Why is it that men roll their eyes when a woman comments about the impact Sidney Crosby’s concussion will have on the Penguins, or raves about Brad Richards’ clutch goal with 7 seconds left in Game 5? Once a woman joins a hockey conversation, one of two things will happen. Either the men get uncomfortably quiet and the conversation ends quickly or they get totally defensive and determined to dismiss or disprove her comments. These instances never really bothered me until a man posted the following Facebook status after his team lost: “Why are all these women commenting about sports? The only reason you watch is because of your boyfriend. Know your real role…in the kitchen.”
I refuse to believe society has advanced so far as to have five strikingly similar versions of the iPhone, but not so far as to accept a woman’s love for the game of hockey. Wasn’t Title IX passed forty years ago? I am just as much entitled to my opinion about Shea Weber’s dirty hit on Zetterberg during the 2012 playoffs as I am to my opinion about Kim Kardashian’s divorce to Kris Humphries.
Instead of approaching this with a completely pessimistic outlook on men in society, I brainstormed a few reasons why a man might find it necessary to constantly challenge the fanhood of a woman.
Number One: His mother is more athletic than he is and probably blocked his shots when he was a child. Obviously this developed into a strong dislike for women who play or talk about sports…painful memories.
Number Two: His girlfriend, who he used to watch Rangers games with, left him for a Flyers fan. Totally understandable; any real Rangers fan would take that news hard.
Number Three: He got into a brawl at a Canucks game (are you surprised?) and a girl gave him a black eye. He claims she came out of no where. His friends now make fun of him and buy him purses for Christmas.
Number Four: He’s experienced some tough luck lately. His female boss, who constantly criticizes everything he does, just fired him. Now he can’t afford to go to the Bruins games with his friends. Instead, he has to watch the games at home with his mother and father, who shut off the television and go to sleep at 9 p.m.
Number Five: He is plain ignorant. There can’t be an excuse for everybody.
Women, we need to stop challenging chauvinistic guys to a trivia match to prove that we know about hockey. We can no longer get offended when a belligerent guy at the bar questions our fanhood. Instead, we need to appreciate the men who high five us at the Garden after Boyle checks someone into the boards. We have to respect the guys who share our passion for Jon Quick’s tremendous play in the post season.
So, maybe I don’t need an alias to write about hockey. I love the sport and I refuse to be silenced because some men can’t handle my intensity. Plus, I look fabulous in a Dubinsky jersey.
Ashley Coombs is a teacher in Fairfield County. She is a passionate sports fan and follows New York teams. As a triplet, she played collegiate basketball and volleyball on the same teams as her sisters.