SFDS Summer Classic- Men’s Open League Update
Since we last publicized the Men’s Open League in the summer of 2000, our world has evolved into a markedly different and infinitely more complicated place. During the summer of 2000, the prognosis was grim and the open league featured four disparetely talented teams playing to empty schoolyards.
Now guided by the commitment and vision of father/son Co-commissioners Kenny & Ryan Whelan, the once dormant property now boasts now boasts impressive spikes in attendance, quality of play, and overall popularity. Those four 6 man rosters have now mushroomed to eight fully stacked and reasonably well-matched teams. A costly rehabilitation (replete with unforgiving double rims) to the Father Grogan Playground has simultaneously beautified the surroundings and wreaked leaguewide havoc on shooting percentages.
That said, let’s handicap and analyze the eight teams vying for this year’s Bugsy Goldberg Championship Trophy. Teams are listed in order of current Power Rankings with Week 4 records in parenthesis.
1)Mookie’s Madmen (3-1)- In addition to his administrative duties in the league office, Ryan Whelan has also managed to field yet another championship caliber club. Despite their status as the two time defending champs. The Madmen have refused to succumb to the complacency so common to unbridled success. Arguably the most dominant force in league history, John Wassenburg continues to terrorize opposing defenses with his unstoppable low post play.
2)D.J’s a Work (3-1)- In just their second season (2002), the expansion team from across Jamaica Bay came within six points of outfitting their dinghys with some championship hardware. Pivot man James Tubridy efficiently delivers assists from the post, while reliable identical twin marksmen PatJack Palmese patiently drain mid range jumpers. Mike Gross has merged as a most exciting talent, but his early season shooting struggles must wane if they are to avenge last year’s finals disappointment.
3)Martell’s Grill/R.I.B.S. (3-1)- Meet the Red Hot Chili Peppers of the Summer Classic! Always eager to pump the fink and jumpstart the party, these fun loving hedonists have raced to a surprisingly fast start. Now 30, teen idol for the ages Greg Hearn has fended off Father Time with a rigorous training program designed to facilitate the absorption of ceaseless punishment. Flaky behemoth Will Downing has developed into a dominant low post presence.
4)Jameson’s (2-2)- From the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Files: Erstwhile loose cannon Eric McManus as developed into a sagacious locker room spokesman and venerable team leader. Such is the case when more than half your roster requires fake ids to gain access to your post game tavern throw downs. But man can they run!
5)Kelly’s Kids Playhouse (2-2)- Last year’s regular season champs are still smarting from a humiliating first round ouster at the hands of the eight-seeded Monday Crew. The aftershocks of that emasculating meltdown still resonate today. So distraught was Cliff Shelvin that he doctored his birth certificate and gained premature envy to the Graybeards. All-star guard Thomas McCormack developed a mysterious ankle ailment and remains as reclusive and enigmatic as Phil Spector.
6) Sugar Tribeca (2-2)-Despite being midway through their third season in the Summer Classic. Terry Green’s charges have remained largely anonymous outside of their own locker room. Who are these people?!? Shame on the team-marketing department! Come on Terry! You’re a shrewd businessman! Lose the bunker mentality!
7)V-Finance (1-3)- Talks bout putting the fun in dysfunction! The league ‘s most bickering outfit has endured an Enronesque series of misfortunes. First All-Star guard Timmy Riches lands a Thursday night gig tending stick in his hometown Bay Ridge. There goes 15-20 ppg! Jimmy Balfe shreds his rotator cuff! See ya in 2004! And to think that respected veteran Brian Mullen oiled up his barky knees for this? At least Scanny Carlton, Kevin Moroney, and Matt Courtney remain amongst the league’s most convivial personalities.
8) Monday Crew/Irish Circle (0-4) Sophmoric high jinks? Cheek. Arrested development? Yep. A roster longer than a list of J. Lo’s ex husbands? Got it. Competitive hoops? Not so fast. While Coach/GM Brian Dickesheid has assembled a most ccongenial team, sidelines giggles will be more plentiful than victories. When present and rested Bill McCaffrey, displays flashes of dominance. Unfortunately, the transition defense stinks worse than the current NYPD summons policy. Opponents regularly enjoy in game layup drills as hapless Circle defenders wave obligingly from half court.