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RBVL Off and Running  By Rocky Dorogoff  5/29/09

Wednesday night was dreary, dark, foggy, cold, and dank.  It must be the opening night of volleyball.  A night only Bram Stoker could love.   The good news was no rain and we got the night in.  The veterans (i.e. old men) of Casino Tow and Auto Body dropped to a new division and were welcomed with a 5-0 spanking by John Sica’s Flip Cup All Stars.  Despite the premier play of Sarah McCarthy, Lauren Ganun and Cathy Dempsey, Casino went down like the Titanic.  Captain John Sica was so elated he actually had a beer after the game.   John Von Sica was last seen driving off on his 50 cc scooter with his Sgt. Schultz German helmet.   Does he really deliver Chinese food during the day? 

In the Sun Division (No relation to Sun Myung Moon) Sands Point Physical Therapy beat The Odd Couple by the odd score of four to one. The new blood of Brendan, Neal and Eddie really made the difference.  Carol and Tracy (the Hydration Sisters) kept the team well hydrated with Corona Vitamin Water.  Thanks to Tim and his therapeutic crew for sponsoring the team.  Bungalow Bar–Flies went two and three.  Every game was decided by two points.  It doesn’t get any closer unless you tie.  Again, the team formally known as Pier 92 Piranhas leads the league in spirit, fun and enthusiasm.  Some of the type A, Double AA and anal athletes should take note of this band of fun guys (not the mushrooms) and gals of the Bungalow Bar-Flies.    They have figured out that it is only a sport and it is supposed to be fun.

Connolly’s was in mid-season form blowing the first game after being up 17-0.  Thanks Jim McDonough for your excellent play (If you had shown).  Who’s to blame for the meltdown?  No show McDonough or the curse of the Sullivan’s.  Deb, next time the ball is moving towards your head, think about taking it. Sean Shevlin has returned to Healy’s after a thirty year hiatus. Place hasn’t changed much has it Sean?  Just a quick Rocksevation: I saw a pregnant mannequin on Beach 116th street yesterday. I was very upset.  Think about it-no way that was consensual.  The Sons of Beaches were excellently captained by Liz who led them over Simon Says Sea Bar, three games to two.  Simon blamed the loss on the former president and American capitalism.  The new players seem to be fitting right in - to the cooler tradition anyway.  Simon says the Commissioner was too busy scolding the refs for not making any calls to show up at the bar. 

Healy’s continues the good food from last year with plenty of dogs, burgers and shish kebob.   The outdoor set-up works great and allows for plenty of room inside.  Noreen Gallagher of the Rockaway Breakers finally switched her Wednesday night at the Harbor Light so she could play volleyball.  Well she played Wednesday for the first time ever.    I guess you could say she is no longer volleyball virgin.  The Bay House Babes took there name literally and went with four babes on the court.  No surprise, but they started winning.  I guess the formula is more women, more wins.  Take that formula, Einstein.

Back when I was a senior at Brooklyn Prep, one of my classmates, Billy Moore, invited me down to “experience Rockaway.”  He took me to Morrissey’s for a Schaeffer and then back to his house for a 4 AM breakfast.  I showed my appreciation by vomiting the breakfast all over his poodle, Frosty, while petting the dog on his kitchen table.  I continued to show my appreciation the next day by placing his stereo speakers in the basement window facing his religious neighbors and playing an expletive laced song from the Woodstock album at 140 decibels. This caused the neighbors to scamper out of their religious hut and run for the hills. Billy was last seen flying down the attic stairs as I scooted out the side door. Thanks for the hospitality, Bill.   No good deed goes unpunished.   Why do I mention this anecdote?  Billy was the premier spiker in this league in its second year of existence and was one of the originals.  He has been sick and just got home after a long hospital stay. I just want to send him my best and wish him a speedy recovery.  Ad majorem Dei gloriam, Bill.

The Federation have become the new KOTLNB, kings of the late night beach.  They were the last team on the beach on this cold night.  Unfortunately for them, the reigning champs, Murph and Dickie Flanagan were in their new hiding spot, the "Cubby and Mack" hole.  It’s under review who stayed the longest.  Tried and true EZ Company, also known as the dirty dozen, made sure the season started with some easy wins – for the Rockaway Breakers, that is. Then the Motrin, Vicodin and beer kicked in and EZ got their groove back again, winning the last three games.  However, they must get their priorities straight and have better attendance at the party next week. Last Call welcomes new teammate, the Ethiopian from a little town called Waxbac.

  The Great Kate hopes he will grow another inch so he can touch the net.  Or is he having the same “shrinkage” problems George Costanza faced?  Air Steinberg missed his spike due to premature take-off but Surfer Girl played well despite her injury. Remember Nay, tenure does not trump volleyball.  Was Frankie D. home ironing his new tee shirt?  Is Johnny Angel getting a new knee prosthesis?  Stay tuned.

The first night back on the beach ran smoothly with the help of many players who pitched in wherever it was needed.   That’s the kind of cooperation that makes the league great.  Thank you for getting off on the right foot and keep up the good work.  We need that assistance weekly.  As veterans know, the court layouts change often because of the endangered birds.  Come early each Wednesday and check the information board to find out where you are playing.   

Some of the new refs were shown the ropes by Joe, Denise and Patty, including where to buy yellow and red cards.  They also attended a seminar to review rules and regulations and expectations for the upcoming matches.  Everyone was reminded again of three rules that will be enforced this year at every level of play without exception:

1. ALL net violations must be called – no exceptions

2. NO underhand lift or reverse underhand throws are allowed.  (The only exception is on a hard-driven ball, like the ones the TV pros hit.)

3. NO reaching over the net to interfere with a ball unless your opponent is directing the ball to your side of the court.

For those players who think that this results in too many whistles and say, “We just want to play,” get used to it.  Remember, we all just want to play - - - volleyball!  Not jungle ball! 

Most of you have offered your assistance many times over the years and now we really need it, especially with a record 60 teams playing.  We have many new refs, some of whom are learning on the job but they all are trying their best to call the games fairly.  Believe me, they do not have an ax to grind with any of our teams and we need you to treat them with respect.  (There has been some slippage in this department the last two seasons.)  However, we want them to improve their performance, too.  To that end, please send us an e-mail (jmcgivney2@nyc.rr.com) on Thursdays with a quick summary of the previous night’s ref.  We’ll know who it was because we keep track of that stuff.  It can be simply, “Ref was great.”  Or give us some detail, “Ref called no net violations”, Ref called too many carries” or “He called the game tighter than any ref this year”.  You get the idea – brief and to the point, both good and bad.  Thanks, in advance, for your assistance.

Captains who have handed in unsigned rosters must now get them signed.  SIGNED rosters must be in by week three (6/10) at the latest.  However, there is really no reason you can’t take care of that at the beach before your first game. As always, if you have any questions please call Patty at 917-613-0908.  (Be sure to call between 10 AM and 9 PM.  Remember, Patty has a life outside of VB, too.)  Or just check our website at www.rbvl.com.  You'll find the answers to most of your questions there, not to mention pretty pictures and funny stories.   

See you on the beach!