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Lynda Carter Explains Why You Should Become a Caps Fan

DC needs a win in Game 5: "I want it for our team, and I want it for our city," says Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter at the premiere of "Wonder Woman" in Los Angeles in 2017. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Warner Bros./AP Images)

Wonder Woman calls exactly 35 hours before the Washington Capitals are scheduled to take the ice in Vegas. They take the ice because the Washington Capitals play professional ice hockey, and ice hockey is played upon the ice. And while Wonder Woman is from the leafy island state of Themyscira, where a Bermuda-climate prevents the natural formation of the crystalline structure colloquially called “ice,” the actress Lynda Carter, who lives in Potomac, has traded in her metallic-red bustier for the more tomatoey red of a Caps sweater. Both look terrific against her burnt umber hair.

Which is lucky for Wonder Woman because red is everywhere in Washington at the moment. The National Portrait Gallery has been uplit in a pleasant blush. My pizza place has a stop-sign-red ALL CAPS poster in the window. Street vendors have augmented their MAGA-red offerings with the more enticing candy-apple of Caps caps. For women, slim-fit tees are available in a muted shade that most resembles vodka sauce.

And this is why I’ve asked Wonder Woman if we can speak. Over the course of the Capitals’ Stanley Cup bid, Lynda Carter has emerged as a superfan, the rink-side celebrity avatar for an entire city’s glory dreams. There she was, in the stands for Game 3, wearing a Nicklas Bäckström jersey. There was her dog, on Instagram, wearing a Nicklas Bäckström jersey. Personally, I don’t know who that is. For me, personally, I know that ice hockey is played upon ice. But I’d like to know more. And if anyone can help me in the shrinking synapse between right now and Game 5, it’s assuredly Wonder Woman.

So you already know I want to talk about the Caps.

Yes, ALL CAPS.

Basically, I have an admission to make, which is that I am not a hockey fan. So I was hoping that you would convince me.

[Laughter that disguises her shock.] Well, that’s one way to start an article, isn’t it?

What made you fall in love with the Caps?

Well, it’s extremely different when you’re watching on television. At the rink, you’re just part of the event, and the people are loving it. It’s also the Stanley Cup finals. And it’s our team, it’s our guys.

I really was ambivalent when I lived in LA until I was invited to go to a game, and we were right on the ice. They came smashing up to the glass, and how fast it is. The skill and the talent of these guys chasing this little rubber thing up and down the ice. I’ve had a hockey stick in my hand and a pair of skates, and it’s hard.

Are you surprised that people don’t get cut by the blades of the skates more? Because that scares me.

They do! But they’re padded up, and they have helmets. They get cut up mostly by fighting, I think.  They’ll get cut up if they’re in a tumble with each other and someone gets a skate in the face. But it’s a dangerous sport. You’ve got a 250-pound guy coming at you.

There’s a very dramatic GIF of you holding your temples in the third period of game 3. Do you remember what were you thinking?

I was just thinking, “Oh, I just want it to be over. I don’t want them to score. I want us to win.” I want it for our city. I want it for our team, and I want it for our city. The city’s had a big dry spell.

There’s another piece to it. Watching all the faces in the crowds and watching all the young people in the streets and on the steps in this very divisive time, we’ve never had a more divisive president—it’s a very hurtful time. So to just to pick up the paper and be following something where you’re winning, and the entire city has just got one thing in mind, and it’s all cheering for our team, and rock the red, and there’s music in the streets. It’s just wonderful.

Do you think DC needs it more than other towns right now?

I think it’s our nation’s capital and to see marching for celebration would be a good thing. Yeah.

Do you have a prediction for Game 5?

Oh, we’re going to win. We have to win. We have to win.

We have to win.

Yes, we’re going to win, we’re going to win, we’re going to win.

If the Caps win the Stanley Cup, would you want them to visit the White House?

I don’t care if they do. It’s not about the White House. It’s not about this president. It’s about our city. It has nothing to do with him. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think he has bothered to tweet about it.

Do you have any advice for me before I go down to the arena tomorrow?

Oh, wear red. Wear red and bring earplugs. It’s loud, and it’s fun, all right. And enjoy yourself and soak it up, because it’s been a dry spell, and you don’t know when it will happen again. It’s very difficult to get to this place. Just enjoy the ride.

This conversation has been condensed and edited.

 

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Amanda joined Washingtonian in January 2016. She has written about Maryland brewery Flying Dog’s First Amendment fight, pored over Hillary Clinton’s emails, and come clean about owning too much stuff. She lives on H Street.