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Beer league athletes come in many shapes and sizes. This includes everyone from the well-adjusted, gainfully employed father of three to the degenerate, recent college graduate. For me, beer league sports are an outlet to continue playing the sports I love in a semi-competitive arena. For others, it is an escape from their ol’ ball and chain and shitty kids. Being one of the younger members of my men’s league hockey team has given me a glimpse into my future, but it has also shown me that grown men in their forties will pick fights over stupid shit.
Friendships are forged, rivalries are created, and knowing there is a game makes the week move so much faster. There are many different teammates from all walks of life, but some stick out more than others.
“How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?… Yeah… Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would’ve been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.”
Uncle Rico is aptly named after the infamous Napoleon Dynamite character that lives in the past. After his high school glory days have come and gone (20 years ago), this weekend warrior lives and dies by his beer league team. He regales the locker room of his exploits often beginning with “If not for (fill in the blank), I woulda gone pro.” Let him have his day, because this assistant manager at Foot Locker doesn’t have much going for him.
The Guy That Never Shows Up
Honestly, why bother even signing up? No one really knows his name, and he’s referred to as “that guy that never comes to the games.” It’s more surprising when he actually shows up than when he doesn’t, and you wonder if they should just prorate his fees. This sorry excuse is a non-factor.
Guy That Shows Up Drunk
There are varying degrees of “guy that shows up drunk.” Beer league didn’t get its name by being a church league. Oftentimes, there is also “high guy,” “dude that doesn’t have his shit together” and “John Belushi incarnate.” Somehow, these fellas are often pretty solid players, good dudes, but any extended period of time hanging out with them can lead to their ways rubbing off.
The Rich Guy
My team has a lawyer. He’s a great guy, beautiful wife, three kids and a nice, brand new truck. His kids are already being groomed to take over the law firm. It’s good to be king.
Poor Bastard With Too Many Kids
This unfortunate man with super sperm has nothing else in his life to look forward to. The rest of his week is dedicated to carting his spawn around in his man van, and he just storms into the changing room at the last second due to little Johnny’s t-ball practice. I wish I could say I felt sorry for him, but it was his choice. This guy is just going through the motions.
Guy That Brings His Whole Family
There is a strong chance that his kids are home schooled. There is an equally strong chance that his kids will grow up to be serial killers. This person never stays after for a beer because he’s more than likely off to work on Habitat for Humanity or harassing people about “finding Jesus.” L for love!
The Young Ringer
He may have played for the local college team, be an import from one of those nations that care more about the sport than the USA (looking at you soccer), or just be a whippersnapper that can’t legally drink himself into a dad body yet. People on the team have kids his age. He is your game plan.
The Old Man Without Kids
If Mr. Dink played sports, this would be him. He brings the best beer, looks youthful and it genuinely surprises you when he says he’s above 40 (due to the stress-free environment of no kids). This guy is the first to invite you out, has a great taste for culture and is often the most level-headed.
The Angry Little Man
When people talk about him, he is known as the “that asshole with a Napoleon complex.” He’s constantly in trouble with the league, and he’s even been suspended, but somehow weaseled his way back in. His wife may or may not be in a constant state of alert. You feel sorry for his kids. Call me an elf, ONE MORE TIME!.
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