Ovie. Nicky. Greeny. Brooksy. Varly. Johnny. Neuvy. Schultzy. Why is it that Caps fans, me included, feel the need to add the “y” sound on the end of every possible player’s name? I’m not sure if it’s just a Caps thing or not, but I’d be curious to see if any other hockey fans have nicknames for their team’s players that are similar in nature. I don’t think it’s the same in other sports either. I know fans have nicknames for football and baseball players (T-Sizzle, Ray-Ray, Joe Cool, B-Rob, D-Lee), but they are all specific to those particular players. The fact that so many people add the “y” to the end of Caps player’s names is somewhat of an intriguing subject and is worth at least a minor discussion.

I’ve watched a lot of Caps games at a lot of different places with a lot of different people and one thing I’ve noticed is that when people cheer for certain players, they like to add the “y” on the end of their names. I don’t know how or why it started, but it seems to have caught on with a lot of people. Part of the reason could be that fans feel like they know the players because they watch them over the span of an 82-game season. So, they talk to them through the TV like they are buddies (not all the time, of course) and they give them these nicknames.

I’m not sure what possessed me to start putting the “y” on the end of player’s names, but it may have had something to do with a few of my close buddies that I watch most of the games with doing it. Well, apparently it caught on with me and I’ve been doing it ever since. And now that I have brought it to my own attention, it’s funny to hear other people say it as well. Even kids are carrying out the “y” tradition, as I saw first-hand last night while I was at the game.

While watching the Caps absolutely destroy the Florida Panthers, I began to talk to 10-year-old Jacob who was sitting to my right. Jacob was telling me how big of a Caps fan he was and how Ovie even signed a puck for him at a practice he attended not too long ago, which I can honestly say made me a bit jealous. I proceeded to ask him who his favorite player was and as he turned to show me the “Backstrom” printed on the back of his jersey, he proclaimed, “Nicky!” Finally, I had gathered the last bit of evidence I needed to write this article. I had wanted to do a piece on this silly, but interesting subject for a while, but wasn’t sure if I had enough personal experiences to back it up. Well, thank you Jacob for making my night and allowing me to be able to post this article. Go Caps!

Submitted by Steve Giles