From My Mom's Basement: Women and Sports

From My Mom's Basement will be a weekly to semi-weekly column exploring an issue burning the minds of fans across the NHL. It may or may not be Wild related, but it will likely contain strong opinion and more than one man's fair share of dripping, bitter sarcasm. Clearly, a blogger can only get away with such bitterness from their mother's basement, right? We hope you enjoy it.

Ah yes, the ever popular topic of women and sports. From the "scientific" studies that show only men enjoy sports, to the idiotic happenings in the New York Jets locker room, to the constant need of some men to be shocked that a woman knows something about sports. It has reached the point of ridiculousness in every sense.

Everyone who played, plays, or watches hockey knows that one of the most important people in the world is the hockey mom. Why do you think your favorite player has an NHL career? Because his dad tied his skates, and because mom remembered to bring the skates in the first place.

Make the jump and help me figure out just where all of this goes wrong.

To be honest, I only enjoy one women's sport. Hockey. All of the other sports are boring, hard to watch, and make me want to find the shortest pier around so I can take a long walk. To be certain however, it is not because of the women playing the sport as much as it is the sport itself. I am not an old man, but as I have learned recently, I am no longer a young man either. I have seen some women that could school professional level male athletes. I have witnessed, first hand, that women are not only equal to men, but in many cases, superior to them.

Couple this eye witness account with being raised by a strong willed mother (the same generous woman allowing this to be written from her wonderful basement), and you have an author that flat out does not understand the incessant need for certain men to make us all look stupid.

You see, I hear it from at least one woman I know at least once a week. It always has something to do with a man either telling women they have no place on the field, have no place in the press box, or have no knowledge of the game.

Obviously, Caity Kauffman is not the PR guru for the Junior Everblades, she must just be another "puck bunny," right? Obviously, Sarah Spain doesn't really know anything about... well... every sport in Earth, she clearly became one of the must-follow Chicago sports reporter because of her car commercials, right? Our very own Monica McAlister cannot possibly have any knowledge of the game from growing up near Detroit and watching the Wings, then moving to DC and watching the Caps, right? As we all know, the Wings thing likely only destroyed any knowledge of hockey, but watching the Caps can only have helped.  Ms. Conduct did not become my go-to for everything Aeros because she developed a passion and knowledge of the game by playing it and watching countless hours of games. It can only be that she is the go-to for Aeros coverage because she is obsessed with Barry Brust, right? Oh. Wait. Bad example.

The point here is, that there are still men out there that assume Caity is with the Everblades, that Sarah has access to all sports Chicago, and that Heather has access to the Aeros only because they are attractive. To this subset of men, women are incapable of any knowledge of the sport they cover (or play) simply because they do not have exterior genitalia.

Here is my take. Women fly combat missions in fighter jets and helicopters. They join up and become Marines. Women hold advanced degrees in every field from astrophysics to geological engineering. What makes these men think that if women possess the physical strength and ability to join one of the most lethal fighting forces on the planet, or the intelligence necessary to unlock the secrets of the universe, that they cannot understand the game of hockey?

I give more than my fair share of grief to the wonderful women listed above. To be sure, these women have more knowledge in their little toes than I do in my entire body. Them, along with the women I follow on Twitter, interact with here on Hockey Wilderness, and talk to face-to-face everyday of my life all make up a group of people I rely on for vital information required to do my job. Without the women I know that cover and play sports, my ability to bring the Wilderness somewhat intelligible and mildly entertaining posts would be severely limited.

As with any debate, I have to over simplify to make it fit in the space allotted. However, this is a pretty simple debate. Anyone who thinks women lack the ability to play sports, or to have a vast knowledge of the games, is an idiot. The only question remaining to answer is this: Why am I never around when men make these types of comments so I can pull their shirt over their head and settle the debate in a "hockey way?"

Thank you to the women who play sports, especially hockey, to the women who cover sports, and to the women who have to deal with stupid, stupid men everyday of their lives. Keep in mind these men have a pretty good excuse for being stupid. They are men. Wait... what?

My mom is yelling upstairs. I better go see what she needs. Until next time.

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