2008-08-22 / Sports

Pappy's Traveling Circus Comes to Town

By Joe McGivney

The First Annual Pappy's Traveling Circus Over 40 Senior Volleyball Tournament was held Wednesday night, August 13 at Riis Park.

Although the official RBVL season ended on August 9, players couldn't bear the thought of life without volleyball, so they came out one more time to play the game they love so much.

Teams were chosen up randomly across all division boundaries and some of the rookies got a chance to play alongside some of the legends like Rocky, TBG and Seal. There were no entry fees, no prizes, no food, no drinks, no referees, no shoes, no shirts and no problems! Some folks even wore their old uniforms and some even fit into them properly.

Pete "Pappy" Wren began the festivities with a stirring rendition of our National Anthem, which seemed to inspire the old-timers (OK, so he really didn't sing it but it would have been inspirational if he did.). First round action saw the Pulled Muscles edge the Sprained Ankles 30-27 on the strength of the serves of secret weapons Dickie and Alice.

The game got off to a rough start when Dickie and Joe Abbracciamento lined up side-by-side and the beach actually tilted. The Torn Achilles lumped up the Cramps, the Shanks cooled off the Hot Flashers and, in a much anticipated match, No Vertical dominated No Horizontal 30-19.

In round two action, the Pulled Muscles won another close one 30-28 against the Torn Achilles while the Shanks advanced 30-24 over No Vertical in the winners bracket.

It looked like the co-MVP's would be either Billy Collins and Jim McDonough or Bobby Fash and Jimmy Mack. In the losers bracket, everyone got at least one victory except the Cramps, who finished the evening 0-3.

If you are keeping score at home, that means TBG won as many games as Kirby, who didn't even suit up. All of Murph's RBVL teammates (It's All Old?) were split up in the tournament and they all managed to win games and Eddie even took home the championship trophy.

And what a trophy it was! The recycled 6th grade speech and debate trophy adorned with AsperCreme could become the next Stanley Cup. The Shanks claimed the title with a 30-21 spanking of the Pulled Muscles who complained of - - - surprise, surprise, pulled muscles (and darkness). And then the EMS crew came in to fix up all of the injuries.

One of the most anticipated matchups in the "Pappy" was Michael vs. Marie in the Over 58 division. The results - neither showed up! At their age, that could be for a number of reasons, none of them good.

A couple of nets of younger players turned out as well and enjoyed playing on a near-perfect night. The experiment was deemed a big success and promises to grow in the years to come. Many of the last 30 people on the beach have been playing together for all 19 years the RBVL has existed and that's what it is all about.

Some of the founding fathers who participated included Tommy Tunes, Dickie Flanagan, Eileen Bledsoe, Debbie Kenel, Janet and Bobby Fash, TBG, Seal Moore, Tom Ford, Jimmy Mack, Tommy and Michele Woods, Renee Rodgers, Tom Reilly, Bugsy, Eddie Povitch and Pappy himself. Your camaraderie and friendship elevate the RBVL to heights no other league enjoys. Don't ever lose that.

Before we wrap up, let's extend a special thanks to our 2008 RBVL rookie referees: Alex Moule, Allison Kearns, Arnis, Bob Cummings, Cristina Healy, Danny Donohue Jr., Ernest Nixon, Jonathan Sorocki, Kaila Pfister, Mike Dier, Morgan Kelly, Robert Silva, Sean Morgan, Ryan Meade, Thomas Ferro and Kristin Sluyk. Keep up the good work; we hope to see you back next season.

The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League will celebrate the completion of their 19th season at a gala awards dinner at the Lobster House at 375 Beach 92nd St. on Friday, September 12 from 7:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

The cost is $55 in advance, $60 at the door and includes an open bar, bottled beer and a Hawaiian luau buffet with music by DJ Tommy Tunes. The dress code is casual and a Hawaiian luau really cries out for a Hawaiian shirt, don't you think?

Captains are collecting money as we speak and the first 200 people will be confirmed. In the past we have never had to turn anyone away but we have come very close.

With another expansion this season, the dinner promises to be booked solid. Reserve your tables and get your money in early. If you have any questions or want to secure an entire table, call Denise at 347- 866-4570.

If you get her voice mail, make sure to leave a detailed message. Captains, call ASAP with your best guess at the number of people attending from your team; it will be a big help in planning the event. Then follow up with your payments. Remember, money talks! It's only three weeks away, get on the stick!

Continue to check our website (www .rbvl.com) for photos and stories in the upcoming weeks. If you have any pictures you'd like to have posted, send them to sica@rbvl.com. We'd be happy to add them to the website. You can expect that John's annual video and photo presentation at the dinner will be an Emmy winner once again.

Awards will be given out to the 6 division champs, Freedhand's Yankees, the Big Mahooshkas, the Wave, JG Electric, Kerry Hills Pub and bhyc.com. Some surprise awards will almost certainly follow. Bring your dancing shoes or your "Cement Shoes", whatever you need to kick up a storm. Shoes that kick off easily are always practical.

Some of our members cannot accept the fact that the season is over. That doesn't mean volleyball is done. Many groups from different teams are still playing on the weekends in pickup games throughout the Rockaway's.

These games are often followed by impromptu beach parties, enjoyed by all. It's amazing how much fun you can have when you remove the high pressure (and referees) of the RBVL. That's what it's all about, people. Good on you.

After the big dinner-dance you can take six months off and not think about volleyball until February, when planning begins for 2009. We hope to see everyone back again, God willing, as we say.

Your enthusiasm and sportsmanship make the league so great! The games are over but summer is not, so we'll still see you on the beach. And we hope to see you on the dance floor at the awards dinner on September 12.

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