An Idiot's Guide To An Idiot's Guide About Hockey

Dilip Vishwanat

The writers at the Post-Dispatch are taking a time out from spring training to give the bandwagon Blues fans some help.

Now, don't get me wrong: I enjoy the Post-Dispatch's sportswriting for the most part, except for when they're insinuating that the Dodgers and their fans are gangbangers (which gets picked up nationally and then makes us all look like assholes).

Once in a while, there will be a clunker of a piece. Usually the piece is a clunker because the paper focuses so much on the Cardinals that anything not written by Jeremy Rutherford or Dan O'Neill seems like a throw-away 'gotta write this" thing in comparison. It seems that they're more motivated to do that when the Blues are good, because good teams lead to more fans, and more fans lead to more readership.

Can't fault 'em for that.

Today, though, they published "An Idiot's Guide to Hockey Slang." Named for the "Idiots Guide To..." book series, which is a knock off of "_______ for Dummies," this appears to be a knockoff of a hockey article.

With a slide show.

Calling casual fans of the sport idiots, or even bandwagon fans for that matter is probably not the best way to endear yourself to readers, but eh. It's meant in jest, I guess.

It explains stuff ok (except for hat trick, which just looks like people hated a giveaway and chunked the hats onto the ice), and it's meant in jest, but there's something about it that just rubs me the wrong way. It's not in a hockey snobbish "why don't people already realize this stuff!" kind of way. I'm well aware that every sport has its casual fanbase, and I know that most folks don't have the benefit for being a fan for a few decades.

In all honesty, wouldn't an actual "Hockey for Dummies" article work better? No knock-offs, but the real thing to get casual fans acclimated... and to get them to stay around.

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