We're hockey people. Trust us, we get it. It's tough enough getting everyone to show up every week and pay for their ice time much less agree on new jerseys. So difficult that sometimes it's just easier to avoid the subject altogether and simply keep showing up every week for the beer (and, of course, the glorious ginos and apples). But whether your team is a bunch of benders or wheeling danglers, at some point you have to say "enough is enough" and draw a line in the sand. Here are some tips to let you know that you and your team may have reached that point.
1. Your team is blue...and black...and red.
I mean, come on, man...this isn't pickup hockey. You're a team, dammit! Well, maybe not a team but a loose collection of unreliable, aging men who share a hobby and like to drink. Alot. Nope, screw that...you're a team, dammit! Hey, if guys can shell out $300 for a new twig surely they can pitch in some money for a new set of tarps. Fine, let the cheapskates skip on the matching socks, but at least get them all in the same color jerseys so they stop passing to the guys on the other team. Plus, you've gotta look good to play good, right? And even if your team is the perennial basement dweller, well, at least you'll be one of the better dressed teams in the league.
2. Every other team in your league seems to have the same color as you.
Yeah, you were the first team in your league to wear black, but now you have a navy blue team, a royal blue team, dark green, maroon, plus three more black teams and every week some unfortunate suckers get stuck wearing the disgusting rink pinnies. Stop the madness and for the love of god just get some different color jerseys already! No, not black, but maybe something a little less common like vegas gold, lime green, sky blue...hell, even pink if you're so inclined. Or, if your team is actually organized and committed enough (go play the lottery right now...seriously, you just saw a unicorn), get a home and away set of uniforms!
3. You've got a few guys on your team whose reputation precedes them.
Hacks, goons, a-holes...whatever you want to call them, we all know at least one and, unfortunately for you, everyone in the league -- especially the referees -- knows these guys and is getting tired of their antics. But have no fear...a new uniform color and a quick change of jersey numbers and, voila! You just bought yourself another 4-6 weeks before everyone figures out who the dicks are on your team. You're welcome.
4. You're growing.
Sure, you had some nice salad back in the day and could dangle sauce with the best of them, but, alas, this is life, and your flow (and your dad bod) is declining. Thirty pounds and two kids later, you're not quite the sniper you once were and, well, that large jersey is looking a little, er, snug around the middle. The only thing worse than wearing crappy jerseys is wearing crappy jerseys that are too small and show your fat rolls. Not chirping you, bro...believe me, you're in good company. What gets exposed in the locker room after the game is one thing, but friends don't let their fat friends wear tight jerseys on the ice. Period.
5. You're awful.
There's just no denying it. You're bad, your team's bad, and you drink cheap beer after the games. And not just regular bad, like 0-12 with a minus -79 goal differential Pabst Blue Ribbon bad. And that's okay. We play for the camaraderie and cheap beer anyway, so being the worst team in the league always stings a little bit less when you're with the boys (and after your fifth cold one). But the one thing that takes away all of that pain (no, not team Fireball shots) is a beautiful set of new team jerseys to start the next season fresh! A new day is upon you and the black cloud above your team has been lifted. You're ready to turn this thing around. Matching jerseys and socks, sweet new team logo, 3-color numbers...you look great! Nothing ushers in a new era and builds team confidence for the next three games like a new set of uni's...after that, you're on your own ;-)