Every Monday or Tuesday night, I get into my car, pick up a couple friends and I drive down to the Rhode Island Sports Center. No it’s not sports bar or a gym, it’s a hockey rink. For those of you who don’t know, I am a big time men’s league hockey player. I play for the famous club called Italia, sponsored by the famous Franklin sub shop Ferrara’s Market. As an all-star goal scorer, I have found my calling. The men’s league game is a lot different than the high school and the college game that I have watched for years.
Men’s league has all kinds of levels. You have your guys who never gave up the dream and play competitively in A divisions all around and travel all over the country for tournaments. Those guys played Division 3 hockey and held onto the dream throughout JR hockey. Then you have the guys who played a bit, let it go and then got back into it just to have something to do. I like that kind of hockey; competitive enough to play the game, but not-so competitive where they dwell on a loss. Then the last style is the real old man’s game. I enjoy this as well, I have actually played a bit of this hockey in the past couple years. These guys are just looking for an hour or two of leisure once or twice a week. There is no score kept, just some good fun with the fellas and a cold one or two afterward.
The man’s game is different from everything else because of the comradery you have in the locker room both before and after. That stuff could bring you all the way up after a bad day of school, and now the same goes for the tough days at work. You know when you get to that rink that there will be a laugh or two before the tilt. But that comradery doesn’t get lost if you lose the game, it sticks around and everyone is cool and calm afterward.
Leagues can get chippy, and I have witnessed a tussle or two in my day. But you always realize that the guys on the other side are just like you. Hardworking and determined to make an honest living and play some hockey on the side. Cooler heads prevail about 89% of the time, with those 11% of times meaning yeah something went wrong, but we are all adults here and will settle it that way.
I love men’s league hockey. It is something I look forward to every single week, and it is my favorite part of the week. I have a good stat line right now, but being a part of a team again is one of my favorite things ever. Just means you see who you click with on the ice and get to hang around with a group of fellas at least one night a week. Hockey, there really is nothing else like it.
Oh, and if you didn’t know, Ferrara’s Market will roll in every single one of their games for the remainder of this season. With that being said #RollPasta.