Dear Urban Diplomat: Should I feel guilty about abandoning my beer-league hockey team for a better one?
I’ve played rec hockey with a group of good friends for a couple of years, and we’re okay but not great. Over the off-season, a much better team in the same league invited me to play with them instead, and I gladly took them up on the offer. Now that our new season’s about to start, I had to tell one of my old teammates; he half-jokingly, half-sincerely called me “a snake.” He’s just bitter about losing his best player, right?
—Guilt-Free Agent, Junction Triangle
Beer leagues attract two breeds of athletes: those who are happy just to play and those who treat the league’s plastic, dollar-store trophy as if it were the Stanley Cup. Your friends are clearly content to be plucky underdogs, while you dream of being an All Star. There’s no crime in wanting to win, but don’t expect on-ice glory without some off-ice friction; it may take time (and/or you footing a monstrous post-game drinks tab) for your friends to forgive your diva-like disappearing act. In other words, expect some heavy chirping—and a few hip checks—when your two teams face off.
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