2009-09-04 / Sports

RBVL Rocks Jameson's To End Volleyball Season

By Joe McGivney

The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League concluded the 2009 season with their annual Awards Dinner on Friday, August 28 at Jameson's with 75 players eager to party the night away. A rocking good time was had by all, and was aided by the music of DJ Bobby Joseph. 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 you would expect from a league of more than 800 players but the fun meter went higher than ever thanks to a blend of crusty old veterans and younger RBVL members, who are the future of the league. If you stayed home, you missed a good time. Thanks goes to Eric and Jo-Jo and the entire Jameson's staff who helped make the night so pleasant. Bartenders, Shane and Kenny, kept the drinks flowing all night while the waitresses, Kathleen and Allison, squeezed themselves through the crowded bar to deliver an eclectic mix of appetizers to go with the staples of the volleyball league diet - delicious ziti, vegetables and mouthwatering chicken. Simple but tasty. When Steve Gifford gives you the thumbs-up sign you know you've made it! And none of this happens without the work behind the scenes, of the cooks who came through marvelously.

And how about super bar back, Johnny Dimola, who also happens to be one of the RBVL's fine young referees. Talk about doing it all!

Special thanks go to the RBVL party committee, who toiled many hours working on the details of the extravaganza. And finally, thanks to all of those captains who organized their teammates and collected money. Your work is invaluable.

Thanks also goes to Chris at It's All Good Tees, who expedited a very big order as the championship sweatshirts arrived in time for the party and were presented to the division winners: Ocean Division - Sugar Bowl, Ocean Breeze Division - Flip Cup All Stars, Wave Division - Brooklyn Windows and Doors, Beach Division - Bay House Babes, Boardwalk Division - 3rd and Long NYC; Sun Division - Sets on the Beach, Moon Division - Coral Reefers and the Star Division - Atlantic Service Sandstorms.

Members of the RBVL celebrate a fantastic 2009 season. Members of the RBVL celebrate a fantastic 2009 season. After a season of bumping, setting, spiking, bleeding and sweating past the competition, these guys really earned their rewards and will surely wear them proudly. Mike Quinn, Frank Ganun and John Sica were the sole representatives from each of their respective teams, Sets on the Beach, Sugar Bowl and Flip Cup All Stars. But they were happy to claim their just rewards, which is the fabled championship sweatshirts given out to the victorious teams.

Three teams (Bay House Babes, Coral Reefers and Brooklyn Windows) sent virtually full squads to collect while 3rd and Long NYC sent a couple of members and the Sandstorms could not send anyone. At least they had a legitimate excuse; they were all off at college. It was a place Joe Abbracciamento spent eight of his best years.

The Coral Reefers immediately donned their new championship sweatshirts in spite of the very warm confines of Jameson's. It was obvious the Reefers really understood their importance.

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 was Patty's brother, Michael, who received a bar of soap to begin weaning him off of his daily Thursday morning routine of bugging her for a pressed shirt, soap and a clean towel. Thankfully, his daughter, Kimberley was present to share this heart-tugging moment with her dad, as was her best friend, Stacey, who was so choked up she could barely utter, "Two more beers, please."

The next award went to hard-working Steve Gifford for running his private volleyball sessions on Beach 127 Street. When he was presented `1with a cheap pen, everyone laughed but the laughter turned to applause with a follow up restaurant gift certificate so he can treat his long-suffering wife to a good meal.

No team repeated as volleyball champs, but the Rockaway Breakers did repeat as dance party champs and Rusty was heard muttering, "Dynasty" all night. It's tough to argue with him. As the top party team, the Rockaway Breakers were awarded the traditional silk scarves to accessorize their outfits, which were already quite spiffy. Their secret weapon, Rusty, easily won the Best Hat competition.

A highlight of the evening should have been the final showdown danceoff between the Rockaway Breakers, the Bungalow Bar-anhas and Bar 13 NYC for the RBVL Dancing with the Stars championship. But the Breakers won by forfeit when both the other contenders were no-shows. Hopefully, Vinny didn't run afoul of Tony Soprano and end up sleeping with the fishes.

Another dynasty is taking shape in a different area. Once again, It's All Good Tees had the best attendance by a non-championship team with eight stout partiers, some of whom were even drinking stout. They were awarded colorful doo-rags, which they quickly sported out on the dance floor. It was magical the way that folks who had two left feet (Way More and Flanagan) could suddenly dance.

Talk about sinister looking - "Silvio" Flanagan went into a local 7-11 to get a box of Tic-Tacs and the owner handed him the safe, pleading for his life. Murph was surprised with an additional prize - pink shorts he must wear on opening day 2010 to satisfy a silly midseason wager he lost.

Finally, Cubby received a commode "bucket list" with a ream of computer paper to keep track of his lengthy to-do items. He promptly crossed off, "Having a beer at Jameson's while wearing RBVL Championship sweatshirt" from his "bucket list." By now he may have crossed off: "Having a cocktail at Healy's while wearing RBVL Championship sweatshirt" and "Having a drink at the Irish Circle while wearing RBVL Championship sweatshirt." Congratulations champ.

And don't forget Cubby's Wingman Extraordinaire, Jimmy Mack! Jimmy is celebrating just as much; he just doesn't have a bucket list since he hasn't retired yet. Congratulations, Jim. After playing in just about every division in the RBVL over 21 years, including the first one which didn't even have a name, two of Rockaway's finest sportsmen are finally in the winner's circle. The happy looks on their faces 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 and Simon nosed out Steve for top honors and dazzled the crowd with his Hawaiian/ Corona Beer shirt and shorts ensemble. The rest of the fashion ranged from casual beach to elegant chic. In fact, wiping the scrumptious juicy lamb chops on hideous Hawaiian shirts practically went unnoticed. Who needs napkins?

How often has Tommy Tunes bailed the RBVL out? Once again he had to run home to fetch a microphone when it was discovered that the DJ didn't have one. No microphone, no awards. As the hour neared 8 p.m., his teammates were worried that Little Timmy Murphy mistakenly went to the Knights of Columbus once again but were happy when he arrived shortly afterward.

Only one player from the entire Ocean Division showed up. He's a man who can play some impressive volleyball and who also knows his way around a gin mill - Frank Ganun. Trivia question 1: How many championships does the Sugar Bowl have with Frank? Answer: One. Trivia question 2: How many championships does the Sugar Bowl have without Frank? Answer: Zero. You do the math!

Casino Towing upgraded their 2010 roster last week without doing anything when Lauren Ganun made the varsity squad at Fontbonne Hall. Lauren, the good news is that you're on the varsity; the bad news is that Rocky expects you to deliver him a championship next summer. Good luck with that tall order. Congratulations and keep up the good work.

John Sica's annual video and photo presentation was still in post-production at the time of the dinner but should be completed very soon. Check the website for updates.

Some of our members continue to play volleyball throughout the Rockaways but the weeknight games are just about done since darkness falls too early to allow much playing. In fact, Labor Day will be the last official night of action at Beach 127 Street. Bring a small cooler (not the one you usually bring to Riis Park during the season) and celebrate the end of volleyball as most of you know it (At least until next summer or perhaps a winter league). The action will begin earlier than usual at 5 p.m. since it is a holiday. Come early and stay late.

It is still amazing that a league of nearly 800 people can only get 75 to the final party of the year. Maybe the RBVL players aren't really the party Supermen they claim to be. Or maybe they change back into Clark Kent after the season. Even Jameson's and the auxiliary Jameson's teams didn't make it. Were their Tom-Tom GPS systems broken? They should have used MapQuest instead to locate the party. Here are the Top Ten Lame Excuses for missing the awards dinner:

10- I only go to Jameson's when it's 2 for 1. 9- Not enough advance notice

8- $40 is a bit pricy for 5 hours open bar, food and music. 7- It's the end of summer - there are other parties. 6- Our team went to play volleyball instead. 5-It's my cousin's brother-inlaw's fourth wedding. 4- We just don't want to go. 3-I don't think I'll know anyone. 2- I'm having a team party at my house the same night. 1. Its Happy Hour in Broad Channel

Commissioner Patty traditionally concludes the 2009 season with her final thoughts: "To all RBVL Players, Friends, Family, Referees, Sponsors and Future RBVL Players - Wow! Another great season has gone by too quickly!"

"This year we had a good practice night and only half a rainout and it still went too fast! Expanding the league to 60 teams proved to add quite a lot of excitement, both on the beach and on the dance floor! As usual, I want to thank my fellow committee members for their "blood, sweat & tears" in coordinating a great season despite increasing bureaucratic complications and many more players."

"They are: Denise Brunner - She took on financial, referee, sponsor and awards party demands and handled all with intelligence & humor. I would have been lost without her this year. Joe McGivney - #1 Cub Reporter, Rules Official and "Man of Reason." Steve Gifford - Equipment Manager, "Do Anything That Needs to Be Done" Meister. Rocky Dorogoff - Equipment Manager, Parks Dept. Liaison, Cub Reporter. John Sica - Web Meister and Cub Reporter."

"Without their dedication, this league would not be the amazing entity that it has become. And without their families' support they would not be available to the RBVL, so thank you spouses, children and relatives for your understanding. We are also very grateful for your kind words of thanks and praise throughout the summer. It makes the hard work worthwhile. Love, Patty." Make sure you check the website at www.rbvl.com for more pictures from the awards dinner. If you have any photos you'd like to have posted, send them to sica@rbvl.com.

The Awards Dinner was the last big RBVL event of 2009. Enjoy the off-season but mark your calendars for the RBVL's opening day - June 2 and the 2010 playoffs - August 14. Of course, there will be a captain's meeting in the winter, as plans are made for next season. Make sure you have a current email or two from your team on file with the league since that is the primary way of contacting everyone in the offseason.

If you have any questions please call Patty at 917-613-0908 (Be sure to call between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.) or check the site. See you on the beach in the summer of 2010!

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