I am a girl and I like hockey.
For those of you who grew up in Philadelphia, or perhaps another hockey-centric area, the above statement might not surprise you. I was told recently that hockey has a very high percentage of female fans in comparison to other professional sports. It shocked me because, well, I’m from the South and we like our football. Women and men.
So, how in the world did I become a hockey fan, even more, a Philadelphia Flyers fan?
::waves:: Hi. I’m the newbie on the site, which is pretty apropos because I’m a newbie in regards to hockey fandom as well. I figured I’d use this first article to introduce myself and hopefully entice you with my sparkling personality so you’ll come back and read my features. (note: there was a strong element of sarcasm embedded in ‘sparkling personality’)
It was all my friend Pam’s fault. I met her online through a writing site back in 2007. We liked each other’s writing and started emailing, then chatting, then texting. In the course of the three years that followed, I would hear a little about hockey, the Flyers, and Mike Richards. I didn’t really pay much attention as I was not a sports girl. My family is into college football and that’s about it. Dad will watch about every major sport event during the year (basketball, golf, tennis, whatever), but the daughter did not participate. I’m purely a recovering drama geek and avid anglophile.
So, I listened to Pam and her hockey tales, but it didn’t make an impact. Then I was at a friend’s house during the final hockey game of the 2010 Olympics. I watched, recognized some names and made the mistake of letting Pam know that I sort of enjoyed myself.
My email inbox was suddenly inundated with interviews, photos, and videos of the lyers, both past and present. I started catching the occasional game via some illegal stream online. I was able to follow the puck better each time I watched and somehow, I happened to be watching when a shootout against the Rangers got the Flyers into the 2010 playoffs.
By that point, I was hooked.
So, here I am, a year and a half later, still watching, still hoping, and now writing.
I’m an aspiring novelist, but to pay the bills I teach English and Drama at an independent school in Northern Illinois. I just moved here from Tennessee and I am happy to find that I have students to discuss hockey with. I have an avid Toronto Maple Leafs fan in one class. I’m sure more will reveal themselves as the year progresses.
I’m not a stats person. I do make an effort to read articles with statistics and learn from them, but as mentioned above, I’m an Englishy-type person. I’m much better with words than numbers.
So for Flyers Faithful, I’ll be doing a number of things. I’ll be reviewing hockey books (some general hockey, some Flyers). I’ll be commenting on being an atypical fan (i.e. female, southern, not local). Rockford (where I am now located) hosts the IceHogs, which is the Chicago Blackhawks’ farm team. I hope to make a few games and plan to hunt down and research any former Flyers prospects in the area. My aim is to be entertaining and make you, the reader, smile before starting the weekend as my articles will show up on Fridays. I will probably include the occasional anecdote from my days of teaching. I’m still working on how I can relate what we’re studying in European Literature to hockey. At the moment, it’s Henry V. If you have any ideas about how to pull hockey in, let me know.
So email me with hockey book titles, topics you want to know about (I am very good at amassing information just for the joy of it. Teacher = nerd), or just a hello. As I said before, I’m southern and that makes me friendly.