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2010 Season





RBVL Wraps Up 2010 Season         By Joe McGivney                                                    

The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League concluded the 2010 season with their annual Awards Dinner on Friday 8/20 at Jameson’s Pub in Belle Harbor.  A rocking good time was had by all, aided by the music of our very own DJ Tommy Tunes, who also plays ball every Wednesday night and captains the Sands Point PT club.  Good food and cold beer is the usual formula for a fun time with this group and once again it proved successful.  Attendance was the lowest ever for a league awards party but the fun meter went as high as ever thanks to a blend of crusty old veterans, who were eager to party the night away.  If you stayed home, you missed a good time at the last RBVL awards dinner ever.  Thanks to Eric and Keith and their entire Jameson’s staff, who helped make the night so pleasant.  Bartenders, Shane & Kenny, kept the drinks flowing all night while the waitresses, Kathleen & Mary Beth, hustled around the bar to deliver an eclectic mix of appetizers – BLT’s, sliders, filet mignon sliders and baby lamb chops – to go with other staples of the volleyball league diet – mozzarella sticks and chicken fingers.  Simple but tasty cocktail food.  When Steve Gifford gives you the thumbs-up sign you know you’ve made it!  And none of this happens without the work behind the scenes of the cooks who came through marvelously.   Thanks to Jack and Shane Brunner who delivered five large boxes of sweatshirts to the party only to be summoned back at midnight to pick up 4 large boxes of unclaimed goods.  That was a duty they didn’t expect but handled anyway.

It is still amazing that a league of nearly 1,000 people cannot fill up the smallish Jameson’s Pub for the final party of the year.  Maybe the RBVL players aren’t really the party Supermen they claim to be.  Or maybe they change back into Clark Kent after the season.  Were their GPS systems broken?  Were they afraid of going over the Cross Bay Bridge?  (That seems to be a catch-all excuse used often during the summer.)  Even Jameson’s and the auxiliary Jameson’s teams didn’t make it.  Here are the Top Five Lame Excuses for missing the awards dinner:

5. I only go to Jameson’s when it’s 2 for 1 burgers

4. Not enough advance notice

3. I don’t think I’ll know anyone

2. I’m having a team party at my house the same night

1. It’s Happy Hour in Broad Channel

And where were the eight new teams that Patty reluctantly admitted to the RBVL this summer?  All she asked was that they be good sports (which they were) and come to the weekly parties (which they didn’t) and show up at the awards dinner (which they didn’t).  Some of the younger players are forgiven because they had a legitimate excuse; they were off to college, a place Joe Abbracciamento spent nine of his fondest years.  Only one player from the entire Ocean Division showed up and he gets an asterisk next to his name since he is on the RBVL committee – John Sica.  That ties last year’s number when Frank Ganun was the lone representative of his team and the top group.  This year’s trivia questions are a variation of last year’s:  Trivia question 1: How many championships does Frank’s team have with him playing?  Answer: One.  Trivia question 2: How many championships does Frank’s team have with Frank not playing?  Answer: One.  Ergo, that makes him mathematically inconsequential although on a personal level he is highly consequential.  As the hour neared 9 PM, folks were worried that Little Timmy Murphy mistakenly went to the Knights of Columbus or the Beach Club once again but were happy when he arrived shortly afterward.  Kirby, period.

Talk about doing it all!  Special thanks go to the RBVL party committee, who toiled many hours while working on the details of the extravaganza.  Thanks to Chris at It’s All Good Tees, who jumped through hoops expediting a very big order, championship sweatshirts were delivered in time for the party and were presented to the division winners who showed up – Fillmore Insurance from the Ocean Breeze Division led by Jack and the Beach Bums from the Sun Division led by their captain Bobby.  After bumping, setting, spiking, bleeding and sweating past the competition these guys really earned their rewards and will surely wear them proudly.  They were happy to claim their trophies – the fabled championship sweatshirts given out to the victorious teams.  The other six winners did not send even a single representative to collect their prizes and bask in the glory of their RBVL titles although Ocean’s 12 at least had an excused absence.  Next year the sweatshirts will be given out on a selected date and any unclaimed shirts will be hung from stop signs that night around Rockaway – first come, first served!  Amidst the championship presentations, individual and spirit awards were given out as well but none had anything to do with volleyball skills or ability.  First up, Eddie from It’s All Good and George from Connolly’s won special “Show Me the Money” wallets for being the first two players to pay for the awards dinner.  Then the Rockaway Breakers made it a three-peat as party dance champs and Rusty was heard muttering, “Dynasty” the rest of the night.  It’s tough to argue with him.  As the top party team, the Rockaway Breakers were awarded the traditional silk scarves to accessorize their outfits, which were already quite spiffy.  A second party award was given and it had very little to do with dancing but quite a lot to do with attendance and spirit.  It’s All Good Tees had the best attendance by a non-playoff team and they were also awarded colorful scarves.  TBG threatens to wear each and every article of clothing he has ever been given over the years all at once.  He should be an eyeful with his pink shorts, flowered dress, orange doo-rag and fuchsia scarf.  The next award went to the hard-working equipment managers of the RBVL, Steve and Rocky.  Their new 99 cents bolt lock should come in handy while fighting to maintain the security of their beloved storage room.  Finally, Tommy Woods has always been much more than a fair-weather friend and he won the prize for best all-weather friend, the kind who helps out whenever and wherever he was been needed throughout the years.  For his meritorious service he was gifted a plastic rain hat that must have set the league back at least a dollar.  The happy looks on all of the recipients’ faces told you all you needed to know about the good-natured ribbing and sportsmanship that makes the RBVL people so special. 

Here are the Top Ten Reasons for attending the RBVL awards dinner:

10. Being among the first to see John Sica with a short hair cut and clean shaven

9. Good time to suck up to Patty and Denise to get a better court location on the beach next year

8. Plenty of room on the dance floor to dance an Irish Jig

7. Seeing Joe Abbracciamento drunk

6. You can never get enough of DJ Tommy Tunes

5. Observing fashion trends other than RBVL tank tops and shorts

4. Using the unclaimed sweatshirts to fuel the after-hours bonfire on the beach

3. I will know everyone there

2. You could keep pace with the Rockaway Breakers without breaking the bank

1. It’s the last one you will ever be invited to

A variety of terrific Hawaiian shirts showed up again this year and Rocky nosed out Georgey Johnson for top honors.  They can both be glad that Simon decided to dress casually and comfortably and he didn’t wear one of his dazzling shirt and shorts ensembles.  The rest of the fashion ranged from casual beach to elegant chic.  In fact, wiping the scrumptious juicy lamb chops on hideous Hawaiian shirts practically went unnoticed.  Who needs napkins?  Was that Michelle or Jennifer Grey dirty dancing the night away?  Nobody puts Baby in the corner!  And who knew Polish girls could do the Irish Jig?  The investigation into the league’s beginnings has concluded.  The final verdict is that 1989 will be recognized as the first season.  There were seven teams, uniforms, refs, byes and playoffs.  There is talk that a four team “league” played the year before but there is not enough evidence that they had all the necessities to be called a league.  They had a volleyball, a net and fun, which is not quite enough to qualify.  That means the RBVL just finished their 22nd season, making next year the 23rd.  (In case you have trouble in math.)  Who was more surprised than Coach that Riis Park did not charge for parking during the playoffs last week?  He didn’t have to bike in from Long Beach to beat the parking fee, after all.  At least he saved on the Atlantic Beach toll.  And he got some valuable exercise in.  Does he belong to an “Exercise Club” in his neighborhood?  The Robin Shapiro Realty Island team would like to thank the actual real person Robin Shapiro for her consistent sponsorship and to apologize for once again not winning the coveted championship sweatshirts. Robin has generously taken care of the squad over many years and always enjoys following the group’s antics in the Wave articles all summer long. Hopefully, next year she can finally make it down on a Wednesday night for good luck and to cheer her charges on in person. Thank you, Robin, for making the summer so much fun!

Some of our members continue to play volleyball throughout the Rockaway’s but the weeknight games are just about done since darkness falls too early to allow much playing.  In fact, Monday 8/30 and Monday 9/6 – Labor Day will be the last official nights of action at 127th St.  Bring a small cooler (not the one you usually bring to Riis Park during the season) and celebrate the end of volleyball as most of you know it.  (At least until next summer or perhaps a winter league.)  The action will begin earlier than usual at 5 PM on Labor Day since it is a holiday.  Come early and stay late.  You can also play ball and help out a worthy cause at Peyton's FUN Raiser: Beach Volleyball Tournament, which will be held on Saturday, August 28th, from 10 AM - 3 PM, Rain or Shine, at Bay 9 in Riis Park Beach (Beach 155th Street and the Boardwalk).  The Benefit is for the son of Pat and Jacqueline Tansey from Robin Shapiro Island and it will be a fun, family-oriented event for all levels of play- competitive 4's and recreational 6's. Prepaid $50 donation (or $300 for team of 6) includes participation in the games, tank top, food and entertainment. $60 Donation on the day of the event and it's based on openings. Players MUST be age 14 and up. Teams will be divided by their requested level of play. There may be separate divisions for the FDNY and NYPD, depending on demand.  Raffles and 50/50 tickets will be sold and prizes awarded at the tournament. A Small Volleyball Clinic for Children will be provided along with other favorite activities. Children (under 12) are FREE (with a participating adult). Therefore, please be sure to register your children as well. The donation is $20 for Non-Player Attendees. Bring your coolers, beach chairs, and sunscreen and have fun as you help raise money for a very worthy cause!  DJ Tommy Tunes will provide the music.  Check www.pathwaysforpeyton.org for forms and details.

Commissioner Patty traditionally concludes the RBVL season with her final thoughts:

"To all RBVL Players, Friends, Family, Referees, Sponsors and Future RBVL Players - Wow!  Another great season has gone by too quickly!  This year we had a good practice night and only one rainout and it still went too fast!  Expanding the league to 68 teams proved to add quite a lot of excitement, both on the beach and on the dance floor!  We are also very grateful for your kind words of thanks and praise throughout the summer.  However, actions speak louder than words. Many of you know when you thank me, NEW TEAMS IN PARTICULAR, that all I ask is to come to our sponsor bars on Wed. Nights and come to the awards dinner. Well, that hasn't happened unless it's an RBVL fave.  What I don't understand is that I'm not asking you to come out for a community tooth extraction, just to come out and have a few beers and support the league you supposedly love so much. Enough said.  As usual, I want to thank my fellow committee members for their "blood, sweat & tears" in coordinating a great season despite increasing beauracratic complications and many more players. They are: Denise Brunner - She continues to be a master with all financial, referee, sponsor and awards party demands and handled all with intelligence & humor.  I would have been lost without her this year.  Joe McGivney - #1 Cub Reporter, Rules Official and "Man of Reason."  Steve Gifford - Equipment Manager, "Do Anything That Needs to Be Done" Meister.  Rocky Dorogoff – Equipment Manager, Parks Dept. Liaison, Cub Reporter & playoff party.  John Sica - Web Meister and Cub Reporter.  Without their dedication, this league would not be the amazing entity that it has become.  And without their families' support they would not be available to the RBVL, so thank you spouses, children and relatives for your understanding.  Patty”

Make sure you check the website at www.rbvl.com for more pictures from the awards dinner.  If you have any photos you’d like to have posted, send them to sica@rbvl.com.  The Awards Dinner was the last big RBVL event of 2010.  Enjoy the off-season but mark your calendars for the RBVL’s opening day – June 1st and the 2011 playoffs – August 13th.   Of course, there will be a captain’s meeting in the winter, as plans are made for next season.  Make sure you have a current e-mail or two from your team on file with the league since that is the primary way of contacting everyone in the off-season.  As always, if you have any questions please call Patty at 917-613-0908.  (Be sure to call between 10 AM and 9 PM.)  Or just check our website at www.rbvl.com.  See you on the beach in the summer of 2011!