America likes a winner, turns its back on hockey women quickly

during the Ice Hockey Women's Gold Medal Game on day 13 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 20, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Tough crowd, this state of hockey.

A couple of letter writers to the Star Tribune show the U.S. women’s hockey team players are under some fire for shedding tears in the wake of their stunning defeat in the gold medal game against Canada on Thursday.

“These young women should have overcome their disappointment to stand tall and proud on the podium and then shed their tears in private,” Linda Daly of Bloomington wrote in the paper’s “letter of the day.”

“It merely shows childish, petulant behavior, and/or bad coaching, or both,” David Berger of Minneapolis said, just before he raised the debate to a more absurd level, claiming the newspaper shouldn’t have put a picture of the women crying on its front page.

“It reveals a lack of community responsibility showing this disgraceful display as an example for every young girl and boy on how a ‘real competitor’ behaves,” he wrote.

Los Angeles Times columnist Carla Hall finds it all a bit much:

For all the great athletic feats we’ve seen at the Olympics, it’s amazing how overly polished and slick and television-ready so many of the athletes look and act. The female athletes look made-up and blow-dried just minutes after hurtling down a ski slope. (Does Drybar have a pop-up salon in Sochi?) Their answers to TV reporters’ questions have been, with some fun exceptions, practiced and public relations approved.

So it was bracing to see a real and uncensored moment of emotion. And it was grim; the hockey players looked dejected and glum. Duggan clapped her hands over her face to hide her emotions on the medal platform. Other players wiped tears from their red eyes with their shirts. No blow-dried hair or blow-dried smiles for these young women.

“It’s not unsporting for athletes to cry when they come up short,” Hall says. “But it is unsporting to chastise them for it.”