07 November 2006

Beer League Hockey

Alright, many of you may know that Canadians have a passion for hockey... the fact is, most Canadian men between the ages of 25 and 55 play hockey at some type of recreational level.

One could argue what the reason for this is, but why?

It's a great game and is the foundation for some great friendships. The time spent in the dressing room, cracking jokes, farts and beers open allows guys from all different backgrounds and occupations to get together to enjoy hockey and a few laughs. I have played with the same Saturday night crew for 15 years, and the same Monday night crew for 6. I look forward to these nights, sometimes hero, sometimes hack.... OK, mostly hack.

And, there's not one of us that wouldn't love to play professionally, and not for the reasons you may think - we love playing the game that much. You can understand when a pro athlete cries the day he has to retire... we get it, ...we make fun of it in the dressing room, but deep down, we genuinely feel for the 'poor(sic) fella'.

The love for this game may be hard to explain but it exists amongst men right across Canada. We get it.

This year, I volunteered to help out with the coaching of both my sons hockey teams - sounds easy enough, eh? Just put on your skates, show the kids how to win at all costs (hehe). Well, between me and my two sons we have 29 ice times in November. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have it any other way, it's a lot of work but it's worth every minute.

This passion for this game may be hard to explain, but it exists right across Canada amongst hockey dads and hockey moms. They all get it.

Big league, minor league, beer league... we get it.

Here's what I don't get...

A few years ago when I heard about an idea for a television show featuring beer league hockey, I said, yeah! What a great idea. I heard they were going to approach the show, using REAL hockey players with REAL hockey action and capturing the reality, the 'smells and laughs' of beer league hockey, I said, Yeah! What a great idea. And, I wasn't alone - every person that I spoke to about this show idea loved it and thought it would be a hit.

They put together an excellent and professional team of people to produce a trailer for this 'Beer League' hockey show - a cast was selected, locations were picked, extras were booked and the filming began. They launched the trailer ( http://www.zoomcom.ca/beerleague/ ) online - check it out if you haven't already, it's very well done. From what I understand they are/were ready to shoot a full season but cannot find a network that will carry them.

This is what I really don't get. How can a great show about Canada's pastime, hockey at the grassroots level be ignored by major networks and specialty networks in Canada - I can understand that it may not fit in with NBC's Thursday night line up but why not at the CBC, Showcase, Showcase Action, CTV, Comedy Network, Sportsnet, TSN, Men TV or even the NHL Network (sure, why not?).

Could it be for the lack of potential advertisers? Seems to me that a show about beer league hockey is not only ripe and obvious for sponsorships and product placement but would draw a substantially large male audience, maybe the 25-54 group... but maybe this demographic doesn't have the disposable income that advertisers are after. You couldn't say that the guys I play with are hard up - in the parking lot you will find cheap imports like Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Mercedes, Porsche & Volvo (no exaggeration, honest). All of these gents have expressed interest in Beer League.

Could it be because of a content conflict? Well, let's see, the only thing that is remotely close is 'Rent-a-goalie' on Showcase. I have seen this show and it is amusing and does have some great cameos... not exactly drawing from the grassroots hockey playing public though... not the way that Beer League would. I see the Beer League show as complimentary programming to anything that is on the tube regarding hockey - after a big league game, back to back with 'Rent-a-Goalie' or before 'Making the Cut' - mark my words (or bookmark them) - Beer League will be a hit in Canada.

So, to the cast and crew of Beer League; I wish you all the best and can only say that the networks are weak on the glove side - keep shooting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw the trailer - looks like a winner to me

11/09/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Toronto Star had an article on this show in the summer time which made me think that it was going to be on the air soon. Not sure what the hold up would be.

11/09/2006 02:42:00 PM  

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