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Friday, February 27, 2009

Truly Bizarre: Two Men Die Playing Hockey for Beer-Themed Teams Only Hours Apart at S.J. Rink

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM

click to enlarge Team Beer captain Kelly Calabro was one of two men who collapsed and died playing recreational hockey at the same rink over the weekend - TEAMBEERHOCKEY.COM
  • Team Beer captain Kelly Calabro was one of two men who collapsed and died playing recreational hockey at the same rink over the weekend
We are living in strange days, but one of the strangest stories of the year -- that you likely didn't read -- hit the news this week. The San Jose Mercury News reported the bizarre tale of two different young men playing recreational hockey for teams with names implying a love of quaffing beer keeling over and dying within hours of each other at the same rink.

Brian Kobata, 38, scored a goal for his team, the Mug Shots, when he grimaced and collapsed on Sunday at Sharks Ice. Teammates attempted to revive him, but to no avail. One man dying in a recreational hockey game is bad enough, but, roughly two hours later, 41-year-old Kelly Calabro -- the 15-year captain of Team Beer -- also collapsed and died on the ice.

Capping things off, Calabro's teammate Thad Leingang told the paper that Calabro's motto was "Once a Beer, always a Beer."

That's Calabro on the right -- and this is the photo that graced the Merc's article.You can read more about Calabro at Team Beer's shockingly thorough Web site. Sadly, in haste, someone has misspelled "Guinness," Calabro's nickname -- which he wore on the back of his No. 43 jersey.

The cause of death for both men has yet to be determined, but the Calabro memorial on Team Beer's Web site urges donations to the American Heart Association. Snitch readers should feel free to give as well.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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