There comes a time in every Canadian's year when NHL hockey is over and it is good that NHL hockey is over. The season lasts for two months after which the Stanley Cup tournament lasts another two. It is the most grueling schedule in sports... at least in Canada. We say stuff like that. Because we play sports that no one else does. We have few celebrations other than beer. But maybe not this beer:
The bottle of unopened Budweiser was delivered to the Los Angeles Kings dressing room the night they lost the 1993 Stanley Cup at the old Montreal Forum. It then travelled back to an office in the Great Western Forum, made the move to Staples Center along with the Kings in 1999 and eventually found a resting place on top of a tool box in Pete Demers’ garage. And after 19 years, the former Kings head athletic trainer finally found a reason to drink it. Out of the Stanley Cup, no less. “The players poured it down the hatch and on my suit while they chanted ‘Pete! Pete! Pete!”’ Demers said Tuesday, a day after the Kings captured their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. “How about that? And that old rotten beer tasted great.”
Gak. Gakkity gak gak, even. But forget the flavour. Forget the brand. Notice the ritual. The respect and the place in memory. Beer carries a heavy resonance.