I will be the first to admit that when I heard about the Hockey ‘N’ Heels event the Columbus Blue Jackets were hosting last year, I busted out the credit card and allowed myself to get excited about it. I had only been a hockey fan for less than a year, so when Hockey ‘N’ Heels came around, I assumed it was a right of passage and that I had to go. I thought that I would learn more about hockey and positively interact some of the fans I was talking with every day on twitter. Boy was I wrong.
When I arrived, there were women that knew each other and were laughing and talking. I didn’t know anyone, so that set me back from the get go. After downing my 2 allotted alcoholic beverages, I went to look for a seat for the main event. Anyone that knows me knows that I have a fangirl crush on James Wisniewski. He was coming to speak at the event and I wanted to be as close as possible. This was my big night! I was finally going to get to talk to and meet my favorite hockey player! I even did my hair and makeup (something that rarely happens).
I walked up the front row and sat down. Others were saving seats for people, so I put my jacket on the chair next to me to save a seat for the one person I knew that was coming and running late. I was so close to the microphone! Soon, along came the woman that would turn my night sour and ruin my impression of her forever.
She sat down and saved the seat next to her, just like I was. I had just drank two alcoholic beverages and the urge to use the ladies room was strong. I stood up, put my purse on my seat, said to her, “I’m going to the restroom, save these two seats for me please?” She nodded. When I came back, there was someone sitting in my saved seat! My jacket was on the floor and some new person was in my friends seat.
After composing myself in the back of the room, I went up to my seat, picked my jacket up off the floor, and plopped down in my seat as close to the intruder as I could. The woman I had asked to save my seat, turned to me and said, “I hope you don’t mind if my friend sits here.” I was furious, but I was polite and did not respond. Who does she think she is taking a seat I was saving for the one person I actually knew? Just because she is “high in the Blue Jackets social media kingdom” does not give her the right to do that.
If you want to read a recap of the night, take a look at this post from The Union Blue, a completely different and excellent blog about the Columbus Blue Jackets.
A description of the types of questions the ladies asked:
Questions ranged from basic points of understanding: “Why do they call it a one-timer?” “What makes an official throw someone out of the face off circle?” to discussion on the hot button issues that are roving through the league: realignment, visors and, of course, the Blue Jackets season.
Sure, it was nice to get a player’s perspective on the realignment and the visor argument, but at that time of the season, everyone was talking about realignment and visors. You couldn’t hear or see an interview without at least one of those topics being breached. Plus, players aren’t going to come out and say that they don’t like those things. The PR department has them trained not to.
The more basic questions about face offs, icing, and stick curves were all things that are easily searched for on the internet. I could almost see the speaker’s eyes roll when they were asked about icing. Why are we wasting time talking about something that is better explained by Wikipedia? The speakers are not trained in public speaking. They are hockey players, coaches, and officials. Have you ever tried to explain something you’ve done your whole life to someone that doesn’t have a clue? It’s hard!
Why would I waste $65 on information I can find on Google for free?
It was very obvious to me that many of the women were there to stare at the sexy hockey players. It is well known that James Wisniewski is a handsome fellow with a nice suit collection. When he walked in the room, the cat calls were deafening. I heard the girl sitting next to me say “he’s hot” multiple times. Way to perpetuate the stereotype ladies.
The food at the event was… quaint. I wanted a hamburger and some beer (which I did end up drinking) but instead, there was a selection of fancy cheeses, mini sandwiches, and fruit. There was also a “special” girly mixed drink that tasted disgusting. I’ll admit, I’m not a girly girl. Fancy food doesn’t appeal to me.
The organization has announced one of the featured speakers for the event on December 14th: Jody Shelley. If you have been around for the past 6 months, Shelley has been everywhere. He is the face of the organization appearing on television, radio, and commercials. If you have been to any fan event since June he has been there. The opportunities to hear him speak have been endless.
Why would I pay $65 to hear him answer the same questions he does during every second intermission on the radio? How much do you want to bet that he will be asked who his favorite fighter was, what his most memorable moment was, and if he would fight Jared Boll? He’s answered those questions a multitude of times since coming back to the Blue Jackets. I can repeat his answers almost verbatim.
Hockey ‘N’ Heels is a great money maker for the organization. It caters to the women that will buy the sparkly pink jerseys, drink vodka cranberries, and spend $65 for information they can Google. The whole time I was there I felt like the gullible old person who was tricked into a reverse mortgage.
There are many women bloggers who lend a better voice to female hockey fans, such as Alison Lukan, Elaine Shircliff, and Kristyn Repke. Take a look at their work. They’ll tell you more about hockey than an event like this ever will.
If you like this event and find it entertaining, go for it. Have a blast. But you won’t find me there. I’ll be in the cheap seats with a beer cheering on the team I know and love.