Many of the players on the Washington Capitals are well loved and pretty popular among the fans. Some of the most popular guys seem to be Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom, and the dynamic duo of John Carlson + Karl Alzner. I think it’s great that there are so many popular Caps players on the team, and that’s just naming a few. But here’s a question for you: which current Caps player is the least likeable/has the smallest fan base?
Now don’t get me wrong- I love all of the Capitals. But many people can see that fans flock to the coolest guy, the best player, the newest face, the most crazy personality. It’s no secret that attracting fans is something of a silly popularity contest. It shouldn’t be, but let’s face it- at least in the professional sports world, that’s how things tend to work.
I’m pretty sure that at one point the least interesting man on the team was D.J. King (a.k.a: my former favorite Cap). But tough guy King doesn’t play with the Caps anymore, so he’s out of the running. So instead, I’m nominating the following four (and still awesome) Caps players for the Least Popular Man On The Team. Maybe this will get the word out that these guys need a growing fan base too!
First up is Troy Brouwer. Sure, he might be scoring goals this year, but this new face to the team, hasn’t seemed to get many fans this season. This 26 year old’s beady eyes and itty bitty teeth may not be what many fans find glorious to look at, but if we can all just look past this guy’s piercing physique, I think we can all agree that Brouwer’s crashing hits and sneaky goals are what really matters to the Caps team.
Joel Ward seems to be left out of everyone’s list of cool players on the team. I don’t know what it is about this 31 year old, but he strikes me as the strong, silent type. Perhaps it’s the Western Conference (Ward’s former home) that the Caps don’t play much against, that adds to this guy’s mystery. I’m not even going to say his lack of popularity if because he’s one of the few black players, because Donald Brashear was hugely popular when he played in D.C., so that hypothesis is out of the question. Come on now, Joel’s worth another shot.
This third guy is also new to the Caps for the 2011-12 season. Roman Hamrlik is the second oldest on the Caps team (falling by two years to Knuble) at 37. I’m going to guess that Roman’s age is what’s keeping fans from being attracted to him, but frankly that’s just agism right there and it shouldn’t be decided like that. I’m hoping Roman will get more ice time because maybe all he needs is more exposure.
I hate to admit this, but it kind of took me a while to find a good picture of Schultzy. (Thanks, Scarlet Caps!) Schultz’s lack of popularity on the team is kind of odd, since he’s been with the team for a while. Yet, for some reason, he doesn’t seem to garner many fans. “Double Nickel” (as he’s sometimes referred to, for his number is 55) is the Caps’ tallest player coming in at 6’6″ and is a pretty consistent defenseman. This 25 year old is still young and building his hockey career, but I think more fans need to take a second look at this tall glass of water.
So those four men are my nominations for player who needs to come out at the end with “Most Improved” in the team’s popularity contest. It’s sad, I know, but it’s also kind of true. I think D.C.’s fans really need to branch out and learn about some of the quieter, lesser-known guys on the team! I hope this posting will get the word out that there are some other Caps guys who need some lovin’ too!