First: Interviews with Marty Brodeur should never end. Read me the phone book, Marty. He's even cute with braces.
Second: Big internet/Twitter flap the last few days with a few goobers suggesting that women's hockey should be banned from the Olympics until it's more competitive.
Well, I'm really not going to entertain the many ways that's just ridiculous because it's... so ridiculous. How the hell do you develop a serious national women's program if there's no Olympics to strive for?
However, above the stupidity is just apathy, which at least isn't insulting and I won't try to make someone interested in what doesn't interest them. But personally, watching the non-US, non-Canadian women's hockey games has absolutely MADE this Olympics for me.
I should add that I'm not one of those women's libbers who defends the WNBA. I don't follow the USA or Canadian women's hockey teams. In fact, coming into the Olys, I thought, "Women's? Whatever. Don't care. Bring on the international all-star men's teams!!"
But I find my tune changed. First, I'm amazed by how NOT in the mix some countries are. Including pretty much all those countries that are pretty good on the men's side (apart from US/Canada). I'm surprised that they're not more competitive with US/CAN.
Russia, for instance. Why aren't they better? And even if the whole team isn't that good, they can't find one really good goalie? I just don't get it.
On the flip side, I got teary-eyed not once but TWICE during the China/Finland game two nights ago. Finland should be better. China should NOT be this good. I mean, really, how low on the athletic heirarchy must hockey be in China? Pretty low, I'm thinking, even though they love their athletes.
Of course, all these things being surprising to me is maybe just a reflection of my ignorance of women's hockey, but I'm having a lot of fun getting educated.
It touches me for a couple of reasons:
- It's pure hockey. There's no NHL million dollar contracts, no endorsement deals, no adoring fans waiting back home. Not to say the men don't have a lot of pride and work invested in the Olympics, but there's more to their hockey careers than the Olympics. It's not ALL riding on it. For these gals, this is it. Maybe World Championships each year but the Olympics are... the Olympics! This is it.
- It's relatable to me. Most of the female goalies are around my height, so their style of play is a great example to watch. It's sometimes tough to relate your own game as a 5'7" goalie to someone who is 6'+, as most pro goalies are.
I'm wondering how I can get a Chinese women's hockey t-shirt. Is that weird? I really want one. I love these girls!
But that's the Olympics, right? You find a story that touches you and you cheer for these people in their moment of glory. So, I love it. I love it enough for all you folks who just can't get into it. :)
Third: I hate interviewing, you know? As a means of explaining why I struggle with it, I wrote to a friend pretty much every thought I was having while doing an interview after the game Sunday. It was pretty funny, if I may say so, and I wish I could post it here, but it's just... too much.
I'll just tell you, it ended with , "Lick, lick, lick...." :) Trust me though, you're missing a gem.
I sometimes wish I could start a blog of all the stuff I want to say but can't because I'd offend or frighten too many people. But then how would you know to read it? So I don't.
Fourth: I kinda want to throw up every time the puck hits the outside of the net. Even when I'm just watching a game. It's such a visceral and sickening feeling. Like the ground dropping out from under you. Goalies know what I'm talking about. Fuck me, that's an awful feeling. So silent and deceptive.