This, Again.

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?!

angry spice

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.)


Leave a Reply

  1. Ellie Reply

    Every time one of my colleagues discovers I watch ice hockey, it’s the same thing ‘oh yeah, is it because they’re hot?’ – from both men and women. I always have to answer ‘have you ever SEEN hockey gear?’ because it simply doesn’t make sense at all, and I find it so disheartening when it so often comes from other girls.

    It’s okay for my male colleagues to print pictures of soccer players and put them on each other’s desks, nobody says anything about that, but they see my Blackhawks-themed desktop wallpaper? They freak out.

  2. Farah Reply

    YES. SO MUCH THIS. Thank you.

  3. Amy Reply

    I get the “oh it’s because they’re hot.” comment too. And yeah, that wet gear smell that I get sitting 2 rows behind the bench really turns me on. *gag*

  4. Farah Reply

    Also, I guarantee it is equally bad (if not worse) in football. Even in Wisconsin, in which probably 80% of the state’s population watches and understands football, regardless of gender. Do I think Aaron Rodgers is hot? Yes. But I have also been watching football since I was five – long before I knew what a “hot guy” even was, because its in the very fabric of our culture in Green Bay. And yet, when I try to have a serious discussion with *some* people, I have (a few times) been told that I should shut up because I can’t possibly understand the game, or I get called a lesbian. Because if I don’t watch for tight pants, I must not be into men at all, apparently. I mean, REALLY? AND there was a serious 3 part news segment in Milwaukee this season about what men should do to get their women to tolerate football with them. Like such as, getting her a bedazzled pink jersey, so she feels like she’s accepted into watching with you. I am not making this up.

    I cannot understand why it is so hard for some men to accept that some of us just really like sports because sports is interesting. Is that not why they like sports? And my lady brain is functional enough to understand the rules. I would love for someone to explain why this happens. I should note that for every jerk who has said those things to me, I have 5 guy friends who love it that I know sports. But I can’t understand why its an issue at all with anyone.

  5. Every time I read something like this I want to punch someone in the face, which is so much more George Parros of me than Joffrey Lupul of me.

    Also, I definitely don’t obsess about statistics, rule changes and how much room the Rangers have under the salary cap and what the free agent market looks like at any given time, for the scenery.

    Have I lured a few a female (and male!) friends to games with smiling photos of Lundqvist, Girardi and Hagelin? Yes. But trust me, from where my seats are, we’re definitely not seeing their faces, and they all have said it’s the most exciting sport ever and want to go again, and that’s all because of the game, not the players.

  6. Amen and well said =)

  7. Brittney Reply

    I love this, thank you!! I work at Dicks & my nametag says “my passion is hockey” I hate when people say no, you just put that on there, it’s made up, or you don’t look like you know much or like hockey…. Kills me! It’s pretty awesome though when I can prove guys wrong with my hockey knowledge, especially if it’s about our Predators!

  8. Sherry Lewis Reply

    Oh my that Indie car guy was gorgeous. (the one in the sportsnet link) No I am not going to start watching Indie car racing.

  9. Tracy Reply

    Being from Pittsburgh has it’s advantages when it comes to being a female sports fan. People look at you funny if you DON’T know what’s going on with the Steelers/Penguins/Pirates (in that order).

    Since I’ve been living in SoCal for the past nine years I’ve, thankfully, not encountered the “oh you watch [insert sport] for the guys,” but I have been questioned about my knowledge of said sport. Thankfully, I have a husband who chimes in: “Don’t mess with those girls from Pittsburgh. They know their sports. She know more about hockey than me.”

    I’d also like to thank (again) Pants and Chuck for this blog. I love WUYS and even turned my sister on to it and she’s not a huge hockey fan, but she’s coming around. Whenever I need a little pick-me-up I read the Wedding Party post (a guaranteed smile). It deserves to be in the Hockey Blog Hall of Fame!

    Thanks girls!

  10. Amen, sister! Preach!

    Seriously, though, I couldn’t agree with everything you said more. I don’t claim to be the most knowledgeable when it comes to the sport- hell, sometimes I still have to look up rules and regs just to understand what the hell is going on- but I’ve met guys who are shocked that I actually watch, pay attention to what’s going on on ice. Between being female and having only been paying close attention to the sport for the past few years, I still get treated like I’m a bandwagoner who’s just there for the sweaty man candy.

  11. Chavela Reply

    Couldn’t agree more. I live in Texas and everyone wonders why I like the game. Because it’s awesome. I was introduced to the game 20+ years ago by my best friend who is from Vancouver. Didn’t understand the game only went with her to a game so she wouldn’t have to go by herself. By the ten minute mark in the first period I was in love with the game and ready to attend my next and have been hooked since. No denying the players are good looking. It’s a great sport and well worth my time watching.

  12. Ange Reply

    I’ve been a working female hockey journalist since college, which was… more years ago than I care to mention. Love this post and love your blog. And couldn’t agree more with those who have commented on the incredibly appealing smell of hockey gear. The game is beautiful. The athletes are the most skilled and impressive in any sport, IMHO. (As for Lupul, I must humbly disagree with SportsNet. I dismissed the “send pics” mini-scandal because, hey, he’s a 30 y.o. guy. But buying your mom’s thoughtful sweater to keep her warm for the Winter Classic on Christmas Eve? For shame, Joffrey. For shame.)

  13. jana Reply

    It’s amazing that in this day and age, it’s just not socially acceptable for females to enjoy sports without it being about “hot men.” Do I enjoy looking at hot men? You better believe I do. But I also enjoy the skill of the game (of hockey) and just fairly recently, screamed at the tv during one of Patrick Sharp’s latest goals, “HOLY SHIT THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL!”

  14. Steph Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I get it all the time from my male friends but it seems like it’s happened more and more in the last few weeks. I have a male friend who, like me, is a big Penguins fan and we often watch the game together. His roommate believes the only reason I like hockey is because of the guys and that I don’t actually understand what’s going on. I recently saw the Pens play for the first time in western Canada where I am from and where the Pens RARELY play and it was literally one of the best days I have had in many years because I was genuinely excited to see my team play live. Yes, Neal came out for warmup with his hair flying freely, looking all godly, and my inner 12-year old fangirl almost heart attacked when I saw Crosby in real life for the first time. Not once did anyone take off any clothes and I barely saw their faces but I had such an amazing day because it was actually a freaking unreal game and experience, and the fact that I have this irrational dream of one day marrying Crosby might make it seem to my male friends like that’s the only reason I follow hockey but the attractive men are only an added bonus. On the way to the game another male I went with said the same thing that I am only a fan because of the guys. First of all, even if I was a fan just because of the guys, who cares?! I bought a ticket (contributing to players salaries, arena fees so that players can keep playing there, etc) with money I don’t really have because I wanted to see a good team (my favorite team) play and if all I did was sit there and fangirl all night then who.freaking.cares. My ticket contributed to the sold out attendance and thus the excitement in that building that the Pens were in town. Secondly, if I really cared just about the hot players I wouldn’t care to learn the terminology so I know how to identify a poke check or a saucer pass or an offside call when they happen. I also wouldn’t follow or care about the stats (individual players and team) of my team and other teams in the league so I know where my team stands and what we are up against and how other teams affect my team, whether it be with face off wins by individual players on the opposing team, goalie save percentage, or his the physical play or the way they get into my teams head and under their skin. I have taken the time to learn about the game A)

    • Steph Reply

      So I know what’s going on, and B) to be able to hold my own in a hocey-related conversation so I don’t sound like an idiot who just regurgitated an article I saw on twitter from an unreliable source. Long story short: I love the game, I find it exciting, and my moods are affected by how my team plays. Also, there are very hot men who play and that is just a bonus, even if I make it seem like that’s the only reason. Thanks for posting this article! End rant.

      • Steph Reply

        Also like you mentioned, there are a lot more sports where men are way less clothed then hockey (volleyball, soccer, tennis) and some where there clothes are so tight you can see every bulge (American football) and are about as exciting as watching paint dry. If all I I wanted to do was admire hot athletes, I would choose one of those sports. if I pay for a ticket to a hockey game to sit around and let my hormones get the best of me and fangirl the whole time, it’s going to be a looooong time before I see any skin or muscle bulge. The point is, hockey is exciting and interesting. Sorry to keep replying, I am really fired up!

  15. Right on! Unfortunately in our current society, the vast assumption is that if you have boobs, you can’t possibly understand sports; especially a ‘manly’ game like hockey. People can’t process the fact that you might actually understand the rules, and watch for the excitement of watching elite athletes sprint around the ice while passing the puck and taking hits, all with razor blades attached to their feet. I can’t begin to list all the times I’ve quoted team/player statistics and have received only open-mouthed, shocked looks in response. Of course I think hockey players are hot. I also think Ryan Reynolds and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. are hotties, too. Doesn’t mean I watch The Green Lantern every weekend, and I don’t remember the last time I sat through a NASCAR race. The idea that girls enjoy watching a game, even in person, just because the players are hot is ludicrous. We went to a Predators game last night, and it was so cold in the arena that I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes by the end of the first period. I don’t know a lot of people who would pay money to freeze half to death while watching a game they don’t understand just because a couple of players (okay, a lot of the Nashville players) have pretty faces. We were in the lower bowl, and half the time I didn’t know who had the puck, much less whether they were hot or not. I get it – men’s and women’s minds process information differently. But to make a vast assumption about an entire gender and put it in print is just plain asinine.

  16. Pants Reply

    I should mention for the record that my husband doesn’t care about hockey. In fact, Mr. Pants is a chef and sometimes he makes dinner while I watch hockey. Misogynists would hardly know what to think of us.

  17. leafsgal Reply

    Thank you!! I don’t usually get this kind of reaction in “real life”, however the in-game experience is geared solely towards men as is most sports-related advertising. You’d think they would clue in that a good portion of their fan base are women. I watch Sportsnet programming on a regular basis! My husband loves hockey, but leaves the room when I watch football, baseball or tennis……

  18. Kathy Reply

    I have grown up loving sports, especially football and hockey. People in my family always joke if they have a hockey question, they should ask me. And the questions don’t revolve around who the best looking player is on a team. My father has always been especially proud of the fact that when I read the morning paper, the first section I go for is the Sports section. So, I, too get frustrated with people who make those same assumptions about me when I watch a sporting event. It gets aggravating when I have to “defend” myself and other girls who love the game yet can appreciate the physical beauty as well. I am glad I am not alone and we ladies should be proud of it. I wish other people could appreciate it too….

  19. Steph Reply

    Haha I have even had people say to me things as ridiculous as, ‘but you don even know how to skate so how can you like hockey?’ No joke. Apparently I can only be a hockey fan if I play hockey or know how to skate. I also like music a lot, but I’m not in a band so technically I shouldn’t like music either. I also really like cats but believe it or not I am not a cat (I know, right?! Shocker!) so should I not own one? That was taken way out of context but that’s how insanely stupid I feel that someone saying that because I can’t skate I therefore shouldn’t like hockey is.

    • ” I also really like cats but believe it or not I am not a cat.” – PERFECTION

  20. Cassy Reply

    Some hockey players are cute. Fact. But I don’t watch the game for that.

    Those who know me well know I’m a total hockey bore. And if the assistant head coach of my favourite team says I know my shit about hockey, then stfu about female fans… Ooh Sid Crosby’s legs… Shiny.

    I think you catch my drift. I’m a woman. I have eyes. And I like sports. Done.

  21. Sarah Kotter Reply

    This really bothers me. I went to my first hockey game when I was three and I played street hockey for five years. This article make be feel belittled because clearly the only reason I watch hockey it for “hot guys”, the last time I checked I watched hockey because I love it! I know hockey, and clearly the chick that wrote this clearly only cares about the superficial things. I am so angry at this article…

  22. Lauren Reply


  23. Megan Reply

    Amen to all of this. In addition to making people defend the popularity of beach volleyball, I always want to know how the people making these sorts of arguments justify ice girls. While I think clearing the ice is useful, I’m pretty sure thise women could do the same job without that much cleavage hanging out. I think it’s interesting that no one ever comments on the fact that it’s a worthwhile business venture to pay these women so there’s someone for men to ogle at gamrs, but many are willing to judge female fans.

    • Elissa Reply

      I 110% (sports reference!)agree with everything written here, and I also want to point out that I am appalled that article was written by a woman. Are we to assume that the only reason she became a sports writer was so she could interview all of the “hot men”? Does she pick who she writes about based solely on the way he looks while he is not doing what she is supposed to be writing about?
      P.S. I really enjoy this blog, even if my co-workers give me strange looks for laughing out loud while we eat lunch.

  24. Lily Reply

    Personally, adorkably attractive athletes in post game giddiness is absolutely 100% how I got sucked into hockey. But it’s 0% of the reason I stayed interested in it and definitely not why I pay for game center, go to games, or watch it on the big screen with friends in bars. The sport itself – the skating and pace and sheer unpredictability – is what makes it enjoyable. And really, Joffrey Lupul? Of all people to insinuate I watch hockey for and this rag picks Joffrey Lupul? I’m insulted.

  25. CJ Reply

    The double standard with this slays me. Take a look at the comments on the photo of Hilary Knight that was recently posted on the US Olympic Team’s facebook page. Most of them are dudes referencing her looks, “she’s hot”, etc. Secondly, go look at the same photo (it’s her first major sports card apparently) posted on her facebook page,, where some guy decides to comment asking her to please sit on his face.

    At least [most of] us ladies can watch men play a sport without automatically sexually harassing or degrading them.

  26. Kierstan Reply

    First off, this is my first visit to this blog and I’m wondering how the heck I missed it for so long.

    Now, on to my main point – THIS POST. ALL OF IT. It irritates me that it’s an automatic assumption that I’m into football and hockey because of the HOT GUYZ OMG. I am a Nebraska girl, so we get indoctrinated into the football thing starting approximately at birth. I wasn’t as into hockey when I was younger, but that was more a factor of not having the access to it that I do now (although for whatever reason I latched onto Mario Lemieux when I was young and have loved him ever since). When I moved to Missouri for college I caught a lot of flack for my football fandom – not because of any rivalry, but because I was a woman and couldn’t possibly want to watch the game for, y’know, the GAME. My love of hockey fully caught on while living in Missouri as well – easy access to Blues games on TV and a best friend that was a Pens junkie made sure of that, and those are my two favorite teams to this day. Now, I may not obsess over the stats and know every single intricacy of [insert formation name here], but that doesn’t mean I’m not a knowledgeable fan. Just recently, I was at a bar with friends while watching playoff football and Olympic hockey selections came up in conversation. Heads at nearby tables turned when the hockey conversation was dominated by me, and not the sportswriter at the table. Also, not every player I follow is a Hottie McHotterson. When I tell people that one of the reasons I keep an eye on the Dallas Stars is Dan Ellis, I get blank stares and confused looks (college hockey didn’t come to my hometown until after I’d left for college, and Ellis is the first product of that program to have regular starting time in the NHL – hometown pride!).

    As a side note, one of the things that I’m liking about this site so far is that you have an appreciation for, um, the aesthetics of hockey players, while still obviously being fans of the game in general. It’s like you guys get me without ever having met me. Y’all rock, and keep up the great work. 🙂

  27. Because Men watch beach volleyball for the fierce competition not the asses and boobs.