Monday, May 12, 2008

When being older doesn't equal being wiser

So of the several hockey teams I play for right now, I quit my favorite one yesterday. This is a team that really has failed to live up to its potential, largely due to the quality players on its roster being duped into a bad situation.

Some of the closest friendships I have made in MD came out of pick up hockey with my “Alpha” boys, named after a park we frequent. We were all recruited to play on a team promised to have been middle of the pack the year before, and bringing other good players in to assist us. Well that roughly translated to “A goalie who blows and three guys who hack, whack, and throw sticks but not much else.” Needless to say, despite my boys’ efforts, we ended up 1-2-1 after yesterday’s game and our second game where we should have won.

Now my effort that game was far from my best, and that was the first thing I mentioned post game, but I then also called out the moronic penalties like slew footing, knee to knee hitting, and stick throwing that our “Older veteran” players committed. Well one middle aged stick thrower had enough of my comments then, told me I couldn’t score (leading the team in goals, top 3 in the league), that he had twice the experience I did (20 years in beer leagues does not equate to NARCh, gold level, or college hockey experience) and I had to shut up. Well I did shut up until I walked out, said I quit, and when they played real hockey and not street hockey, I’d come back.

Now I got home, cooled down and immediately sent our captain the text that I was sorry and would see him Sunday. I talked to one of my boys and said I was sorry and would not abandon them, no matter how much I hated the others. Well the brilliant goalie/captain didn’t care and cut me, offering up the nice lie that “The entire team said I had to go.” Well that was nice considering my 4 boys were never asked and immediately petitioned to keep me. I even sucked up all my pride, and said I was sorry, thankfully stopping short of begging. Unfortunately the older “more experienced” guys don’t have humility of their own and chose to let their top scorer go.

Now I feel really bad not because I am off of a last place team, but because I have left my great friends to fend for themselves, and I am unable to help them. To make matters worse, I am in talks to join competing teams. What can I say, the concept of coming back right before the playoffs and lighting that dickhead up in net for 6 goals really sounds good right now.

Sorry Alpha boys, we’ll have our own team next year.