The following is a guest article by James Anderson.
For years, males dominated the world of athletics and females were left in the shadow or on the sidelines. However, every now and then a female athlete will break the barriers of gender and charge into a sport where women are the minority. With the hype of the first female UFC champion circulating all over the country, now is a good time to highlight a few of the female athletes who have changed history and opened the doors for other women to have the same opportunities as men, not just in sports, but in all aspects of life.
The 26-year-old mixed martial artist/judo competitor is being recognized nationally as the first female UFC Bantamweight champion, as well as the number one female MMA fighter in her weight category. However, even before she was a household name, she was breaking records by competing in the Olympic Games, and at age 21 Rousey became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in the judo category. She has also had a fairly successful career in martial arts, and when not competing, Rousey shares her talent by teaching MMA in Santa Monica.
The NHL lockout stole three months of hockey, including 34 games per team, the Winter Classic, and the 2013 NHL All-Star Game; understandably, it upset many, many hockey fans. When the lockout officially ended, teams went into full fan repair mode, in an attempt to win back all those fans who were sick of players and owners squabbling over money, something both parties had a lot more of than the average fan. Now that the season has been back for a little over a month now, have the fans come back?
The answer is.... yes!
Oh, and the answer kinda is no, too.
Let me explain — unlike the other major sports leagues, the NHL and its franchises are really divided into two classes: the haves and the have-nots. Hockey-crazed fan bases, which include mostly cities in Canada and the Northeast U.S., have returned in full force, filling arenas on a nightly basis. According to ESPN.com's attendance figures, all seven teams located north of the border have 100% attendance or better so far this season. Same goes for major hockey markets including Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and Detroit. Some of those have even improved from last season.