As we all know, there are probably a few hundred million fans of hockey around the world, lots of whom are dedicating endless hours of time this spring to watching the playoffs. Also, considering the demographics of hockey fans, there are going to be a lot of incredibly bored wives out there having to put up with the lack of attention from their husbands, and the lack of control of the remote.
It's because of this that CBC has decided to promote a blog called "While The Men Watch" for the rest of the playoffs. This blog, written by a couple women whose men watch a lot of sports, talks about things in sports that would interest women, such as hot athletes, ugly coaches, fashion, and a little bit of basic knowledge about the games themselves. CBC likely sees this as a way to draw in the Canadian female demographic, who would have to watch the games on CBC to know what the girls are talking about on the blog.
However, not everyone is seeing it the same way. The NHL blogosphere has erupted over this, particularily the female demographic of the NHL fanbase. This Toronto Sun article features a bunch of tweets at the bottom of the article about this, with reactions varying from "setting female sports fans back a decade" to "disgusting, disappointing and offensive" to a bunch of sarcasm about all women participating in this while cooking and cleaning. Being the resident female writer at this blog, I've been asked for an opinion.
I will be honest, I did not witness the uproar yesterday, so I had to do some investigation. My first stop: the blog's homepage. Due to their recent promotion to CBC, there are a good number of hockey articles up right now, with a couple about football, baseball, basketball, and Khole Kardashian's hubby.
One of the first things I checked was their "About" page, which talked about how the blog started, and a bit about who they are. Lena Sutherland and Jules Mancuso are two friends who, out of frustration with their men constantly watching sports, started up live play-by-play commentary online with discussion of the game. Their topics can range from the actual rules of the game to discussing who on the ice or bench needs serious fashion help. Sutherland's quick bio states that she is an Emmy award winning producer, however a Google search shows nothing to confirm that for me. Providing that she's telling the truth, I bet she has a few connections which are helping with the blog's publicity.
The first article I opened was called "The Ice Angel and The Devil", which detailed how they started their CBC adventure by hanging out in the broadcast trailer surrounded by $15 million worth of broadcast equipment, and how they helped 2002 Olympic champion Jamie Salé track down former Devils player Ken Daneyko in the Rangers crowds for an interview. All I have to say about this is that those girls are incredibly lucky.
The next article was called "7 Phrases To Yell Out If You Don't Follow Hockey", which has a relatively self-explaining title. Most of these are actually just fine, provided they are used in the right context. "Use the boards", "Cammon" (they intentionally spell it wrong), "Set it up, boys" and "Where's the penalty?" are perfectly fine, while "Pull the goalie!" and "Say Goodnight" obviously have their setbacks. I have never shouted "ATTACK!!!!!" midgame, however.
Then I get to the fun stuff. "Sex On Game Day: Does He Lock It Up Or Love You Down?", graced with a picture of Canuck heart-breaker Kevin Bieksa, talks about different male personality types when it comes to whether or not to have sex on gameday. As most of us know, there is that belief out there that sex before games will use up their energy, and they'll end up playing terribly. Unless you're Alex Ovechkin, of course, who once claimed he has sex before AND after games. He'd be between the "Loverman" and "Action Hero" types.
Ah, another fun one. "Top 10 Elimination Excuses And What They Say About Him" gives a bunch of excuses, and their interpretation of their man's personality when they use them. I think this is incredibly silly, especially since I have seen 9 out of these 10 excuses used in the comments here on our blog. They are generally the standard excuses: fire the coach, key player injured, stress is now gone, they can rest up for next year, and so on. The last one is something I would never expect to hear.
And now we get to the girly article. "Haute Hockey: The NHL's Best and Worst Dressed List" does have some good choice, with the best list featuring Bieksa and Henrik Lundqvist, along with Sidney Crosby, John Tortorella and ..... Okay, ladies, you should really know better than to put Don Cherry on a "best-dressed" list. Also, for the record, why would he waste thousands shopping in Brooklyn, when he can hit up Fabricland for much less? Featured on the worst-dressed lists are Ovie, the medical staff, the Fake Greenmen (they prefer our Vancouver originals), Claude Julien, and Carey Price.
So, what do I think of these ladies? At first, I really didn't care. Let's face it: I'm a female diehard hockey blogger, whose wardrobe mainly consists of jeans and fitted tshirts. I do have a few hockey crushes, such as Alexander Edler, and I do have a fancy for the young Swedish and Russian players, but I still watch hockey for the hockey. In the case of blogs that appear to be mainly for the stereotype-abiding puckbunnies, I generally avoid them. When reading While The Men Watch, I noticed that, despite their claiming to not being interested in knowing everything about the game itself, they do seem to have learned quite a bit about hockey.
Obviously, some people do not like the idea of CBC promoting this blog. Personally, I don't really mind. It appears that all their commentary will be online, so you would have to go out of your own way to access it. Relax, it does not appear that these girls will be replacing CBC's regular broadcast team anytime soon. While the men listen to Jim Hughson, the women can find their way online to talk to Lena and Jules. And if Lena and Jules are too girly for you, then you can always hang out at Nucks Misconduct.