The hockey fangirl is a strange beast: giggling, wild-eyed, eternally locked in a sophisticated fantasy world where all the guys have patchy beards and missing teeth, and the marriage proposals (complete with honeymoon to Stanley Cup Island) are casually strewn about like those ribbons of “Get Electric” tin foil.
Because of their solitary lifestyle, there is much the scientific community does not yet know about these giggling daydreamers, but this much is clear: all fangirls watch hockey, but not all girls who watch hockey are fangirls. It is a state of mind that takes time to develop — to pupate, if you will — as backstories are learned, interviews digested and various indicators of physical hotness are carefully assessed over the course of the season.
But from this day forward, the fangirl need no longer be a mystery, as the women of Hot Oil — Alana, Loxy, and The Prez, for all of whom the transition from casual spectator to unbridled Oiler luster… after… er is clearly complete— have volunteered to tell us a little bit about themselves so we may learn why three grown women would dedicate so much of their time (not to mention scrapbook pages and craft supplies) to gettin’ all dreamy-eyed about Craig MacTavish.
So without further ado, here’s the deal behind the squeals!
— Chris!, Covered in Oil
How did you first get into hockey? Was it the game itself, or just the hot guys?
Alana: For me, it was the game -- I started playing ringette at a young age, which boosted my interest in hockey, and I would watch Oilers games on TV with my dad all the time. As a four-year-old, “hot guys” didn’t really register. However, when my little brother started playing hockey and I had to attend a lot of games and tournaments with him, I started to notice that sweaty boys on skates can be pretty darn cute. Around this time, I developed my first full-blown Oilers crush on Mark Messier.
Loxy: I’d like to credit my mom for this. As a successful WHA Oilers puck bunny in the mid-‘70s, she helped to pave the way for many of the women who now force marquee players to leave the Edmonton area — though it was never her intention for it to lead that direction. In fact, when she met my father, an up-and-comer in the Canadian rugby ranks, she realized that her infatuation with Oilers was all wrong. The distance between a fan and her loved player creates a special bond that restraining orders can’t change. If my mom taught me only one thing, it was this: “get them while their amateurs or don’t get them at all.”
The Prez: I have two older brothers who both followed hockey. My oldest brother was a Nordiques fan (and he now lives in Colorado). My other brother is an Oilers fan, and when he still lived at home he’d watch them on TV. In short, it has been a few years, for sure, but it was just last season that I became a rabid fan. I love it for the game first and the men second.
2. What do you look for in an attractive hockey player?
Alana: My hockey crushes are more about personality than appearance. I like the boys who give funny press conferences, or have weird quirks. It also doesn’t hurt to be able to grow a mean playoff beard (manly!), have a couple missing teeth (tough!), or look hot in goalie equipment (there’s just something about goalies, isn’t there ladies?). MacTavish fits into the “funny” category — dude makes me laugh on a regular basis. He also looks great in a suit. Roli is hilariously weird and charming, and I love him for it. Plus he can grow a great beard and, well, he’s a goalie. Gator and Moreau fill the beard and missing teeth criteria when I just want some eye candy.
Loxy: I have an underdog complex. Few of my favourite players are key on their team. Most of them are one spot away on the depth chart from time in the AHL. Nobody on the Oilers embodies my needs like Marty Reasoner. Sure, the dark hair and dreamy eyes are important... but if the guy is going to give 132 per cent, I could put a paper bag on his head and do him anyways.
The Prez: I’m usually attracted to men who are strange/funny-looking. I don’t really like men who are tall, but most hockey players are tall. It’s hard to pinpoint the physical traits that are attractive to me, but I like Eastern European players, because their accents are sexy. I’m also a big fan of the rugged look and I like facial hair. Long hair is good too, on some people. Igor Ulanov is pretty much fits it perfectly, although he’s not technically an Oiler. His mighty playoff beard was especially spectacular. Marc-André Bergeron also makes me giggle like a school girl (despite his murderous tendencies toward his own goaltender), and it has nothing to do with his skill. I guess I like Francophone players, too.
3. Is being an Oiler an integral part of being hot?
Alana: Being an Oiler is definitely important. I have an extremely hard time finding cute players on teams I actively hate (currently the Hurricanes, the Flames, and the Leafs), but there are a few standouts on teams I’m indifferent toward. I like Bryzgalov because he gives funny interviews. I will always love Jose Theodore for wearing a pom-pom tuque over his helmet at the Heritage Classic too. So cute! Like I said, there’s something about goalies.
Loxy: Oilers are hotter than non-Oilers. Simple. That’s not to say that there isn’t guys out there that I want playing on MY team...
Here’s Loxy’s all-hot starting lineup:
Forwards: *Mark Bell (SJ) - Mike Modano (Dal) - Richard Park (none)
Defence: Wade Redden (Ott) - Christian Ehrhoff (SJ)
Goal: Rick Dipietro (NYI)
The Prez: Being an Oiler makes a player hotter than he would be if he played for another team. It might have something to do with exposure. It helps, but it’s not the only thing. I don’t presently find any of the hated Flames attractive, but there are players on other teams I find attractive. For former Oilers, I’m a huge fan of Anson Carter and Michael Morrison. For non-Oilers, I like Ryan Miller of Buffalo. I know almost nothing about him, but I certainly like the way he looks. Maxim Afinogenov isn’t bad, either. I’m also strangely drawn to Mike Ricci, but I don’t know if I’d call it attraction.
4. Which Oiler player/staff member is in the most dire need of a makeover?
Alana: By far, Todd Harvey. His porn stash and scraggly goatee make him look like a a complete C.H.U.D. All he needs is some shaving cream and a razor, and I think he’d be pretty hot. He has nice eyes.
Loxy: Oiler Player: Marc-Andre Bergeron
First of all, I know that his involvement in the Roloson incident has left a big scar on the little man. I think a spa treatment is the only way to heal the mind. And then there’s his hair. Taller hair doesn’t make one taller. In fact, it highlights how small his head really is. It’s also a bit of a pixie-cut. Maybe he doesn’t want to shed the elfin image? To his credit, this look is better than the “Extra from Lord of the Rings” look he had last year. What do I propose? A trade.
Oiler Staff Member: Craig “the forgotten craig” Simpson
With a stud like Craig MacTavish in the organization, most casual fans forget that we have another coach Craig. Unfortunately, Simpson has forgotten how to coach a power play and more importantly, roll with the times. His look is dated at 1988. And in 1988, I was seven. Kids my age were sportin’ that look. If there is anyone who rivals Kerry Fraser for hairspray usage, it’s “The Forgotten Craig.” Toss the spray, embrace a free-flowing ‘do.
The Prez: Raffi Torres should not grow his horrendous worm beard again. He might look better with a soul patch or something. Craig Simpson could stand to grow out his hair a little bit. I don’t really think that any of the players are in dire need of a makeover (except it might be nice if Smyth would wear his hair in a classy updo more often), unless I’d be allowed to bring in cosmetic surgery. That would be a whole new ball game, but I’d prefer not to get that mean.
5. Playoff beards: good or bad?
Alana: Totally yummy.
Loxy: If it’s a sign that the Oilers are still in the playoffs, good. The patchier, the better.
The Prez: Two thumbs up, especially if the beards are lush. Pisani, Torres, Smyth and Ulanov (he did grow one) were the winners during last season’s playoffs. Winchester’s was nice but nor particularly full. It just made him look less like someone’s mother.
6. How would you sign your cheques if you were married to your favourite Oiler?