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.)
This 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.
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.