Protesting Pink Hats

Three Die-Hard Bruins Fans (Photo Courtesy of Steph P,Steph V and Ariana C)

Although most of the Bruins fan base is just as aggravated as the team members themselves, the current slump is sure to purge some of the ‘pink hats’ for the Bruins, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, no one wants to be a fan of a ‘losing team,’ right?

For those that are questioning what a ‘pink hat’ is, let me elaborate. A ‘pink hat’ is any fan that portrays themselves as a true, long-time fan of any sport after a big win, such as a Stanley Cup or win-streak. Since the Boston Bruins are the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, there has been a surge of ‘pink hats,’ thanks in large part to the overly popular bachelor Tyler Seguin. For instance, take a listen to this interview by Adolfo from 98.5 the Sports Hub the day of the Stanley Cup Parade, here.

Seriously, you have been a lifelong fan of the Bruins, but you can’t name a position other than goalie and the coach’s name is Ralph?! Or take into consideration, the fifteen year old that had Tyler Seguin sign her arm last year. She was preserving the autograph by covering it with an ace bandage at night and in saran wrap in the shower,so she could later tattoo it on her arm. Seriously, you are going to preserve an autograph on your arm for three years?! It would later be noted that although she wanted the Seguin tattoo, her favorite player of the Bruins was the little ball of hate,Brad Marchand.

It is because of this that a majority of female fans aren’t taken seriously in today’s society. And those few that are taken seriously about their love for a sport, have earned the right to be because they have had to prove to the male gender that they are worthy of being a fan.

In today’s society, sex sells everything, hence the reason the NHL uses guys like Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews as poster boys. Aside from being remarkably talented, they are considered eye candy allowing people, specifically males, to assume the only reason women watch hockey is to swoon over these good looking players.

For a ‘pink hat’ this generalization would remain accurate, seeming as they couldn’t tell you icing from an off-sides call, but this doesn’t stand true for all female fans. Being female, we are subjected to harsh judgments, simply based on our sex. We’re constantly under society’s microscope. We’re judged if we’re too fat, too skinny, too tall or too short, if we have red hair or brown hair. Every time we turn around we are being judged. With hockey, judgment doesn’t exist. As one hockey fan put it:

“I love the sport because anyone can play it male, female, white, black, Swedish, Russian, anyone really. The game is so fast and exciting I’m always on the edge on my seat. It also has its own type of beauty, I don’t know what it is really but there’s something about the game that’s beautiful.”-T.Robinson(Pittsburgh Penguins fan)

The love of the game for most starts at a seemingly young age, usually between the ages of three and five. You’re taken to your first hockey game, whether it be AHL or NHL, and you’re standing at the glass during warm-ups with your parent or sibling at your side. They’re banging on the glass trying to get the attention of a player to take notice of them when it happens. Someone turns around and looks you right in the eye. He then does some fancy stick work and lifts a puck up over the glass to you. It’s at that point that you are hooked.

You take mental notes of every aspect of the person from there on out, their jersey number,last name, maybe you even go buy the program they’re handing out and you learn the statistics. Regardless, the seed has been planted in your tiny mind that, these guys are really cool.

The simple act of a puck being tossed over the glass, the fact of knowing this “pro” player gave this specifically to you excites you and makes you feel special, like you belong. It’s that feeling of belonging and of being at home that makes hockey so wonderful.

This scenario may not hold true for all female fans, for others it could be that they were born into a hockey family, or their dad used to love it so they began following the sport as a way to remain connected with them. Regardless, a fan is a fan is a fan.

As females we watch the sport for a number of reasons, we watch because we like to see the ‘sick’ moves Patrick Kane can come up with at the All-Star game, or to see a little kid’s day get brightened by receiving a player’s stick at the end of the night. It could also quite possibly be because of all the time and effort the players put into the game on and off the ice. The bottom line, it doesn’t matter why or how a female fan became a fan, the fact of the matter is, they are.

While the ‘pink hats’ are aggravating the majority of the time in their knowledge, or lack thereof, they are still fans. Sure they jump from one team to another based on their victory column, but they are still a fan of the sport.

While a large portion of female Bruins fans may be leaving the pack, I personally can assure you that this Bruins fan is here to stay, through the ups and downs. To cry with the team when they win the Cup and throw temper tantrums when they can’t perform a simple tape-to-tape pass.

So guys next time you’re buddy bails on you and you need someone to go with you to the game, let me ask you this: Do you want to take the girl that will be looking at the rafters and texting her best friend the whole night, or the girl that can give you all the stats and will flip off the ref at every bad call?

 

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