Let the playoffs begin!
After 22 weeks of bruising competition, Brooklyn Kickball’s fiestiest teams are finally ready for their shot at a title.
Top-ranked John Cougar Mellencamps, the two-time champions who have sat atop the league’s standings since May, are the favorites, with the New Frontiersmen, Mathletes, Broooklyn United, People’s Court, Pony Boys, Never Scared, and American Blood right there in the hunt.
All those teams get a bye this Sunday, but here’s how we see the playoffs unfolding:
The biggest story of the season is the Pony Boys’ quiet courting of all-world kickball star Jesse “Sportz” Alexander.
The sixth-ranked Boys already made a splasy free-agent signing by nabbing Priest “Highlander” Fontaine in the beginning of the season, but Alexander would make their line-up formidable and likely ensure another championship appearance.
Alexander played with the Boys this past weekend, helping the team stymie the Kickey Mouse Club and upend the Victorious Vices.
Boys co-captain Anthony “Sam” Sneed does not believe that Alexander will join the team in the postseason, but Alexander is coy.
“I just might — they made me feel quite welcome,” said Alexander.
League Commissioner Kevin “Commish” Dailey say team should break the bank to get him.
“He’s one of the best kickballers to ever grace our league,” said Dailey. “Prepare to offer him your finest wines, meats and women.”
The controversial Buy-A-Run day usually amounts to friendly competition, but seventh-ranked Never Scared’s blood was boiling after the Mellencamps bought the third-ranked Mathletes a win over the purple players.
When that game was over, Never Scared left the field and didn’t return for its second match.
The league raised $9,700, which will be donated to the Greenpoint Reformed Church’s food pantry.
No one is underestimating the Mellencamps, but many teams may be overlooking veteran-laden squads who have not been to the semifinals, including People’s Court, Never Scared and Ramrod.
Never Scared had an impressive second half, and has veteran legs, while a confident People’s Court climbed into the top eight with significant wins over rivals.
“This season is the result of hardworking and dedication from a great group of people,” said People’s Court captain “Judge” Jeremy Medanich. “I think people sleep on us, especially the top teams, and I think we’re gonna wake their asses up in two weeks!”
And the second-ranked New Frontiersmen could finally be primed for a deep playoff run after tripping in the postseason in recent years. Star Matt “Marquis de” Sadewitz says this year is going to be wearing plaid.
“We’re definitely championship-bound,” said Sadewitz. “The Mellencamps are the only team in the league who has shown they can consistently compete at our level.”
It has been a tough season for Diddy’s White Party, which started strong but has collapsed like Biggie Smalls in a fusillade.
Now captain Kristin “Evita” Gutekunst has fled for Argentina the team might be running out of gas. Same with the Mathletes, whose third-place finish belies a 7-8-2 record. Most of its wins were counted twice since the team devoured weaker teams early in the season, but the team folded when matched up with tougher tests. Expect them to bow out on the second weekend.
The Mellencamps, led by the celebrated rookie campaign by Mike “Marvin” Scott, are a strong favorite to return to the Final Four. And it is hard to discount the veteran roster of the Pony Boys, who know how to survive adversity.
This year, Never Scared and the New Frontiersmen will join them in the semis after choking bitterly in the quarterfinals last year.
But the result will likely be the same again — another Mellencamps championship. And if you don’t believe us, just ask Scott.
“We will repeat as champs — our biggest competition is ourselves,” he said. “When play like we are capable of playing, it’s not possible for us to lose.”
Brooklyn Kickball playoffs at Gilroy Field in McCarren Park (Bedford Avenue at N. 13th Street in Greenpoint), Sunday, noon–11 pm.