Getting back on my soapbox again.
No Devil fans, I’m leaving you alone this time (you actually have improved since my November rant, bravo!).
This time, I’m pointing it at the Rangers. As I was getting ready to leave for Glens Falls yesterday, a very interesting story started popping up on my Twitter feed about an article the team posted on its own feed (which I would have linked for you, but it has mysteriously vanished. Hmmm…I wonder why), the Girl’s Guide to Watching the Rangers. Thanks to those who shot screen caps of the story before it was taken down, I had the chance to look through the story. And all I have to say is…WHAT?
Once again, the female hockey fan is being stereotyped as not having a clue or just in it to look at good looking guys (or get the attention of said good-looking guys). Didn’t we go through this during the whole While The Men Watch debacle during the playoffs last season? (Shameless self promotion alert: I guest blogged on the topic back in June for a friend of mine who would agree.) And don’t even get me started about the Cosmo Hot Hockey Player list…
Now let’s take the steps apart piece by piece, shall we?
Step 1: Knowing when to ask questions. Our brilliant author suggests waiting until a stoppage in play or a penalty call to ask a male fan what’s going on. “You need to sense the tension at certain points in the game and let them do their jumping, screaming, and cheering thing. You can tell if something huge has happened by their reaction…” That’s not how I learned. I actually watched it, and over time the more I watched (at first on TV, then finally when I started going to River Rats games) I picked up on all the nuances of the game. If this were the playoffs, particularly the Stanley (or in my area of expertise, Calder) Cup Finals, you’d be silent the entire game. There is no such thing as a dumb question (unless you work in retail customer service, but that’s another topic), it’s how you learn.
Step 2: Get to know the Rangers. By just hearing last names during the broadcast. Just because you heard Sam Rosen say Del Zotto or Staal, you automatically know who they are. Again, just watch! And actually read up on the players in news articles and such (no, the New York Post fashion spread does not count…yes I actually Googled it just for this post) to learn more about them. I actually do that with some of the Devils’ opponents, reading a lot of blogs and news articles to learn about the opponent coming up, just to get an idea of what to expect. If you take the time to do your homework, you’ll be better informed and get a better understanding.
Step 3: Get to know goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Trust me this is all you need to know: Watch this video. Yeah, you knew I would throw that in. But in all seriousness, he’s a Vezina winner (but Marty still has more, so much more), he can play guitar (and I hate to admit, he’s actually not bad…damn you HBO 24/7), and it’s fun when the Devils beat him (although I caught myself cheering him on against Philly the other night…what does a Devil fan do when the Rangers and Flyers, the two most hated rivals of New Jersey, play each other?). And by the way, if New York were to have a new face on the quarter, it would most likely be Derek Jeter. At least he knows how to win championships.
Step 4: You’ve graduated level one. Do I even want to know what Level Two is?
The point is this: Once again, the female hockey fan is getting the short end in favor of those who care more about pleasing their significant other and trying to sound smart than actually showing a real interest in the game. If you’re trying to win over new fans especially after the lockout debacle, go for it. But don’t dumb down and put all females in the same category. Simply, if you really want to learn more about the game of hockey beyond just sounding smart amongst your male friends, just do your homework. Do the research. Read the blogs, pertinent news stories. Actually watch games and listen to interviews with players and coaches. Soak up all the information you can.
There are a few very good responses to this so called Girl’s Guide that I read up on yesterday as well, check them out:
A Girl’s Guide to Girls, by the wonderful ladies at What’s Up, Ya Sieve?
A nice rebuttal from Diana C. Nearhos at the Post Star Phantoms blog.
And you know the Devils Army had to chime in with their own guide, this one for the guys.