Wednesday, November 07, 2007


The subject of hockey cheerleaders came up at work the other day. Don’t ask me how. But I did take a pretty firm stance on it that surprised some people. I don’t like it. Period. First period. Second period. Third period. Don’t like the idea at all. Not in favor it.

I don’t know if you’ve been to an NHL hockey game recently, but I can tell you that during timeouts at Chicago Blackhawks games, a squad of skinny girls in tight-fitting clothes cruises out onto the ice with shovels to clear away slush from around the goalie boxes. It's a pretty important job that stadium management determined would be best handled by a crack crew of exotic dancers and night-club bartenders on their day off.

Of course, clearing away slush isn't REALLY their purpose. (The fact is, they clear away very little slush from around the net.) Their REAL purpose is to sex up the sport a little by giving all of the men in the arena something to look at while the athletes are catching their breath. To be completely honest, I find it a little insulting. "Why?" the oversexed heterosexual male might ask. Because I don’t go to hockey games to ogle women. I just don’t. I don’t go to strip clubs to ogle women, either – but if I wanted to ogle women, that’s where I would go...a strip club. Not a fucking hockey game. I go to a hockey game to eat cold, overpriced stadium food, drink flat domestic beer, and watch men with wooden sticks run into each other at high speeds. Gawking at big-bosomed women in tight lycra jumpsuits isn't on the agenda.

So, no, I don’t care for the cheap-ass peep show on ice. And the more I thought about it, the more I started realizing how some element of sex seems infused into virtually everything these days. Even the NEWS! Fox "News" Channel, not surprisingly, is the worst. While they claim to take the high road, it's clear to even the casual viewer what's going on here. Check out this fine segment undressing FOX one hypocritical example of poor taste after the next.

Okay. So sex sells, they say. I get it. But where does it end? I’m already in the ice rink – I already bought the ticket. I already bought the beer. What are the ice girls selling me? An experience? Come on. Can we stop objectifying young women already, perpetuating the illusion that the primary measure of their worth is in turning heads. Women are more valuable to society than this, aren't they? Seriously.

ICE GIRLS: I bet more than a few of these ladies can make a mean ham sandwich, too. It's a real puckin' shame...

Here it is in a nutshell. Just as women resent being portrayed as sex objects, I resent when men are viewed as sex-obsessed objects. I have other interests, you know. Like sports. And gambling. And bar trivia. I am more than a sexual impulse. I am more than a desire to procreate. I am more than a seed seeking purchase. So, yes, it’s a little insulting when it is presumed that women in provocative dress will add value to my experience as a hockey fan. And I also find it disrespectful to the female partners of the fans, who just roll their eyes when the ice girls skate out and do their thing. What's the point to all of this visual temptation anyhow? It's not going anywhere. Come to think of it, neither is this post.


Anonymous said...

dude, you're really off on this one. my wife even thinks the hockey girls are hot and said she'd understand if I did one of them. I think she under stands that there's a snowball's chance in hell of that happening. She said she'd even do one of them.

while you're on your mr. sensitivity soap box, why don't you rail against football & basketball cheerleaders or the bimbos on deal or no deal?

AYNtK said...

Don't misunderstand me, friend. I'm not saying the ice girls aren't an attractive bunch. What I'm saying is they don't add value to the experience of seeing a hockey game. Further, it's insulting to them and to fans that they are given shovels and squeegees to tend to the ice when it's obvious by the way they are dressed that their primary function is to "sex up" the event. The entire act is an unnecessary disruption that can have unintended consequences. Consider the altercation in New York:

By the looks of the thread posts there, I'd say I'm not alone in this. The fans see right through it. The hottest girls in the world don't matter when your team is 1-12. It's about the OTHER product on the ice.

As for other sports - I've never found much use for the Luvabulls, either. But at least they're performing a choreographed act that requires some degree of talent and coordination to pull off. I personally don't think dance routines have any place during TV timeouts, but I understand that they are there to provide entertainment value. I happen to prefer those silly promotions like the Dunkin Donuts scoreboard race and the tricycle pylon race. FAR more entertaining than a dozen "professional" cheerleaders bringing sexy back.

As for Deal or No Deal - hot women are part of the show. Since there's really nothing else to watch or look at, network execs decided to dress it up by dressing down leggy spokesmodels. It's a formula that served the Price is Right and numerous other game show programs very well. Is it gratuitous? Absolutely. But you almost expect that these days, don't you? All television talent is attractive by design. It has to be to compete. You don't expect a bunch of scantily clad women in skates to touch up the ice for professional hockey players.

But your point is well taken - and goes to one of the other points I made in that post: sex is everywhere these days. And, yes, I suppose the puritan in me is coming to resent it. Call me new fashioned - sex doesn't sell me anymore.