HYANNIS – [HN NOTES & MULLINGS ON THE MATTER] – “I went to a fight the other night, and a volleyball game broke out,” said no one ever!
I think it was Rodney Dangerfield who once joked, “I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out.” (Pretty funny, especially if you grew up around a skating rink in the 1960s and ’70s. “Old Time Hockey,” “boys being boys,” and all that good stuff…) Because, historically, one expected a certain degree of violence whenever two “old school” teams laced ’em up, to face off over a tiny rubber disc, on a sheet of ice, often without wearing helmets or face masks. Showing off missing teeth and scars from head lacerations, that were sometimes stitched or patched up right there on the bench, was a “thing” in those days. Things that made a “man” out of a feller. It was certainly rugged stuff and we were especially proud of being civilized enough to line up and shake hands when everything was said and done – after all, we weren’t unsophisticated Neanderthals for chrissakes! At least not genetically…
… and, in those days, if someone wound up being transported to the hospital due to injuries sustained during a hockey “scrap,” it would hardly even seem newsworthy. “It was just boys playing hockey, for crying out loud… c’mon!” Sneaky “butt ends,” cheap shots, and bludgeoning your opponent with bare knuckles after yanking their jersey over their head, were things moms and dads discussed, taught and planned together as a family, in the station wagon, while hauling “their little darlin’s” and their sacks of gear (and other “legal” dangerous weapons, such as sticks and whatnot) to the “game.”
Hockey rage and violence was a family affair in the old days. It allowed everyone a relaxing evening off from beating on one’s own brothers and sisters. Clear lines had been drawn and there were now real enemies, outsiders who would be arriving in their own station wagons and/or school buses from neighboring towns. Wimpy towns. Towns that wore wimpy colored shirts and hats. Towns that needed a good thrashing, on the ice of course. “Our” town’s honor was at stake! And these weird outsiders with their wimpy colored jerseys needed to be taught a lesson! The dirty bastards!
And fans would line the rink, shouting things like, “HIT HIM!” or “STICK HIM!” or “CUT HIM WITH YOUR SKATE!” Things that would be considered felonies in the real world. But on the ice it was all in good “sport.” Just boys being boys… (the same boys who would be forced to register for the draft in a year or two, whether we liked it or not – we were a nation perpetually training our warriors – still are – but I digress…)
The point is, perfectly acceptable, organized violence in colored jerseys brought us all closer together in projecting our deeply festering aggression onto others wearing different colors! It was as “American” as apple pie!
And everyone just loved it! “God bless America,” we’d all say, as we sharpened our skates…
But last evening things went a wee too far, in my humble opinion. Upon hearing someone was transported to a Boston area hospital for injuries sustained in a fight that broke out during a “friendly” game of volleyball, my first thoughts were, “is there ANY goddamn decency left in this world!”
But alas, nothing is sacred anymore…
AS THE STORY GOES, Barnstable Police were dispatched to the Cape Cod Hospital emergency room for someone who presented themselves with serious injuries sustained during some type of assault.
Upon arrival, officers encountered an adult male suffering a neck injury that actually happened a couple of days earlier. This past Sunday, as is customary on every Sunday, a group of Hyannis men all gathered for a friendly game of volleyball and beers. These are hard working, “salt of the earth” type men, and Sunday is their time for relaxing and letting loose…
… which is probably why they chose volleyball, traditionally a lively but peaceful sport, enjoyed by boys and girls of all ages. It’s not really a contact sport. There is no checking. No penalty calls for tripping or high sticking. There’s not even a penalty box. Fighting is the last thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “volleyball.”
But according to police sources, things became a little heated during this past Sunday’s “friendly” game and it actually came to fisticuffs and angry blows being landed. And as it turned out, in the end, there was less volleying and more punching… and even some Jackie Chan moves thrown in for good measure!
The initial volleyball fight had eventually ended and seemingly settled down. But one male went home and still felt a lump on his head and believed he knew for certain who had thrown the cheap shot. So, not wanting to let it go, he phoned the “friend” who he believed had just sucker punched him. And predictably, reportedly still under the influence of their Sunday libations, both decided it best to meet up in the middle of their family neighborhood’s street to settle things, mano a mano, like drunken apes.
And so, they went round and around in the middle of the road, hooking and jabbing, bobbing and weaving… and also ducking whenever they could, to avoid being angrily walloped by the opposing primate. I’m sure it must have been quite an educational Sunday spectacle, it was a family neighborhood after all. And it’s not everyday one gets to see volleyballers pounding on one another. This was History in the making!
But the “fun” ended when the volleyballer who was initially punched during the game, ended up taking a kick to the throat. It was painful when it happened on Sunday… and when the pain didn’t go away, he ended up in Cape Cod Hospital last evening. It wasn’t getting better on its own. And when he arrived at the emergency room, doctors didn’t like what they saw and reportedly decided to transport him to a Boston hospital that perhaps specializes more in volleyball throat injuries.
And after police had heard the entire tale, they paid a visit to the friend who allegedly kicked their victim in the throat. “Jackie Chan” (not his real name) was arrested and charged with felony Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon (shod foot).
The guy who got kicked in the throat was not keen on pressing charges at first, but when he learned how badly injured he was, he reportedly had a change of heart.
“I went to a fight the other night, and a volleyball game broke out,” said no one ever… until perhaps now!
P.S. – Today’s Hytown Vignette is a brought to you by Joey DeFrancesco… [CLICK IT/CRANK IT!]
* The details contained in the above report are based on police radio transmissions and information from police sources. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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