okay so I’ve been thinking about this (and avoiding tumblr, because discourse gives me anxiety and I just want to be happy)
So because of Shitty’s comments about Jack having a girlfriend and Ransom and Holster always talking about puck bunnies, we all assumed that they did not know, and were being heteronormative bros.
However - if I were friends with Jack Zimmermann, the boy who was famous before he even made it to the NHL, I might have acted the same way. Even if Shitty might have thought that Jack could like boys just like he likes girls, it’s not his place to put that label onto Jack without Jack saying anything to him. Especially since Shitty is known to have people coming out to him all the time. So Jack didn’t tell him, and just because Jack looks at Bitty with soft eyes doesn’t mean that Shitty can decide he might be something other than straight. On top of that, at the kegster, Shitty could have used gender neutral language, sure - that would have been the preferred choice. BUT if he had said “boyfriend” after or instead of girlfriend… Can you imagine what would have happened in a haus full of bros/ kegster attendees??? He could not say something like that in front of a group of people!!! Worst case scenario, someone takes it seriously and he outed Jack without permission. Less worse case - people laugh, go all no homo about it, and make jokes about man’s man Jack Zimmermann having a boyfriend. While Jack Zimmermann’s actual boyfriend - the wonderful Eric Bittle, is standing right there. That would have been Very Bad. (and by people I mean party goers outside of our core SMH group. The boys we know and love would probably not make joke like that… but then again they are college hockey players. Have you met any college jocks lately???).
The same goes for Ransom and Holster. In public (or anywhere someone other than themselves could overhear), I don’t think they would ever talk about Jack liking boys. They know all about the Jack and Parse rumors (they read the fanfiction HELLO), and are most likely all too aware how catastrophic Jack being outed could be to his career, especially before he is ready. So maybe they play up the puck bunny thing in public, just to make sure no one else ever suspects what they suspect.
So they all suspect something is going on with Jack and Bitty, but they don’t want to assume anything, because that would make them look like even bigger assholes. (What if Bitty is just pining for Jack? What if Bitty has a secret bf that isn’t Jack? What if Jack really is straight as an arrow and him and Bitty are just bros?) The boys + Lardo figure out they are all on the same page after they catch each other sharing looks when Bitty gives some weird excuses to go to his room and skype his “Mama”. They make the bets to try and lighten up the situation, because these are their very best friends they’re talking about and for the first time something as happy as being in love is also downright scary. So they place their bets and they share looks whenever Bitty or Jack do/say something suspicious, and they wait until the day that Bitty and Jack decide to tell them on their own.