Oh dear, who knew a side effect of the lack of NHL hockey would be to attack the female fans. That lovely "Tweet Like A Girl" trend that was going around, was not only misspelled, but also kinda infuriating. Forget the ones that went by that talked about what assholes guys are, how awesome their besties are, and life would be perfect if Gossip Girl was their lives, I don't know who talks like that but they aren't friends of mine.
What does tweek me is the tweets referencing to lady fans picking their favorite players by attractiveness. I know quite a few lady fans, and they like some pretty fugly guys after I google them. But hey, they put up some pretty impressive stats. I can't argue with their choices, who's going to say Teemu Selanne is a bad choice? Apparently though, *my* choices of favorite players are under fire. Not directly at me, but there were enough tweets to go by that I got a bit self conscious. And then I realized this:
HELL NO! I've reached a level of fandom that let's me pick whomever the hell I want to be on the back of my sweater. I don't care what the guy looks like! I don't care that the players I root for stripped down to his skivvies in the off season or hopped into whomever's bed. I spend far too much time reading stats, watching games, and researching history for me to be accused of this. I know I'm not the best at this, but I'm damn well willing to talk to any one, any time, any where about the sport. I'm all about finding the best game or fact, not the best lay.
Some of my favorite current players have the worst off ice reputations and some aren't so great on ice, but you know what, not a single one is listed because of their looks.
Patrick Kane: Party boy and walking STD, yet a player many female fans love. I see a guy who is coming off a 66 point season. As a Flames and Rangers fan, I would love love love to have those 66 points on my bench. There are better players than him, yeah I agree with you there, but there is so much potential there that I'm dying to see come out.
Stu Bickel: Yeah, he's awful. His only real purpose with the Rangers is to fight. But guess what? Did he make it to the NHL? Does he earn is living playing hockey? Hell yes! And I support that 100%. He's living his childhood dream and how can I not love a player like that? He's not a drain on the team, he's not killing the cap, useful seeing as the Rangers are a physical team, and a pretty stand up guy.
Brian Boyle: Another one the fangirls love. But why I love him? In his offseason a few back, he was man enough to admit that his speed and skating was really hurting him and went out there to get himself a speed coach. He busted his ass to make sure he got to continue living his childhood dream.
Should I keep going or do you get the point?
I love these guys for their skill and heart, I have severe 3rd line love. And I know I'm not the only lady who does. We aren't all puck bunnies, we are capable of looking past looks and seeing more. I have nothing against puck bunnies, they are part of the hockey fandom ecosystem, but much like you guys aren't all meatheads and stats nerds, ladies aren't all bunnies.
You've probably all stopped reading this by now, but this was said on Twitter earlier in response to The Globe and Mail satirical (?) post earlier:
And yes, while I do wish to see the label "female sports fan" dropped from the lexicon, I can't deny the fact that I am a lady and I am a sports fan. But it doesn't define me or my choice in players and I don't see why anyone else should let gender label who they are. Hockey is hockey. My fandom doesn't rest on the fact that I possess female anatomy much like your fandom isn't defined by your anatomy. And didn't we learn last spring that isolating female fans was a terrible terrible idea thanks to the CBC?
I am a hockey fan. I am a lady. I like terrible players and laugh at people's reactions when they learn this. But at the end of the day, I'm a lifelong fan of this sport. I know my stuff. And I'd give it all up to see Mike Richter in goal again.