HNIC Towels

I thought this story (discovered via Kukla’s Korner) was incredibly cute. Apparently, the HNIC towels that we see draped over the shoulders of NHLers in interviews are highly coveted status symbols for the players. Hockey Night In Canada keeps them under tight lock and key, and the only way to get one is to appear on camera in an interview, and the only way to get interviewed is to be extra awesome in a game. Most of the NHLers grew up watching HNIC, and the towels seem to represent a dream realized.

HNiC Towel

You can’t buy that towel at Bed Bath and Beyond.

How badly do you want a HNIC towel now? I really really really want one of those towels. Due to the fact that I’m old, out of shape, a woman, and severely unathletic, I have very little chance of becoming a professional hockey player. It seems highly unlikely that I will ever be the recipient of the coveted HNIC towel….but that didn’t stop me from imagining having it draped around my shoulders at my moment of triumph.

For some reason this story got me thinking about how my entire life, I’ve harbored little dreams that are so far removed from reality that they might as well involve me sprouting wings and flying. I spent much of my childhood preparing for my eventual career as a Minnesota Twin. My preparation did not involve playing or practicing baseball (Oh, hell no), but rather sitting around imagining playing baseball. My dream of becoming a baseball player back then was really no less ridiculous than the moment I took to covet the HNIC towel today.

Reading about the HNIC towel, I was delighted to be reminded that these childhood dreams are universal. This dream is a big part of why we watch sports, and it’s why the towels have value amongst very wealthy men. It’s nice that our little childhood dreams still have value, and it’s even better that sometimes that value is represented by something as simple as one small white towel.


18 Responses to “HNIC Towels”

  1. 1 elise April 26, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    kate, you are young! and an IRV student, for goodness sake! have you been keeping loose and limber for NOTHING?? there is still time for you to play professional hockey. or coach. go get that towel! p.s. do you think they come in lavender?

  2. 2 alix April 26, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    This is such a lovely post. You could become Goose’s inspirational/viola playing life coach, and he could keep you in HNIC towels. Somehow the dudes look that much hotter draped in the HNIC towel.

  3. 3 Pookie April 26, 2008 at 4:30 pm


    I love this post!

    (Sorry I don’t have any more insight to this than, “I love this post!”)

  4. 4 Schnookie April 26, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Wait, sitting around imagining playing hockey isn’t going to get me to the NHL? Because I have been adhering to an exhaustive regimen of sitting around imagining playing hockey for the last decade and a half. Don’t tell me I’ve been wasting my time — I mean, I can practically feel that HNIC towel.

  5. 5 Katebits April 26, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Elise, you make a very good point. I have been highly trained in the ways of The Irv. I see no reason why his viola technique shouldn’t translate well to hockey. I’m GETTING a towel!

    Thank you alix and Pookie!

    Schnookie, you’re not wasting your time. Don’t give up!

  6. 6 elise April 26, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    kate, i’m laughing so hard i snorted applesauce out my nose!

    p.s. brilliant post…

  7. 7 Katie April 26, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Great post, Katebits!!

    That article is so adorable – it’s nice to look at them less as big, tough hockey players and more as overgrown boys getting to live their dream. I am now going to really pay attention to those HNIC interviews and see just how happy those towels make them.

  8. 8 Amy April 26, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    The HNiC towels also look like they’re of a much higher quality than the pithy rags Versus gives out for their interviews.

  9. 9 Katebits April 26, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    That article is so adorable

    I know, isn’t Katie?!

    Amy, I believe the HNIC towels are spun out of unicorn tails, and angel eyelashes. That’s just what I heard. (The VS towels are 100% poly.) :P

  10. 10 Janz April 26, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    We should have BPO towels to hand out at the end of our auditions! When the winning candidate goes behind the screen to meet the committee he or she would have the BPO Towel around their neck, with the BPO logo embroidered in purple thread of course. I’ll bring it up at our next orchestra committee meeting…

  11. 11 CrotchetyOriginalSam April 27, 2008 at 12:17 am

    I have been highly trained in the ways of The Irv. I see no reason why his viola technique shouldn’t translate well to hockey.

    Really? Because I see several reasons:

    1) Neck releases are generally an ineffective defense against a shoulder to the throat.

    2) When facing a team such as Anaheim or Calgary, cross-shift-plop will very quickly take on an entirely new and unpleasant meaning.

    3) There is no Schradieck-based solution to the neutral zone trap.

    (/Oberlin viola dorkage)

  12. 12 grrrreg April 27, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Really nice!
    Every single year, during the tournoi de Rolland Garros (I’m french), at some point I see myself running and diving to make a desperate passing shot, with my white shirt covered with clay. And I’m not even a tennis fan.
    Fantasizing is definitely a great aspect of being a sport fan.

  13. 13 elise April 27, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Sam, you can get a towel, too!!

  14. 14 Paul November 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I just got one on E-Bay. I am beyond stoked!!!!!

  15. 15 plush round bath rugs August 7, 2013 at 10:10 pm

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    Hey, how are you? I had been discovering this web site and I genuinely cherished it.
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  16. 16 Steve November 7, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Officially licensed Hockey Night in Canada towels are now available at the Hockey Night in Canada store.

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