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Sarah Palin, world's most famous hockey mom, drops politics for the puck tonight

This is the opening weekend of the National Hockey League season and the fourth-to-last weekend of this endless presidential season.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's Miracle on Ice poster

So naturally the two phenomena come together with the world's most famous hockey mom, Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, dropping the official puck in Philadelphia before the Flyers take on the New York Rangers tonight.

So what if most of the players in the game aren't American and can't vote? It's great TV and showbiz.

And Palin's proud public profession at the Republican National Convention of being a doting mom in a rough sport that so often feels otherwise overlooked has endeared her to many of its followers. Now, all she needs to do is turn some of that into votes.

A hockey mom is much like a soccer mom or mothers in any other sport, always there cheering and finding something good to say after every game, even the 8-0 blowouts.

But hockey moms are more often found making breakfast at 4 a.m. Saturdays before the 5:30 practice. And ensuring the smelly gear is airing out in the garage. And nursing the bumps and bruises that come from falling onto 1.5 inches of ice atop a foot of frozen concrete.

And in some states like Montana, Minnesota and Alaska, they're found standing at outdoor rink sides, stomping their feet and cheering before rushing back to a warm car between periods.

According to Nielsen, hockey moms (or at least those moms who watch hockey on TV) were 39% more likely to watch the vice preHockey grandpas signal their support for Alaska Governor and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palinsidential debate with Palin than were regular moms.

According to USA Hockey, the 70-year-old umbrella organization in Colorado Springs, Colo., that oversees amateur U.S. hockey, nearly 400,000 youth players were registered to play last year, including some 57,000 girls, a 5% annual jump. Including junior players and adults, total membership is around 600,000.

Palin will no doubt make an effort to shake the hand of Scott Gomez, one of the Ranger co-captains and a native of Anchorage, that suburb of Wasilla.

Palin will actually have help dropping the puck at tonight's game in Philadelphia. Not that the 7-ounce chunk of frozen rubber is so heavy. But the Flyers have been running a contest to find the ultimate local hockey mom.

So they'll share the duties and spotlight at center ice. Then, they both better get out of the way.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Speaking of goals, you can now have instant alerts of every Ticket item sent straight to your cell by registering free here at Twitter.

Photo credit: Robyn Beck / AFP-Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (6)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Advocating the asassination of a presidential candidate is a felony.

It's almost a relief to have some diversion. I assume Sarah Palin can tell the difference between sport and politics. Because usually Sarah Palin seems to have separation problems – whether it’s separation of church and state, or separation of personal from professional concerns. With all that is going on with the economy and the war in Iraq, it's a shame we have to expend energy on these petty abuses of power, like Troopergate.
Sue Katz, author of
Thanks But No Thanks: The Voter's Guide to Sarah Palin

Not because of her politics, but because of the below-the-belt comments she has made about Senator Barack Obama, I sincerely hope Governor Palin gets booed out of the rink tonight.

Don't accuse the opposing candidate of palling with terrorists and expect that person's supporters to accord you any respect, whatsoever.

Speaking of the disgusting McCain-Palin campaign...

In February of 2000, John McCain said the following:

“I just have to rely on the judgement of the voters, not to buy into these negative attack ads.

“Sooner or later, people are gonna figure out, that if all you run is negative attack ads, you don’t have much of a vision for the future, or you’re not ready to articulate it.”

If you would like to see the video of him saying this, and share it with others, you can access it at the end of the following piece:

I called a friend of mine this morning to tell him that I just read an article on Palin the hockey mom dropping the first puck--an article written amidst a financial crisis, written one day after Palin was found to have abused her power as governor and written a day after McCain had to calm down some of his supporters lest they get even nastier. The article, written in a somewhat sardonic tone, the article was... well, I'm not sure what the point was but I think it was about Palin the hockey mom and not much else-- no issues, not much politics... nada.

My friend said without hesitation, "Was it written by Andrew Malcolm?"

I am a very proud sister of a Hockey Player for a brother who's parents sacrificed all they had in order for him to be a successful as he is now...YOU GO GIRL!

Those being sucker in by Palin don't get it. She is George Bush/Cheney in high heels. Don't be fooled. John McCain will raise taxes!!! Just like George Bush senior who ran on, "No new taxes", what did he do? Raise taxes! Republicans explode the budget deficit to finance the military industrial complex, than crash the economy and don't want to pay to fix it. Same old Republican pattern. The Republican Party is one big marketing campaign for big business. The John McCain deficit spending no new tax plan is a farce and will crash the economy. More tax breaks for the rich and bigger deficits, da! If we do not become fiscally responsible our dollar will crash along with everything that is tied to it. Anybody voting Republican has been a sleep or is in a complete state of denial over the last 35 years of mismanagement and the steps needed to fix the situation. Their first instinct was to take care of their rich friends with the bailout despite the mood of the country. Power and greed are ugly. At least Democrats know the country is going to hell in a hand basket. The Republicans are just coming out of denial and are completely confused as to what to do. Their simple country club life of let the free markets do everything while government goes on vacation, has caught up. Independent for Obama/Biden 2008!!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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