First of all, let this be a lesson to all you boys and girls out there. I know that we play beer league for fun and everything but at some point, you need some leadership on the team and for the squad to be ran like a legitimate organization. You have your schedule for a season and more important than your opponent for every game should be who is scheduled to grab the team beer for that night. If someone is scheduled to pick up the booze that night and they can't make it to the game, it's up to them to find a replacement. If you leave the boys hanging high and dry, that's where you implement the fine jar. It's beer league, sure, but you still need to have a sense of pride in the locker room culture, fellas.
With that being said, it's just not right that this hero to have to hop in his Toyota Corolla 5 minutes before game time, halfway dressed, and drive over to the nearest mini-mart to pick up a case of Bud Heavies for the boys so they don't have to head back to the locker room after a hard fought battle with nothing but sink water to drink. Somebody should have made that pick up earlier in the day, but still. It's just sad that these rinks have left all us beer league heroes out to fend for ourselves. You walk in to any ice rink in North America and chances are they have some form of a pro shop in there. You can purchase gloves and sticks and skates and any piece of equipment you need in order to play the game of hockey.
What they don't have, however, is a refrigerated section stocked with cases of booze. Which seems like a total lack of respect towards all of us beer leaguers out there. Because you could argue that locker room beer is the most important piece of equipment when it comes to those 10pm puck drops. You have guys who haven't bought a new pair of skates since they were updating their top 8 friends on MySpace. At least one guy on every team forgets his elbow pads per game. So you just roll up some socks and throw them in your sleeves, no worries. Gloves are hanging on by a thread. Sticks have a layer of tape on them that have seen at least 2 full presidential terms.
But the beer? Well it's always fresh and it's always ice cold. Because at the end of the day, that's what you're there for. So maybe it's time for a change. I get that rinks probably wouldn't want to sell full cases of beer to raging alcoholic hockey dads at 9 in the morning while they're watching their kid's Christmas tournament. Nobody needs another way to go, Paul situation on their hands.
All I ask, however, is that these rinks just consider what it's like to wheel a mile in our worn down skates. Tarps off, barrel out, skates on, having to miss the first shift of the game just because we had to run out to the beer store to grab some locker room cold ones since we aren't afforded the luxury of being able to waltz into the pro shop to get a case of Bud Heavies to go along with our roll of Howie's clear. It's a damn shame.