My hockey fever could not have started at a more perfect time this year. My beloved Calgary Flames are playing the Senators at Scotiabank Place tomorrow night! Calgary and I have been in a long distance relationship for 12 years since I moved East. But thanks to the long-awaited NHL schedule change a couple of years ago, I can now look forward to a one-night-fling with the Flames once a year in Ottawa. I got word the boys got into town last night and I can already feel the heat melting the deep freeze here.
I ordered my new jersey last month. Part bday present to myself, part foreplay for our upcoming tryst, and part necessity to replace my other one. I don't normally like to be a bandwagon person in general, so I had waited to buy my other jersey until Calgary signed Dion Phaneuf. Amazing player, loved him. I like the guys who aren't the obvious great, the captain, the big money man. 6-year contract! Woot!! Put the order in right away. Crap! Traded. To the Leafs, of all teams, and about 2 weeks before Calgary visited the Senators last season. I wore the jersey to the game but made a cardboard (#3)White nameplate to cover Phaneuf. There was, obviously, nowhere in Ottawa to buy one and no time to order one.
When I say nowhere in Ottawa to buy one, I mean for women. Women must shop in the team store in the city of choice, or buy online. Until some years ago, women couldn't even get team gear that actually fit them. Now I have hockey, football, and soccer jerseys (and I'm sure other sports do it too) that fit my size and shape! The sports world is incredibly sexist. No 2 ways about it. If a woman wanted to buy fan gear, she had basically 2 choices. It was either reminiscent of something Pamela Anderson might have been wearing when she was plucked from the crowd at a BC Lions game or like she had stolen her boyfriends jersey from his closet (no need to wear pants I guess) because don't we just cheer for whoever our boyfriends cheer for anyway?? So I suppose some improvements have been made, hopefully thanks to women demanding authentic sports gear tailored to them. BUT, 2 things we're still bothering me. Breast cancer aside, which is recognized yearly in many sports, I DO NOT like pink jerseys. Apologies if this offends any pink-lovin'/wearing women. Pink is NOT a team colour. Not of any team in the NHL, NFL, MLS or any other league that I know of. I'm sure there must be a team out there that has pink as a team colour, so be it. I am not against pink being a team colour. I am against the idea that "because you're girl, you must want to cheer wearing pink". I personally believe women do themselves an injustice by wearing pink jerseys, including young girls. I think ALL fans should cheer in their team colours. There, I said it. Also, my Phaneuf hockey jersey was completely "authentic": team colours, NHL/Reebok issue, lace-up, CAN/AB flags on arms. But the logo, name and number plates were silk-screened on. Silk-screened! Why? I want standard issue sewn-on. I want to "look" like my favourite player. Isn't that the point?
WELL, you can imagine my shock and glee when my new jersey, #12 Iginla (yes I did it, the captain. I realized people love them because they really are the best), arrived with logo and name/number plates sewn-on!!! It looks amazing. And might I add it's the throwback Flames jersey? Oh yes, no lace-up, red, yellow and orange. Official NHL/Reebok, authentic issue, tailored to my size and shape. Absolutely beautiful. Gosh, if I had bought a large and some pads, I could jump on the ice tomorrow night if Iggy would like a shift off. Kudos NHL and Reebok.
Have authenticity in your fandom and knowledge of sports, ladies. It pays off.
GO FLAMES GO!!