Opinion Piece by Chris Cleveland (aka FiCP Twitter King)
I was at Caps practice earlier today. It was a fun but short practice. There was a lot going on: some good drills on one rink and then a big commercial taping on the other rink with Ovi and everyone’s favorite The Holtbeast.
I got to Medstar right around 11:15 and I went to check the garage to see where to get autographs for post practice. The 6th floor was pretty empty and then I went to check the 7th floor. It seemed like just about every player on the team was parked there. The 8th floor had a few guys on it but 7 was really where all the action was going to be.
After practice I went back down to 7 with a friend. We were there for maybe a minute or two and a guy pops out of a fancy looking car in the corner and approaches us. It turns out he was an undercover cop and that autographs are now banned from any floor but the 8th or the rooftop.
The officer was actually very friendly about it and told me it this is a brand new policy for this year that they are going to have a police presence on any floor below the 8th. He showed us the signs that have been newly posted that read “NO LOITERING” and “NO AUTOGRAPHS” –repeated twice.
So we went back up to the roof and gave it about half an hour before I realized that no one was coming out. Brooks Orpik was parked on 8 but he always takes forever!
Its really a shame that the people who are at these practices stalking the players everyday for stuff that they are just going to sell for big money are ruining the fan experience. It is also sad that the Caps management is restricting our access to players – they never did this before they became Stanley Cup Champions….
There were a lot of kids around today since they were off from school and hoping to meet their favorite players. I talked with a mom for a bit who had her kids with her and she was shocked by what we were telling her . This is such a sad turn of events for the fan base that has supported this team but are now cut out of the loop.