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Ice Girls? Gimme a Break

Chicago Blackhawks Ice Girls

Actually, I should probably have said, give them a break.

Bleacher Report actually has an article titled "25 Hottest Ice Girls in the NHL". I suspect it was willful denial, a blind eye that was blind for the sake of self preservation, but in truth it has been only in the last two years that I have even let this issue past my subconscious and into my conscious mind.

Ice girls? Really?

It's not feminism, trust me, I could ball all that nonsense up in an old puck bag, drop it in the East River and not lose any sleep over it. If girls want to run about in their skivvies and make a living being visual entertainment, that's on them. Actors do it all the time. One woman's degradation is another's paycheque and all that. I've written how-to books which is the writer's equivalent of an ice girl to, say, Meryl Streep. You do what you have to do. This knock is not on them ... it's on the moron who thought it up in the first place.

Oh, I know ... it's harmless and entertains those fans who turn their sexual antennae towards the female gender. It adds some pretty in pink to a game that is mostly black and blue. But this Canadian traditionalist, this female Canadian traditionalist, really hates it. Dare I say it feels like pandering? Using tried and true cliches to make the game more appealing to those who could care less one way or the other about it? 

Sure, asses have to hit seats. The gate is, according to conventional wisdom, a team's make or break revenue stream. If only one person arrives to watch you win the Stanley Cup, you can take your championship all the way to the bank ... to declare bankruptcy. Keeping those fans coming to the arena is the name of the game and ... oh wait ... just a minute ... I've confused myself. I think I was about to type "you do what you must to keep the gate healthy".

Typing that would have put the lie to everything else. Because it assumes the ice girls actually might affect the gate. A notion to which I can do nothing but scoff in derision. Nobody is coming to a hockey game to see the ice girls, except maybe the boyfriends, friends or family of said ice girl and one presumes those ten or so people won't make or break the box office.

So, the question remains, why? Why fall into the trap? Why be so blatantly bandwagon-ish? Why give into the lowest common denominator of major league sports and if you are going to do it, why not have ice girls and ice boys? (Please don't, I was making a point) Make yourself distinct, show you have an autonomous brain and haven't just hired some old marketing dinosaur to advise you.

Where I come from, a town which happens to call itself the birthplace of hockey and very close to the town which recently produced both Sidney Crosby and Nathan McKinnon, hockey fans seem to come in equal parts of male and female. Surely the marketing geniuses understand that while it does not provide an actual advantage in terms of attracting new male fans, ice girls may, in fact, alienate the other fans.

And where I come from is the same as where you all come from ... the money is all the same whether it comes from a purse or a pocket.

My official vote: Boo!