Why YES, Women's Hockey IS Real Hockey...

by - Friday, February 26, 2010

As a friend put it so eloquently the other night... opinions are like assholes - everyone has one.

I am a firm believer that everyone is allowed to (allowed is not the right word, but I hope you get my point) have an opinion... but ignorance - well I can't overlook that.

Last night a former Facebook friend wondered in his status update what he would do when Canada won a gold in hockey, since he had a hangover from celebrating the 7-3 quarterfinals win in men's hockey the night before.

I politely let him know that Canada, in fact, had just won a gold medal in women's hockey not an hour earlier.

To which he replied with something along the lines of "I should clarify... what am I going to do when Canada wins a medal in REAL hockey".

That's when I lost it. Real hockey? Seriously? So many freaking swear words came out of my mouth it wasn't even funny.

These women have been a team for TWO YEARS... not TWO WEEKS. They have played over 50 games AS A TEAM leading up to the Olympic games. They played their biggest competition IN THE WORLD and WON in a SHUTOUT!

And this isn't real hockey? It isn't Canada's fault that the rest of the world hasn't caught up to the standard set by North American hockey... THEY WON A GOLD MEDAL!

I look back to the evolution of men's hockey in the Olympic games... seems to me that back in the day it wasn't uncommon for the smaller teams to be spanked... and now team like Switzerland are on the verge of major upsets. It has taken decades to get to this point. Decades. Women's hockey has been on the international scene for 1990. That's 20 years people. 20 years. I think we need to support the development of women's hockey rather than belittle the work that Hockey Canada and USA Hockey has done in their development.

I don't care if you don't like watching women's hockey - it is a different game. But to say that it isn't real hockey - that is ignorant.

And ignorance results in a loss of me as a friend.

And yes, it is a loss. I am a damn good friend. And a damn proud Canadian hockey fan.

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  1. So this dude can go join the piles of people who have told me ringette isn't a real sport. Liking men's hockey better than women's or believing that women's hockey is better than ringette is fine. But to look in the eyes of a girl who has dedicated her entire life to her SPORT, and tell her it isn't REAL? Yeah, fuck you.

  2. I got a whole new appreciation for ringette after watching you and Ju play here... I wasn't exposed much to the sport when I was younger... but damn - you guys can skate - and the skill!!

    Yes... ringette is a real sport... and I dare anyone who doesn't think so to jump on the ice and give it a whirl.

  3. Women's hockey needs more champions like you standing up for them. I've really enjoyed reading your Olympic commentary the past two weeks... after stumbling upon your site a wee bit ago.

    Our nation needs to find pride in ALL our athletes and ALL our sports. It will never be equal, but all those couch potato hockey players need to remember that they can't play near as well as the PeeWee AAA kids in our minor hockey leagues, forget the WHL bruiser league, the NHL or our golden women. It would be great if they'd stop drawing conclusions along gender lines, or on minor details of the sport when they themselves will never be able to compete.

    I won't forget reading Ben Hebert (from the golden Team Martin curling rink) comment that curling on straight ice was like "curling like the girls" because sweeping didn't matter. Gender may mean some differences in sport, but the main concepts still remain, and sweeping matters when women play or they wouldn't sweep, would they?

    Women have a long way yet to go, it would seem. The medal count in these Olympics is surely a great kick forward though.

  4. I've heard the same nonsense about women's basketball and women's soccer in Texas (we don't hear much about hockey around here). Just because a guy doesn't enjoy watching a sport doesn't give him the right to say it's not a sport. I actually prefer watching the U.S. women's soccer team play to watching the men's soccer team play. Does that give me the right to say men's soccer is not a sport? Of course not. Some guys are testosterone-y and jerky when it comes to sports, I guess.