The mythical male puck bunny seems to exist on a hypothetical plane. I mean, you’ve probably considered that some degrees of bromance could fall into the puck bunny category. However, the true male puck bunny comes from a much larger demographic than the small pool of occasional man-crushes that got way out of hand.
Unlike female puck bunnies, the male puck bunny is not characterized by his “unsavoury” desires, but rather what he is lacking, namely knowledge of the actual game of hockey. Now, you might be quick to call the male puck bunny a casual fan, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, since the only true and unifying trait on the puck biter spectrum is artificiality, either in knowledge and/or intention, the casual fan would definitely qualify as one.
To be fair, I have only encountered a true male puck bunny once in my entire history of hockey adventures, but just like the mystical leprechaun and the great unicorn before him, you only need to see one to know that they are out there. I’ve met some casual sports fans in my day. You know, the people who “support the arts” until Super Bowl Sunday, and then suddenly they are the biggest fucking sports fan on the god-damn planet, or the unknown hockey fans who flooded my Facebook timeline with a lot of Leafs love for the first time in 9 years (and possibly ever) this past May. Festivities and fairweathery are not, however, the motivations of the male pucky. The male of the species seems to support the game because he feels his natural propensity to not like hockey is somehow holding him back socially, as, perhaps, the lack of hockey playing boyfriend and/or toyfriend may be holding the she-bunny back in her mind.
My male puck bunny was a sweet guy, but his love of hockey seemed to come out of nowhere. He was a textbook geek. He was nerdy and awkward, but not exactly the brightest bulb. In fact, he was pretty much the Christmas bulb that just would not light no matter how many times you changed it. I theorize that he hit a point in his life when he realized that a good majority of men and his friends devoutly practiced the religion of sport. So, he decided to fake it till he too witnessed a miracle by the hands of the hockey gods. He started buying up hundreds of jerseys, going to as many games as he could, and he essentially just sat there watching without actually knowing what was going on. I’m sure he has picked up a bit of hockey on the way, but back then it was really odd to see so many games with a non-fan, especially when other guy fans would instinctively try to talk shop with him instead of me, only to be met with blank stares and the nervous smiles of a guilty poseur.
If you think about it, the male puck bunny is like the perfect “ugly friend.” The “ugly friend,” according to Hollywood, is apparently the unattractive friend that girls go out with so that they will look better by comparison and get all the attention from prospective penile injections. For many she-bunnies, hockey knowledge comes second to the business of getting into those jock straps, and since the first rule of the Puck Bunny Code is to deny said title, the male puck bunny can really help the ladies look good. He is, after all, the one guy in the whole arena who probably knows less about the fundamentals of hockey than they do, and, therefore, he starts to make them look like the real fucking deal.
Complete lack of hockey knowledge aside, pretty much ALL male hockey fans have their puck bunny moments. Did an actual, honest to fuck, NHL star check our YOUR girlfriend during the warm up? Did an actual, honest to fuck, NHL star laugh at your witty in-game signage? Yep, these are just a couple of the instances that male hockey fans get all gushy and starry eyed.
Back in my Milwaukee days, a local friend of mine used to pretty much get off on the fact that the guys on the ice would stare at me. Hell, he noticed it 1000000x more than I did. Although there was nothing romantic or sexual going on between the two of us, it was like he prided himself on the fact that he was out with a girl that actual, honest to fuck, AHL players were starring at. I was disappointed in him. He was from Detroit, so I expected more from a Wings fan.
However, the fun extended well past Milwaukee and many more man-crush moments were had and lives made. Another story I found funny was from a playoff trip to Philadelphia. While looking for a place to park, I pulled a U-y and ended up in an awkward standoff with one of the Flyers and his fancy pants “whips.” Of course, when the other car stopped abruptly and the driver clearly knew and recognized the driver of my vehicle *ahem* me, my male friend/passenger practically melted. He claimed that the “U-turn Incident” was the best part of the whole trip. Yes, even better than a second round match up between the Flyers and Habs!
As for the male puck bunny, I’m not quite sure how they are received by hockey players. I mean, with she-bunnies it’s pretty much a 50/50 split. Hockey players either embrace them or renounce them (but only on paper). Oddly enough, my male puck bunny endured many dirty looks from prospective on-ice penile injections. One player even made a point to have a serious discussion with me about “that guy at the games.” It seemed like he was legitimately concerned, which I never understood. I guess that’s the difference between the male and female hockey fans. When you’re a guy, you’re a fan until proven otherwise, and when you’re a lady, the whole thing gets horribly reversed.