Friday, September 05, 2008

Please Make It Stop

Wow.

She describes herself as a "hockey mom."

Is it a hockey story? Sure, maybe it's a hockey story. Is it somehow good for the game? I really tend to doubt it, considering that the introduction of "soccer mom" into the lexicon via the political arena a decade-and-a-half ago hasn't quite vaulted futbol past football on the national sports radar and that the most prominent hockey player in the instant story isn't exactly a great ambassador for the game.

Here's a look at the forest, for those of you focused on the trees. From Matt Yglesias last night:
Okay, I flipped from football — America’s favorite sport — over to the politics thing and once again I’m hearing about all-American values and, um, hockey. We understand that real Americans don’t play, watch, or think about hockey ever, right? Baseball, football, basketball, NASCAR we’ve got a lot of popular sports here in the United States. And then there’s this odd Russo-Canadian game that can’t even get on ESPN.
Before you bash Yglesias's bashing, note that he's actually a closeted hockey fan - he even wants Ice Girls! Sigh.

The point, of course, isn't "who cares what outsiders think of hockey?" it's "why do we care how some pol is branding herself?" All it's doing is giving bloggers paper-thin coverage for expressing their unsolicited political views (guilty) and turning message boards and comment sections into dumbed-down mini-versions of The McLaughlin Group (which is really saying something).

So whether you're a Hockey Mama for Obama, you're pulling for the "pitbull with lipstick" and her grandfather father running-mate, or you're somewhere in between (or outside), let's leave the political discussion where it belongs, namely outside the hockey blogosphere... at least until Jim Lehrer asks the candidates the question on everyone in America's mind - you know, "Ovechkin or Crosby?"

30 comments:

chanuck said...

J.P. - Amen, I read Hockey blogs because I don't want to read about politics. It is bad enough that you can barely watch TV without seeing nasty political commercials. When I see one I change the channel. I don't want to change my blog reading as well.

Chris said...

Thank you!

That said, I could not resist sending the "Hockey Mama for Obama" bumper sticker link to my Mother.

tg said...

I figure that hockey fans would actually be opposed to Pallin. Now when kids say they want to play hockey, their parents can say, "Are you kidding? All those hours in cold rinks early in the morning have obviously messed up Pallin's head. She thinks the earth is only 7,000 years old and that Intelligent Design should be taught in schools. No WAY am I subjecting myself to that. How about you go play soccer (football, swim, etc.) instead."

Or, "NO. I'm not letting you play hockey so you can knock up some 17 year old girl with a mom who is at the forefront of the teaching abstinence only movement. Go play basketball where you can get traditional groupies."

Hooks Orpik said...

John McCain's middle name is Sidney.

Discuss.

nuftjedi said...

well said sir. well said.

Anonymous said...

Politics aside, I would imagine that if elected you would see her at a few Caps games, maybe even drop the ceremonial first puck of the season (or maybe as soon as the Frozen Four). Not sure that's good or bad for the sport, but it will probably mean a few more front page pictures of hockey events in newspapers, and probably a small segment on Sportscenter. It will also mean more hassle getting into the phonebooth for those games, something I'm definitely not looking forward to.

Hockey Mom said...

Politics aside, I for one appreciate the fact that this is bringing hockey into the spotlight (whether we like the messengers or not), where it belongs.

ephperson said...

The sad thing is . . . every one of the candidates would answer "Crosby," because PA is a battleground state, and DC is not in play.

DMG said...

@ hockey mom,

I don't think this is really bringing hockey to the forefront: no one is discussing hockey, watching hockey, or playing hockey because of Palin's "hockey mom status". It's just a "hey I'm a wholesome family person just like you!" political maneuver, the same as if she described herself as a soccer mom. It's just that in her case, soccer mom wouldn't be factually correct.

TJ said...

+1

I think JP hit it on the head with this post.

Politics really have no place in the realm of hockey. And its really sad when certain blogs hide their political views behind thinly viewed "Hockey" posts.

Im not a hockey robot, I dont care if the NHL is splashed on the front pages. Im a fan of my team, and as long as Vogs and blogs like this give them coverage thats all I care about.

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) One wonders if Mrs Obama were a 'hockey mom' if her mentioning of the sport would similarly be dismissed as a political stunt? Double standard? Nah.
2) Do agree that in general political discussion should be left to political blogs.

JP said...

@ Faux: No one's calling it a political stunt. We're calling it unrelated to our interests in hockey.

Anonymous said...

>Politics aside, I would imagine that if elected you would see her at a few Caps games...

I can bet she'll root for Caps if elected. One more Caps hockey fan is always good :-)

JP said...

@ Anon: Nah, she'll root against the Caps - embracing anything "Washington" would ruin her image. ;)

tg said...

She can't root for the Caps because of all the Ruskies on the team.

Gotta be the Rangers because of Gomez.

Andi said...

A-frickin'-men! At the rate this is going, I'll be ready to take a hockey stick to half the blogosphere by November.

Politics is politics, and hockey is hockey.

That said, I wouldn't mind seeing Palin drop the puck at the home opener, as long as her butt was turned to section 429 ^^

Debcapsfan said...

Every election year I think "is it November yet?"

Stormblue said...

You shouldn't even be discussing this - talking about her interest in hockey is sport-ist!

b.orr4 said...

Not to be political here, but I don't recall this big a controversy among hockey fans when John Kerry took to the ice in '04. Was it because he was a man, or a Democrat or maybe both? Just sayin'.

JP said...

@ b.orr4: I'll go with "neither" - the blogosphere wasn't nearly as big as it is now, so that event wasn't nearly as over-exposed.

If Barack Obama took to the ice for a skate now and most hockey blogs posted multiple analyses thereof (and most commentors turned those posts into flame wars), I'd get real sick of it real quick.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Well-said, J.P.

- Empty

b.orr4 said...

True, JP, but Obama has made the evening news dozens of time shooting hoops. I don't see the basketball community wringing their hands over it. Then again, maybe they have been and I just haven't noticed it. I just think this is another example of hyper-sensitive hockey fans looking for slights that don't exist.

bigonetimer said...

I won't vote for her, but I'd poke check her.

norske said...

b.orr4, the basketball community isnt celebrating it or wringing their hands over it, because the basketball community isn't as pathetically insecure as the hockey community is.

I don't care what party she's in, the fact that so many hockey fans are reacting by saying, essentially, "Yay! A politician mentioned hockey! We're getting some real attention now!" makes me think, "oh, god. We're so pathetic." No footbll fan or basketball fan would ever have that reaction.

JP said...

Norske, for the win.

Anonymous said...

Kinda funny; you "wanna make it stop"...but you keep bringing it up in your blog and by commenting on other blogs. Smells like sour grapes to me.....but I bet you love the hits you get on your site as result!!!!!!

JP said...

Not nearly as much as I love anonymous comments.

Anonymous said...

Amen. I'm sick of hearing about this crap.

Also, in reply to someone else's comment, I will puke if I see Palin do any kind of promotion for the Caps.

^hah, kind of contradicted myself there. oh well.

Anonymous said...

Ovechkin, hands down

Anonymous said...

One way to keep politics out of hockey blogoshphere is to.....not put any posts concerning....politics. But if you do....in this political climate you risk losing half your audience. If your going to make your smarmy comments about anonymous posts then atleast provide an intelligent response in connection with it.