June 19, 2013
The disturbing photographic evidence is, unfortunately, incontrovertible. It shows what appears to be a fearsomely vulgar new trend among East Coast female sports fans.
First came that Miami Heat fan who looked like Joan Rivers' crazy sister, and now, a Boston Bruins fan has immortalized herself as well.
It appears that these East Coast female sports fanatics just can't keep their fingers to themselves.
Especially the middle finger.
Just look at the never-before-seen Chicago Tribune photograph by Nuccio DiNuzzo as she sits behind the Blackhawks bench during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Bruins.
There she is, that mystery woman, smartly dressed in yellow and black, possibly sitting in some man's lap.
She could be the kind of Massachusetts neighbor who insists, with a frozen but polite smile, on handing out nutritious snacks at children's sporting events rather than those Ho Hos the kids love. She could be the member of your book club who actually reads the book. Or maybe she's a lawyer, or even a congressional aide with serious political ambitions.
But she's erased all that now.
With her right hand, she holds up a sign that says "Boston Bruins Strong." Nothing wrong with supporting the strength of your gladiators.
It's her left hand that's at issue.
She immortalizes herself with a crude and sexually rampant gesture which — to my knowledge — is unknown to the gentle womenfolk of Chicago. At least I've never seen any photographic evidence that a female Hawks fan has ever displayed the angry digit.
But the mystery woman of Boston certainly is giving one, right to the Blackhawks' Dave Bolland, who had enough troubles in Game 3, committing three penalties and drawing the ire of his coach, Joel Quenneville.
"Maybe I could have been too aggressive," Bolland told reporters Tuesday.
But nothing like that Boston finger chick.
"You're going to bust a woman for giving the finger?" asked a woman around here.
Yeah, I am. And what's with women giving the finger, anyway?
"You know how many women give the finger?" she asked.
No, how many?
"Lots," she said.
So I called my wife to make sure, but all she'd say was:
"Fishing for quotes again? Sorry, I'm unavailable for comment at this time."
Like many American men, I've been trained — with the rat cage on my head and without — to believe with all my heart that women are better than men.
What's disturbing to me is that East Coast females may be sinking into a new public idealized vulgarity, sort of like those shrieking fishwives of the 18th century.
Remember fishwives? These were loud, raunchy females who sold fish on the docks. They were known to cuss like sailors, drink gin like sailors, take snuff like sailors and put a pipe between their yellowed teeth like sailors.
They were known to make rude hand gestures and were famed for their "colorful language."
"I've never given the finger," said a Chicago woman, whose denial was witnessed by my friend Old School.
And I believe her. For the record, my first cousin Kris lives near Boston, and I stipulate that she, too, has never given the finger. There must be many other gracious ladies of Boston who, like Kris, don't go around flipping the bird at visiting hockey players struggling in a game.
"I think there is less a sense of fear of public shaming," scholar Regina Barreca was quoted as saying in Madamenoir.com about the new vulgarity among some women. "We've got all kinds of other things that are permissible. In a way, those hard-won rights that women have been able to sort of gain, where we've been able to speak up and be ambitious and be sexual and control parts of our lives."
Especially the part between the ring finger and the index finger of the human hand.
Only a few months ago, the famed Miami Heat fan Filomena "The Finger" Tobias was immortalized in a photograph as she flipped off Bulls center Joakim Noah.
And then Tobias' life story came out, including the part about the male go-go dancer named Tiger that she promised to her millionaire husband, just before the husband mysteriously drowned in the family pool.
Since then, other "fingers" have been raised, on the East Coast and even in the eastern Midwest, but happily not among female Chicago Blackhawks fans.
In Ohio, middle school study hall monitor Patricia A. Hall resigned after photos surfaced of her and a student posing with their middle fingers rampant. She is 64 years old.
And let's not forget Penelope Soto, 18, of Florida, who was immortalized in court video during a drug hearing.
She didn't like what the judge was saying, so she saluted him with her finger and a choice phrase, the last word of which was "you."
The judge gave her 30 days in jail for the finger alone.
History is unclear about the origin of the finger. Some say it was invented during the time of the Emperor Nero.
Others insist it was developed by the brave English archers who first plucked the sturdy English yew longbows to murderous effect during the Hundred Years War.
But it's been perfected, as you can see, by that woman who loves the Bruins, the Boston finger chick expressing herself as best she knows how.
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC