A Girl’s Guide to Girls

The phrase “put your foot in your mouth” is especially painful when that foot is wearing a high heel.

Today the Rangers posted this article to their website.  Read it, then come back.

A Girl’s Guide to Watching the Rangers (screencaps @SI_sarahkwak)

Cue Berserker Rage.  The article earned a near-instant pile of negative comments and a Tweetspolosion.  An hour later, it and the Ranger’s Twitter posting for it, were deleted.


Remember this commercial?


Yeah, that doesn’t work.  Bless the Islanders fan who saved the whole thing.

People have always underestimated women and sports – even other women. Even Claude Giroux.  (Really this Giroux article is gross.  They didn’t even pick him as hottest Flyer though he lowered his standards for them. Let that be a lesson to you.)

cosmoThis link title: How to Make a Sports Fan Like You

Sports Illustrated once did a “Puck Bunnies” slideshow gallery of female fans with signs, then quickly took it down. (Puck Daddy)

Girls have been trying to understand “guy things” forever.  I started playing World of Warcraft when I met my husband, and I interrupted a few raids by loudly wondering how my manna got so low and why the eff it took an hour to run across the Alterac Mountains.  Then I stopped, because I hated it.


It angers and frustrates me that a hockey team would publish this article.  They quickly pointed out the author is a “contributor” not an employee, but I say: you post it, you bought it.  The NHL struggles to win new fans (and not lose the ones they have) – can they really misunderstand so badly how to reach out?

Women might be unfamiliar with a sport, but we’ve been learning things for just as long as guys have.  If we want to learn, we ask someone who knows.  Even the Girl’s Guide encourages asking the boys.  So why, in our quest to become fans, would we start with instruction from someone who admittedly is not one?


This story suggests we’re somewhere between dumb and lazy, with really bad timing.  That sports obsessions should be shunned as “alpha-male” because they’re “exhausting” and we need time to get really excited about “70% off sales.”  Hmm, she’s already insulted the very people we’re trying to hang around.

It also says that being familiar with Henrik Lundqvist will make us want to watch him play.  If all we know about Hank is that he plays guitar while looking flawless, watching him play is probably low on the list of things we’d like to do with him.  Not to mention that stupid, giant goalie helmet is all blocking his face like the whole time.


Now, I know we are girly – even fangirly.  But that’s our angle and you’re in on the joke.  We’ll post pictures of Henrik and Co. all day then go home and watch two games a night.  I’m watching one right now.  It’s pretty impossible to understand a post here without at least a working knowledge of hockey.  Our commenters and WUYS friends are some of the smartest, most loyal and observant fans we’ve ever known.  Yes we appreciate the scenery, but we love the game.  Girls can do two things at once.

If a woman wants to get into hockey, we welcome her.  We love her.  We might even open her eyes to some new, ahem, talent.

Here’s how we suggest she join in all this fun:


Don’t be afraid.  You’re not stupid, you’re new.  Everyone learned sometime. (Unless you’re me, I still can’t drive a standard transmission.)  Channel your inner Stuart Smalley: You’re good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, you might like hockey!

Watch a game.  A whole game, just you and the TV.  Follow what you can. Remember what you can’t.  Then try a second game with someone who knows hockey, and ask questions.  Why start in a room full of howling super-fans?  How intimidating.  If none of those boys will sit through a game with you, lovely lady, reconsider your venue.  There are plenty of guys who would.


Pick a team.  Maybe they play nearby, maybe your dad likes them, maybe they’re the Penguins because you’re smart and awesome.  Whatever works. Then look up your team – not just roster photos (God, no).  Watch a few YouTube videos and highlights.  Read a magazine feature, they tend to be written for a broader audience.  Email us, we’ll make you a primer.  Put a face, a goal or a fight with a name.

rangers These Rangers fans know better than their team.

Keep asking.  My husband likes hockey, but doesn’t follow it.  Last night I flipped to the Oilers/Kings game during a 5-on-3 situation.  He wanted to know, “If the power play team scores, do they get one man back or both?”  Perfectly good question!  Can they ever have a 5-on-2?  A 4-on-2?  Are you lost?  So are a lot of other people, even some wearing jerseys.  There are new rules that even the players hardly know yet.

Have fun.  Don’t do this for the boys, or even snacks.  This isn’t Mean Girls and you don’t have to like hockey just because other people do.  If it’s not your thing, we understand.  I hate basketball and Quentin Tarantino movies, that’s just the way it is.  My husband still plays Warcraft.  I still like hockey better.


Hopefully you’ll get hooked, proving  yourself wiser and cooler than any guide that underestimated you just for being a girl.  Then come on back here,  because we’d love to have you.



Leave a Reply

  1. Kaitlin Reply

    Dear Pants,

    I think I’m in love. I also think if I win the lottery, I’m hiring you to be my personal spokesperson. Thanks for articulating all my feels in a much more eloquent manner than I did (and with less swearing). Oh, and if anyone wants a Flyers primer, you’d better send them to me 😉


    Loved playing hockey but was unfortunately horrible at it so now I just watch lots and cheer really loudly

    • Kaitlin Reply

      Also never been more ashamed of Claude Giroux. Really G?!?!?!?!? Grrrrrrr.

  2. Amy Reply

    That’s part of the fun of coming here. You all know exactly what your talking about. Exactly how good these guys are. And yet still appreciate how good they look with and without the pads.

    • Bridget Reply

      Couldn’t have said it better myself ladies! Now here is a guide I am happy to share.

  3. Shayna Reply

    This is why I absolutely adore your blog. Yes we’re girls and yes we find hockey players attractive but we also love the game itself. This is something that most guys don’t understand. I couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂

  4. Wonderful job, Pants. If you find anyone that needs a Hawks primer explaining the team’s history up to the absolute adorbs that is Hoss, send ’em to me.

  5. Jen Reply

    This is exactly why I love you guys! Enjoying the packaging that our favorite players come in doesn’t mean we can’t love their talent as well.
    I know more women who know more about hockey then men and we are all proud fans. It’s too bad being a female fan often gets us dubbed puck bunnies.
    Heads up ladies, we’ll win this battle eventually.

  6. There wasn’t one thing about that girl’s piece that deserved to be published anywhere. Thank you for breaking it down with some sort of logic 🙂

  7. Tracy Reply

    Thank you, Pants. FYI, college basketball is > pro bb.

  8. Sidney Sylar Reply

    Well said! And thank you! Points for Stuart Smalley, and Pens fans!

  9. Rebecca Guilbert Reply

    LOVE THIS! Honestly this is just another reason I love WUYS.

    As for the “Guide” if articles like that aren’t bad enough, they’re written by women, who are making their own gender look SO dumb! And nowhere does it mention girls like hockey. In fact, it makes it sound like NO girl likes or understands hockey. Beyond infuriating. Thank God for you and Chuck

  10. Someone asked my husband the other day “how many questions [I] ask him about hockey” and he readily replied that I know way more than he does about the game. And even then, I still can’t figure out whether they call plays on the ice or what. (In fact, if anyone wants to fill me in on that, I’m really really curious.)

    • Kaitlin Reply

      Could you clarify what you mean by “whether they call plays on the ice”? I think I know the answer to your question, but I might be answering another question entirely and don’t want to confuse you further!

  11. jennifer Reply

    okay, copping to also needing to know the answer to your husband’s question about the 5-on-3 question and your other related questions…

    • Kaitlin Reply

      Well, given that this is a hockey blog, feel free to assume we readers are absolutely nuts about hockey and love talking about hockey which means that this is a most excellent place to come and ask questions. Especially as our friends and coworkers would probably prefer that we shut up about hockey. WE’RE JUST SO EXCITED THAT HOCKEY’S BAAAACK! So in short, feel free to ask us lots and lots of questions

      During a 5-on-3 situation, if the power play team scores, do they get one man back or both?
      They get one man back. So then it would be a 5-4.

      Can they ever have a 5-on-2?
      No. The rule is one team cannot have more than a two man advantage. Put another way, you can’t be down more than two players on the ice. So 5-2 would be a three man advantage/one team would be down three players (aka more than two!). However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have more than two people in the penalty box. Especially when games start to get chippy or there’s a big brawl on the ice, they’ll squeeze a lot of guys in that little box. The rule just pertains to the number of players on the ice.

      A 4-on-2?
      Yes. I believe so, but it’s pretty rare. The trick would be when the player on the team that has 4 on the ice would get out of the penalty box, because if he came out first, then it would be a 5-2, and, as discussed above, that’s a no-no. But it’s conceivable that the refs could send a player from each team to the penalty box, say one for tripping and one for roughing, so then it would be 4-4 hockey. Then one player gets sent to the box for something, making it 4-3, then his teammate does something sending him to the box, making it 4-2. This would all have to happen in the space of two minutes, because once the first two guys come out (the one for each team) it would go to 5-3. So while it’s possible to have a 4-2 I would say it’s pretty rare and requires the perfect storm of circumstances. Cue fans chiming in with stories of 4-2’s in 5,4,3,2…

      Hope this was helpful and didn’t confuse you further. Feel free to ask follow-up questions or more questions. We do love talking about hockey!

  12. If you look at that Cosmo article, it’s clear they loosely used G’s input. There’s no way he used the words “cute jeans”. Speaking of the great bone-headed gingy, anyone remember when Giroux first got Twitter and endorsed his friend’s article “A Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Playoffs”? Here:http://inanutshell.ca/lifestyle/a-girls-guide-to-surviving-the-playoffs-2/
    She pretty much said the same thing. It was insulting and demeaning but he was just doing a favor for a friend.

    I love hockey players as much as everyone else on this site, but what I’ve learned is they don’t really know their fans. They get an idea of their fanbase, but they don’t hear us on the other side of the glass telling the guys next to us who number 27 is, that he actually went to Bemidji State not Bajemmy State, and the reason the other team scores is not always because the goalie sucks (all conversations I’ve had at practices).

    Truthfully, I don’t think a professional hockey player would know what to do if they ever dated a woman who was a diehard hockey fan. 99% of these guys are married to women who are supportive, but are NOT puck heads. Cause really, how many guys want to come home to “What the hell were you doing out there? You need to finish your checks. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have pressured Ryan in the 1st.” I’m sure there are more, but the only man I know of who married a woman who could kick his ass in hockey is Dustin Brown (one of the many reasons I love him). I am, however, shocked the Rangers would even temporarily endorse such garbage, especially since one of the strongest presences in hockey in NYC is Katie Strang, a.k.a. a woman.

  13. I had a giant rant written about how disrespectful and condescending this was to me as someone who has loved this sport since I was a little girl but you’ve put this much more eloquently.

    I have done everything I can to encourage my girl friends to get into sports (hockey, football, soccer) and it has nothing to do with impressing boys.

    It’s about participating in one of the most wonderful human experiences you can find. Is there anything better than being far away from home and seeing someone in your team’s gear, knowing you are kindred spirits? Or watching your team battle back in a tough game? Celebrating those amazing victories and wallowing in defeats?

    I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything in the world. THAT is why I love sports. I hope one day I won’t have to defend my stance when people write ridiculously sexist articles about how women should deal with sports.

  14. Bailey Reply

    This is why I love your blog! That is quite possibly one of the best things you’ve ever written! You’ve put in one post what every female sports fan feels. Yes, the guys are the most attractive men on the planet, but that’s not why we watch. It’s the game that pulls you in as a fan, their looks are just an added bonus!

  15. I’m a UK based hockey fan and have been for over 30 years. I maintain I know crap about hockey (statistics was never my string point) but my proudest moment came when I was told – by Canadians and the assistant coach of my favourite team – that, actually, I do know my stuff. I found that article amusing till I realised she was actually serious. Then I got a bit cross. (When we bits get a bit cross, we do something like declare war on someone). I have listened to games on Internet radio while watching ice tracker to see who’s on the ice. I’ve sat in front of my tv and screamed at my team (and the opposition, especially if its the Flyers). I’ve slept all day to get up at 9pm to watch the Stanley Cup Final and STILL gone to work the next day. My advice is: go to a live NHL game (or any game) and take in the atmosphere. If you’re not in love after that, you probably never will be. It’s like opera: you might learn to appreciate it, but if it doesn’t grab you by the balls first time out, it probably never will. And after all that, I discovered their pretty faces. Sigh.

    I’m a hockey fan. I love the game. I’d still like a quiet five minutes with Gary Bettman et al for that lockout BS. It’s a big part of who I am. End of.

  16. Post like that woman’s infuriate me so I’m glad that my friend and hockey soulmate Pants took to our blog to let our feelings be know.

    Although we don’t always like the same teams or players, Pants and I LOVE the sport of hockey. And by love, i mean LOVE! Every sentiment, statement, and recommendation that she writes above is exactly how I also feel. As women, it is important for us not to perpetuate stereotypes of vapid, uninterested, uneducated hockey fans.

    Thank you to our our WUYS readers (male & female) who always have such kind and intellegent things to say about our ramblings. 🙂 We love you.

    • Sue Reply

      You and Pants are awesome. Thank you for WUYS!

  17. Pingback: I’ll Show You A Girl’s Guide. | Thoughts Inside The Box

  18. Deanna Reply

    Spot on, Pants. I love, love, love this post. You put things much more eloquently than I ever could have!

  19. Sue Reply

    Thank you Pants for putting into words what I was thinking.

    In 1980 I discovered hockey. I, like many, fell in love with the game while watching the 1980 Miracle on Ice olympic team. I still remember staying home to watch the USA vs. USSR game while my parents and little brother went grocery shopping. Seeing that game and hearing Al Michael’s “Do you believe in miracles??? Yes!” was one of my most vivid memories. Who can forget Jim Craig looking for his father or Mike Eruzione getting everyone on the podium with him? Just awesome. From there I started following my hometown Blackhawks (who are completely awesome so far). I was a bad girlfriend and ignored hockey for a bit, but came back during the Hawks Stanley Cup run. How can you not fall in love with a team that has Captain Serious and a defenseman that lost about 20 teeth during the run? I love, love, love hockey.

    Hockey is a fast, fluid, and tough sport. I may not know all the rules but I know enough. I love a good hit just as much as I love a good Kaner breakaway. The sport is simply AWESOME. I’m a woman and I love hockey. The fact that there is some serious eye candy…..even better. BUT just because I am a woman AND I enjoy a good looking hockey player does not make me stupid or only liking hockey because of the good looking hockey players.

    Thank you Pants and Chuck for having a blog where cool, hockey smart girls can come to talk hockey and fangirl squee when appropriate. 🙂

  20. Tell me what happened with that Blue Jackets no goal? I’m so confused.

  21. Teri Reply

    I’m just now catching up on my email (because I’ve been watching hockey all weekend — local and NHL). I can’t describe to you how much I love, Love, LOVE this post. I’m sharing it with the world.

  22. Holly Reply

    Such a great post, Pants. I’ve always liked hockey, but watching the Bruins make their Stanley Cup run swept me up in way that the Sox winning the World Series never did. I was NOT going to be a pink hat, so I spent last season learning the teams and the game, and found WUYS last year while googling “Patrice Bergeron” one day. I love Patrice–yeah, he’s eye candy for sure, but the way he conducts himself on the ice and puts everything he can into every game (so many games late last season where he looked like the ONLY player who was even trying to score) is what makes him my favorite Bruin.

    I have found that I love, love, love this game. I watch college hockey, out of market games, clips on YouTube, I went to three AHL games during the lockout and sat behind the players’ bench and took it all in.

    I love it. And this blog has been an enormous part of learning about and loving it–and by the way, it wasn’t because of a man that I started watching hockey. It was all me, at home with the kids, shooing them to bed quickly between periods so I wouldn’t miss anything. And now my daughter loves hockey…

    …but my son loves football!!

  23. I grew up with a black & gold B shaped teething ring in my hand while drinking from a bottle with the Red Sox logo on it as I bounced in my Celtics onsie on my Grampa’s knee watching the Patriots on Sunday afternoons. Seriously NY? My husband was taught about hockey (my first true sports love) by me and my aunt. The women in my family are bigger sports fans than the men (and not just for the looks though sometimes that’s a nice side bonus).

    Shame on NY. Thanks for alerting us to the situation though, I don’t follow the Rangers feeds and never would have heard about this living all the way out here in Phoenix.