Sunday, November 6, 2011

Am I a hipster hockey fan?!

Let's start with the definition of a hipster, shall we? I often turn to Urban Dictionary at times like this. (It also came in handy when I was composing a rap mix for some friends and needed to define "clip toss" and "stacks on deck." Those are totes getting worked into my Master's thesis btw. "And then Quentin Compson and Dalton Ames get into a clip toss, and Quentin passes out...") ANYWAYS! From Urban Dictionary:

"Aged indie kids, Hipsters still maintain the air of snobbery, still shop atsalvation army, and still have a completely astonishing array of knowledge when it comes to obscure musicpop-culture non-sequiturs, and political sneers. Absolutely a blast to be friends with, hell to be enemies of, hipsters are the most bi-polar of all the stereotypes when it comes to how they treat you. Can be recognized by books like "The Clockwork Orange", "Everything is Illuminated", or obscure philosophy books, by authors akin to Dostoevsky."

I wouldn't describe myself as being especially indie... I've never read Everything Is Illuminated or Clockwork Orange, I don't like philosophy, and while I have been described as a "human jukebox," I don't know any songs by Arcade Fire or Neutral Milk Hotel (despite my recent wedding date's best efforts to educate me). But I do, however, love vintage jewelry/consignment store shopping, have a propensity to wear pearls/flannel/skinny jeans, and definitely have that hipster-y "Mainstream? Gross!" flair in my hockey fandom. I've said for years that, if I were a Pens or Caps fan, I would not be a Crosby or Ovechkin girl. (Let's be serious: I would be a Brooks Laich kinda girl, and that was even BEFORE he had his face rearranged in two separate high-sticking incidents versus the Flyers last month and barely missed a shift. *swoon*) Case and point: Because the Pens were in San Jose last week, Soph saw a guy at the train station with a Pens t-shirt and jersey, and we both could appreciate that he was rocking Dupuis/Engelland, not Crosby/Malkin. Hats and hipster glasses off to you, sir!

So how does this impact teams we actually like? Well, if you've read this blog ever before, you know that we've loved Claude Giroux since his second NHL game. We've even met him several times, and Soph got his jersey back when it had to be specially made at a kiosk in the Wachovia Center. The fact that Giroux's off to such a great start this season should have us doing cartwheels, yes? Ehhhh... We're thrilled he's doing so well, but now he's become the go-to guy. ("Maybe you shoulda got a go-to girl, Jack!" A Cutting Edge reference in the last two posts?! WHOA NOW.) Without Carter and Richards merch to take up every rack at Fan Gear, Giroux has become THE guy for jerseys, t-shirts, signs, and other outpourings of love.  Problematic for us hipster gals!

When Soph and I used to play NHL '08 in our college dorm room, I would always try to make stay-at-home defensemen, like Pickles and Kyle McLaren, score goals. Other guys need a moment in the spotlight too, ya know? And that's kind of how we feel about Giroux. Soph and I still like him, of course, but we get more excited over other players these days, like Braydon Coburn (he's been so pissy lately, roughing up guys left and right! I love it!) and Blair Betts (...mmmkay, that's probs just me, but Betts is defensively responsible and overshadowed by everyone, including Nodl, even when he's healthy!). It usually takes me awhile to warm up to new players, but all of these rookies have been really enjoyable to watch too. Mr. Two-Goals-Last-Night Sean Couturier looks realer than Real Deal Holyfield, Matt Read came totally out of left field (or Bemidji State), and Jake Voracek is like Giroux's less heralded, equally long-haired doppelganger. (I love that he had a goal against Columbus. "Up yours, team that traded me!") 

Popularity, it's such a conundrum. I hope G continues to do well, but I can't help but love a random underdog. Whatever will I do?! 

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