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Near Perfect Weather, Near Perfect Volleyball

By Rocky D.  and Joe McGivney                   6/20/14


I went down to Riis Park for Wednesday night RBVL volleyball.  Something was wrong.  The sun was out, no fog, wind or cold.  I checked my phone calendar to see if it was Wednesday and it confirmed that.  I still didn’t believe it so I checked the Aztec calendar and it too confirmed that this perfect night was indeed Wednesday night.   Welcome to summer volleyball, where the level of play usually matches the quality of the weather.  Beautiful weather, beautiful play.  Casino Auto Body edged Fillmore Insurance 3-2 in an exciting match that featured many long points.  It was the classic case of old, experienced, tall, slow guys against young, athletic whippersnappers and it made for entertaining points all night.  The old guys won the match this time but there days may be numbered as Fillmore seems to improve every week.  The Ancient Regime of Joe and Rocky were reunited for a total age of 122.   Not old mind you, but seasoned and savvy.  Several of the Fillmore kids took notes on Joe and Rocky’s court strategy.  One of the kids even said, “Hey, I actually saw a small gap between the sand and Rocky’s feet when he jumped to block.”  Probably could have slipped a Daltons menu right in that tiny space.  Casino Auto Body was again led by the Casino girls of Lauren Ganun, Sarah McCarthy and Brianne Johnston.  Charlie Brady played stealer defense at the net despite being constantly pestered to read palms based on the kerchief on his head.  Must have something to do with the “Reader and Advisor” sign he recently placed on his lawn.  When you’re a young 32 it must be tough being twelve years older than everyone on your team.  Brian Bagley of the Rockaway Gliders will be officially known as Old Man Bagley or OMB for short.  No connection to the federal agency of the same acronym.  (Or to his mentor, TBG.)  It’s All Good stumbled in their first loss of the year, a 2-3 squeaker to Team Margarita.  Hopefully this doesn’t derail Pat Goldberg’s championship guarantee. 


Bryans Auto avenged their recent loss in the Aviator Championship by waxing the Freaky Tiki All Stars 4-1.  Notorious Uma’s Pumas won 4 points but their weekly trend has been 0-4-0-4.  Does that mean they are on schedule for another goose egg?  Not likely.  Last Call just completed their second consecutive 5-0 sweep.  Watch out Star Division.  All four matches in the Sun Ray Division were 3-2, which means the level of play is perfectly balanced.  The winners were White Horse Tavern, LeGreann, Cheese Fries and Simba’s Pride while the teams on the short end were Boarders, Sloppy Sets, Serv Pro and Coastal RE.  Look for close matches the rest of the way, right up to the playoffs.  Most division races are tight here in the first third of the schedule but these ones really stand out: the Ocean Breeze has 5 teams within 3 points of leader, Miley Home Improvement; the Beach has 5 teams within 2 points of Diggin ‘n Swiggin; the Sun has 5 teams within 4 points of Kobeyaki Got Kills; the Moon has 5 teams within 4 points of the Bungalow Baranha’s; the Star has 6 team (out of 8) within 3 points of Last Call.  Wow!  Let the games begin!  Say it ain’t so, Joe.  After 25 years and 7 knee operations, Pappy Wren is hanging them up.  Does that mean you won’t see him on Wednesdays?  Au contraire!  He will maintain his perfect attendance at Riis Park but now he won’t have to interrupt a good night at the beach by playing some bad volleyball.  He can just continue his good night at the beach and watch his comrades play bad volleyball.  (Murph, he may be on to something.  Think about it.)  Mr. Happy started a new consecutive game attendance streak Wednesday night.  Right now his streak is at one.  His team was glad to have him back but they also now have a new streak, a one game losing streak.  Ouch!  Kiss My Ace got just enough aces and kisses and won their first game of the season.  Let’s go Aces!  A moment of silence for the NY Rangers, who lost to the LA Kings in an extremely tight Stanley Cup series.  A moment of silence for the Miami Heat, who got lambasted by the SA Spurs.  A moment of silence for the NY Yankees, who are just about eliminated from contention in the AL East.  The only professional NY sports team still alive seems to be the NY Mets.  Let’s go Mets!


Daltons Grill was the scene of the post event festivities and certainly provided a top notch evening, maybe the best of the 2014 season.  And this was their first time hosting.  Good on you, mates.  Their Guinness was rated the best in the city by the Village Voice and as Smokey Robinson sang, “I second that emotion.”  I can frequently be seen with the Guinness of Daltons on special occasions: weekends and week nights.  In fact I am typing this article with one hand due to reasons previously inferred.  The diverse musical sound of Acoustic Chris Long of Broad Channel treated the players to all of the classic songs they wanted to hear.  Now that I think of it, how did he know what they wanted to hear?  Guitar player ESP?  Special get well soon to Ranger Rita Mullally of Gateway, who has worked very hard with the RBVL to insure its success year after year.   Tracy Whalen (wife of Richie) and Daltons Grill stated, “We came in hot,” but lost to the Rat Pack 4 to 1.  It looks like Daltons succumbed to the coolness of the Pack.  Nets continue to come up late so the RBVL is instituting new punishment procedures.  In addition to the twenty five dollar fine the captain of the offending team will be forced to eat lunch at the Subway in the Gulf Express gas station concession on Beach Channel and Beach 115th.   Is there really a Subway in there?  Yes, you can not only gas up, but go in and grab some Swedish fish and a turkey hero.  Hey, who needs the 101?  On a special note, the Mayor of Roxbury, the Honorable Alice McElroy was in attendance as an official conferee to Daltons Grill.  Not much politicking but she seemed “at ease” among her constituents.  There was one baby in the bar for Alice to kiss but the parents whisked him out of there early due to his 7:45 PM bed time.  Mr. Happy, AKA angry Steve, was observed drinking orangeade due to the fact he had to go work on Tommy D’s new summer house in Roxbury in the morning.  League officials have been pressing Tommy for the date of his house warming party.  He is reluctant since he only has a bidet and refrigerator.  Hey, what else do you really need?  The party is on.  Not to brag but today marks a personal best.  I just broke my old record by one day for most consecutive days alive.  Congrats to Rocky.  The Beach Bums, boldly holding last place, fully expected to give five up to the Stanii but the Stanii wouldn’t hear of it and graciously gave up four.  Whatever the Beach Bums claim, the Stanii riposte is, “We wuz robbed.”  That’s a coincidence; many bank tellers said the same thing after a visit by Willie Sutton.   One Stanii stated, “The heat was too hot.”   Huh?  (Was the ice too cold, too?)  “And we are just too darn old.”  Note to Stanii, for aging issues please see Rocky and Joe.  Patty’s text to Gina P:  “Watch your back and keep your family at home.”  Hmmm.  What does that mean?  I guess Gina P. must have some kind of lower lumbar strain. 


Next Wednesday night, June 25th, the RBVL travels to Long beach to visit the Cabana for the RBVL weekly party.  So get ready for something completely different.  The Cabana is located at 1034 W. Beech St. Long Beach, NY 11561 (the corner of Georgia & W. Beech Streets).  And the RBVL will be providing a large coach bus with a bathroom for anyone interested in making the trip.  George Johnson has heard from many folks and space is getting very tight so email him at fdnyrocket@gmail.com ASAP if you would like to make the trip.  The bus will leave BHYC at 9 PM and return from Long Beach at 11:30 PM.  (ETA back at BHYC around midnight.)  When the bus returns, you don’t have to go home.  Stay out and enjoy the special evening.  The folks that have responded via e-mail and are on George’s list will be taken first on the bus.  If you just show up at the Yacht Club hoping to hop on the bus you may get lucky and find a seat or you may not.  All reservations will be honored first.


Every year of expansion made filling referee spots tougher and tougher.  Thank goodness for the many youthful refs who have stepped in along the way to help us make ends meet.  Now the league is stretched to its limit and finding enough refs each week is a chore.  Be prepared to have a week where there are no refs in your division.  If that happens, play the games hard, with sportsmanship and report your scores when finished.  The Ocean Division, filled with the top players on the beach, did it last week without any trouble.  Follow their lead.  After all, everyone just wants to play volleyball.  It seems like a better option than cutting the RBVL back to 32 teams.  (Or maybe back to the Original 7.)  By the way, who were the original seven teams in the RBVL?  Some older players mentioned the Beach House, Raintower and Fort Wade but there must be four more.  Send us an e-mail and let us know.  And what about all of the romances and marriages that started on the courts of the RBVL?  You must know a few.  Right, Ed.  Right, Jenny.  (And that turned into a true mixed marriage – Bay Ridge and Rockaway.)


Nets better get returned promptly next week.  Then Patty and Steve will be very happy campers, especially since they need to get to BHYC for the bus to Long Beach.  Captains and players are reminded that they can have team items entered in the weekly Wave article by showing up at the sponsor bar or by e-mailing Joe at jmcgivney2@nyc.rr.com by 11 PM on Wednesday night.  The RBVL has a Facebook page and, if you like it, you will receive timely updates, whoever you are, captain or not.  If you have any questions please call Patty Moule at 917-613-0908.  (Call between 10 AM and 9 PM.)   

See you at the beach.