Dear Blackhawks

The following is a letter I also mailed to the Blackhawks head office. I’m sick and tired of the league’s non reaction to violence against women and I had to do something at least. I plan to tweak it and also mail a more generalized version to the NHL’s head office. Maybe this will do nothing, but maybe it will start something. 

Dear Mr. McDonough,

I am writing to you after the Blackhawks announced Patrick Kane would be attending training camp. As a female fan of your league, I find your team’s decision in this matter to be greatly disappointing and upsetting.

The NHL’s female fans are increasing in numbers. Last count we were approximately 37% of the population. As you are probably aware, your team has an even higher percentage than the league average. In fact, you were quoted in a Bloomberg article from October 2014 saying “Female fans are a “very, very important demographic to us,” If this statement was not an empty sound bite, I urge you to reconsider your decision and suspend Patrick Kane until his investigation is resolved.

1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Statistically, several of your fans are survivors of sexual violence. I imagine it was heartbreaking for these women to hear the Blackhawks would not be disciplining Patrick Kane in any fashion.

I realize that I cannot judge Patrick Kane’s guilt or innocence myself, however, considering the grand jury is moving ahead, I believe there are certainly serious questions to be answered.

Regardless, the NHL has a clause in their CBA that allows teams to take action if a player is harming the reputation of the league.

If this information on your female fans is not enough to change your mind, consider the young male Blackhawks fans in Chicago and around the world. The Blackhawks players are marketed to them as heroes and role models. If one of these players is being publicly investigated for rape and is being completely supported instead of punished, what kind of message does this send? By not suspending Patrick Kane, your team is saying winning hockey games matters more than the health and safety of other human beings.

The Chicago Blackhawks are the most visible team in the NHL. By suspending Patrick Kane, you have an opportunity to start to change how professional sports treats violence against women. And that would be an amazing legacy to go along with two recent Stanley Cups. Thank you for your time in reading this.

Sincerely,

Alix Wright

 

Fun With Stats

In the last while, a good chunk of the hockey blogosphere has gotten quite into advanced stats. There’s been a little drama with some stats guys being a little snarky about people that prefer to watch hockey without looking at advanced stats. And some people that prefer to watch hockey without looking at advanced stats being a little snarky about the stats guys. But for the most part I think it’s been a pretty fun addition(see what I did there? Everyone loves a good math pun ;) to hockey watching.

I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I’m naturally prone to being against stats because well…if there’s a phobia about being afraid of math, I have that. But, I do find if I come to one of my smart stats inclined hockey friends with an open mind and I ask them a stats related question, they are super nice about explaining it and it ends up making sense. I enjoy it once I understand it and it’s a fun way to enjoy my hockey fandom in a new way. I have always been a proponent of watching hockey in whichever way makes you happy (Basically don’t turn your kids into Canucks fans), so with that in mind I decided to think up my own hockey “statistics”.

Tra la la feeling bits/60. This stat is pretty simple. It’s how often throughout a 60 minute game, a player you love makes you say things like “OH MAN YOU’RE JUST THE GREATEST!” or “THAT GOAL YOU SCORED WAS SO PRETTY I WANT TO RUB MY FACE ON IT” or “LET’S TAKE THAT DEFENSIVE STICK CHECK OF YOURS BEHIND THE BARN”. I think you get the picture. I like to think of this stat as out of a hundred. So like a 90 is an A+ in tra la la feeling bits.

I will pee on everything you love or IWPOEYL. Think of this one as the reverse of tra la la feeling bits/60. This statistic involves any opposition player doing something so heinous to your team that you simply must yell at your television like the opposition player can totally hear you “I WILL PEE ON EVERYTHING YOU LOVE.” If a player causes you to yell this more than once during a game, well, his IWPOEYL reaches horrible negative numbers.

Relative rate of needing a fainting couch. This is closely linked with tra la la feeling bits but it is connected to purely physical actions. So for example, when Chris Higgins flashes his abs on the bench. Or when Keith Ballard hip checks someone. The physical action causes you do declare “GET ME TO A FAINTING COUCH! MY STARS!”

On couch needing a drink while watching percentage. Now I think this one is pretty self explanatory. What percentage over a season your team forces you to drink alcoholic beverages to cope with being a fan of them. This one could be graphed with huge surges during playoff season and if you’re a Leafs fan during free agency with Dave Nonis as a GM. You would also reach high percentages if you’re a fan of the Canucks and logical, competent management of goalies.

Do you have personal stats that suit your team in particular? Let me know!

The 12 Days of Re – Wooing Luongo – Mas

So, wow. The Canucks goalie situation went from like a 10 on the bonkers scale to a 10 million on the bonkers scale. But, well, here we are. Back in hockey bed with Roberto Luongo who was, to put it mildly, not exactly treated like a King by Vancouver for the last 2 years or so. Basically, a completely Vancouver Canucks thing to happen when you think about it. Now the Canucks are red faced and have to convince a scorned Luongo that no they really DO love him! They were just confused, baby. Lost in a Cup-less world, searching for answers. They’ve come to their senses! Or they had money issues and no other choice! But mostly the latter!

Now Mike Gillis and the Aquilinis and Torts are flying down to Florida to woo Luongo back and it’s all terribly awkward and embarrassing. But here is how I see it going down…

On the first day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the second day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…two Lamborghinis and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the third day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the fourth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the fifth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the sixth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the seventh day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the eighth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the ninth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the tenth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…ten tubes of high end hair product, nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the eleventh day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…eleven backup goaltenders who only want to play a few games, ten tubes of high end hair product, nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie.

On the twelfth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…twelve disguises to avoid the media, eleven backup goaltenders who only want to play a few games, ten tubes of high end hair product, nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

Wherein My Team Makes Me All Gushy About Sports

I spend a lot of time thinking about sports, and more specifically, why watching sports matters. Seriously, a lot of time. I’m sure I’m weird, but it keeps me up at night sometimes. A lot of nasty things happen that tend to be centered around sports. It’s easy to start wondering why you bother supporting something so strongly that can have such a dark edge.

Then, if you fall in love with a team like the Canucks who always manage to lose it all in the most hulk smash of your heart way possible, you really start to wonder why you bother watching sports. But, sports do matter.

They matter for me because they connect me to people. They make me feel a part of something. Sometimes life isn’t going how you imagined it is supposed to. Sometimes all that’s getting you through a day is knowing you can turn on your TV at night and watch some Swedish twins score a beautiful goal. Other times, you are shuffling along in a fabulous mood, and hockey is just an excuse to energetically cheer and clap and put a voice to your fabulous mood.

The Canucks have shown me twice this week that sports matter. This article from the team website about a transgender goalie named Cory and his meeting with Cory Schneider is amazing. The Canucks have been one of the pioneers for LGBT support in sports and it continues to be one of my favourite things about them.

How wonderful that in a society that is so often ignorant or insulting to transgender individuals, Cory Schneider and the Canucks are saying you’re important and we support you.

The Canucks also announced an initiative with the other Canadian teams in the NHL called Hockey Talks to encourage people to speak out about mental illness.

Here’s an article from The Province about Rick Rypien’s story and more details about Hockey Talks. This issue is especially meaningful to me, and I couldn’t be happier the Canucks are spearheading it.

It’s really incredible to hear your team vocally support such important and valuable issues. Sports do matter.

My Response To The Rangers Girls Guide To Hockey

Here’s the thing, okay? When I watch hockey I like to talk about players butts. I can also present a workshop on the finer points of Hank Sedin’s playmaking or Sami Salo’s defensive stick checks. The point is, I watch hockey how I like to. So should you. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re less of a fan. No one needs a condescending guide for watching hockey whether they’re man, woman, or giraffe. Okay, maybe the giraffe should be told “Down in front” politely if he or she is sitting at ice level.

dealwithit

A Letter To Some People On The Internet

Dear some people on the Internet,

There are some things I would like to address for you. Well there are four things, actually.

1) To (some) hockey fans, if you are making the oh so original “Sedin sisters” commentary, you might want to take note of their stats against your beloved “manly” team. Because if your team gets lit up night after night by two “sisters” what exactly does that say about your team? Also, if your argument for using these remarks is, “well I have a wife/sister/friend that doesn’t care I say that!” your argument sucks.

2) Free speech. We need to talk about free speech. Free speech allows you the freedom to SAY whatever you want. It does NOT allow you a free pass on ever being criticized for what you say. I’ll give you an example in case that’s not entirely clear. If I say, “Puppies are stupid and boring”, puppies can then tell me how horrible my opinion is through barking and scratching and then maybe pooping on everything I love. You see? I’m looking at you creep-tastic men on Reddit, Brent Sopel, Paul Ryan, and Tim Thomas.

3) Can we stop saying, “Why don’t people care about insert horrible serious issue of choice here instead of the NHL lockout?!!1″ Look, I can rant about big issues I care about all day. But you know what I can also rant about during the very same day? How I don’t get to watch twins thread passes like two red-headed ice skating Picassos for two hours a night, so I can escape the sometimes horrific human experience. So yeah, I will complain about the NHL lockout. Having escapism is not shallow. Stop telling people they’re shallow.

4) If some human person complains about David Booth’s hunting techniques, it does not make them a David Booth “hater”. I love David Booth’s glorious mane of hair, his penchant for Disney movies, the fact that he could be a cowboy hat model, and that he probably says golly gee a lot. I don’t love how he calls animals he has hunted “trophies” and seems to be collecting them all like Pokemon. But that does not equal being a “hater”.

Here ends the weekly rant.

Warmish regards,

Humming Giraffe

T-Shirt Designs

Whooooo! What a great win that was. Swedish twins are the best, huh? Anyways, I’ve been wanting to get some Canucks t-shirts designed. If you were interested, I would love to get your opinion on which logo you prefer on a shirt (There’s always room for more than one if you like a few). The awesome @ryanclassic took my ideas and ran with the designs. If you have a preference please leave me a comment here or tweet me @alixiswright37. Thanks, lovelies.