Women Know The NHL Too



Henrik and Daniel Sedin (Flickr/Lava)


“Setting liquid wolf traps” is how a very astute female fan described the on-ice tactics of the Sedin twins during a game against Detroit.  Granted, this fan has a grasp of poetry that most do not, but this description shows that the fairer sex is every bit as capable as the not-so-fair sex when it comes to understanding what is happening on the ice, and if you insist, on the court and on the field.  For some reason, and we will search for it, a large portion of the male community is slow to admit this.

Gentlemen, a woman who engages in a discussion about sports with you, is not calling into question the “size” of your “knowledge.”  Such a conversation should not make you feel emasculated.  Rejoice when you find a woman who can discuss the state of the season and of the team, without mentioning how “hot” certain players are.

This last point is important.  Men who are not used to being described as “hot” absolutely despise listening to others being described as such.  We use the word “hot” to describe a man’s point streak, and nothing else.  So, if there is one legitimate gripe men have with female fans, it is this one.

The fact that women play sports should be proof enough that there is an authentic interest in athleticism amidst the half of the population that does not have to shave its face daily, bearded women at the circus notwithstanding.  Any further discussion about shaving could get me into trouble with my superiors, so I will leave it at that.

Bill Maher has repeatedly made the claim that institutions that exclude women spiral into chaos and scandal.  Make your own list of “men only” groups.  It won’t take long to notice that this is true.  Anyway while I can’t totally get behind Maher’s claim that women are a “moderating” influence, since men tend to get rather worked up over women, I certainly agree that a lack of a female presence causes more trouble than it’s worth.  Boredom, irritation and frustration boil over when women are nowhere to be found.

Canucks fans outside Rogers Arena
(Icon SMI)

Imagine how much it would suck if every Wings victory was celebrated exclusively with people who look, speak and smell exactly like we do.  It would suck quite a bit, especially since hockey causes us to sweat, drink and smoke profusely.

The irritation that oafish men experience when women express opinions about hockey probably comes from some outdated and ignorant “barefoot and in the kitchen” philosophy that is in its death throes.  It’s certainly true that long oppressed groups go through a “party time” period after being liberated.  This period can become deadly, as we have seen overseas, and this period can become mildly obnoxious, as some believe we have seen here.

Scholars who have studied women’s liberation do not deny that there is price to this liberation, however negligible.  The treatment of rambunctious boys in the classroom as suffering from disorders is an example.  The rise in family desertion is another.  However, women asserting themselves in arenas traditionally dominated by men is NOT a symptom of any kind.  It should be seen as a welcomed development, and a healthy challenge.

Some men complain that women attend sporting events simply to be “seen.”  This is an absurd complaint, especially when realizing that men are the ones buying season ticket packages and attending one game every ninety days, while selling the rest.  The desire to be “seen” is pan-sexual, as is the habit of wasting tickets.

Another complaint made is that women insert themselves into the sporting environment to find a mate.  These women are called “jersey chasers.”  Can someone seriously chastise women for this? Can we really blame women for wanting to date people who are rich, famous and in fantastic shape? What kind of women do you want to date? Why do we go to bars?  Women would like to date athletes much in the same way that we would like to date models.  End of story.

Having an endless supply of conversation material is a must in a relationship, and no topic can supply endlessness the way a sport can.  Throughout the ages, fathers and sons who have virtually nothing in common, have been able to find common ground because of a shared interest in a game. Finding a woman who wants to spend time with you in non-plutonic way, and who also shares your affinity for a sport, is going to be a more exciting companion than your father any day of the week.  I don’t care how cool your dad is.

If a person has been wronged, or believes they have been wronged, repeatedly by members of a certain group, chances are the “victim” will begin to at least distrust members of the group, and at most despise them.  This is simply an unfortunate reality of the human experience, and it explains racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry.  While it is easy to understand this concept, it still must be resisted if we are to coexist peacefully.  Ashley Coombs, a fellow writer here at THW, discusses this problem in her column found here.

Gentlemen, I address you yet again: Whatever or whoever jaded your views about women, has nothing to do with the smiling face cheering on her team at the rink or at the bar.  Instead of thinking, “man, I wish she would shut up,” ask her for her number, or at least go in for a high five.

It’s either that, or stay angry, and staying angry makes a long season longer.

Or in our case, a nonexistent season longer.