2007-09-21 / Sports

Commissioner Patty Concludes 2007 RBVL Season

By Joe McGivney

The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League concluded the 2007 season with their annual Awards Dinner on Friday, September 14 at the Knights of Columbus, with 110 players eager to party the night away. What a treat it was to walk into the hall and see the RBVL banner flying high (Thanks, Mary.)

A rocking good time was had by all, aided by the music of Moonlight Bay, who played their first RBVL party. (It won't be the last!) Good food and cold beer is the usual formula for a fun time with this group and once again, it proved successful. Attendance was a bit lower than the last few years, but the fun meter went higher than ever, thanks to an influx of young RBVL members, who are the future of the league.

If you stayed home, you missed a good time. Thanks to the entire K of C staff, who helped make the night so pleasant and to Rocky and Bugsy who toiled many hours, working on the details of the extravaganza. Thanks to all of those captains who organized their teammates and collected deposits. Your work is invaluable.

Championship sweatshirts were presented to the division winners and will be worn proudly by: Ocean Division - Freedhand's Yankees (Richie Whelan); Beach Division - the Federation (Tom Ford); Boardwalk Division - Wharf Rats (Bobby Leckie) and Moon Divsion - Team Margarita (Chrissie Mullin). The Flip-Cup All-Stars from the Wave Division and the Blarney Castle from the Sun Division were no-shows but champions, nonetheless.

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, the bhyc.com and Lobster House squads claimed the spoils of their Round Robin victories, each taking home a case of their favorite beer.

The Pier 92 Piranhas also were awarded a case of beer for their spirit, in addition to lovely silk scarves to accessorize their customized uniforms. They promptly showed the right stuff and delivered their famous Piranha cheer. You go, Vinny! Last Call's Mary and Joe Ryan were presented with the best bottle of champagne the league could afford, for their efforts, week in and week out. It's unbelievable how much energy they all bring to the league! That's what keeps the RBVL alive.

The next award went to TBG, the postman who always delivers. This time, Murph was recognized for always delivering a colorful quote, story scoop or headline (Steal Seal, Done Deal) for the weekly Wave articles and was given a combination dictionary-thesaurus quote book as our resident "wordsmith." Armed with his new reference material, you can look for upcoming quotes and headlines ranging from "aardvark" to "zephyr." Finally, the Federation folks were surprised with a second prize, when they came up for their championship sweatshirts.

Each team member was given an 8x10 photo of a smiling Captain Tom Ford. This rare blissful moment was captured on film for posterity and even family members said they couldn't remember the last time this happened. They think it was during the Reagan administration. Tom's happy face told you all you needed to know about the good-natured ribbing and sportsmanship that makes the RBVL people so special.

A variety of terrific Hawaiian shirts showed up again this year, but once again, the finest belonged to Steve Gifford. How does he do it every year on the extremely tight budget he operates under? This year he made sure he wore a matching tank top underneath, an omission that almost cost him the title in 2006. He needed every one of his style points to nose out Simon, who dazzled the crowd with an outstanding shirt and shorts ensemble.

The way things are going, a great shirt alone will not get it done next year. Murph wouldn't risk vertical or horizontal stripes as he had done in the past and wore a stylish (for the 70's) solid velour shirt with non-matching pants, simple yet elegant, a veritable "chick magnet". Am I right, Ed?

Kevin and Mary Begley once again led the charge onto the dance floor and were followed by the entire league, including Inez and Craig Samu, the only referee who has ever shown up at our awards dinner. For his dedication and spirit, Craig and Inez were treated to the dinner-dance by the league (That's about $.18 from each of our 600 players.).

Three of the top attendance teams at the party were given complimentary copies of the first RBVL yearbook, filled with hundreds of photos of beach volleyball action. As usual, only a handful of Ocean Division players showed up but the champs, Freedhand's, had nearly perfect attendance. Great job, guys! This time around, only the ghosts of Bobby Fash's handstands and Sue Brown's cartwheels were present and DB didn't perform any back-flips; age seems to have finally caught up with them.

It's a little early but you can already mark your calendars for 2008. Our practice week is set for May 21, 2008 and opening day will be Wednesday May 28, 2008. If you are making long range plans, expect rain on those two dates. (We'll see the captains in the winter, as we begin planning for next season. If your e-mail address changes, please let us know.) A grateful nod must go to all of the sponsors of our 50 teams. Without their financial support, the league might very well not exist.

Special thanks go out to the sponsors who hosted the Wednesday night parties after the matches: Jameson's, Healy's, Irish Circle, Kerry Hills, the Harbor Light, Connolly's, the Lobster House, the Bay House, Pier 92, the Wharf and BHYC. All provided a great atmosphere for players to unwind after a pressure-filled night of beach volleyball.

2007 was a terrific season, in spite of two rainouts and special thanks must go out to Commissioner Patty Moule and her hard-working committee members, as well as anyone who volunteered for jobs along the way. Your help, even with the smallest items, was much appreciated.

Commissioner Patty concluded the 2007 season with her traditional final thoughts:

"To all of the RBVL players, friends (especially our new friends, the Kealy's, of Dublin), family, referees, sponsors and to future RBVL Players.

"As another season comes to an end I feel....EXHAUSTED! This season had a lot more ups and downs for the executive committee than any of the past seven years. Most of it was bureaucracy, so I won't bore you with the details."

"Some of it is just the amazing expansion of the league to 50 teams-WOW! I want you all to know how hard the committee (not me- I'm a master at delegating, now) have worked; pre, mid and post-season. The hardest part of running this league is the mental "angst" that goes with it: do we have enough refs? DJ or Band? Another thunderstorm? You get the picture.

"I have to highlight my fellow committee members so you know what each person does:

DENISE BRUNNER - organizes sponsors and post-game parties. She also took on referee assignments, for which I am forever grateful. She has also become my second "Right Hand Man." (Joe is my first).

ROCKY DOROGOFF - Equipment Man, Cub Reporter and Social Director. After arduous research, he found a fantastic band for our awards party!

STEVE GIFFORD - Equipment Man, copy boy, all-around "Girl Friday." His insane e-mails kept me sane (and laughing).

BUGSY (KEITH) GOLDBERG - Treasurer and treasured by all for his nonstop energy and ability to see the "big picture." (Does he ever sleep?)

JOE MCGIVNEY - Cub Reporter, Rules Official, League"GRANDaddy." He is my "voice of reason."

JOHN SICA - Webmaster. He was busy with a new job and "dissed" us for Vegas, but we still love him! We love "ya" buddy.

"This sometimes feels like a full- time job, one that we all love so much. The people that make up the RBVL bring so much joy to my life and I feel very thankful to be part of this great group of people, from the players to their kids, the refs, the sponsors and especially my friends on the committee. Thank you, everybody."

Love,

Patty"

Make sure you check the website at www.rbvl.com for more pictures from the awards dinner. See you on the beach in the summer of 2008! Or maybe if we ever have the first RBVL Christmas party this winter.

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