Oilers cheerleaders: the lunatic fringe

So, somebody named Lisi Monro has set up an on-line petition and Facebook page for people opposed to the idea of the Edmonton Oilers establishing a cheerleading team for home games at Rexall Place.

While I don’t really care one way or another if the Oilers trot out a bunch of keen sis-boom-ba types as 23 other NHL teams do — I find the idea marginally silly but largely harmless — there’s a minute group of people who are outraged enough by the idea of all that T and A on display at a hockey game they have put their names to the cause.

When I read the petition this morning, about 290 people had signed it, with many attaching comments. I’m assuming that, like any petition, this one represents a cross-section of people genuinely concerned with the issue, garden variety cause-seekers and kooks.

It was impossible not to see this coming when the Oilers announced the initiative a couple days ago, and I thought as much when Jason Gregor and I talked to team president Patrick LaForge on TEAM 1260 Thursday. "Gimme a K! Gimme an O! Gimme another O! Gimme a K! What does that spell! I said, What’s does that spell! I can’t hear you . . ."

Amused? Yes, I was. Offended? No. The beauty of living in a free country is that everybody has a right to speak their mind, have their say. In a free society, debate is open to all: the educated and the ignorant, the passionate and the perplexed, scholars and people wearing tin-foil hats.

That freedom, like hockey, is part of Canada’s very fabric.

DEEP THINKING

Here’s a sampling of comments from people who have signed the petition. Names have been withheld to protect the ignorant, although grammar, spelling and imaginative use of capitalization has been left as-is for entertainment purposes.

— Keep Hockey Canadian – Ban Americanisms from OUR Game.

— Cheerleaders are stupid sluts, I want them gone and not anywhere near Hockey.

— think it is an insult to Canada, And Insult to Women, and an insult to the Game of hockey. Darry Katz should have the back of his head slapped for this stupid idea

— The only half time show Hockey needs is the zamboni

— This is a rediculous idea just like the downtown arena proposal .i love to see beautiful women at football games but hockey needs to be a rough game not sugar coated

— its only for the perv men to watch skimpy dressed women bouncing around, there are women there too!

— This is not necessary. This is completely sexist and has no place in hockey or in Edmonton. Can’t we just watch hockey?? Do we need women parading around in little clothing, degrading themselves and the entire gender. Where is the male cheer team? Oilers won’t degrade men. Yeah gotcha.

WHATEVER…

While Monro’s petition has garnered attention from several news outlets, I don’t imagine it will cause LaForge and the Oilers anything more than a ripple of aggravation.

I’m guessing that in coming days LaForge or another team spokesman will assure us the input of loyal fans (especially season ticket holders) on the issue will be taken into consideration (even if the tryouts are already scheduled and jazzy outfits have been mocked up).

I can’t help but think back to a couple years ago when it seemed everybody in the northern hemisphere got on board with a "Fire Craig MacTavish" cause on Facebook. So many people signed up that when a rally outside Rexall Place was announced, every news outlet in the city sent a reporter to get the dope.

When it actually came down to showing up outside the rink, for the MacT Lynch Mob to put actions to their names and words, media members outnumbered the half-dozen people who actually showed up.

I suspect this — even with the internet outrage, the "I’ll never buy seasons tickets again" and the "For God’s sake, think about the children" — will turn out much like that did.

It is our right, after all, to create much ado about nothing.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • striatic

    It’s such an injustice that some good looking girls, acting on their own volition, are permitted to raise the spirits of hockey fans. I won’t be able to sleep if this goes forward. It’s a good thing that we’ve solved the less important issues such as the murdering of prostitutes and domestic violence so that we are able to focus our attention on this pressing topic. The liberty of women everywhere depends on it!

    Sign my petition at:

    http://www.aBunchOfUglyChicksAndManHatersWithoutACause.ca

  • @Bob Cob

    You’re very entertaining. Please keep your posts brief so I can read the name – calling and move on to hockey things, as I won’t be reading any more than a sentence or two of your posts. Fun stuff, but please don’t bother with real discussion.

    I totally agree with the poster who mentioned that if it was the Leafs (or Canucks) and not us, we would be shredding the idea right now. Any association with the Florida Panthers I’m not down with.

  • Hemmertime

    Willis wrote: “I don’t really care either way. I think it’s pandering and appealing to the lowest common denominator,”

    I like the idea, am I the lowest common denominator? Kinda insulting. I agree they are completely useless and won’t increase the Rexall atmosphere, but I’d rather have the “hot chicks” in the stands dancing than on the ice making repairs. Seems better.

  • KatzKidsJewFro

    @ Bob Cob:

    Sensitive? Hardly; I don’t recall saying anything about you other than that your comments showcase both your character and intellect.

    Delightfully, you continue to comment, making it easier for all of us to know exactly how much weight your thoughts deserve. Please don’t ever stop.

    Cheers 🙂

    • Come on, Jonathan.

      An out of, “Cheers :)” is too much. The internet equivalent of the cop who delights in giving you a $175 speeding ticket and then says, “Have a nice day” just to make you insane? The internet flip-off?

      You clearly think Cob is a nob who has gone out of his way to piss you off, and you might be right. Just once, resist the urge to cloak your venon in librarian-like civility in the name of decorum. Give Cob the full-on Johnny Cash. Empty the clip, no silencer. You know you want to . . .

  • KatzKidsJewFro

    @ Hemmertime:

    Generally, “lowest common denominator” refers to the least sophisticated level of taste. Say what you will about a cheerleading squad, the appeal is a pretty basic one. Wouldn’t you agree?

    • Hemmertime

      Agree, sex is the most basic of ideas. Also, it works. That’s why its Hooters not Heffers.

      Without a platform to perform elaborate maneuvers they are just sex symbols. Say what you will about football cheerleaders but a lot of what they do requires a tonne of athletics and for lack of a better term, balls. I wouldn’t trust someone to toss me in the air like that. Oilers cheerleaders cant do that on the ice, no real platform for them to complete them on, so ya, its lowest common denominator.

      If they had a stage to showcase their talents and not just their ass-ets I could say they will be entertaining during Goal reviews and things like that – but without one I don’t have a leg to stand on

  • Good Day …

    … the first comment that you have copied from the petition is mine.

    Using “S” instead of “Z” is proper spelling – unless you are an American.

    Check Oxford Dictionary next time, instead of Webster’s. If you cannot comprehend the difference, then I guess my point is made.

    The last time I checked, we speak English in Canada – and not the American version of that language.

    It is altogether unsurprising that the same people who are stumping for Cheerleaders at NHL Games in Canada prefer Americanisms to Canadian forms & norms.

    Just because one is a hockey fan is no reason to be illiterate – in both the linguistic and cultural sense.

    Scott

  • I’d be more concerned if they turn out being bad. Nothing worse than two attractive women surrounded by uncoordinated, never danced in my life chubby girls showing off their muffin tops by tripping over each other. This only works if its league leading, otherwise save us the embarrasment.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Crackenberry

    Pheonix in October for hockey……….did the cheerleaders out number the paying fans? Seriously 7500 people in the stands? It is disconcerting to be in a lovely facility like Jobing arena with the building being 45% full

  • book¡e

    People who are whining that this is about the exploitation of women need to wake up to 21st century feminism. Sexuality is a lot like marijuana, the biggest problems are created when it’s suppressed.

    “Oh, goodness me, did that young lady just expose her shoulder?”

    I have a secret to tell all of you. People like sex and they like looking at attractive people (shhh, don’t tell anyone). Some people like being looked at – they often work out really hard and get tans and stuff so that they look good. Some of these people are really smart and self confident.

    Now, one of the challenges with these issues is that the gendered nature of how sexuality is presented in society. We see far more of women’s bodies being displayed than men’s. Well, I don’t know whether this is a deep seeded cultural thing or if there are biological factors involved, but there there is a bias in people’s preference (sometimes reality has a bias). So, we don’t see as many men prancing around half naked. People have tried – male strippers, the sunshine boy, non-gay porn focusing on men, playgirl, etc. Despite contemporary freedoms to browse such options at will, it appears that there is just not the same interest in looking at men than there is women. The demand bias appears not only to be driven by men, but also by women. You look at any magazine and it doesn’t matter whether the target audience are men or women and what do you see on the cover – a half naked women. Women seem to prefer to read cheesy ‘mind porn’ (currently about vampires and werewolves). The internet is as loaded with smut written for women. Smut for men – not so much. The free market has spoken.

    I don’t have any problem with people saying it’s not a good fit for hockey. Its the over the top drama about exploitation that bothers me.

  • KatzKidsJewFro

    Cheerleaders are what american clubs use to get the fans into the game. just like when there is a goal in an american staduim the horn goes at least six times. that is because the fans don’t even know what going on and they need the horn to excite them. bringing cheerleaders to edm would make them the laughing stock of the canadian teams. DON’T DO IT.

  • I wasnt offended at cheerleaders when I was in highschool. I’m not offended at cheerleaders when I watch an Eskimo game. I wont be offended at cheerleaders during Oiler games.

    As long as there’s no such thing as a “cheer time-out” then I’ll be fine.

    No, not everyone upset at cheerleaders is a fat chick or a prude, but they sure do have a warped set of priorities. If life is so good that the Oilers announcing they will have cheerleaders is an event worth standing up against, then I’m jealous, because I have way more important things to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

    “Cheerleaders: Yes or No” should rank somewhere after “Hats: Backwards or Forwards”* and before “Toothpaste: Crest or Colgate”**. For whatever that means.

    *Forwards

    **Crest

  • Prudham's

    How enlightened you are to trumpet the right to free expression while simultaneously sneering and belittling people who don’t like the idea of cheerleaders.
    What is the article really about – your defense of free speech, or your dislike for some free speech you’ve seen on facebook?

    If you’re so neutral about the issue, then why would you need to write this particular article? I don’t even see what you’re trying to say. Why would you be against a facebook group? There are probably some comments on there, that you’d agree with if you don’t mind, as you said, either way about cheerleaders coming to hockey, but somehow you ended up mining all the quotes that you think are silly, some of which actually seem pretty reasonable.
    On the other hand if you’re NOT against the facebook group existing, then you’re singling out the worst parts of it and shooting it down which again is not a neutral stance to take and smells like a straw man argument.
    What you call people include: “garden variety cause-seekers, kooks”. If it was a cause you were in favor of, I doubt you would have mentioned the kooks found among your own number.
    Brilliant support for your spurious defense of free speech here: educated and the ignorant, the passionate and the perplexed, scholars and people wearing tin-foil hats.
    We can see which of each pair you and other reasonable people belong to, so that means the other adjectives are meant for… there again painting with a broad brush. Hilarious.
    Your tone is apparent right from the first line. She’s probably not only someone named Lisi Monro, but might actually be Lisi Monro.
    What you’re saying about the radio show isn’t clear, but I wonder if you were the one being called a K-O-O-K jokingly. If not, then I don’t think you get any points for NOT getting offended. Sorry. And you seem to use your stoic reaction there as further evidence that you’re what, perhaps a reasonable guy who doesn’t get ruffled about issues that you yourself don’t care about… Good job. Does that mean that other people shouldn’t care, and if they do, they’re tinfoil hat wearers? What a fatuous article.

  • Slapshot

    As a long time season seat holder. I think its great that they will be adding some more entertainment to a hockey game,The Oilers should have done this sooner.

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    the concept of the Cheerleader in general is such a contrived cultural piece of crap. if you like seeing butter-faces with cake frosting smeared all over it to get a semi-boner during the game – great. but theres no way you can rationalize the position these women take on except as a “serve the sausage party” tactic (which says something about expectations on women in reality). with the amount of pay and out-of-game organizing the whole “team” needs for game time “entertainment” its an absolute laugh and comes out of your already insane ticket price.

    ive been to enough NBA basketball games in my life to see how utterly useless these dance teams are. it comes off more corny and embarrassing at the game than anything. they look fake and act fake. its like wind-up robots. put that vaseline on your teeth for those smiles, ladies.

    id rather see dudes out there with their Baked Potatoes tightly wrapped up in spandex just to laugh at how uncomfortable the Hetero-mass would get. at least thats funny. haha

    im all for women doing what they like and letting the sexuality flow, but come on, boiled down this stuff is just corn ball.