Growing up, I was never on a soccer team or a softball team. The closest I came to softball was being a horrible t-ball player.
However, growing up, I was a swimmer and a gymnast. Both sports made me feel powerful, illuminated strength I was not aware I possessed, and always gave me a rush of adrenaline. I think this rush of adrenaline is why I like hockey so much. I found the same rush from watching the sport as I did from swimming in a relay or doing a routine on the floor.
At the age of three, my dad was carrying me across St. Paul to see the Wild play at the Xcel Energy Center.
We moved around a few times, so I've picked up a few favorite hockey teams.
We've watched the Philadelphia Flyers on TV for as long as I can remember. We moved to Chicago, so I started paying attention to the Blackhawks. We lived in California for a while. I never really grew attached to the Kings, but I did thoroughly enjoy the Martinez goal to win them the Stanley Cup in 2014.
In my younger years of being a hockey fan, I was not aware of what was happening in the game, other than the laughter that spilled from my lips when someone fell on the ice. There was also that one time where I audibly screamed, "Fall down!" when someone, indeed, fell down. It's a good thing I was a cute child.
As I grew into my teenage years and expressed my love for this sport, people got suspicious. And by people. I mostly mean boys. According to the average teenage boy, girls aren't supposed to like hockey, and if they do, it's because hockey players are notoriously attractive. There was no possible way I could enjoy hockey as a sport. Well, newsflash, I can, and I do.
If there's one thing you should know about me, you should not try to challenge me on the things I am passionate about, and hockey falls under this category. I've fought in many "how much do you truly know about hockey?" arguments and floored my opponent. While I got my love of hockey from my dad, I also got my ability to argue from him, as well. He is a lawyer, after all, so those boys didn't stand a chance.
My days of standing up to high school aged boys are over, but the idea that women only watch hockey for the men is not. I am not going to deny that there may be women who do watch for the players, but those women are not the majority. The terms for females who watch hockey are not those of endearment, and frankly, I'm tired of seeing them on social media and hearing them. The days of harassing female hockey fans need to end, mainly because there are more critical issues in hockey to discuss.
I'm going to turn your attention now to Daniel Carcillo's twitter video about his experience with brain injuries from his time in the NHL. Carcillo, a former Chicago Blackhawk, and Philadelphia Flyers player has recently been advocating for the awareness of concussions and brain injuries and the way they are mishandled and mistreated. While people may not have agreed with the way Carcillo played hockey sometimes, there is no arguing with his stance on concussion health. Instead of complaining about women liking hockey for the players, or in general, educate yourself on this important matter.