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Essentially what you’ll get here is stat explanations and breakdowns surrounded by player and team art.

I’ve been interested in statistics, hockey and design as separate categories for quite awhile. It wasn’t until the past four years or so that I really realized combining two great things often makes for an equally great, if not greater, thing. (see the bacon cheeseburger or the increase in taste of hotdogs at stadiums for proof)

I faced a surprising amount of backlash trying to do this in both the hockey art and hockey stats fields, all probably due to my all too naive wide-eyed belief that anyone would really be welcomed with open arms by those who liked to complain about no one sharing their interests.

With stats, it was a lot of dismissive “who are you trying to impress?” and “It’s too complicated for you to understand” attitudes from mostly men who were well aware that I scored very high on my ACT, double majored and minored completing two bachelor degrees within four years, one of which was in sociology which is essentially stats based social science, and kept an above average GPA. With design, it was all very “Well, someone has a crush” regardless of which player was featured, if any, rather than actual critique or reception of the work itself. It was incredibly discouraging to spend hours looking up things on the internet from notes taken during games to try to understand what was being said and evaluated, or spend time painstakingly designing works in hopes they’ll be enjoyed, just to feel completely invalidated by the predominantly male fan-base of the NHL, most of whom’s retorts back were a lot of comments whose underlying message in retrospect was “You’re a girl, why are you better at this than me?” Unfortunately at the time I didn’t see it that way, that through their borderline disgust by a “girl’s” contributions to a conversation were actually validating that I had made points and understood things that were missed by some of them I viewed as more learned.

It wasn’t really until the 2013-2014 season I found myself sitting in front of a obscenely loud (albeit intoxicated) Blackhawks fan who was commenting on the amount of girls (absolute strangers whom he didn’t know but still felt confident enough to refer to as “fake fans”) who were clearly “wasting their money being fake” at games because “no girls really like or know anything about sports”. I said nothing at that point, until later in the game when I heard him clearly calling to BOLLAND (referencing center, Dave Bolland) and I waited until I had heard him say it four or five times, to be clear that was what he was saying, and finally turned around and loudly informed him that Dave Bolland had been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs after the 2012-13 season had ended, and the player he was actually concerned with was Brandon Bollig. It was really then that I realized that not everyone who deemed me a fake fan was really basing it off of me and my actual knowledge.

In other words, people can be total turds. You don’t have to take it personal. And you don’t have to let it stop you.

 

twitter  @peterson_m

instagram @melissarpeterson

 

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