It’s the middle of the summer, which either means you’re a hardcore adult league hockey player hitting the ice in between heat waves or you’re having visions of the fall when you’re back at the rink.
As such, let’s pause for a moment of levity and recognition – identifying 10 stereotypical adult hockey players. This could be you. This could be someone you know. If it hits close to home, you can decide whether to laugh or cry (and please note that the generic use of “guy” in all of these does not preclude female adult players from being just as guilty).
Forgot-the-Beer Guy: If a postgame cold one is part of your team’s routine, chances are you rotate beer-buying duties throughout the group. And chances are, you have someone who “conveniently” forgets when it’s his turn to bring it (but never forgets to drink it when a teammate brings it). This is the game misconduct of teammate penalties. Do not be this person.
Let’s-Skip-the-Game-and-Drink Guy: Again, if we accept that having a beer or two after the game is part of the ritual, don’t let us forget that there is often someone a little too eager to get to the postgame on every team. A lot of players like a little beer with their hockey, but don’t make it vice-versa. Postgame is not the main event.
I-Could-Have-Been-in-the-NHL Guy: You’ve likely encountered a player or two (or 20) in your adult league days who can’t wait to tell you about the huge season he had in squirts or how he schooled (imaginary player X) when he was 13 and should be making the big bucks in the NHL now. These guys are still probably trying just a little too hard to rekindle past glories. If their go-to breakaway move is a shot-for-shot remake of the key scene in Youngblood, you’ll be able to identify this person easily.
Obsessed-with-Equipment Guy: Gear is fun. Equipment keeps getting better, lighter, all of those things. But at a certain point, most of us realize this is for fun – and that the basic equipment that promotes safety and quality is good enough. But you can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars compensating for a lack of skill. And that’s what obsessed-with-equipment guy does.
Playing-a-Level-Too-Low Guy: One of the keys to good adult hockey experiences is matching players of reasonably similar skill levels. If you’re sandbagging in a league in which the vast majority of players can’t match your skill, just so you can rack up a bunch of goals and feel good about yourself, maybe consider not doing that.
Stick-to-the-Routine Guy: Did you or one of your teammates have a pregame ritual back in peewees that never failed? Maybe a certain stick tap sequence, a secret handshake or even just the order you put your equipment on? We’re happy for you. That’s cute. And ultimately, a little routine isn’t really hurting anyone. Just don’t fall to pieces if the order gets interrupted. You’re an adult now.
Goalie-Who-Thinks-He’s-a-Skater Guy: It’s hard enough to find qualified goalies who want to play in an adult league. When you find a good one, you want to keep him in the net. But former goalies are curious creatures and they get notions that they might make good forwards.
Over-Celebrating Guy: When it’s 8-2 with three minutes left in the game and you score a goal, there might not be a need to jump into the boards (in an empty arena), point your stick like it’s a rifle, go canoeing or any other such celebrations. It’s great to put the biscuit in the basket. Go ahead and raise those arms and be happy. But if you’re going to hoist a plastic cup instead of the Stanley Cup postgame, maybe ease up a little on the dramatic celly.
Forgot-My-Tape Guy: In 2015, hockey tape is available in a variety of wonderful colors and can be bought online or in a store quite easily for just a few bucks. It might as well be the most luxurious and hard-to-find item in the world, though, if you’re forgot-my-tape guy. Can I borrow some of yours? Of course you can. I’m an adult with foresight and a five-dollar bill.
Wants-to-Fight Guy: Our last character is quite possibly our least character. Very few adult hockey players like having wants-to-fight-guy in their league – particularly when this stereotypical player overlaps with “overly intense” guy. It’s a game. Get some exercise. Be competitive, but have fun. There’s just no need to be a goon.