Birth of a Beer Leaguer
Sure, Texas isn’t known as a hockey hotspot. We have exactly one NHL team, and that team has exactly one championship. 1999. I was 7 years old when it happened, and despite being hooked on hockey from then on, Texas was and still is a football state. That’s all that was accessible in those days for me. I didn’t get into playing hockey until I was 25, about a year and a half ago.
It started out getting my ass kicked in drop in games, and morphed into an obsession that takes up my Friday nights. It’s only upper D league, but it’s still hockey. I’d even go as far as to say that while the skill level may not be anything special, we can crush brews with the best. We REALLY like beer in Texas. Plus, I’m playing a sport I never thought I’d get a chance to play.
There are many like me in our small hockey community. Men and women who, for one reason or another, decided to buy gear and give it a shot, only to fall in love with the game. You see, for us Beer Leaguers, this game gives us a hell of a lot more than exciting cardio, or a chance to keep stats on something (which it TOTALLY is). No matter where you come from, what your story is, you are welcome in hockey. It’s a family. Hockey is for everyone, and that is something I truly appreciate.
Where else can you get a workout and a buzz all in one? Where else after scoring a goal can you be chirped for camping in front of the net like a kid in Halo, by the ref of all people? And where else would that same ref be drinking beer in the parking lot at 1:30AM with both teams after the game. It’s a world I never knew existed, but I’m sure as hell glad it does.