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Life as a female fan

From outside the pub the smell French fries and burgers grilling saturate the senses. Voices from the television can be…

By Hilary Atkinson , in Icing: A women's guide to hockey culture , on March 25, 2010 Tags: , , , , ,

From outside the pub the smell French fries and burgers grilling saturate the senses.

Voices from the television can be heard from the doorway. watching the Canucks game from GM Place can be heard cheering in the background, as fans at the pub watch from booths with beers and burgers.

A group of guys laugh, sipping their Molson’s. They’re sitting in front of the big screen, finishing off a plate of ketchup; there may be some fries underneath.

Janice Wong, carrying a burger and coke, joins the booth. She is the only girl watching the game.

She is out numbered four to one, but she doesn’t care.

She may be out numbered at the table, but Janice Wong won't be out-manned during the game.

“It’s just me and the guys. I don’t really have a lot f friends that like hockey as much as I do,” said Wong, as the guys joked she didn’t have many friends at all. Taunting, name-calling and your-mom jokes are always in full use when hanging out with the boys.

Wong’s situation is not unusual for girls who love hockey. For , they’re often a minority whether it’s at the pub or on the couch.

“My girlfriends aren’t really hockey fans,” said Wong. “The guys let me tag along.”

Wong isn’t the odd one out just because she is a girl either. She is a Detroit Red Wings fan.  The boys are loyal Canucks fans.

“The Canucks aren’t my number one. I’m a Wings fan. They’ve been good for a really long time. They don’t just get lucky,” said Wong.

The boys may disagree on her choice of team, but they think more would be great.

“I don’t think there is much difference between girl and guy fans. I just think girls are less common,” said Tom Siedlaziek.

Girls may drink a cosmopolitan instead of a beer during the game, but Siedlaziek said that’s alright with him

“I’ve never heard a girlfriend say, ‘hey, let’s go to the pub and watch the hockey game’,” said Rai Khan, but if a girl did offer to go watch the big game, he wouldn’t object.

“I’d give her a high five and be like, ‘go out with me Friday night’.”

From the other side of the table Wong laughed.

“I guess I have a new pick up line.”