The Fictional Hockey League

Critiquing hockey romance novels, of which there are many. Overthinking it is the point.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Offside: Post 3

Chapter 4: Naked Time in the Locker Room

Finally, it’s the big day—or rather, big evening—and Billie is off to play in her first men’s league hockey game. Unfortunately for her, multiple people still get to comment on her choice before she hits the ice.

First up is her sister (Bobbi), who is on her way to a weekend with her boyfriend at a swanky B&B, but she takes some time out of her jet-setting schedule to inform Billie that it’s her fault that the local bartender and his wife aren’t sleeping together, since the former (Duke) thinks it’s terrible that Billie wants to play men’s hockey and the latter (Jackie) supports Billie.

Billie gets revenge on Bobbi, however, by saying that she not only saw Shane (the former ex of Bobbi and former convict) at the bar, but that she also danced with and kissed him. Bobbi is appropriately jealous, although she tries to hide it. Regardless, her parting shot is pretty nasty.

“Just make sure you take some time from your busy schedule wrecking marriages and playing tonsil hockey with Shane Gallagher to check on Dad tonight”  (75).

Wrecking marriages? Seriously? I am rolling my eyes so hard right now. If these people care this much about whether a woman wants to play on a beer league hockey team, they deserve to have their lives messed with.

Billie finally arrives at the rink and finds to her happiness that she’s been given her own locker room. I’ve already covered in previous posts why I think that’s unnecessary (given my experiences) but whatever. What is relevant, however, is that someone has pranked Billie by switching the assigned locker rooms, so when she enters what she thinks is hers, she’s greeted by a whole bunch of naked males attempting to rattle her with the sight of their flesh.

Several things happen in this scene that I want to bring up. First is a nit-pick and that‘s that the look room is described as being “chalk full of testosterone” (79). No. What the hell is that even supposed to mean? (The phrase is “chock full.”) Sigh.

Second, one of the men is described a moment later as having “his junk…safely tucked away inside his long-johns” (82). Given that we saw long-johns referenced in “Rejoice: A Burden” and I snarked about it then, I won’t snark about it again. I will, however, concede that maybe somewhere people actually refer to the under apparel for hockey as long-johns. But I have never heard it referenced that way and it’s surely not sold that way. (Check out or or as partial evidence that these clothes are referenced as hockey pants, compression pants, base layers, etc.)

For the record? Here’s an idea of what we’re talking about:

Note that there’s junk-protection, compression, and Velcro-tabs for holding up your socks. This is not long-johns.

These are long-johns:

(FYI- doing a google image search for long-johns brings up more than I cared to see, so do so at your own risk.)

Now, to be fair, these also exist:

And that’s a full body suit for wearing under your hockey gear. I have never seen anyone wear one of those at the Beer League level. And I have never seen a professional player wearing those when doing interviews post-game (when they’re partially dressed). If players tended to wear something like that (or long-johns), we wouldn’t get images like this:

If you would like more images of Chris Higgins’ abs, click here.

Also, Pass It to Bulis, my very favorite hockey blog, other than this one, actually has an entire set of posts about abs (specifically relating to the hockey players of the Canucks) which you can access thanks to their “abs” tag here.

You’re welcome.

But I digress. My only point is that no one is wearing long-johns under their hockey gear. (I swear I had not planned to spend so much time on this blog talking about Chris Higgins’ abs…)

ANYWAY, the architect of this prank on Billie (which is what we were talking about pre-long-johns), Mike, who is apparently very large and very hairy and very naked, says that if Billie is rattled by seeing men who play hockey, drink, burp and fart, she shouldn’t be playing with them. Billie says she’s not rattled, just embarrassed.

“I’m not embarrassed for myself, Mike. I’m really, really sorry for you.”

… “Why the fuck would you feel sorry for me?” he asked harshly.

Billie looked him straight in the eye. Slowly, she let her gaze drop past the flabby stomach and then she arched her brow dramatically. Hell, Betty would be proud.

“Well, for starters you smell like shit.” She hoisted her bag onto her shoulders and then met his eyes once more. “And secondly,” she paused, noticing the flush that crept up his chest and onto his neck. “That is the smallest dick I’ve ever seen” (83).

So that happened. (And yes, I did just take you on a whirlwind tour from Chris Higgins’ abs to having to imagine Mike, the 300 pound, hairy, naked, small-dicked beer league player.)


  1. PITB? The things we have in common are endless. If you are writing from a glitterdome filled with cats and junk food, then we are clearly twins. And we have a shared disdain for the fact that in 20XX, a woman playing hockey with guys is a cause for marital breakdown.

    In general, I don't understand why the penis is such a big deal. As in penis pix, exposing oneself, bragging. A penis is not going to strike fear into anyone. Has there ever been an incidence when seeing a guy's penis made any woman change her mind about him? "I thought you were a complete jerk before, but now that I have seen your equipment, I realize that you are the man for me."

  2. Alas, my abode is less glitterdome and more house on a hill with some woods out back, but I do have 3 cats (and a turtle) and am currently munching on pretzels and hershey's kisses.

    If this book were written by a man, the penis issue might actually make more sense. I'm pretty sure they care more than the average heterosexual woman does (and assume that women care more than they do). But why in the world would a penis (or multiple penises) be all that spectacular and convince Billie-Jo not to play? The stunning magnificence of so much phallus would just cause her to faint?