Hockey Moms Are More Than Pitbulls With Lipstick
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
One more item before the vice-presidential debate tomorrow night, this one about identity. At the Republican Convention, Alaska Governor, now Vice-Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, famously tossed off this quip.
Governor SARAH PALIN: I love those hockey moms. You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.
CHADWICK: So, the audience loved it, but it's not so good for fellow hockey mom, Polly Ingraham.
Ms. POLLY INGRAHAM (Hockey Mom): Much has been made about Sarah Palin, and pig lipstick. I'm not getting in that sty, but I am a hockey mom, and I have a score to settle after her quip. Speaking on behalf of many of my sisters in the stands, and even the much-maligned pit bulls, I got to wonder, what rink is she on? If you've watched a few professional hockey games, it might seem like a violent sport for young players, but it's not. My 14-year-old daughter plays in a non-checking girls' league. That means they can't bang each other against the boards, and for the most part, parents are civil.
We know how to deal with over zealous parents, too. Occasionally, when an adult is out of line, the rest of us exert pressure. Few can stand up to withering group glare. We are much more apt to compliment each other's kids when they have modest successes. Say a perfect pass, or a hard shot on goal, than we are to pound on their refs. If it's really cold in the rink, parents with blankets are happy to share them.
There's a fellowship, born of common experiences, we all know what it's like to get up way too early to drive our skaters, who are usually silent, to faraway locations, where we will find unappetizing food, and cold bathrooms. Our cars all have the same post-game smell. We're from different socio-economic classes, we're liberals, and conservatives. Some of us wear lipstick, and most of us do not. But we pretty much all agree that we are not in the arena to be nasty.
Which leads to the other reason why the joke was offensive. My brother works as an adoption councilor at an animal shelter. Where he sees more pit bulls then any other breed. Can they go for the jugular? Yes, if they are trained to. We all remember the Michael Vick horror. But these dogs are often completely loving and eager for affection. This stereotype, too, just doesn't hold up in real life.
As the hockey season gets underway, again, I'm hopeful that come November the huddled masses of hockey moms, and dads, will rise up, and vote to help our country move forward. And in the meantime, I'm ordering the bumper sticker that says more hockey, less war.
CHADWICK: Writer, and hockey mom, Polly Ingraham, lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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