Friday, February 09, 2007

Someday I'll write an introduction that isn't lame.

Hi! So I am Steph, and I'm pretty sure I am utterly incapable of writing a clever, witty and/or interesting introduction post - but I am skipping a CCHA Bronco hockey game to be here right now so that counts for something, right!? (If your response is "Yes, it goes to show just how lazy you are," you are on the right track.) Anyway!

1. Where you're from, what you do - basic things.

I'm Stephanie, from the Detroit area in Michigan, but I'm currently out on the West side of the state in my third year of college at Western Michigan University studying Creative Writing and Asian Studies...I know, what the hell, right? Working in a book store for the rest of my life, I swear. I blog over at No Pun Intended with Elly, I'm 20 and I like to travel and buy stupidly expensive hockey tickets (and have somehow placed myself three hours away from both the closest NHL teams), so basically I am financially doomed already. I frequent the WMU Broncos hockey games and follow the CCHA, as well.

2. Your team and why you like them.

Well my dad's from Toronto, so my first love was of course the Leafs, as he's the one who got me into hockey. And I still love them to death, but growing in Detroit through the Red Wings eras that I did I couldn't help but turn into a fan (my father has yet to forgive me). Stevie Y took over the captaincy the year I was born, and growing up with him, seeing what he did for the team and brought to the team for that long was enough to endear me forever. I guess last season I also fell in love with the Oilers which probably makes me a horrible Wings fan all things considered.... But in the long run, the Wings come out on top.

3. Your least favourite team and why?

This is tough, really... I think it's still the Canes, after last season. For some reason I just can't get over how bitter I was and how much it hurt to see them steal the cup right out from under the Oilers at the last second. A few years back I would have told you the Avalanche (Claude Lemiuex, anyone?), but that rivalry is all but dead now, and no fun anymore. As for completely shallow hatred, I really hate the Ducks. I don't think I have a good reason, but Chris Pronger didn't help.

4. Your favourite player of all time & now?

Of all time...has to be a tie between Steve Yzerman and Mats Sundin. Both of them have that same sheer love of the game and amazing skill second only to their work ethic; they live and breathe hockey. Stevie has led our team through so much for so long, and I've never seen anyone like him. And more importantly, they give so much back, to the game, to the fans, to everyone around them as often as they can. There's just so much loyalty there. I think my strongest image of Mats will always be this season when he skated back onto the ice after his 500th goal and applauded the audience for their support - now that is a hockey player. I have to give nods to Ryan Smyth and Mario Lemieux for the same sort of reasons, though.

As for now, I'm hard-pressed to say anyone but Ales Hemsky. His puck control is just ridiculous, and though I'd love it if he took shots a little more, but you can't deny his contributions to the Oilers right now and I can't wait to watch what he turns into in the next few years. Plus, okay, I have a little thing for Czech accents. Then again, Manny Legace will always be my favorite goalie and my #1 Red Wings love, even if he's gone now. He's been so amazing proving just what the Wings lost in giving him up these last couple months though.

5. If you had to punch one hockey player or member of the NHL organisation, who and why?

Sergei Federov. Yes I am still bitter. Or maybe I'd split it up between everyone in the Wings club who had a hand in kicking Manny Legace down to St. Louis.

6. What you'll be looking forward in this group blog.

Honestly it's hard to find people who like hockey as much as I do, who follow it as much, and who get as excited about discussing it, especially female fans. And it’s always great knowing you can ramble and people will listen and care in the same way that you do. Plus it's always easier to learn about other teams and players when you've got people around you talking about them - and that's half the fun of loving hockey.

7. What you don't like in general?

The smell of Elmer's glue. Seriously, it's vile.

8. What role do female fans play in keeping the game alive?

It's a hard thing to say, because anything I come up with is going to be vast generalizations...but it seems to me like the women I know who are into the sport are the ones who are that much more loyal, that much more determined to stick with it. I have so many guy friends who, when their team starts losing, turn on them. They bitch and moan - and not to say that we don't, but I see us bitching and we moaning because we love our teams and we hate seeing them suffer, whereas a lot of guys I know are complaining because they have to concede to all their friends that their team wasn't the best after all. I also think we're more adaptable - everyone I know who kept watching the playoffs and picking a new team to support last year after theirs got knocked out were all women. Guys seem to care less about the world outside of their one specific team.

I also think that women play a big role in spreading the love of the game simply because we approach the sport differently - and not just in hockey, but all sports. It's women I notice paying attention to the special reports, the in depth things like interviews with players and teams - things that carry the sport and make it more accessible to the common person who doesn't understand what's so great about a bunch of guys hitting each other with sticks. They in general just have a deeper appreciation for the individual efforts that go into the sport. And it's knowing little things like this that give us an in with other non-fans and make them interested, ease them in to it in a different capacity than a bunch of guys running around yelling about it.

9. What role do female fans play in picking heroes for the community?

Going back to what I said in the last question, I think women just approach the players differently - they're more interested in the individual efforts of the players not just on the ice, but in general. We want to get to know the players on a more personal level; we look at things like effort that goes on behind the scenes, like what the players themselves have to say, like where they came from and how they've worked up to where they are now, like teamwork and determination and how they interact with the other players - and a lot of guys put more faith in raw talent (not that that's a bad criterion!) and who's standing out right then at the moment playing-wise.

I also think we look a little more at players who WILL be great, sometimes more than just the players who are playing above and beyond expectations right then.

10. Hockey just isn't the same without...goalies being able to pay the puck outside of the "trapezoidal area". Come on, just imagine how much worse Ty Conklin could have messed up! (And how many less penalties Dom Hasek could be taking.)

11. If you were on a deserted island, which player would you pick to stay with you?

Jussi Markkanen. I'd just listen to him stutter until help came to get us out of there, and I'd be content with that. Plus he's just so calm and collected, and he seems to produce when the pressure is on. And he's so gosh darn cute I bet nothing on the whole island could bear to hurt him - or to be scared of him, for that matter, which might be nice for that whole acquisition of food thing.

12. Crosby, Ovechkin or Phaneuf (hey he tried!)?

It's a tough call. Ovechkin for that potato chip commercial, and Phaneuf because I could watch that clip of Jarkko Ruutu tripping him for hours and hours on end and never stop laughing.

13. The player you'd like to take for a grand night out/a movie/a boring event

Grand night out: Ales Hemsky. I confess, I might just want to see him cleaned up and looking gorgeous, but I'd really like to get to talk with him too. But if he doesn't grow his hair back out with those pretty curls, then I'm going with Manny Legace. I'd love to go out and have a great time and prove that people still love him in Detroit.

Movie: Andrew Raycroft. He just seems like such a fun, down to earth guy, with an adorable smile to boot. Or Ty Conklin. You can't fuck up a movie, I think he'd be safe.

Boring event: Marty Reasoner. Every time he opens his mouth I just sort of die. Or maybe Jiri Hudler, that kid also cracks me up, and I think it'd be fun to take him around since he's so exciteable over dumb little things.

14. If you could make your own team, regardless of whatever players, what would it be called and where will it be/how would it be like?

Well we've got a team in Kalamazoo already, and in Detroit, AND in Grand Rapids, so I don't know where else to go! Maybe I could start that all-Czech league (located somewhere in Edmonton because god knows they have enough Czechs on that team to begin with) Elly and I were joking about the other day - I bet if we try hard enough we could seriously fill every position with someone named Petr. For thoroughly ridiculous reasons, the uniforms will be pink. I don't know about a mascot though, that could use some thought.


Elly said...

Pink jerseys...ow.

Marty would be a great date to a movie!

Skye-chan said...

Sergei Federov. Yes I am still bitter.

*grumblegrumblegrumble, and protects Sergei* ...

I love you, Appy~ <3 XD

Jordi said...


Sorry lady, the wagon's full. Just joking, I saved a spot for you.

Ahaha welcome anyway.

Steph said...

Awww a spot on the Jussi wagon? What better welcome could I possibly get!?