I defer to Roy Spencer on the subject of why the Hockey Stick was taken so seriously and so completely (my emphasis in bold):
The hockey stick, along with the “warmest in 1,000 years” argument, has become a central theme of debates over the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, in governments around the world. The question begging to be answered is: Why did the IPCC so quickly and uncritically accept the Mann et al hockey stick analysis when it first appeared? I cannot help but conclude that it’s because they wanted to believe it.
Alas, the Hockey Stick affair is a clear warning about the value of skepticism in science, especially of results which confirm your private prejudices.
Be that as it may, here is a selection of cheerleaders for the “Kyoto Flames” Hockey Team, in no particular order of gullibility:
The Heat is Online or was that “hype”?
“Outstanding Student Papers on past temperatures” [pdf] from University Corporation of Atmospheric Research
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Australian Greenhouse Office[pdf] Chapter 2, page 4
References but no picture of the Hockey Stick, include: