Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stolen From the Boston Globe - February 28th, 2010

Because it sums up what I think about the issue and remember theft (oops, imitation) is the sincerest form of flattery.

Celebration of equality
A good time to cross party lines

By Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff | February 28, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - What, they play a game that not long ago was exclusively a man’s game, and now the women can’t party like the opposite sex? Call me a flaming feminist - please, just once, to make me fell all PC-like - but I have no problem with Team Canada’s women going totally man-cave here Thursday night after beating the United States for the Olympic hockey gold medal.

For those who missed it, most of the proud Canadians returned to the ice about a half-hour after the medal ceremony, and they soaked up the moment, literally, chugging bottles of champagne and cans of beer. A good number of them even went Total Papelbon and smoked cigars, though they had the decency to keep their pants on, thank goodness.

Boy, could the International Olympic Committee use a pint of the Dropkick Murphys.

Livers and lungs be damned, Team Canada’s women had themselves a great impromptu party, then were forced to issue a formal apology the next day after the IOC got its collective starched shorts in a bunch over the blatant display of unbridled masculinity. Actually, the IOC didn’t say anything about gender. It just didn’t like the look of, you know, Canadian Girls Gone Wild, what with all the pictures posted on the Internet that showed them holding cans of Molson Canadian and Coors Light and giving those cigars some serious chomp.

Now, I could get really sardonic here and suggest that the IOC’s chief beef was that Molson and Coors aren’t among the official $1 billion sponsors of the Games. But I’ll stick to the comment by Gilbert Felli, the IOC’s director of the Olympic Games, who said, “It is not what we want to see. I don’t think it is a good promotion of sports values. If they celebrate in the changing room, that’s one thing, but not in public. We will investigate what happened.’’

In other words, uh, ladies, this is the Olympics and not a sorority kegger.

Investigate? Please, spare us the “Casablanca’’-like roundup of “the usual suspects.’’ We know what happened. They won a gold medal, in front of a screaming full house at Canada Hockey Place, and they broke out the booze and had a ball. Then they had to apologize.

Because . . . why?

We’ve watched guys make alcohol- and tobacco-centered celebrations an art form, especially in recent years. Major league clubhouses mask players’ cubicles with thick sheets of plastic on potential party nights. The players come equipped with goggles for these not-so-spontaneous occasions.

Maybe it’s all a little too much, even juvenile, but no one is asking the guys to dial it down, hide it from the public, take it to the back room. They love doing it. Fans drink it up. Granted, watching all that champagne go to waste puts a little sting in my eye, not to mention a bump in the French economy, but c’est la vie.

All of us, including the goody-two-snowshoes who own the Five Rings, should have moved beyond this stuff long ago. Brandi Chastain, bless her sports bra, broke down this wall in 1999, when she yanked off her USA shirt in sheer glee when her goal, on a fifth penalty kick, won the Women’s World Cup of soccer.

When we all got over the shock and horror that Chastain had a chest, she explained, “I wasn’t thinking about anything. I thought, ‘This is the greatest moment of my life on the soccer field.’ ’’ Something scores upon scores of male soccer players had done for decades. In context, it made perfect sense, and only the most puritanical among us weren’t able to understand her mind-set.

The Canadian women (can we call them the Lady Lager Louts?) were in precisely the same place after their emotional win over the Yanks. It was their third gold medal.

They did it with much of their country watching on TV and in front of a crazed full house that included the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Michael J. Fox, and Donald Sutherland. Heady stuff. I was a little surprised, frankly, that none of them scaled the boards and glass and jumped into the crowd for hugs and kisses.

Much to their credit - easy to forget in the hullabaloo - Team Canada’s women won with dignity and grace and style. They did and said all the right things right through the ceremony when they were handed their gold medals and broccoli bouquets.

When the building was nearly empty, save for the cleanup crew, volunteer staff, and lingering writers and photographers, they returned to the ice and savored the moment the way the boys do. They drank. They puffed. They horsed around on the Zamboni. They stretched out on the ice, backs flat on the Olympic logo between the blue lines, and stared up at the arena roof as if peering into hockey heaven and they were the reflection of the stars.

If you get a chance, please, find the pictures online. If they offend your senses, then it might be time for you to send a résumé to the IOC, or maybe stop reading the sports pages.

Meanwhile, cheers to the world’s best female hockey players. Drink up, ladies, and smoke ’em if you got ’em. You’re the very best at playing a game that for decades was for men only. You’re every bit their equal and even better partiers.

Kevin Paul Dupont’s “On Second Thought’’ appears on Page 2 of the Sunday Globe Sports section. He can be reached at


  1. Gotta love it! Thank you, Lovett!!

  2. It was a momentous occasion. They were not hurting anyone, and the American coach said it best. He wished that Team USA had that reason to celebrate.

    Women's hockey is actually more in keeping with the Spirit of the Olympics than the Men's Hockey is, and there were no riots, no overturned cars set on fire, no massive arrests. There were a few girls celebrating saying THEY DID IT.

    It was a great deciding hockey game.