This afternoon, Claude Giroux tweeted a link to this article and wrote, "great article by (author). #very true." The article contains some tips for how clueless women can make their hockey fan boyfriends happy by adopting their opinions, bringing them beer, and not asking questions during the NHL playoffs. I thought I would respond with a few tips for male hockey fans:
- Recognize that there are male and female hockey fans, and that there are men and women who don't follow it at all. If you meet a woman who doesn't know anything about hockey, it's because she has never followed it, not because women are clueless ditzes who don't understand sports -- just like your male friend who can't name three teams doesn't represent the hockey knowledge of his entire gender.
- Some women who don't understand hockey watch games because they think the players are cute. Some men who don't understand hockey watch games because they like to get drunk in public. Both are valid entertainment options, but if you're not generalizing about all male fans based on the clueless drunks, don't generalize about all female hockey fans based on a few female fans who just like the players.
- If you are in a healthy relationship with another person, that person will probably respect and support your sports obsession whether she follows sports or not. Try being thankful and making the experience fun for her, rather than demanding that she bring you beers, sit quietly, and refrain from asking questions "because it's playoffs." The playoffs aren't making you be a jerk to your girlfriend -- that's all you.
- If your girlfriend texts you during a playoff game, you can wait and read the text during a commercial break. If receiving a text during a crucial moment ruins the game for you, that's your fault, not your girlfriend's fault. If you actually get mad at her for texting you during overtime, you are an abusive jerk, and you should probably break up with her to save her from yourself. Then you can watch the rest of the playoffs in peace!
- If your girlfriend watches hockey with you, and she happens to be someone who knows less about hockey than you, don't patronize her endlessly with your superior hockey knowledge because that's actually not fun for her at all. If she has a question, be happy to answer it because she's someone you love and respect (remember?). But don't spend the entire game explaining every offsides call to her like she is an idiot.
- If you're devastated that your team just got eliminated (Philadelphia fans, pay close attention to this one for future reference), and your girlfriend tries to comfort you, just thank her and be glad someone cares about you. If you flip out on her that "it's not okay" and that she "doesn't understand," the problem is not actually that your girlfriend doesn't understand -- it's that you are a galactic tool who doesn't deserve her.
- If a misguided female hockey fan writes a long, sexist article directed at other women, don't tweet a link to it and tell your thousands of followers that it's "very true."
You're welcome, Claude! I hope you find these tips helpful when you're watching the 2nd round from your couch.