I need to ask a serious question, and the appearance of this twice in a row in our Twitter timeline suggests the time is right.
If you’re new to this blog, I understand it’s not where you might look in defense of the female sports fan. I hope you all understand that we’re here to make you laugh. We may seem like Teen Beat for the NHL, but Chuck and I have been watching hockey longer than some current NHL players have been alive. The only things people do for 20+ years without enjoyment are prison and office work. So while we make fun and have fun with hockey, it’s because we love it.
We know you love it too.
See the above Twitter photo again and tell me: HOW DOES THIS MAKE SENSE?
Aside from the sexist, demeaning and dismissive notion that women watch hockey only for the attractive players, can someone please explain why – of all available forms in which a handsome man could be admired – one would chose the actual in-game process of hockey?
This isn’t wrestling. Hockey players are suited, wrapped and padded up like the kid who can’t put his arms down in A Christmas Story, then helmeted, possibly visored and 90% of the time filmed from considerable distance. I can’t always tell Brandon Sutter (16) from James Neal (18) and Beau Bennett (19) because the numbers are so damned small on TV. How can I be appreciating their faces if I can’t even read their jerseys?! But of course, I’m only watching because Joffrey Lupul is “rugged and sharply dressed.” Maybe he’s got a John Varvatos three-piece suit under all that gear.
Female fans of other sports must suffer similar indignation, perhaps worse. Think of baseball and football pants. Basketball with all those tank tops. People know hockey and figure skating are different, right? What do they think there is to look at?!
On top of this, hockey can be hard to follow. National TV tried highlighting the puck in yellow as it flew around the ice; they thought people needed that much help to follow it. If you’re not into the game of hockey, there’s nothing going on but the game for a long, long broadcast. Once on each side of the All-Star (or Olympic) break, someone might lose a helmet. They might be an intermission interview. You could starve to death waiting for a taste.
Do I think a lot of hockey players are attractive? Obviously. So are a lot of actors. Captain America is about the run time of a hockey game, but I doubt Crosby is going to do push-ups in a girls-size shirt then gratuitously jump into the first body of water he passes. David Beckham is famously hot – a man who wears shorts for a living and makes a fortune modeling designer skivvies 80 feet tall on the side of a Macy’s – but I’m still not watching soccer.
My point is: if you insist on being a misogynist, at least make sense. Stop assuming we watch 2.5+ hours of game for the occasional close-up. Every female you are insulting knows how to Tumblr if all she wants are pretty pictures.
(Of course SportsNet put this together. I like it – why not be talented and attractive? – but if they’re going to dismiss female sports fans in print I’d like to hear them argue that men watch beach volleyball for the fierce competition.)