By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Diamonds are forever. So are things put on the Internet. And, boy, did we Interneters get a gem this past Friday when blueshirtsunited.com, which is part of the New York Rangers official website, published a piece entitled “A Girl’s Guide To Watching The Rangers” because pandering to ignorance and making women feel like inferior sports fans is totally great. And it went exactly how you’d think it would go.
It was such a colossal bag of stereotypical stupid that it was taken down fairly quickly due to the massive backlash against it. But, as with all things online, it didn’t fully go away and will forever exist in screengrab form. It should serve as a lesson that dividing fans into superficial groups and then stereotyping them is wrong unless it’s White Sox fans. Now we Chicagoans are not ones to let New Yorkers best us, even within the realm of the horrifically dumb. Luckily, you have me for that.
If you haven’t noticed, the Chicago Blackhawks are 6-0 for the first time in the team’s history. That means ever. It also means that the team is probably pretty good, and you being the sporting type like to watch good teams be good at sports.
“But, Baffoe,” you whine, “I don’t get hockey.” Well, duh! Nobody gets hockey, silly. It’s a game played on ice in the 21st century mostly by foreigners and condones fistfighting within the game. It’s hilariously archaic. Like a Russian circus. And that makes it awesome, and you should realize that.
I’m not one to discriminate and stereotype like that Rangers broad did—ignorance is not sex-specific. There are plenty of dudes out there who aren’t privy to what will likely be a growing buzz about and increased consumption of the Blackhawks. So here’s a handy little guide to climbing aboard the frozen bandwagon in 2013, indiscriminate of gender or any other handicap.
Understand that you’re a bandwagon jumper, and real fans hate you, and deservedly so: Oh, a team in your city that you otherwise don’t care about is really good, and now you’re interested? You’re leaching the joy of blood, sweat, and tears true fans give even in the worst of times—you probably think Alpo Suhonen is a fancy dog food, don’t you?—and just like a leach, you really suck. Prepare to be mocked and taunted endlessly by people with emotional scars from Eric Daze. A Zamboni should repeatedly run over you. (note: a Zamboni is the motor vehicle driven on the rink to re-ice it between periods, and it should run over you, you fair-weather bandwagoner.)
Hockey’s fast pace and constant action is perfect for your awful attention span: Let’s face it, you’re not bright. Books that are more than a few pages are a serious chore for you. Hell, reading this far into this column without stopping for a game of Angry Birds is quite the accomplishment. No, wait, come back! There are far less lulls in the action of an NHL game than, say, baseball or football (I hesitate to mention basketball because no Bulls fan is allowed to like the Blackhawks and vice versa). It’s almost constant motion on the ice, and Pat Foley’s voice is hypnotic to the point where you can’t look away. Breaks in the action occur at the end of each period or there’s a penalty or when the puck goes into the stands and puts a gash in someone’s face and you point and laugh at them because injured people are funny.
The Blackhawks will score if you go to the bathroom: It’s just science. So, for the good of the team, you have to stay in the bathroom for the entire game. Sorry, but you’re new here and have to jump on that grenade. Have a friend or significant other yell pertinent details to you through the door.
The Blackhawks have Black people: Breaking down social barriers, three members of the Hawks roster are black (though that may just be because it took three people to replace the pounds left by Dustin Byfuglien’s departure). That’s the most in the NHL. But Ray Emery, Jamal Mayers, and Johnny Oduya are not Americans (Emery and Mayers are Canadian, and Oduya is Swedish), so do not refer to them as African American or else you risk them reminding you politely that they are Canadian and Swedish in that way that annoyingly polite way Canadians and Swedes do.
Some player names are difficult to pronounce: If you’re having trouble, try just referring to their numbers. If you can’t read their numbers, you may be a farm animal. Or…
Acclimate yourself with player nicknames: Hockey is very big on nicknames. Often a player can be Canadianly referred to by his last name plus “-er,” e.g. “Kaner” or “Toewser” or “Hjalmarssoner,” because Canadians are not creative people. Some guys have more specific ones, though. Here, via the fine folks at The Committed Indian, which you should totally subscribe to because it’s consistently well-written and laugh-out-loud hilarious, are just a few that you should try to memorize:
Captain Marvel – Jonathan Toews
Hossbollah – Marian Hossa
Sharp-Shooter – Patrick Sharp
Humpty Hump -Patrick Kane
The Flash – Duncan Keith
Vik Rattlehead – Viktor Stalberg
Driver 8 – Nick Leddy
Fabulous Weapon – Dave Bolland
Biscuit – Brent Seabrook
Car Bomb – Dan Carcillo
Dream Warrior – Marcus Kruger
Super Nintendo Hjalmers – Niklas Hjalmarsson
Old Donald – Sean O’Donnell
Chicken Hawk – Andrew Shaw
And I made up the following that you may use so long as you give me credit:
The Marquis – Brandon Saad
Who? – Sheldon Brookbank
Not Good At Hockey – Brandon Bollig
Don’t ask why fans cheer during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”: This is Chicago, not America. Also, every true Hawks (you may call them “the Hawks” if you’re comfortable with that) fan knows exactly when and why this tradition started, but don’t ask.
If picked for the Shoot the Puck contest, be inappropriate: This guy is a great example. If you’re not participating in Shoot the Puck, be sure to laugh at the contestants when they miss. Especially the little kids because they need to get a thicker skin. And the attractive women because they deserve two minutes of not getting everything they want. And the Chicago athletes from other sports because, hey, it feels good to see people with talent be bad at things like you are at everything.
Detroit sucks: Because it does, and Jeremy Piven says so.
Be absolutely sure to mug for the camera during Comcast Sports Net’s pregame and intermission reports: Because ERMAHGERD A CAMERA!!!!1!1!! Everyone at home will think you are the coolest.
Hopefully this guide helped. Good luck in your new Blackhawks fan endeavors, you insufferable newbies.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.