Even beer leagues deserves some credibility
‘Toss me one of those, would ya?’
Bobby Danger Jones
Let’s face it: sports and alcohol have a long relationship. Who could imagine a ball game without a beer and a hot dog; football without tailgating; or a few “Heroin Beers” at the Saddledome?
Alcohol is generally a socially acceptable fuel for many sports fans and beer-league athletes everywhere; however, there is a fine line that’s easily crossed when cracking a few cold ones pre- and/or postgame. Here is a basic code of ethics for mixing booze and sports:
Showing up loser-tanked
Now, most of us like catch a casual buzz, but if you’re too drunk to drive to the arena or ball diamond, just take the night off. Never drink and drive. There is nothing worse than an overly-aggressive drunk falling on his ass every time he has to make a tight turn, stop or round the bases. Not to mention trying to hit a ball or puck while seeing double is challenging to say the least.
Another issue with getting polluted before you play is once a man has reached the upper echelon of hammered; he instantly becomes the toughest guy in skates or cleats. Pace yourself, show some self-discipline, and maybe don’t dip into the whiskey prior to your 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night game. Try to save the beer-drinking for the locker room and be social.
Not bringing beer on your night to bring beer
This will earn collective head shakes, moans and relentless razzing from teammates. Rain or shine your turn to bring beer is your responsibility and duty for that matter. There is no excuse that justifies a negligent beer league athlete walking into a dressing room without pre-game bevies. The penalty for this infraction is generally double the amount of expected beer next game.
Baggage in your bag
I can speak for most beer leaguers when I say no one wants to hear about personal issues in the dressing room. The second your gear is thrown in the trunk or truck, all the stress and emotional bullshit from your home life is left at home. For some beer league parents, that one or two nights out a week is their escape from a stressful week of work, kids and trying to provide; the last thing they want to hear about is what’s going wrong with your relationship.
If you try to play like you were just cut from the pros, relax. Some synonyms of “recreation” are “fun” and “frivolous” so try some casual enjoyment. If you’re running up the score on a less talented or short-benched squad — try to avoid over-celebrating, sandbagging and padding your stats. The fact you won 13-3 doesn’t mean you’ll make the spread in the sports section. Not in this paper anyway.
Arguing with referees
There is no war room to call and dispute a call made on the ice. Getting red-faced and having a screaming match with a zebra is pointless, plus being ejected from a non-competitive sports game is pretty pathetic. Do yourself a favour and bite your tongue because most refs will quickly get tired of your shit, and for your team, the penalty parade begins.
Some beer league athletes choose not drink at all. Everyone should welcome these players with open arms. They tend to stay sharp, consistent and not run out of gas as easily. The non-drinkers also provide safe rides home to their teammates who tend to over indulge post game. So be responsible and if you do drive to the rink, make sure you can safely and legally get home.
Follow these suggestions and you should have a great recreational sport season. Most former athletes know their career is behind them, so let’s all act like it and celebrate the sports we love.