-This is a guest article by Nutz Grubner
-Nutz Grubner is NOT a member of Black’N’Blueline, I cannot stress this enough. He is the proud owner of The Dumbp and showed up on my doorstep about half an hour ago, on what appeared to be the tail end of an acid trip. He handed me this and walked away without a word.
-This piece has not been edited in any way.
-Nutz Grubner may or may not be the reincarnation of Newsy Lalonde, though no one claims he is, and Nutz himself does not believe in reincarnation.
-Nutz Grubner’s Twitter account: “@NutzGrubner” Was hacked. Unfollow him now.
-The views of the author do not necessarily represent those of Black’N’Blueline, its partners, affiliates, ancestors, pets, or music teachers.
-By Nutz Grubner-
I recently read a blog post giving tips to hockey moms, and offering a free “Hockey Mom Survival Kit” to one lucky reader. Though the blog in question is sponsored by the company that just happens to make all of the products in said Survival Kit, as well as every product mentioned in the article itself I’m not here to take any credibility from the author of the post or the post itself. Frankly, the company in question, does make a lot of great products to be regularly used by hockey moms everywhere. The products mentioned are very good for the purposes mentioned and said Survival Kit, as well as the tips, would surely be helpful to any hockey mom out there. But what is a new hockey dad to do?
With the sport growing at a fast pace, many young fathers are finding themselves feeling much like so many first-time hockey moms. Unsure of the rules, both written and un, they are often forced to either take the position of “when in Rome” and simply hope not to screw up somewhere, or just separate themselves from the whole thing, always watching alone from some dark corner of the rink and relying on other parents to develop their child in the sport. Well, hapless hockey dads, I’m here to help. I may not have a fancy $40 prize for anyone, but I do have some tips for you from my years spent in minor hockey arenas. In fact, I’m certain I can turn you into a great hockey dad with just the following ten easy steps. Consider this your survival guide, or user manual, depending on your relationship with your child.
1: Skates are expensive. Many printers nowadays can create very good, high quality stickers. Use this technology to cover up the “KOHO” with a “CCM” logo or Nike swoosh. Suddenly that $40 pair of skates looks like you broke the bank and, therefore, don’t hate your child.
2: The repeated cost of sharpening skates at around $5-$10 a pop can add up quickly. Most arenas have beat up machines that do it for about $2 or so, but these machines are cheap for a reason as they do a terrible job. Anyone who sees you will make fun of you for using it, so make sure no one sees you. If someone walks in on you while your kid’s skate is inside being “sharpened,” walk away and tell your child his or her skate was stolen by the mafia and you’ll buy a new pair.
3: Bring along something to dry off the blades of your child’s skates after practices and games. An old sock or pair of underwear; anything that used to collect sweat from parts of your body normally hidden from public view will do the trick. If you forget a rag, however, the cuff of your jacket will work too.
4: Speaking of sweat, your child is going to sweat a lot. Because of this, his or her equipment is going to smell ghastly, and render the vehicle it travels in almost unusable. If you don’t own a pickup truck, try to use your wife or boss’s car and be sure to turn up the stereo as you drive. If any of your passengers complain, shove a couple of drier sheets in vents or just tell them to go to hell.
5: The same smell will permeate whatever area you store your child’s equipment in. An easy way to avoid this is to store your child’s equipment somewhere you don’t generally go, such as the laundry room, linen closet, or neighbour’s shed.
6: You’re going to find yourself in some cold arenas, which means you’re going to get the odd runny nose. If you’re too damn good to use your sleeve like everyone else, there are usually some napkins on the concession counter for people like you. They’re even greasy, somehow, so as to feel smooth against your skin, your highness.
7: Most minor hockey teams have a rotating system for a different parent to wash all of the jerseys each week. When your turn comes around, here is the easiest system I have found for completing this task*:
Step 1 – Put both sets of jerseys in the tub with a little bit of soap from beside the kitchen sink.
Step 2 – Turn on shower. Run for 30 minutes.
Step 3 – Put soaked jerseys in the dryer. Leave there until merely damp.
Step 4 – Put them on hangers and hand them off to the next guy.
*-Note: If you do this properly, you’ll never be asked to do it again.
8: Minor hockey arenas tend not to serve alcohol, but there is usually a terrible bar nearby where you can pass the time during your child’s evening game or early morning practice. These places usually sell hot wings pretty cheap, which also takes care of that “mid-game snack” you were supposed to bring.
9: Every team has at least one a-hole dad. This man can be recognized by a few determining factors including, but not limited to:
-Yelling at refs
-Yelling at coaches
-Drinking beer from a travel mug at Pee Wee games
-Drinking beer from a travel mug while driving
-Yelling at players
-Yelling at timekeepers
-Buying $500 worth of 50/50 tickets and bragging about it
-Yelling at other parents
-Yelling at concession workers
-Lighting a cigarette 30 steps before exiting the building
-Yelling at arena maintenance workers
-Yelling at small children
-Losing $500 on the 50/50
-Yelling at the cop who pulled him over on the way home
In that order. If you can’t figure out who the a-hole dad on your team is, it’s probably because you’re yelling too loud to hear him, a-hole. Don’t be the a-hole dad on your kid’s team. There’s no need to yell anyway. Most kids don’t go pro, but yours definitely will. It’s fate, and no one can stop it, so relax.
10: Practice at home is important, especially studying tape. I suggest Slap Shot, Youngblood, Miracle, and the entire Mighty Ducks series.
And a Bonus!
11: Learn the phrase “Leafs suck”. You will be instantly accepted by 95% of hockey fans outside Toronto. If you live in Toronto, move.
There you have it. Ten easy steps, plus I snuck in a bonus, so, you’re welcome. Armed with the knowledge you’ve gained here, you can successfully put your kid in hockey knowing you won’t make a total ass of yourself. Take what you have learned here and unleash yourself on an unsuspecting public as you shame them with your knowledge of how to be a hockey dad.