3 times what I currently pay for Basic Cable. I’m not sure why this change was necessary as Ch 77 is a wasteland and still “seems” an option to air the games. Why Comcast continues to raise prices yet take channels away from basic users is just predatory. If there’s going to be no chance for competitors in this space, maybe this service should be regulated.

  8. leacha

    I went on a similar rant while standing in my kitchen, beer in hand, almost exactly a year ago. I was super pissed and wanted everyone to know all about it.
    After thoroughly enjoying my righteous indignation for a few weeks, I took a harder look at my position and realized the following: of the twenty something dates when Wizards and Capitals games fell on the same night in 2009-2010, Wiz games were broadcast on CSN+ half plus one times, while the Caps got the short end half minus one times.
    In other words, CSN split the games right down the middle, with the edge (it was an odd numbered total) going to the hot team. In a vocal community with diverse tastes, this is the only conceivable way to operate. To relegate the Wizards to the dungeon of CSN+ whenever a conflict exists during their current rebuilding would be the same as sticking the Caps there from 2003-2007. CSN needs to be fair to all local teams in times good and bad, and to their credit they have done pretty well in that regard.

    Don’t get me wrong, CSN+ totally sucks and I want to throw things at my TV every time a Caps game is broadcast there. But hey, at least it wasn’t on Versus.

    • Lars Rover

      No qualms with anything you are writing here. But it’s 2010, the Caps are hot, and CSN is broadcasting CSN+ now in HD. Pressure needs to be applied to the cable providers to put CSN+ on an HD channel. End of story, and if done, it won’t matter whether Caps (or Wizards) are on CSN or CSN+.

  9. Andrew

    Well, that’s interesting that someone found it on Ch 21 on Arlington Comcast. I did my usual dance between 10 and 64, then checked 8 and 77. I went to the full guide, and trust me, it didn’t show up on 21. I give up now and watch it on ADHTE.com, but lo and behold, the stream was down. Last season I called Comcast on several occasions to ask them what the hell CSN-DC+ was and not a single rep could tell me. They are all morons. Anyway, so long as it’s just a handful of games and declining, then I will live.

  10. I know hes used CCM most if not all his career but that red on the back makes me think Bauer.. I just dont get the feeling that Alex is the type of person who lets other people do the driving..

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