Jeepers Freepers

History Will Be Made.  Someday

The prose here is occasionally tortured but we’re not nearly so lame as to lean on such shopworn clichés as “perfect storm” and “tipping point,” but the past week has seen a fair number of positive elements surface in the game, the media and on campus.  And then there’s the story about what happend when readers from the most right-wing political website in the solar system stumbled across a gay hockey fanboy blog.

Think Pink: HLH gowns provided by Dion Cheri

Those Vancouver scamps, the Hockey Luvin Homos, got most of the ink and attention this week with their gutsy and camera-ready display at the Canucks – Kings game on Thursday evening. 

In no time at all, those two provocateurs in boas and lipstick were front-paged on Deadspin, Puck Daddy, OutSports, the MSM and dozens of blogs.  We’ll use that instant media saturation as an excuse for us not jumping in on the initial news cycle, but we’ll take this opportunity for a more thorough look at that event in the context of the other significant news that transpired this week. (Cue the Newshour theme).

We’re rascals ourselves on occasion but don’t think we’d ever go the HLH route to make a statement or grab some notoriety – yet our hats go off to them for their creativity, brass balls and media-savvy. 

No one wants to see us in drag, no matter how campy.  Trust us – no one.  They fired a shot heard ’round the hockey world and we hope they surface and continue to make news and noise.  Well played ladies gentlemen. 

In a more serious vein, a few other items popped up on that crowded RADAR screen that is gay hockey news – not mere blips, but rather important events that may herald a move towards a broader acceptance of diversity in the sport. Diversity – a clever and value-free euphemism, no?

Stand (or sit) with Brian Burke

At the NCAA level this week, two other notable events took place. 

Leafs president and general manager, Brian Burke, visited Maine’s Bowdoin College this week as part of their highly successful “Anything But Straight in Athletics” series.

As if he hasn’t done enough already, Brian keynoted the campus event and the Bowdoin Orient has this to report:

As a representative of the notoriously macho culture of professional hockey, Burke seems an unlikely gay advocate, but his tenacity in confronting homophobia in the sport has been unrivaled.

“My goal is to throw the weight of an NHL front office at the issue,” wrote Burke in an email to the Orient. “This bias needs to disappear, and I think pro leagues and teams can add useful muscle to this issue.”

Burke has pushed for greater acceptance of homosexuality in a league that, while showing progress, has remained less accepting of social differences.

Let's Go Redhawks!

In CCHA news, OutSports reports from the home of the Redhawks, Miami University, once the team of Brian Burke’s son, Brendan. 

Team members, including player of the year, NCAA scoring champ, Hobey Baker Award Hat Trick finalist, and brand new Phoenix Coyote propect, Andy Miele, spoke to Cyz Zeigler about their effort to combat homophobia in the sport:

Miele’s staggering numbers don’t feed into the stereotypical image of a man who would champion gay equality, but Miele has become an outspoken advocate for acceptance of gay people both in sports and beyond.  A close friend of Burke, Miele remembers times dancing with his gay friend at a local bar; And he doesn’t care who knows it…

Patrick Burke, brother of Brendan and a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, could not praise Miele highly enough.  “The fact that numerous NHL teams are competing to sign Andy shows how well-respected he is,” Patrick said. “Whatever team he chooses is getting a tremendous hockey player and an even better person.”

Miele said he has learned not to fear the mythic pack of crazed gays wandering through locker rooms looking for naked straight men to attack. “They see you as teammates and nothing else,” Miele said. “You’re not going to be put into situations where they’re going to make a move on you.”

Also ahead of Thursday night’s theatrics in Vancouver, our pal Pete Olsen at Wide Rights, had a piece on a trio of Gay Nights Out at hockey arenas around the League – Phoenix, Columbus and San Jose.  With any luck, Red meets Pink at Verizon next season; Doug and Matt at Nellies Sports Bar are willing to help us organize a similar event.  And just today we got an email with another offer for an assist - a household name in NHL circles said he was willing to lend his Rolodex and juice to help us make it happen. 

But what really caught our attention this week is what we saw in our stats.  Thursday and Friday saw a surprising number of hits come in from an unlikely source, the Internet’s most strident base for conservative politics, Free Republic.  How strident?  Denizens of Free Republic, known as Freepers, populate such discussion forums as: Prayer, StatesRights, Tyranny, NaturalBornCitizen, TeaPartyRebellion, RINOFreeAmerica  and our personal favorite, HomosexualAgenda. 

Well, Freepers are people too, and hockey fans as well apparently. One of them whose screen name is xsmommy, came across our Thursday Sasha post and lobbed in a comment to the board.

A handful of responses followed and we weren’t all that surprised by the tone. What did surprise us was how the thread ultimately ended – not in a torrent of homophobic rants, but with what could be characterized as a grudging acceptance and best of all, a compliment on our efforts:

To: secret garden
Funny, true, yet DISTURBING AS ALL GET OUT!?
For boys who like boys who like hockey
Thursday, March 31, 2011 1:49:34 PM by xsmommy

To: xsmommy
Is that like a Sid/MarcAndre kind of thing ?
Thursday, March 31, 2011 2:43:03 PM by hobbes1

To: xsmommy
That picture of the two of them with the medal is a little too chummy.
Thursday, March 31, 2011 2:49:41 PM by secret garden

To: secret garden
What skeeves me (and no doubt Sasha) is that the authors who are swooning over him are FAIRIES!!
Thursday, March 31, 2011 3:46:40 PM by xsmommy

To: SoothingDave
Fleury, who reminds us all of the gay driver from Talladega Nights.
Thursday, March 31, 2011 7:03:50 PM by secret garden

To: SoothingDave; hobbes1; secret garden
well it’s official…
posted on Friday, April 01, 2011 1:47:54

To: xsmommy
LOL…. As much as we like to fun him (Crosby) , that’s not a very nice April Fools joke by that site.
posted on Friday, April 01, 2011 2:05:44 PM

To: xsmommy
Money Quote – In our wide-ranging interview, Sidney Crosby discussed the difficulties of keeping his secret, the reaction of his team-mates, and working with Pens coach Dan Byslma. “I love Dan as a coach, and he’s been nothing but supportive.” he said. “But his fashion sense? Oh my God, it’s just tragic.”
Friday, April 01, 2011 2:07:18 PM by hobbes1

To: hobbes1
Paula and i were roaring over this website yesterday, with the sexy Sasha pix etc. So she texted me today about the Sid piece. i was howling aloud reading it. Gay men are funnier/more clever than most women.
posted on Friday, April 01, 2011 2:09:34 PM

This little exchange, from deep within the recesses of Tea Party Nation, may explain our new twitter followers #260-264. Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.

And to tie a small bow around The.Gayest.Hockey.Week.Ever., a gift showed up in our inbox from reader Emily, a straight woman who put together this short video in the wake of the Vancouver shenanigans.  Emily cleverly riffs on the NHL “History Will Be Made” promotional campaign.  History will be made thanks to the hard work of many courageous men and women. We’ll be happy to document it whenever it happens.

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About Craig

Proudly serving gay hockey fans and players since 2010
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One Response to Jeepers Freepers

  1. Pingback: Kevin Smith Officiates Gay Hockey Themed Wedding | TheSportsFag: Season 3

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