Brooklyn Kickball returned to the dusty ball fields and bright overhead lights of McCarren Park on Sunday night, as 32 teams kicked each other’s balls on the road to a championship.
The eighth annual Opening Day festivities were capped off by a rematch of last year’s epic final round series between The John Cougar Mellencamps and runner-up, Never Scared.
On Sunday, Never Scared earned its revenge, winning handily, 11–3.
Not that the former champions seemed all too worried.
“Our goal was to look good and have fun, so it doesn’t matter if we won or lost,” said captain Paul Cougar Mellencamp.
Still, Never Scared, which many kickball enthusiasts pick as the favorites to hoist the 2010 Chuck D. trophy, is hungry after finishing so close last year. Sunday’s resounding victory was a critical step towards its drive to the title, according to assistant coach Devin Vermeulen.
“We know what it tastes like,” said Vermeulen, referring to victory.
Other contenders waiting to dethrone the Mellencamps include The New Frontiersmen, Crucial Taunt, Majesty, and the pesky Bacon Bits.
The New Frontiersmen, led by Matt “Tiger” Sadewitz, boast a competitive squad of kickers, but the team dropped its first game to Brooklyn United, 14-8, in a late-inning rally.
The Bacon Bits should also be in the mix this year, after taking the title in its first season two years ago. The defense-heavy Bits are among the best fielders in the league, but they must find a way to score.
And don’t count out the Crucial Taunt, which wrapped up a quick opening day victory. The keys to advancing far in the playoffs, according to captain “Hey” Kate Brown is “gym tanning, and laundry,” and keeping the roster together through a season with many bachelor parties and weddings.
But the Mellencamps don’t share Brown’s aesthetic philosophy for victory.
“We are wearing the same exact outfit that we wore from last year’s final,” said outfielder Angelique Everett, who could not confirm whether her teammates did their laundry.
Brooklyn Kickball League at McCarren Park (Driggs Avenue at N. 14th Street in Greenpoint), Sundays 5–11 pm through September.