Down, set, Rum Hut
JORDAN HASLBECK/SPORTS COLUMNIST
Beer and hockey go together like hockey and beer. Whether it’s the Budweiser King Club, the long lines at concessions or those little beer carts that look like they wheel onto the concourse 20 minutes before they open the doors, beer is everywhere. And with $10 Buds, it’s no wonder why beer sales amount to millions of dollars every year.
A couple weeks ago, I went to a Winnipeg Jets game against the St. Louis Blues. It was a Sunday matinee, and my seats were in the King Club. I don’t drink much, and it normally isn’t hard for me to refuse a beer. But with the signage and lack of lineups in the King Club, it’s hard not to want one.
I chose not to drink because I had some homework I wanted to work on later. Plus I have next to no money (the tickets were a gift from my dad).
But it isn’t just arenas where you’ll feel the pressure to have a beverage. Beer companies inundate us with commercials that seem to suggest beer is as much a part of the game as wearing your favorite team’s jersey.
Don’t get me wrong. I love beer commercials, but I love the ads themselves more than the beer they represent: beautiful shots of a mountain-top rink, a giant ice sculpture of Gordie Howe or whatever the hell Bud Light Living is.
Beer is just as prominent in football. This year, the beer snake came back to Investors Group Field. Previously banned for safety reasons, the beer snake slithered its way back into the rowdy section right behind the north end zone, perhaps in an attempt to fill some seats and boost beer sales.
It seemed to work early on, but as the season progressed and attendance dwindled, the beer snake went into early hibernation. I find that curious, though. You’d think with the poor performance the Blue and Gold put on this year, fans would have been more inclined to drink.
But when it comes to alcohol and sports, it’s best to keep it low key for your health, the fans around you and your wallet. If you can’t enjoy a hockey or football game without a beer, you might want to watch something else.
And no throwing beer onto the field or ice. Ever.
Jordan Haslbeck is a reporter for Bison Sports
and a mediocre beer-league hockey defenseman.
He co-hosts Not Even the Press Box, a weekly radio show
about the Winnipeg Jets at radio. rrc.ca.