Today, Bardown released the ’10 Commandments of Beer League Hockey’. Their 10 commandments had 3:
- Honor thy GM Above All Else;
- Thou shalt pay they hockey fees on time; and
- Thou shalt not bail on game day.
Did you see what they did there? 1,2,10. Holy fuck. I was going to accuse them of having never played beer league hockey, but based on the way they count, they are exactly the type of guys who play beer league hockey.
I’ve played a lot of hockey in my life. In the grand scheme of things I was bad. Major/Junior and then University if I must qualify myself. Beer league is the reason I quit. The following 10 commandments seem to be the 10 commandments every beer league player adheres to. We’ll call our beer league player Barry.
#1 THOU ART A HERO BARRY, AND THOU ART BETTER THAN THIS LEAGUE
This is the golden rule that every middle aged man seems to agree to in beer league. Barry can’t wait to tell you who he played Bantam Hockey with, oh and by the way, he’s in the Show now. Barry just missed his chance. Or he got hurt. Or the scouts just couldn’t see how good Barry was. Or. Or. Or. Meanwhile, the biggest obstacle on the ice is the blue line which Barry seems to trip over, again and again. You’re a real life Gordon Bombay, Barry, minus the skill. Sick dangles.
# 2 THIS IS THE GREATEST LEAGUE ON THE PLANET AND BARRY WILL DIE FOR THE SHIP
You know how you can tell it’s beer league and its NOT the NHL? It’s a Thursday night. It’s 11:15 p.m. The only thing in the stands are the empty seats that are full when the local Junior/Uni team plays. And you are just getting on the ice. It’s beer league. Not game 7 of the Stanely Cup finals. Relax.There’s no need to draw blood, bleed, or run the 45 year old man from behind for an opportunity to get the puck out of your end. It’s. just. beer league. Barry.
#3 BARRY SHALL TREAT OPPONENTS LEGS LIKE TREES AND THINE STICK LIKE AN AXE
See that picture on the left. I swear beer league players like Barry think doing something equivalent to that picture will magically make the puck leave their opponents stick and land on theirs. I don’t know how else to explain why it happens so much. It’s as if they’ve never held a hockey stick before. Settle down Barry, I need to walk to my car after the game.
#4 BARRY, THINE HOCKEY STICK IS FREE TO FLY
The only thing worse than the hacks is the high sticks. Again, it’s as if Barry’s hands have never held a hockey stick. I swear the average beer league player’s blade spends more time above the crossbar then it does on the ice. Maybe because 75% of them are ready to grate cheese they think it’s okay? I’m not sure. Stick on the ice Barry.
#5 THOU WILL CHIRP BARRY, AND THOU WILL CHIRP POORLY
There is an art to chirping. It’s perfected over years of being terrible at it and being on the receiving end of some good ones. Giroux is one of the best. Barry, you’re not Giroux. Yelling, “YOU ARE NOT GOOD!” from the bench is embarrassing. To be honest Barry, you’re just letting everyone in the rink know that you, are in fact, not good. Be nice Barry. You’re all in the same boat out there and it’s fine you don’t know the lingo. It evolves. Just today I saw a Junior player tweet that he had made the ‘Ploffs!’ I had never heard that word before in my life (maybe that’s why I went and burnt out in Uni) and I’m not about to start using it.
#6 SICK DANGLES BARRY, NOW CELEY LIKE IT REALLY MEANT SOMETHING
Barry, you just scored on a 53-year old man who hasn’t put on goalie skates since he was 21. I think his knees have sand in them. You managed to ‘rip the puck’ from the hashmarks low blocker side. Good work Barry. You got one. It’s amazing you guys are all out here trying to play the game. But you’re not Sid, Toews, or Kane, there’s no need to try and celey like you are. Hand up, maybe a yip or two, but fuck Barry, you don’t need to go for a skate around the offensive zone. Your stick is never something you should try to ride. No one is watching Barry, remember that? The bleachers are blue because no one is sitting in them, not because it was blue t-shirt night. Reel it in Barry.
#7 BARRY WILL FIGHT FOR THINE HONOUR
Look at this picture. Look at Barry. Look how many there are. Barry isn’t afraid to drop the mitts and show Fred who’s boss. This is Barry’s rink and he’ll go ya to make sure you know that. Meanwhile, Barry has to show up to teach grade 11 gym class with a black eye tomorrow. The stitches on the back of his head are because he slipped and fell in a hockey fight last night. Keep the mitts on Barry. Best case scenario you don’t look like an asshole. Worst case scenario you run into someone who used to fight on skates for a living and is tired of you trying to break his ankles and poke his eyeballs out with your stick.
#8 BARRY, THOU SHALL SHIT ALL OVER YOUR GM
The only guys crazier than the ones running around without a cage on are the GMs. Barry going to show up tonight? Won’t know for sure until we’re 5 minutes into the first. Barry going to pay his league fees? Maybe, certainly not by the deadline. Barry going to remember his jersey? Probably, because it lives in his bag. Barry going to drink all the beer if he shows up, and no matter how many times he tries, miss the garbage can in the middle of the room? Absolutely. Guess who has to deal with all of Barry’s shit? The GM, and he does it willingly, he volunteers for it. Mind boggling.
#9 THINE LOCKER ROOM IS A PLACE TO VENT ABOUT YOUR SHITTY MARRIAGE
Ladies, if you want to know how your marriage is doing, pull some NSA shit and mic that locker room. I think it’s a preface for beer leagues: your marriage has to be in shambles and you must vent to no end about it. After about 4 beers and a ‘hard fuckin skate eh Barry’ it’s a full blown counseling session. Maybe I’m bias. I was single at the time and just wanted to burn some calories before I hit the hay. I hadn’t yet made the decision to marry someone. Still haven’t. Maybe this is why they’re all so angry on the ice. Either way, keep your marriage at home Barry.
#10 THOU SHALL NOT SHOWER, NO MATTER THE COST
Barry, it’s just a shower. You can even wear a bathing suite Barry! Or your briefs! It’s fine. Just for the love of god, shower. You don’t air your gear out Barry, guess what? It fucking stinks. It’s rancid. If you want me to go out for a beer with you after, or grab some food, you gotta shower Barry. Even I can’t inhale that smell and try to stuff down Budweiser and chicken wings at Boston Pizza.
Beer league should be great. It’s a place where people who haven’t had the opportunity to play the game can put on some skates and give it a whirl. But, frustrated middle aged men full of testosterone ruin it by trying to be heroes. You’re not a hero Barry. You’re a middle aged man playing hockey at 11:15 at night. And that’s okay.