Recap! Dodgeball Tourney: Democrats vs Republicans!

Thanks to the Virginia Rampage for the awesome recap of this past Saturday’s Tourney!

On April 28, Virginia Rampage Pro Brett Batky joined a team of free agents for the LivingSocial ZogSportsDC dodgeball tournament in Washington, DC. Together they formed the team “Romulans” as part of the Republican division in a quest for dodgeball and faux political glory. The event was held outdoors on a cool and cloudy day at the chosen battleground of Yards Park near the Navy Yard. A fitting setting, as warships oversaw the skirmish from the Potomac shore.


Also in attendance at the tournament were Philadelphia Justice Pros Andrew Giovinco and Matt Giovinco who were joined by their Philly kin Mike Merves, a sprinkling of DC free agents, and up and coming Virginia star Lisa Reichenbacher. Together they formed “Team Awesome” - likewise in the Republican division.

One more team of local dodgeballers rounded out the Republican division, while the remaining 12 teams made up the Democratic division. (Guess we know which way DC is swinging.) Teams competed in timed round-robin matches to determine which team would represent their political party in a championship dodgeball ball-ot.

Despite there being fewer Republican teams there was no shortage of competition as dodgeballs were traded back and forth like words; the frequency and scathe rivaling that of a primary debate. Both Team Awesome and Romulans established themselves as the forerunners of the Republicans, setting themselves up for a nail-biting semi-final. When the dust settled, Team Awesome stood victorious 7-5 over Romulans - earning the Republican bid for the Championship.

On the Democratic side the action was even more fierce as several talented candidates vied for the opportunity to represent their party in the finals. Only one could advance to face the Republicans though, and the semi-final to determine that victor came down to a United Social Sports inter-league rivalry between favorite Seungy’s Honeys versus their counterparts, plus Mr. Dodgeball himself Ronnie Finch, with a chip on their shoulder Don’t Tread on My Balls. Both teams exhibited a mastery of dodgeball strategy and skill, but sometimes having something to prove can trump all. This was the case as Don’t Tread on My Balls pulled off the upset to advance to the final round.


Clouds grew thicker and raindrops began to fall as the Championship got underway. Dirt became mud. Grip became loose. With every throw and strike water flew from dodgeballs and players alike. The Philly players, Team Awesome, had not lost a tournament all year, while the DC players fought to defend the honor of all metro area dodgeballers. Victories were swapped by both teams. It came down to the final game. As time expired the announcement came over the speakers, “Don’t Tread on My Balls wins!”

Thanks to both LivingSocial and ZogSportsDC for putting together a fun tournament. While the tournament was billed as a relaxed, social tournament I think the competitiveness of VA/DC/MD dodgeball was adeptly displayed as well.

Would love to see this same talent on display at The National Dodgeball League Dodgeball World Championship this August!

Announcement: First ZogDC Engagement!

It took less than two years, but the first engagement in ZogSportsDC history has finally arrived! We have a long way to go before we compete with ZogSportsNYC’s 50+ announced engagements. One down, 56 more to go!

Kim and Brian met in Washington D.C. last January (2011) playing ZogSportsDC co-ed touch football.

Winter 2011 Touch Football. Brian looks deep in thought, figuring out his opening line to Kim.


Both joined as individuals not really knowing anyone, but they quickly found each other. They spent hours talking together after the very first game and have been inseparable ever since. The two couldn’t be from more opposite places, a small town girl from Central Pennsylvania and a city boy from Miami (I can’t help it….must break out into song….”Don’t Stop Believin’!”), but their similarities are uncanny.

Warming up during Fall 2011 Basketball


Brian proposed to Kim this past February (2012) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when the two took a weekend trip to watch a UNC basketball game. Finally, they plan on getting a dog in the next month, and they have already decided to name it “Zog”!

ZogSportsDC wishes a super congratulations & a long, loving life (filled with co-ed sports, of course) together to Kim & Brian!

Respecting the Referee’s Call

There are countless memories we tie back to pivotal moments in sporting events where the referees need to make a big, bang-bang call. Doesn’t matter if the referee makes the correct call or not, in the end one team will be happy and one will be less than pleased. During Week One of the Touch Football season, I experienced such a call first-hand.

It was an epic Week One rematch between two titans of the gridiron. iTouchdown There was ready to bounce back from a poor playoff performance in the fall. Our opponents were the Smiley Frownies, back to back champs from Winter and Spring 2011. The first half was a defensive struggle. After stopping the Smiley Frownies on a big 4th and goal, our team had just enough time for one Hail Mary play.

Due in part to my 6am New Year’s Resolution workouts, I glided down the field and out jumped everyone to snatch the ball out of the air. As I engaged my landing gears (prepared to fall on my back), I instinctively extended the ball only to realize I was already two yards deep in the end zone.

I came up celebrating, receiving congratulations from my teammates, opponents, and those Zoggers watching our intense game from the sidelines. And then it happened: Volunteer Referee #3 ran onto the field saying I was not in the end zone. James M, our Head Referee, followed protocol, called an official’s timeout and had a referee pow-wow. Convinced it was a touchdown, my team was busy planning our two-point conversion play. James blew his whistle and announced it was not a touchdown, and that was the end of the half.

My team was shocked, those watching were shocked, heck even the Smiley Frownies were shocked! I, on the other hand, celebrated a bittersweet victory. I was happy to see that the volunteer referee wasn’t afraid to make a big call. I was happy to see that James followed Head Referee protocol, made his call and stuck to it. I was happy to see that both teams respected the call. Plus, I knew it was really a touchdown, and no one could take that amazing feeling away from me.

As players, we are going to get some calls we like and we are going to get some calls we hate. As we head into the second half of the season and teams battle for playoff spots in all sports, let’s not forgot to respect the referees and the important decisions they make. Keep up the good work!

Why Zoggers Are Awesome

There are many reasons to play ZogSports: fun, socializing, sports, charity. This combination of reasons attracts truly amazing, good-hearted people.

In the fall we ran a Groupon special for new teams and individuals. The fall season came and went with our biggest season to date: 85 teams! We recently kicked off our winter season boasting 98 teams! After our first successful week of winter Touch Football, I was sitting at our football happy hour bar, Town Tavern, rehydrating on Miller Lite, when someone tapped me on the shoulder.

Behind me stood a humbled (non-new) captain who said, “Remember that Groupon deal in the fall…,” as he handed me a check. “We collected from everyone on the team, and this should cover the difference.” I was speechless. I couldn’t believe this captain went above and beyond the call of duty to make this happen. I told him that we couldn’t accept it, but he wouldn’t budge, “I’ve already collected from everyone, and the check is made out to ZogSportsDC.” It was such a good deed that I wanted to pay it forward, so I asked, “Well what charity are you all playing for? Let’s send a $476 donation their way.”

Today I am mailing a $476 donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (http://www.pancan.org). This donation is in the honor of Jon Erickson, who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer and Carl Keegan Luxem who passed away battling Pancreatic Cancer in 2007.

This all wouldn’t be possible without the awesome efforts of Jack A, Candace M, and the rest of their teammates, Team CATBUTT. I would like to thank Jack, Candace, team CATBUTT and every single Zogger for all of the amazingly caring and awesome things that you do.

With ZogSportsDC, young professionals can play for their cause. Today Team CATBUTT Groupon’ed for their cause!

Team CATBUTT, Fall 2011

Around the League: Sunday Soccer Saviors & a Cure for a Case of the Mondays

Sunday Night Indoor Soccer:  We began our first ever DC indoor soccer league at St. Albans. We have eight teams competing for Sunday night glory. Playground All-Stars (GN) reminded us that Accenture delivers results, and  ZS-IS 5 (TQ) tied their match on a last second PK against Vandelay Industries (BK). No game was decided by more than two goals. The shot of the night, according to Head Referee Tom F, was a midcourt winner by Claire N, ZS-IS 2 (RD). We had a great happy hour attendance at Mason Inn, and we confirmed that the BBQ Pork Sandwich is bomb.com – it’s all about the meat – no sauce, minimal bread, lots of meat!

 

Claire N, ZS-IS 2 (RD)



Co-ed Basketball: We returned to St. Albans on Monday night for 3v3 basketball. The new look Sparkle Motion (BL) started strong (3-1). Captain Joe K attributed this to treadmill lunges during the off-season. 2 Factor Authentication (WH) denied access to the hoop, outscoring their opponents 96-33. ZS-CBB 3 (YW) struggled to score on the court but made up for it by being the last team standing at happy hour. They also used the happy hour time to convince me to join their team!

Men’s Basketball: Newcomers “3526, The Residents of” (GN) surprised a few teams and finished 4-0. Returning teams Paul’s Ball (BL) and defending champs ZS-MBB 1 (RD) continued their dominance with perfect records (4-0).

Early Award Prediction

Best Team Spirit: The Bullets. Yes, they had custom old-school Washington Bullets jerseys. Baller.

Around the League: Operation Occupy Zog Football

While ESPN is focusing its coverage on the NFL playoffs, we bring you the early scoop on ZogSportsDC’s Touch Football Winter League. Who are this season’s Contenders, Pretenders, and Bar-tenders?



Divisions

Spot Division: The Smiley Frownies are back this season. After hanging their cleats up for the fall, they are ready to show why they were back-to-back champions last winter and spring. They will be tested in Week Five, when they face fall division winner Premature Celebration. Fresh off of their victory in the annual Blondes vs Brunettes charity game, Team Bru looks to silence their competition. Reports indicate Bru’s QB, Brandon H, was training in NYC during the ZogNYC Winter Classic, where he led his team to the semi-finals.

Brandon, Team Bru QB, playing in the ZogNYC Winter Classic



Street Division: Fresh from the fist-pumping state, recent ZogNJ transplant Kelly Z, hopes to work her Seeing Red (ZogNYC Tourney Champs x2) magic with new team ZS-FB1. For the first time in history, Tres Dubbs did not have to update their team name. Will this be the season they go from Tres to Quatros? Week One starts off with a bang against fall division champ Back That Pass Up.

Back That Pass Up, Fall 2011 Division Champs



Head & Flash Divisions: These two divisions have a lot in common starting off with the love for “occupy-related” team names – Occupy Gridiron, Occupy Football, and Occupy Rex Grossman! Two of our ZogDC Touch Football Summer Classic teams make their returns this winter – The Turdburglars, led by Courtney M, and Touchdown My Pants, captained by Chris A. Will their experience in the tourney pay off, or will the fall rust be too much to overcome? Courtney’s Turdburglars will have to bring their A-game in Week One as they take on perennial playoff contender, Team CATBUTT.

Team CATBUTT, Fall 2011 Division Runner-Up



Early Award Predictions

Best Drinking Team: Speaking of Team CATBUTT (former Best Drinking Team), the gauntlet has already been laid down. An inside source confirmed that the Untouchables (2x Best Drinking Champs) plan on reclaiming their title. Recent newcomers, the BumbleBEERS, won’t go down without a fight, as they proved week after week in the fall.

Team BumbleBEERS, Fall 2011



Best Team Name: I’m always a fan of team names that get the last laugh. For that reason, I have to say “Off in the Corner” is my early vote for Best Team Name. In case you didn’t catch that, let’s pretend their opponent wins. Fast forward to Monday, opponent’s team captain is at the work water cooler. His boss walks by and asks, “Hey John, how was your weekend?” John responds, “Oh it was awesome! I played touch football and beat….”

However, the question begs: Will one of our many new teams take the league by storm and put our savvy veterans to shame (on the field or in the bar)???

DC Invades NYC

A group of DC Zoggers traveled to NYC this past weekend to invade their Winter Football Tourney and show them that DC can hang. The group consisted of players from Premature Celebration and Team Bru, two of our perennial teams. Here is their story as told by Kristin Lough & Shawn Trahey.


Kristin Lough definitely had NYC

& NJ Zoggers talking after some

amazing catches!


We knew our biggest issue besides the logistical nightmare of getting everyone transportation, lodging, and to the fields by 9:30am on Saturday morning, was to form a strong chemistry on the field. Getting to the field was a bit difficult for a portion of the team. From our hotel, five of us were walking distance to Randalls Island (location for the tourney). So we started on what we envisioned to be a mile walk over the RFK bridge (insert pause for NYCers to laugh out loud). Little did we know, the island was quite large, and the field was an additional two miles away. While we got our legs warm on the walk over, next time we are heed the advice in our ZogSports Reminder Emails!

Magically everyone on our team got to the field before game one, and we had some time to warm up and configure a game plan. Our QB was the elusive Brandon Holland of Team Bru, and he showed his moves in the first TD of the day, scrambling to get us on the board. We breezed through the opening bracket going 3-0 with a monster blowout victory to close the round.

Next up was the single elimination championship round. We needed three wins to take the title. Game 1 was another blowout with Sean Donovan frustrating the opposing QB with a monster pass rush all game. Game two was versus NYC veterans, The Flying Pink Popped Collars. Yes, they had custom pink ZogSports collared shirts. As if these pink popped collars weren’t motivation enough to win, the opposing QB, Brandon Bitterman, introduced himself as “the Rob for Zog NYC” (see DC Rob). Nice guy and smart QB, but now we had to win it for DC. His team showed strong chemistry, killing us on quick hitches to the outside. However, a lot of dink and dunks don’t equal high scoring. After a scoreless first half, we came out fired-up and scored on the opening drive of the second half to take a 7-0 lead.

Tony Ham played through the pain

of two broken fingers!


With two minutes remaining, we scored once again on a long ball to the Asian sensation, Tony Ham, bringing the score to 13-6. But in true Eli Manning two minute drill fashion, NYC’s Team Pink drove the field and scored. They showed their true colors and went for two with 31 seconds left on the clock. They were successful, and unfortunately we lost 14-13. So close to winning it all for DC!

What does a loss mean? Time to do what DC does best, HAPPY HOUR! We headed over to Session 73 to hang with the NYC Zoggers. They were impressed that we made the journey up 95 for the game and said they wanted to return the favor when DC holds its next tourney. Members of Team BAM were especially sociable and assured us of a future visit to DC.

After many shots, games of flip cup, and a few cramps (from a full day of football), we successfully closed down the bar as they prepared for their night time crowd. That’s how DC rolls. At this point, we could have called it a day, but we fought through extreme exhaustion because hey, we didn’t come to NYC to sleep. DC Rob eventually met up with us at one of his favorite NYC dive bars, as he and his teammates were still drowning their sorrows of going 0-3 during round robin play.

In summary, we know it was a good time and an amazing experience. We hope NYC and NJ are ready for the team we’re going to bring next year. Championship or bust!

The One With All the Thanks Giving

Friends did it. How I Met Your Mother does it. Thanksgiving (or Slapsgiving) episodes rock. The group spends Thanksgiving together with a few cameos to spice things up.  

For most young professionals, Thanksgiving means going home to celebrate with family. This Thanksgiving, I did something different, saved two hours on my commute, and went to Williamsburg to celebrate with my friend JD, his girlfriend Nicole, and his family.

In four days of eating, drinking, and playing cards, I got to know nine new people like they were my own family. Right from the start, Tony (JD’s father) had each of us explain what we were thankful for this year – what an icebreaker! Danner (JD’s mom) posted a schedule for the weekend of who was responsible for cooking each meal. In a relaxed setting, we shared food, culture and funny stories. Unofficially, Nicole, JD and I won the Best Meal Award!

Before we knew it, the weekend was coming to an end. As we said our goodbyes, I couldn’t help but feel sad and knew I was going to miss the friendships I had made – people I knew for seventy-two hours. How about that?

I then thought back to Thanksgiving 2003. I was a junior in college and home for the holidays. I had just started refereeing for Zog that fall. As I was sharing the Zog story with my family, ZogSports came on 60 Minutes. It was a piece on Urban Families – people provide family support to one another in the absence of a real family in an urban setting. Those interviewed talked about how playing ZogSports gave them a chance to form close bonds in big cities.

This of course prompted memories of Sacks Ed, my Zog team in NYC. The team started as a few friends from college. We did our best to fill the roster with other friends, co-workers and girlfriends. ZogSports provided the relaxed setting for all of these strangers to get to know each other. Teammates started traveling to games together, throwing a few back at happy hour (and challenging other teams to flip cup – I’m looking at you Team Snatch & Team Lamp), and making dinner plans for later that night. Talk about being the highlight of our week!

Fast forward to 2011, the girlfriends are now wives and the acquaintances are best friends. While some of us have moved on (I’m in DC, Gary & Joanne are in London), the group in New York is as strong as ever. December 10th is the ZogSportsNYC Winter Football Classic, and I’ll be there giving it my all for Sacks Ed (and hopefully battling some of our perennial rivals – Team Brawl & The Fighting Desmundo, One Flip, Touch This, and of course Seeing Red – maybe just maybe we can finally defeat Seeing Red) . That night our team is having a Holiday Party and gift exchange (White Elephant/Yankee Swap). Even Gary and Joanne will be participating via Skype!

As our fifth DC season comes to a close, I’m happy and excited to see close friendships forming amongst the ZogDC community. We even have two touch football teams making the trip to NYC for the tourney.  Go Premature Celebration & The Untouchables – Win it for DC!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Basketball Bonanza

In this week’s installment of videos, here are the highlights from the 3v3 match-ups last week. Thank God no one was filming this past Monday night to catch my horrific-missed-wide-open-lay-up that could have won the game (I would never live it down if we had it on film).



BoomShakalaka vs Team One

Team One puts on a shooting clinic, but BoomShakalaka keeps it close. They have a chance on the final shot, does it go in???



Paul’s Ball vs East Meets West vs Red Ballaz

It starts off with a defensive struggle between Paul’s Ball & East Meets West. Red Ballaz put together a string of nice plays including a near rebound dunk!



Team E vs We Shoot Better Than Plaxico

Plaxico puts up a good fight, but Team E continues their dominance of the co-ed division.



Sparkle Motion vs NGNL

NGNL drop a few nice shots, but a banked-three and the power play of Joe (Sparkle Motion) slapping the backboard help seal the deal.



BB3 vs Pippin Ain’t Easy vs Love it when you boxout

BB3 and Team Love it trade baskets for most of their match-up. Later, the Ron Mexico of Zog, Joe (Love it when you boxout), feeds Ron down low and swishes a nice three to boot. If you think the nickname is a stretch, come challenge him in our Touch Football league.



Halloween Battle: Branch Young’ns vs BB4 vs mAXAttack

What match-up is more appropriate than orange vs black on Halloween? mAXAttack shows why having a high Steals rating is oh so important. Judd (Branch Young’ns) has a chance to win it as our ref, Lennox, counts down the final seconds. Feeling like Jordan today?

Volleyball Never Looked So Good

Quite a significant difference (in video quality) from our previous volleyball post. For your viewing pleasure, we’ve doubled the montage fun! These clips come from the match-up between Safe Sets (Turquoise), ZS-VB7 (Military Green), and Unprotected Sets (Dark Blue).

Check out the nice hit and victory dance at the end by Scott (Safe Sets):



Part two showcases a nice block by Colin and back row hit from Rob (Unprotected Sets). It ends with a killer hit by Megan (Safe Sets).