What category of hockey mom best describes Gov. Sarah Palin?

Greg Wyshynski

In yesterday's post about the burgeoning controversies of Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin, I made the point (and made it again in the comments) that this is, like it or not, a hockey story.

Many of you disagreed, which is understandable, because I don't like jelly in my peanut butter either. But the central thesis in our coverage of this story remains: "Could it be said that Palin is introducing the 'hockey mom' to a mainstream American audience, like 'Soccer Moms' and 'NASCAR Dads' have been previously established?"

I'd like to thank Dan Rodricks, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun, for validating my argument. Rodricks posted a piece today that seeks to define the term "hockey mom" in contrast to "soccer moms" and in the context of Gov. Palin. "There are thousands of hockey moms in the United States, so, without some detail, the term is almost meaningless," writes Rodricks. "What the nation really needs to know -- and maybe we'll get it from her speech at the convention tonight -- is what type of hockey mom she is."

He defines three types of "hockey moms," and I know I've met all three of them. There's the "Cool-Not-Cold Hockey Mom," who lets her husband do the driving. There's the "Power Play Hockey Mom," who volunteers for everything and organizes pizza parties. And then there's this rather interesting category:

X-treme Hockey Mom: Totally into hockey and seeing her kids play in college some day. Knows all the teams, all the coaches and how they're all rated. Gets to be a little overwrought at times, always looking for the best deal for her kids and is not above playing one hockey club against another. Very savvy to the international aspect of the sport and could probably clean Joe Biden's clock in a debate about whether the East Europeans are now better at the sport than the Canadians who invented it. You don't want to mess with X-treme Hockey Mom. She'll drop the gloves on ya.

All he left out was the swarm of F-bombs they typically employ. Rodricks wonders if the "hockey mom" bio puts hockey states like Ohio, Michigan, parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia in play; but he also wonders if assuming hockey parents will automatically vote for another hockey parent is the same simplistic thinking that assumes a woman will automatically vote for a woman.

Again, I totally understand the sensitivity to political stories like Palin's. And living in D.C., you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a political debate, which is annoying.

But as I spelled out yesterday, our dear sport is sharing the spotlight with her right now. Not only because "hockey mom" is mentioned as much as "governor" during interviews with shrill pundits, but because even MTV is reporting that "a former high school hockey player" is expected to attend his soon-to-be-mother-in-law's historic speech this evening at the RNC. You know, this kid.

EDIT 11:40 a.m.: Not to reinforce my point, but The Pensblog had the photo above featuring Palin and her spiffy new Pittsburgh Penguins jersey.