So I experienced something new at a Caps' game last night against the Rags. My friend and I were sitting in our season ticket seats and, while the seats in front of us are also season tickets, one of them was occupied by a guest last night. The guest was a leaner, blocking my view of over half of the Rags' zone in the first period.
Now, I have run into leaners before. Usually, I politely ask them to lean back, they realize what they were doing, apologize, and lean back. Not this guy. This guy informs me that I am out of luck because people in front of him are leaning forward and I should talk to them. Well, actually, he should talk to them, but okay, no problem. I told him I would do that. I waited for the period to end so as not to disrupt other fans enjoyment of the last 5 minutes and then again, politely, asked him who was leaning forward. Long story short, we nearly came to blows. No class.
At first I was ready to just chalk it up to bad luck and hope that this guy did not reappear come playoff time. Then, as I was talking about it with my friend outside after the game, another season ticket holder approached us, said he had overheard the conversation, and told us that he had been having similar problems. Some further help from a friend then showed me that we really were not alone: http://www.japersrink.com/2010/2/5/1296007/friday-caps-clips-a-somewhat-dirty#30310394
The other season ticket holder mentioned that he had dropped an e-mail to Ted Leonsis about the issue, and had gotten a very nice response. I, too, sent Ted a note last night. I suggested that something about leaning be added to the Puck In Play announcement at the beginning of the game (and possibly each period) so that folks would have some established credibility when asking people to lean back and that the ushers would have something to cite to if they had to get involved. I also got a prompt and pleasant response from Ted.
If any of you have had similar problems, it may be worth mentioning it here so word spreads or maybe even dropping Ted a nice note (WashingtonCaps@aol.com) in further support of some kind of announcement. For the regular season it is not a huge deal, but the playoffs are another story.
Above all, I was just glad to get confirmation that I was not wrong in my understanding of hockey fan etiquette. A public thank you to you for your kind response, Mr. Leonsis. Go Caps!