The Mailman Cometh – An Hour Too Late
August 9 was Championship Saturday for the RBVL and an all-day extravaganza was held at Riis Park until four division champions were crowned.
After topping the regular season standings, It’s All Good returned to their playoff form of recent years, losing in the semi-finals to the Beach Club 3-0. Coach Bugsy was seen scratching his head, searching for an answer to his post-season woes. That answer appeared at Riis Park in the person of Tim "The Mailman" Murphy, who showed up to save the day with his leadership and power volleyball game. You’ll notice we didn’t mention his punctuality, as he arrived well after his comrades were eliminated. At least he got to hand deliver a letter addressed to Louie. It remains to be seen if Murph will be back next year or if he will move on to the US Postal Team with Lance Armstrong in the 2004 Tour de France. The Beach Club had advanced by defeating their longtime rival the Beach House in an exciting 3-2 match. Every time these two get together it’s tight. In the other Beach Division action, the Mahooshkas shutout the Irish Circling Sharks 3-0 and then beat division runner-up, Stelth, 3-1 to advance to the finals. (El Shark-o’s – El Foldo! Again-o!) Things started off rough for the mighty Mahooshkas as they dropped game one 21-16. They rebounded quickly and won going away 21-9, 15 and 10 to finish on top. Congratulations to captain Judy Aiken and her gang for a job well done.
In the first round of the Ocean Division, the old men of Abbracciamento’s and the much younger Dempsey Sisters edged the youthful Kerry Hills Eiele 3-2 in a nail-biter. Elder statesmen Joe and Peter seemed to get a lot more sitting time than in years past. Has age finally caught up to the two venerable warriors? We’ll see, next year. In the other first round match-up, Just Healy’s started to click with a 3-1 spanking of the Bikini Bottom All-Stars. Team Sica would like a rematch with bicycles at 250 miles. Then let’s see who’ll end up on top! In one semi-final, Coppersmith’s lost star player, Scotty, to an injury but persevered anyway with a 3-1 drubbing of Abbracciamento’s. In the other semi-final, Just Healy’s surprised powerful division leader, Marie’s Traitors, 3-1 in one of the bigger upsets in RBVL playoff history. Never had a team won so many regular season games in so dominant a fashion as the Traitors. However, Dancer had his gang hitting on all cylinders, with the women setting beautifully and the men spiking effectively. Come to think of it, can a team with Richie M., Tommy D., Bobby W. and Kevin O. really be an underdog? The championship game was anticlimactic as Healy’s completed their run by beating Coppersmith’s, last year’s champs. Because of the victory, Dancer has already given up any thoughts about personally dropping down to a lower division and he will be back to defend his title next summer.
The Beach Orphans advanced to the championship in the Boardwalk Division with a 3-1 win over the Tap & Grill Cheese Fries, followed by a 3-1 victory over One Win. In the other bracket, the Odd Couples moved ahead by virtue of their 3-0 white-wash of the Pier 92 Piranhas, who had beaten Connolly’s Island 3-2 in the quarterfinals. The final match went to a tense fifth game, in which the Beach Orphans triumphed 21-17. The Odd Couples improved from almost-worst to almost-first in one season with virtually no change in personnel. Although they were surprised by the Connolly’s Island "Pregnancy" rules last week, The Odd Couples want everyone to know that they are good sports and are looking forward to another fun season in 2004. (The Boardwalk Division seems to agree.)
The Wave Division saw Connolly’s defeat the Federation 3-1 and Jameson’s beat the Rugby Fisheads 3-0 in round one. The Rugby Clubhouse started out hot and ended Connolly’s attempt at a miracle run 3-0. In the other semi-final battle, Fillmore Insurance edged Jameson’s 25-23 in a controversial game five overtime epoch. In the finals, the Rugby Clubhouse became the only #1 seed to bring home a title as they finished off Fillmore 3-1 in four close games. Many players from teams throughout the league headed out to Breezy Point in the afternoon to take part in their annual Sugar Bowl volleyball tournament. What better way to spend the afternoon! To quote Ernie Banks, "Let’s play two!"
Well actually there was another way to spend the afternoon. Many RBVL players pulled up a beach chair, opened up their coolers and shared their refreshments with teammates and foes alike. The MVP of this activity was Dickie Flanagan, who bailed out the last nine revelers with his backup cooler of beer, which was kept iced and secure in his car. When that was gone, the party appeared to be over until Dickie once again returned with his double-secret backup beer. These nine beers were warm and in a paper bag. Undaunted, the gang followed a time-honored formula and place the remaining 90 pounds of ice on top of the 9 beers and waited 9 minutes before serving 9 ice-cold drinks to wrap things up.