The Trials and Tribulations of a Female Hockey Fan – By Katrina Gordon
EDITOR’S NOTE: The growth continues to happen here at Ice Nation UK. We are delighted to welcome Katrina Gordon into the fray! A proud Scot, Kat is about as fiercely dedicated a hockey fan as they come, her allegiances lying both with her local Braehead Clan of the EIHL, and with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL. She regularly tweets and writes for UK fan site BritPensFanClub, and we are very excited about having her as part of the team!
I‘m sitting staring at the laptop. It’s a quiet night for me, and I’m trying to put into words “being a female hockey fan”. The fact that it’s different at all is annoying me, so I decided to do some research and had a wee nosey at the internet. Big mistake. The first picture I came across was of two girls asking to perform a sex act on Tyler Seguin. This isn’t the first piece I’ve written on this subject. For those of you who don’t know, I write/tweet/blog/rant for the British Penguins Fan Club. I bet you read that I was a Pittsburgh Penguins fan and suddenly I became a crazy Crosby fan with no opinions other than “oh isn’t he cute!” But why don’t I let you in on a wee secret? He is. He’s also leading the NHL in points right now. I dunno which one turns me on the most.
Writing that piece for the British Penguins Fan Club, I felt like I was breaking some taboo. Should I mention this? This face that the boys pull, the rolling of the eyes, dare I speak of it? Should I tell them my “no Crosby isn’t my favourite player” trick, as I hide my many 87 jerseys away from their eyes? Well, I did, I broke the taboo and spoke my mind, and I have to say the support I received was overwhelming. There were girls agreeing with me, telling me that they felt and done the same! There were boys, telling me that they were those guys! The rolly eye brigade finally realised what they were doing!! This would stop it all! Hoooray! I was Emily Pankhurst with skates and a helmet.
Then I suggested in the pub one night that I might want to get myself a Dupuis jersey. “Is that another one?” I was asked. Taking a sip of my somewhat girlie Malibu and lemonade, I asked, “another what?”
“Another one you fancy?”
I sat my glass, adorned with a pink straw of course, down and stared at them. Deflation is a word that I wouldn’t often use, but my goodness I felt it at that point. “Did you read my article?” I asked, suspicious of the answer. “Oh the one where you pretended you didn’t fancy Crosby?”
No. Oh God no.
Appreciation For The Game
Let me explain something here. I am a heterosexual female in her early thirties, which according to Scouting for Girls, is the time a girl gets really dirty. Sidney Crosby is a professional athlete with a body that Adonis himself would crave, thighs that could make a girl cry and brown eyes that remind you of milk chocolate buttons. Of course I fancy him! Nothing wrong with that! My point, for those who didn’t read it, or missed it, is that I can “fancy” him (a word I detest by the way) and still appreciate that he is the most talented hockey player the world has seen since the days of Gretzky and Lemieux. Oh, and if you want to sit and argue this fact for hours, penis or no penis, I will shoot you down!
If you boys can looks at scantily clad ice-crew or cheerleaders, then us girls can look at the players! Noticing someone is attractive doesn’t suddenly remove your love of the game. But girls, sitting in a wedding dress and waving a sign that you want Crosby to get concussion from your headboard is going to get you a reputation. Reputations that even the players themselves will cotton on to, and start to believe.
The recent picture of Pittsburgh Penguin’s Beau Bennett and Robert Bortuzzo dressed as “puck bunnies” for Halloween, showed perhaps how this view is seen by the players themselves. Are female hockey fans “fair game”? Is it something that is a universal joke? I’d like to think that there are enough female fans out there to prove this myth wrong. However, I’m not naive enough to think that for every one girl claiming to be a real hockey fan, there’s another loony waving a “marry me” sign and calling themselves Mrs Lundqvist.
Hockey players have become something of a celebrity in certain shores. With the involvement of social media such as Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, well, these players’ lives are dissected and dismembered more times than I would care to think! There’s gif’s upon gif’s, little smiles, cheeky comments, players with more modelling experience than Gisele, and let’s not even mention the fan-fiction! For every comment on a goal, or a tremendous play, there’s someone who’s only living wish is to be the newest team physio and marry their favourite player, after some “The O.C.” style drama of course!
It’s all getting out of hand. What’s happened to the game? In recent weeks, one of the biggest news stories to come out of Pittsburgh was that Beau Bennett had shut down his twitter and Instagram account, and not that he was injured and possibly out long-term. Why should this be news? But this isn’t consigned to only twelve year old girls! I know even the most hard-core of hockey fans, who spend hours on the internet searching for any scrap of information that their NHL team will throw them; any news, any titbit, any comment or YouTube video addition, just to get some knowledge on a situation.
Even my own EIHL team have recently produced a calendar following a sultry and sexy photo-shoot with the players, but am I complaining? Am I heck!! I ordered four! Did ordering this topless calendar suddenly make me a bad hockey fan, or make me know less about the game? No, of course it didn’t. Does looking at pictures of Sidney Crosby in a suit make me less of a Penguins fan? No, of course it doesn’t. It’s part of the game. It’s part of the charm and the glamour of it all.
Just recently, the lovely folks at @pensfoundation printed the pics from their recent “Pens and Paws” calendar. I will admit wholeheartedly to aww-ing and aaah-ing over the photos! In truth, the only way they could’ve tapped into my inner pig-tailed school girl more, would be if the boys holding the puppies were also on white horses with pink manes and plaited tails!
I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again, being a female hockey fan is tough. Does this happen in other sports? I don’t think it does. I can quite easily head to a football or rugby match, comment on the players, and my opinions are still valid. Do this at hockey, and people are feeding me carrots! “Puck Bunny”! Even the name itself conjures up an idea of a bimbo girl with some sexy outfit on placed there primarily for the enjoyment of men! Is this something that has come from Playboy? Girls dressed as bunnies? Part of me feels horrified that I’m even contemplating this idea, and other part of me cheers these girls on! Feminism yeah! Go wear what you want, and do what you want! Just don’t do it pretending that you know about hockey, because then, you will bring us all down….sisters!
I Love This Game
Sitting here writing this, I can’t actually say that I haven’t been ridiculed for wearing a dress and heels to a hockey rink. So yeah, wear what you want! But I will admit to swearing at the referee for a bad call, and jumping up and down with joy when my team won in overtime! Dress or no dress, I love this game.
So guys, can’t you just accept the fact that we love this sport? Can’t you allow us to ogle a player’s talent on and off the ice?
All we are asking is for our opinions to be taken seriously, and for our love of the sport to be acknowledged.
Oh and maybe a romantic dinner date with Crosby….. 😉