Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hockey Love - Part 1, A trip to the past

I am very much a mood genre reader.  I get in the mood for a specific sub genre of romance and read and read and read that genre until I get over it and I’m ready to move on to the next one.  If I’m in the mood for Western Historical for example, there is no sense throwing a Regency or SciFi romance into the reading mix because even if it’s the best written book in the world and right up my alley, chances are very good I won’t appreciate it as I’m ‘not in the mood’.  Which brings me to the point of this post. 
For ever so long now I’ve been in the mood for contemporary, almost exclusively hockey romance in particular.  I can’t seem to quit them and they take up the vast majority of my book buys lately.  I’ve been puzzling out why this is.  I don’t even really watch hockey much these days.

Now this is a vast change from years ago.  I’m Canadian eh and hockey is in my blood.  I tried playing it a bit when I was young but I couldn’t skate worth spit and besides that was back in the day when girls didn’t have their own leagues and didn’t even play hockey.  If they tried, they had to play with boys – icky poo.

But that didn’t keep me from being an avid fan in watching hockey.  My bestie when I was young was the niece of an NHL player who played for the Chicago Black Hawks so naturally they were the team I cheered for.

Then my allegiance changed when I grew a bit older and happened to sit up and notice Derek Sanderson of the Boston Bruins. 

 I think girls of all ages who watched hockey sat up and noticed him.  Oh mama was he hot!  He certainly got my girly parts going.  He was so different from you average hockey player of the times.  He had long hair and mustache and was the rebel or ‘bad boy’ of hockey.  And he was a fighter. Now before you young’uns go ‘yuck, look at all that HAIR’ keep in mind in my day, this was the style back then.  Mr. Sanderson or Turk as he was nicknamed was like a rock star for the female hockey crowd. 

Then alas, he left the team.  I still cheered for the Bruins but with him gone the eye candy wasn’t the same.  I should also mention that this was before helmets were mandatory, back in the early 70’s, so we really got to see the player.  As my interest in the Boston Bruins began to wane and they had won a few Stanley Cups – because I cheered for them of course, my interest in the next team would rise.

The Broad Street Bullies.  I don’t know if they are still called that but they were officially known as the Philadelphia Flyers.  But even though they were nicknamed Broad Street Bullies, it took me a while to clue in that they were in actual fact, bullies and dirty players so I dropped them.

That left me teamless for a while and even though I didn’t watch it as much as I used to, I still followed the standings and would watch the playoffs.  And then I met my husband.

He was a Toronto Maple Leaf fan and trust me when I say there are no fans like Leaf fans.  They are like an already rabid fan on steroids.  As I had no team I figured I’d take them on as my new team to cheer for.  It pleased the husband that I did.  Of course if I hadn’t have been willing I’m sure we would have ended up in Divorce Court.  There is reason the fans are called Leaf Nation. 
In the early days with my new team things were great.  But, I noticed something odd.  They never got any better.  Never.  They haven’t even been close to winning the Stanley Cup in over 40 years!!  I can see standing by your team but then it begins to slip into insanity.  There was no incentive to get better.  They are one of the top earning NHL teams in the league whether they lose or not.  So I was stuck.  I couldn’t keep supporting for a joke of a team, but being married to a card carrying member of Leaf Nation, I couldn’t move to another team.  So I gradually lost interest and it’s been quite a number of years since I’ve had a cheer to cheer for. And then there is the fact they all wear helmets these days and many even visors so it’s more difficult to pick out the eye candy.


And going back to my shallow teenage years it wasn’t just hockey on TV I watched. 
The city I grew up in had a Junior B team.  My friends and I went to many a game, always sat behind the penalty box as that was where the action was.  And we were as superstitious as athletes themselves. We simply had to put on a dab of Brute
aftershave to help them win.  How that came about I’ve no idea, all I can say now is teenagers are very strange beings, having been one.  So even though I didn’t play, I was very into the sport for quite a while.

And now that I’ve rambled ever so long, I’ll have to make this a two-parter.  Next up, the appeal of the sports romance.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I got pretty into hockey in college because I 1) was living in Buffalo so Go Sabres Go! and 2) I dated more than one guy who was a little nuts about hockey. But over the years my interest waned and I was so disgusted by the last lock-out that I just never got back on board. I keep up (somewhat - sort of - kind of) with the Red Wings. I have liked some of the new changes the league has made though (this year's All-Star was a nice shot in the arm and I love the new 3-on-3 overtime rules).

As for hockey romance? I just don't naturally gravitate towards them. I think it's my issue with sports romances in general more than anything else. I'm so freaked out that the research won't be good that it's hard for me to dip my toe into those waters. But when I find a good one, I do like them. I just have to heavily screen my sports romances with the help of reviewers I "trust" (like you!) before taking the plunge on unknown authors.