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Week Eight:  Playoff Picture Coming Into Focus

By Rocky D. and Joe McGivney

Many divisions played a position week on Wednesday night, pitting the top two teams against each other.  The results: Freedhand's Dynasty 3 - Sugar Bowl 2 in the Ocean, the Sand Spikers 1 - Brooklyn Window & Door 4 in the Wave, the Bay House Babes 3 -  JG Electric 2 in the Beach, 3rd and Long 3 - Snotty Yachtie 2 in the Boardwalk, Average Joes 3 -  Sets on the Beach 2 in the Sun, Le Greann 4 vs. Simon Says Sea Bar 1 in the Moon and Last Call 4 - the Social Yachties 1 in the Star.  Many other battles on the sand were equally exciting, matching up the 3rd and 4th place, 5th and 6th place, 7th and 8thplace and even the 9th and 10th place teams in many divisions.  Pennant fever is heating up on the shores of the Atlantic.  For 2009, the Boardwalk Division is unique in the RBVL in that it is the only division that will not send everyone to the playoffs.  The race for the last playoff spots tightened with the Bayview Baracudas edging Rathbones 4-1 and Boarders Surf Shop beating the Harbor Light Brooklyn Transplants 4-1.  This race should come down to the wire with every remaining game taking on added importance.  Of course, the 9th and 10th place teams will be invited to play each other on 8/8 for their very own championship.  There might even be a case of beer in it for the winner.  (Who needs one of those sweatshirts anyway?)  Keep an eye on the bubble teams; there is still a lot of volleyball to be played, which could lead to weekly changes.  Good luck to all coming down the stretch! 

For the first time in three weeks, Casino Towing played someone other than the Flip Cup All-Stars but the results were the same as they fell to Coppersmith’s 2-3.  However, every game was decided late and the play could not have been more even.  Congratulations to Joe McGivney who is currently leading the league in time outs called.  Not bad for an old timer.  Healy’s Rat pack took four from Connolly’s to escape last place.  Kudos to Ellen for playing her butt off.  Connolly’s is still whining about not having shirts.  I guess that’s why they lost.   This week Mr. Happy had duct tape strapped on everywhere, well almost everywhere.  It seems he missed a spot on his goinectakazoid and suffered his weekly gash there.  Ouch! He has given a pint of blood a week for a month, all without ever getting stuck with a needle.  And was that a neck brace he was wearing?  It seems to be de rigueur on Beach 127th Street.  Steve still manages to run his Monday night practice game in spite of the injuries.  The rumors that Bugsy is really the long lost Lindberg baby are only partially true.  However, he did take over the title (with a twist) of TBG from his distinguished teammate – The Big Goldberg!  That’s what happens when a five foot nothing dynamo spikes a ball straight down into the ground.  But why did he wait 21 years to do it?  Tim (formerly TBG) Murphy has not let the rough season his team is having effect him on his job.  After all, the mail must get delivered – even to the pink flamingo mailboxes of anonymous clients like Rocky.  Oops!  The original quote machine has let it effect his contributions to the articles though.  He has been as quiet as a church mouse this summer.  Although he is quite fond of the RBVL headline celebrity couple – Branjoline.  Scientists have cracked the I-Phone but they still can’t explain EZ Company’s Weber Phenomenon.  A Nobel Prize awaits that discovery.  The pro golf tour must have scheduled a stop at Riis Park this week because star golfers, Snake, Sally No-Eggs and Mr.G all made it out to the Summer Winds after their stellar rounds.

Mea Culpa to Mr. Howard Schwach for denying his intern access to the Wounded Warrior event at the Rockaway Point Yacht Club.  Security was tight.  As you can imagine an event of this magnitude attracts scores of well wishers – well meaning, not so well and those that belong in a well.  The wounded warrior event is one of the greatest expressions of community spirit and support.  According to Kirk Bauer JD, Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA, “This is the premier event on the Wounded Warrior sports project calendar. We could not make this a success without the community involvement.  The Breezy Point and Rockaway Community have literally opened up their hearts and homes to us and have shown that America cares.”   Many of the soldiers are amazed at the treatment they get from the community by total strangers.  We have to politely remind them that we’re not strangers – just friends who hadn’t yet met.   It was not the next generation of young stud players, it was not the thought of steroid allegations catching up to him, it was not his quiet ego, no, it was with sudden shock  that Tommy “ The Moose” Reilly abruptly announced his retirement from the Volleyball league. Leaving his team completely hanging with no back up, The Moose announced he can no longer compete or keep up. He has decided to take up pitch and putt golf for the remainder of his life. Of course he admits that this will enable him to drink his face off with no regrets.  He has lost his endorsement gig with “Ensure” but has kept his job with “Depends.”  Stevie Kearns went to pick Mr. Reilly for tonight’s game when the shocking news was delivered to him.  Stevie is now looking for a new friend.  Applications will be handed out next week. Perhaps Cubby is available. 

Jimmy Mack and Timmy Smith have been trying to get Cubby to join a gym to get in shape. Cubby’s response;   “Hey, round is a shape and I get plenty of exercise running my mouth, jumping to conclusions and pushing my luck.”  Rockservation:   If you don’t think God has a sense of humor, just take a look at some of the people  discharging from the buses and subway on Beach 116th Street on a Saturday afternoon.  Vinny Bonnano attempted  to get Carolyn Cryan to play the fifth game but she declined, stating that it was too late since she was already “cooler committed.”  This phrase has been added to the RBVL lexicon of acceptable excuses  for  2010.  One thing you will not see in this column is bad grammar because bad grammar makes me [sic]  Ref Tony Carty actually broke a referee tradition and stayed after eating dinner and purchased a few beverages. Tony anticipates being shunned by his whistle-wearing eating-club cohorts.  This request comes from P.E.T.A ; please wash all your clothes on the gentle cycle; it is more humane.  After being totally humiliated the last two weeks, Robin Shapiro came through in the clutch with a 4-1 victory.  The stars, Bobby and John, and once in awhile Brian, played “above the net.”  The girls: Joanne got off her phone and dialed a great game; Sue was floating un- returnable serves; Colleen played a great game between Budweiser’s.  While league official Denise was laid up sick at home, her husband Jack chose team loyalty by heading to Riis to play.  And Mini-Denise, Carolyn, even came down to do her mom’s job of setting up the score sheets and referees - some say, even better than Denise.  Carolyn only replied, “And I’m a better volleyball player than her, too.”

After three weeks of great parties but not enough food, the Summer Winds hit an ace in both departments.  The band, Pulse, made a triumphant return appearance at an RBVL party with their performance at the Summer Winds.  You may remember them from last year at the Bay House.  Once again they rocked and rolled and inspired the tired legs of the RBVL crew to dance the night away late into the evening.  Hopefully they’ll show up somewhere next season to make it three years in a row.  The food was good, diverse and plentiful.  RBVL staples done perfectly included baked ziti, chicken Francese, sausage and peppers and killer eggplant parmigiana.  Not to mention a great salad and loads of bread for the non-carnivores.  You know there was enough food when the player formerly known as TBG filled a heaping plate at 11:30 PM when he arrived late from Camp Kirby at the Cubby Hole.  Next Sunday, the 19th, the Summer Winds has Alive and Kickin’ on the docks with the opening notes being struck at 6:30 PM.   Kudos to the Summer Wind’s best bartender, Gail for a great job. You could feel the tension in the air as the Bar-anhas and the Breakers stared at each other like a Mexican standoff across the deck at Summer Winds.  Then they both hit the dance floor trying to outdo each other with a slight edge going to the Breakers when Rusty Terrio broke out a few Dance Fever moves.  This matchup still has a long way to go before it is decided.

Next week the league heads west to the Wharf, a long-time league favorite.  Now for your weekly reminder and countdown – there are only three more weeks left in the regular season.  Don’t hold anything back on the courts or afterwards at the parties.  Your support for the sponsors has been outstanding with new attendance records being set each week.  Keep it up down the home stretch.  Joe Abbracciamento’s late-night Chicken Schwarma streak has ended at three weeks in a row; he fell short of Joe DiMaggio’s record of 56 – straight Schwarma’s.  (Many people don’t know that Joe D. preferred Lebanese food to Italian cooking.)  The Sharks were looking for but didn’t see Tom Carvel on the Carvel roster.  Are they saving him for the playoffs?  Brian should stop spiking on defenseless women. The Sharks are swimming with the Titanic these days as they lost four games; they claim they are saving their best for the playoffs. They are the dark horse. Congratulations to Tom Reilly for a, well, okay career. Good luck golfing.  The Cheese Fries beat “the other team” 3-2, probably because the drama queens were absent.

The New Irish Circle would like to publicly thank the Kerry Hills team for two weeks of outstanding play.  The Hills, a much younger, enthusiastic and obviously motivated team brought the Circle’s level of play back to olden days of glory (well not glory exactly, but maybe a bit of dignity).  In other news, the newest league members, Wii Not Fit has been challenged to a grudge match on the beach at 108th St. with the Circle.  Meet us at the flagpole after school, newbies!  Name the date and bring a large quantity of beverages.     Sands Point beat the Odd Couple 4-1.  Neal was stellar at the net and Jessica served home runs. Donna and Eddie (not related to Brenda and Eddie) were there too.  As the season wears down, along with your bodies, remember Sands Point Physical Therapy is always available.  A Night Out beat the Summer Winds 4-1 in an evenly played match.   Gerri stepped up due to injuries and assumed the role of team leader.  Steve seemed to pay more attention to the passing tourists than the game.  Tommy pulled a boulder out of the court the size of a Volkswagen.  Wife Michelle noticed that he claims to be too weak to lift a broom at home yet can successfully negotiate a small meteorite at the beach.  The league would like to welcome RBVL volleyball virgin, Mary Glynn, to the league.   She seemed to be fitting in rather nicely at the Summer Winds.  The Sand Spikers had an off night and will be back in form next week.  Thanks to Nickolas Prakope they pulled one game out of the set.  Hopefully tempers subside by next week.

Make sure you mark your calendar for the 2009 RBVL Playoffs which will be held all day at Riis Park on Saturday, 8/8.  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.) 

 

See you on the beach!