What Is It About Hockey Players?
Guest writer, Howard Roark, gives us his take on why starlets, singers and the better half bestowed with fame prefer men who give a puck.
A very interesting thing happened at the last trade deadline. Bryan Murray, the GM of the Ottawa Senators, a team looking to rebuild, sent Center Mike Fisher to the Nashville Predators for a first round draft choice. Fisher, a top six forward, was much in demand at the time, and Murray could possibly have gotten a better package from another contending team. I remember thinking at the time it was an extremely classy move on Murray’s part. After all, Fisher’s wife, Carrie Underwood, is a leading diva in the country music scene which is based in Nashville where she made her home. It is doing the little things in life, those things that don’t necessarily benefit oneself but are hugely meaningful to another that reveal real character and make it easy to get up in the morning.
The entire affair (for lack of a better word) got me thinking. Fisher is married to a music superstar who also happens to be very attractive. This is no longer the exception but rather the rule. In fact, it is now routine to see single hockey players, even ones of middling talent, dating and even marrying A-list Hollywood and musical babes. In some cases, the relationships can be notorious such as the spat between Sean Avery and Dion Phaneuf over Elisha Cuthbert. In my opinion, Avery’s suspension was warranted since he was using someone not associated with the sport to gain an on-ice advantage over an opponent. Other examples of starlet & hockey player romances include Rachel Hunter who dated both the aforementioned Avery and was briefly engaged to Jarret Stoll, Hillary Duff who is married to Mike Comrie and hottie Willa Ford who tied the knot with Mike Modano.
Beautiful women dating and marrying professional athletes is nothing new. Think Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe. However, what is it about hockey players that has placed them at the forefront of the dating scene? After all, most players come from small towns and have seen very little of the world beyond the rinks and hotels in the town where the next game is. They are not particularly well-educated, having made a commitment to playing in the NHL at a very early age. They play with helmets (and sometimes visors) making them difficult to see from the stands. Meanwhile, the women they date make their living from their looks as well as their talents, are quite worldly and can have their pick of almost any available man within their click or scene.
So, why? Could it be that opposites attract?
These lovely ladies see in hockey players two vital characteristics that make them a nice catch.
First, humility. In a world where fame all too often goes to people’s heads, where wealth and power drive many to act with arrogance and even cruelty, the small town values imbued in hockey players, either at home or with their billet families, stand in positive distinction. These are young men who get up at ungodly hours so their selfless parents can drive them hours away to the nearest rink, all for a little ice time. Values such as hard work, sacrifice and dedication are part and parcel of making it to the NHL, and many, if not most players, never forget that even when the fame and money start coming in.
Second, hockey players possess an intangible innate to their sport, that of unquestioned loyalty to one’s teammates. How many times in business, in Hollywood or in politics do you see one guy screw a friend or acquaintance to secure benefit for oneself? All the time. This is the world in which these actresses, singers and models make their living and to which they are exposed on a daily basis – ‘what can you do for me’. By contrast, the code of sticking up for one’s teammates, playing hurt for the team and diving in front of a slap shot looks quite refreshing by comparison. For want of a better word, gallantry is still alive and well at the professional hockey rink, and the world’s most beautiful women have rightly taken notice.