10 October, 2005

And now for a few words about being a female fan.

I open with this: Darren McCarty will never not be hot to me. Even when he decides to shave his head again, I will still turn into a melting puddle of hormone-laden goo whenever I see him. Even if he puts on a stinkin’ Red Wings jersey again, I will still drool mindlessly at the sight of the man and his eleventy billion tattoos.

Why? Because I think he’s smokin’ hot. I don’t care whom he plays for, I don’t care what he does for a living. Even when he played for the Red Wings, I didn’t care that he played for them (and that is saying something, because I have always despised the Red Wings with the fire of a million white-hot suns). He could dig ditches or deliver beer for Long Beverage, Incorporated and I wouldn’t give a damn. I just think the man is hotter than Death Valley in the middle of July.

Does this make me a puckbunny?

To some, it does. Others would see me as a puckbunny if I ever said that I “loved” a particular player. To still others, the mere fact that I have ovaries and a Joni (spot the reference and consider yourself well-read—or clever, take your pick) makes me a puckbunny despite the fact that I know more about hockey than half of western Canada.

Fuck y’all haters.

I know my sport, and know it damn well. I love my sport, passionately. I love my team, fiercely, passionately, and wholly. But all too often, the last line of defense for some simpleton who gets into an argument with me (or any other female fan, for that matter) on a message board or in a sports bar is to drop the “puckbunny” smack--as if that somehow makes the simpleton the automatic winner of the argument. It’s as if being a female fan means that you have to not like the menfolk.

To hell with that, kids.

I love me a nice side of beef—hello, I do sit on that side of the fence. But come on—when valuing a player's worth, I rate his skills as a player far more highly than whether or not he sets my ovaries alight. As a friend of mine once said, “I refuse to be thought of as less of a fan because I like to comment on Bruno St. Jacques’ game and, occasionally, his butt.”

Why is this so hard for some people to comprehend? It never ceases being a wonderment to me.

I end with a sad, but true story:

The News and Observer sent a female reporter out to a ‘Canes game once to talk to my hockey buddy Lisa (who is all about little Sami Kapanen) and me for a story about female fans. The reporter asked me why I am such an ardent fan of Marek Malik—this was back during the days when I would get into fights (both virtual and real) with motards who thought a 6’5” defenseman should do nothing but smack people into the next county—and my answer actually had to do with hockey, and I said nothing about whether or not I have the hots for him (for the record, I don’t—my love for the Serene Master is maternal). Same with Lisa. She went on and on about Sami’s skills as a player and his tenacity on the ice—when the reporter asked her “But do you think he’s hot?” Lisa’s response was “Who cares?”

The article got turfed and never saw print.