The Virginia Rhinos like to have a good time. But this week, the good times went a bit too far, as a celebration for G Quentin Chislic’s birthday at a local restaurant turned into a drunken escapade that led to multiple players being scratched for a key game.
On Friday, the Rhinos hosted the Halifax Atlantics. As it happened, Friday was also Chislic’s 23rd birthday. To celebrate in style, seven Virginia players took Chislic out for lunch at Jose Tequilas, a local Mexican chain restaurant.
Unsurprisingly, lunch included a couple rounds of beer. Those couple rounds were followed by a couple more, which were in turn followed by multiple tequila shots.
“I mean, the place is called Jose Tequilas for a reason,” said RW Jeffrey Cassidy. “We couldn’t go there and not sample some of what the restaurant is known for. Not on our man Chisler’s birthday.”
Unsurprisingly, the birthday celebration quickly turned rowdy. The restaurant features a roaming mariachi band; the players jumped up and began singing with the band, eventually borrowing the hats and instruments of some band members.
“What we lacked in talent, we made up for in enthusiasm,” said Cassidy. “And volume.”
The staff at Jose Tequilas patiently endured the player sing-along, and the mariachis reportedly enjoyed it, at least for a while. But when the players began climbing on top of the bar to dance and trying to steal the luchador masks off of the wall, they were asked to leave.
Once outside the restaurant, the intoxicated players quickly realized they’d lost track of time, and that they were due at the arena in less than half an hour for that night’s game. They wisely chose not to drive, taking an Uber to the arena instead.
The players hoped that the ride would give them a chance to sober up a bit. This hope proved misplaced, as coach Jeffrey Marsh informed them as they weaved their way into the locker room. D Zikmund Bruzek proceeded to make matters worse by vomiting all over the locker room floor.
“Look, I’m not going to say I never had a couple of pre-game belts in my time,” said Marsh. “I’m not casting stones, believe me. But these idiots could barely stand up. If you’re gonna get bombed like that, save it for an off day.”
Unfortunately for Marsh, he couldn’t bench them all; he didn’t have enough players for that. Marsh did sit the birthday boy, as he judged that backup netminder Eino Malmquist seemed slightly more sober than Chislic. He also scratched Bruzek, claiming that the blueliner was suffering from a stomach bug, and Cassidy, who fell down several times during the pre-game skate.
Given the number of players either sidelined or feeling worse for wear, it was a moral victory when the Rhinos lost by a mere 2-1 score.
Marsh fined the revelers $1000 each for “failure to hold [their] liquor.” The players promised not to repeat the scene anytime soon.
“I feel responsible, because the guys were trying to show me a good time for my birthday,” said Chislic. “I feel bad about the whole thing. Not as bad as I’m going to feel tomorrow, though, when the hangover hits.”