Somewhere on the Eastern shore of Japan The eve before opening night in the NHL, and all good little hockey fans are eagerly itemizing their shares of the season tickets, and syncing their home team’s schedule with that of the infamous 25 cent wing night at their favourite booze hole. Yes, it’s that exciting time in the season where every fan has reason to hope that the Stanley Cup will be coming to their town in June. However, some fans, that were lucky enough to score opening night tickets, are not thinking about all that fantasy hockey hooey and malarkey! No, these particular fans are up in their closets trying to piece together the perfect opening night outfit – duh! So, here’s my input on the dress code for the upcoming hockey season that is only a mere hours away now!
So, let me just start off by saying… THERE IS NO FUCKING DRESS CODE!
I should warn you right now that this is about to be another puck bunny inspired rant, so if you don’t like when I get all cunty with truth, then this is your cue to bounce.
Ever since I can remember, what a girl wore to a hockey game said a lot about her brain and her motives, or at least that’s what all the misguided 15 and 16 year old she-fans thought. Back in those days, girls practically wore a uniform to every junior hockey game they attended. It was the standard “I’m trying to look casual” jeans, coupled with the “I’m trying to look put together, but not overdone” black top. Seriously, you could have looked around the entire arena at the sea of black tops with varying depths to the neckline – it was actually kind of ridiculous. But the thing that most people don’t know is that these outfits weren’t meant to be a disguise to hide bunny ears and/or cotton tails, they were meant to be deterrents so as to not undeservingly be branded a puck slut by the strangers scattered across the rink, and the planet.
A couple years ago I had my head bitten off after an interview I had with another hockey site. I had tried to be all do-goody, and inspiring for young female hockey fans by telling the world to simply not care if someone unfairly branded them as a “puck bunny,” because, frankly, it didn’t matter in the long run. I wanted young female fans to stop feeling like they constantly had something to prove, because that can be extremely exhausting, and can completely taint the hockey experience. Being a fan is supposed to be FUN, remember? Anyway, evidently, according to some giant gummed she-horse, the only women that get called puck bunnies, are women that act like puck bunnies, and I was obviously conducting myself in a horrific manner. Nice, huh? But, actually, I can say with 110% certainty that most if not all young female hockey fans have been identified as a puck bunny at least once at every hockey game they’ve ever attended, whether they are aware of it or not.
“Puck bunny” is more often than not a label earned, not by actions, but simply by appearance alone. Think about the last time you saw a “puck bunny” at a hockey game. She probably wasn’t doing anything that different from you, but you categorized her as such likely because she was young, possibly blond, not dressed like a bum, and Caucasian. Yes, even race plays a role in who is and is not identified as a puck bunny, but let’s not get into that, that’s one of my third year Anthropology papers!
Basically, female hockey fans developed this set of unspoken guidelines for how to dress and behave at a hockey game, so as to not come across as a puck bunny. If you didn’t dress like a bum or wear a hockey jersey, you were a puck bunny. The funny thing is some women don’t feel comfortable in hockey jerseys, especially back then in the age before the nice fitted ones came into existence. So, how not wanting to feel fat all night translates to, “I’m trying to blow hockey players,” I’ll never know. If you looked pretty or visited the ladies room (to check your make up obviously, not pee or anything normal like that), you were a puck bunny. Because, in case you didn’t get the memo, women can only look their best anywhere but a hockey rink. It’s all so ridiculous, and I really wish that girls today would try to rise above all these non-existent rules. Sometimes I think those of us that grew up with Canadian junior hockey were lucky because we grew out of this phase a lot faster than our American counterparts, that seem to take these concepts with them into the NHL arenas of adulthood.
And don’t think I’m ahead by a century because I wasted so much time in high school trying to obey these rules, too. Back in 2002, Toronto was the host of the NHL Entry Draft. I really, really, really wanted to go, but I had no idea I’d be in Toronto (I didn’t move back to Toronto until August that year) until the day of the event, so I didn’t even think to bring it up to my parents until it was too late. On the day of the Entry Draft I was wearing a Psycho Lady red sundress. My parents had just agreed to drive me to the Air Canada Centre, if I wanted to be there. I must have vacillated for a good half an hour. I really wanted to go, but I didn’t have a change of clothes, and there was no way, NO WAY that I was going to waltz into the ACC in a spaghetti strapped RED sundress because I didn’t want to deal with the glares, and the suspicious looks that I got at every hockey game I had attended since I turned 16. So, I didn’t go. I missed out on the NHL Entry Draft because of a stupid insignificant rule that shouldn’t have mattered. To this day I still haven’t gone to a Draft, but the funny thing is, in the 2009-10 season, I wore a bright Psycho Lady red dress to my first ever game at Madison Square Garden.
We can’t all be perfect and unbiased all the time. Hell, there are times that I see a couple girls in booty shorts, bikini tops, and hooker boots at hockey games, and I just think, “Come on, really?! It’s freezing in here! What are you trying to pull?” I’m sure we’ve all seen those girls, but the weird thing about these girls is that they are often found up in the cheap seats. So, if they are dressed like a “puck bunny” to attract a player, it’s not gonna do them much good way up there. Maybe, just maybe, these girls aren’t puck bunnies at all. Maybe, just maybe, they are the female equivalent of the overzealous man-fan that shows up to the rink half in the bag with bare chest painted in team colours.
I guess where I’m trying to go with this is to remind people that when you are at a hockey game this season, try not to get preoccupied with all this silly dress code crap. My intentions are good, even if people don’t understand them. If I had one wish for female fans this year it would be to stop caring about what you or other women are wearing or doing, and just enjoy the game you likely paid good money for. And if you ever get stuck because some girl walked in practically naked, just remember that you don’t know the story of anyone in that rink. You don’t know where they came from before the game, or where they are going after. Look at my top photo! That’s an actual game day outfit for a match between the Flyers and Sabres circa 2007-08! We had a birthday party to go to after, and there was going to be absolutely no time to change as we sped back to Toronto, so we just went to HSBC Arena as is. Luckily, I had a long coat, so I don’t think anyone, other than the parking attendant, who clapped for us, I might add, knew how scandalous we really were.
Anyway, this goes for the guys, too! There’s a lot of flack dished out to all the guys wearing suits at hockey games as well! Sure, I get how fans that have been banished to the cheap seats are pissed because the lower bowl is filled with corporate season seat holders, but that doesn’t mean that any of those guys that scored tickets through work don’t actually LOVE hockey, and want to be at that game just as much as you do. I mean, what do you expect them to do? Get off work, make a 90 minute commute back to their house to change, just so they can drive back downtown, miss the first half of the first period, just so you won’t hate them because their office has a business attire policy? Ridiculous.
OK. I think that’s it for my brief-ish rant. But, of course, I can’t end a post like this without first commenting on the pink jersey variable. I’ll be the first to admit that I own a pink jersey. It’s a Florida Panthers jersey that I bought in Florida at that big fancy mall thing near BankAtlantic Center prior to a game against the Bruins back in 2008! Here’s the thing… The jersey is pink. Some girls like pink. Get over it.