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A Spectator’s Guide to the Boston Beanpot

The Beanpot is as tied to the culture of Boston as Sam Adams (The Dude), Sam Adams (The Beer), or Sammy Adams (The Rapper). Dating back to 1952 the Beanpot is the yearly tournament of Boston’s four preeminent college hockey programs: the Boston College Eagles, the Boston University Terriers, the Harvard Crimson, and the Northeastern Huskies. With all this excitement we wanted to help you most enjoy watching burly dudes run on frozen water with knives on their boots.

It can be difficult to know when to cheer at sporting events, in football you cheer as the play is going on but if you did that at tennis’ U.S. Open you’d get asked to leave because “You’re distracting the players and fans around you,” and “You reek of whisky right now sir, it’s 11 a.m.”? Hockey is probably the easiest sport to cheer along with, you just wait for a goal. When a goal is scored TD garden will blare a horn and flash a big red light — and like the applause sign for a live-studio audience — if it lights up you cheer.

Oh hell yeah, this is why you’re going, the chance to watch two men savagely beat one another into oblivion is what it’s all about. Well not so fast. Fighting is an accepted and integral part of the pro hockey game, but the ladies and gents at the NCAA don’t allow DI or DII hockey players to fight. Any fighting at the collegiate level results in an ejection and a subsequent suspension. So, you (most likely) won’t be seeing any fights, THANKS NCAA!

This dilemma of northeastern winters is as old as time, “Do I dress for the weather or do I dress cute?” If you really take advantage of your ticket you’ll likely be in TD Garden from 5ish until roughly 11. That means 6 hours of you either sitting there freezing and miserable but looking cute or comfortably enjoying one of the most celebrated Boston sports traditions in what 90% of everyone else will be wearing. Dress warm and enjoy the night, unless you know that your crush from 9 a.m. calc lecture is going, then break out that linen shirt you look really good in.

Anyone who has ever seen any Canadian beer commercial knows that hockey and drinking just go together. As you prepare to go to the Beanpot you’ll probably pregame this event, but Christ if you’re there 6 hours that buzz won’t last, what’s a blossoming alcoholic to do? TD Garden luckily sells beer (for those 21 year olds among our readership) and unluckily IDs everyone (for those non 21 year olds among our readership). Be safe and be smart, but be drunk, it’s like jury duty, it’s way more fun if you’re drunk.

The Beanpot is an incredible Boston tradition that in spite of your lack of knowledge about hockey you should still participate in, what else are you going to do with your weeknights this week?

 P.S. I couldn’t find gambling lines on the games, but if any of you have a sketchy friend who would let me bet with credit let me know ASAP.

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