The Plight of the Female Fan: Fighting Stereotypes and Earning Respect

By: Ali Myers

While watching Penguins Faceoff on Wednesday night, it came across my screen. A grown woman, dressed in a tight white dress and a wedding veil. Her sign of choice:


While many men were going crazy over her looks, I was appalled. Go ahead; say I have no sense of humor, but then again; Sidney Crosby and Craig Adams must not either. An article published this morning shows that Crosby and Adams didn’t seem very amused themselves. Good on them.

Why am I so outraged?

Female hockey fans don’t exactly get the best reputation. Some of our male counterparts are determined to constantly tell us we know nothing about the game. I have had sexist pigs tell me how I’m full of crap while mocking my looks at the same time. After I have supported the Baby Penguins through every playoff disappointment, losing streak, and injury bug; plus spent money for season tickets, road trips, and apparel and other memorabilia, it is an insult to have some pseudo macho-man push me around because he may not agree with me and thinks that equals to me being unknowledgeable. (Males: You are not all like this and I will explain why in a few paragraphs.)

I have witnessed some ridiculous behavior by some of my fellow female fans that sadly supports why men hate on women fans so much. I see girls in this small AHL city (names have been withheld to protect the insane) doing everything they can to try to be friends with the players. Sometimes it consists of giving the players gifts; other times it is much worse. I heard of one such incident where a female fan walked over to a players’ table at a local restaurant and introduced herself to the player and his girlfriend. Yes, that’s right. His girlfriend was there but it didn’t seem to stop the bunny. Another girl interrupted a players’ conversation with the girlfriend of one of his teammates and demanded to know who he was talking to!

Last time I looked; hockey players are people and deserve to be treated as such. It is one thing to attend scheduled autograph signings and talk to the guys there. I even have no problem with talking to them when they are scratched (as long as they are not on their cell phone or clearly talking to someone who looks like she could be his girlfriend or wife). Bothering them on their private time? That’s puckbunny behavior and it is very hard to deny that.

In my opinion, these girls are humiliating themselves. For every girl that runs around trying to buddy up with the team, there is another girl who is in the background laughing at them. I’m the girl getting a good laugh from all of this. The worst part is that these girls believe they deserve to be treated with respect in the hockey fan world. When you act like this, no you don’t deserve it. I’d say 99% of the women engaged in this behavior are old enough to know better and need to grow up.

Crosby’s want to be bride earned nothing from me but my complete disrespect. Not only is she entirely too old to act the way she did, she gives the males another reason to mock female hockey fans. If she is a fan of Crosby, there are plenty of other ways she could show it. But she went about it the entirely wrong way. And now, even Sid himself thinks she is a joke. I bet she wasn’t planning on that. She even told a media outlet her every reason why she is in love with him. Who wants to bet that later she’ll be crying that she is being exploited and no one takes her seriously? I’ll take that bet and I won’t have any sympathy for her.

When girls bring signs to games such as “Marry Me Sidney”, “Put it in my five hole, Sidney”, or “I’d Give a Kidney to Marry Sidney” (all true examples, unfortunately), or insist on showing up at a game looking cute and getting male attention, it just makes me hang my head in shame. Because of these girls, we women who actually know the game have to fight harder to show we are serious fans and explain till we’re blue in the face that not all of us act like that.

I have met two guys who have told me they are impressed with my hockey knowledge. One told me that he thinks I am hockey smart, the other told me he is grateful he can talk about hockey with me in ways other than “Crosby is God”. Would I have gotten these compliments if I showed up to a WBS Penguins game in my cutest outfit with a sign asking John Curry on a date? Figure it out for yourself.

Ladies, if you want to show you’re a fan, the best thing you can do is learn the game and show your team spirit. It’s OK to think the players are good looking as that is part of our female hormone makeup. Seriously, though. Buy a jersey or other team apparel. Save your cute outfits for the nightclub; they don’t belong in the arena (neither do those awful glittery pink jerseys). Try bringing a sign showing support of a player in a way that doesn’t involve asking him to marry you because he’s not likely to anyway. Learn the rules of the game and be prepared to offer insight on the Pens putrid power play or Brent Johnson’s solid play as a backup. Show an interest in players and teams outside of your loyalties. But showing up for Halloween three months too late and proposing to Sidney? Sometimes it’s just better not to do as the Romans (or puckbunnies) do.

Facebook Twitter Delicious Digg Favorites More Stumbleupon