Name, age, occupation, where are you from?
Kevin Dailey, 36, salesman and promoter from Hudson County.
You're a co-founder of Brooklyn Kickball - when you tell people about kickball, what are their responses?
For the most part when you first go around telling people about kickball, some people think it's the greatest idea ever, some people were just too cool to consider it, yet would sometimes show up, and other people were like, "what do you have a regressive personality?" A lot of people who ended up coming out changed their minds and found that it was a good time.
Do you think most people are trying to rekindle schoolyard glory by playing?
I think one of the reasons our league is successful is because it's on Sunday nights. Sunday nights typically blow for most people. They rue going to work the next day, they put on 60 minutes and want to slit their wrists. You can TiVo all that and actually do something with yourselves.
As far as rekindling schoolyard glory, I, like most people, probably didn't play kickball after 4th grade because by that time, the schools would want to focus on the more traditional sports to see if anyone was any good at them. There are a lot of things to it - I don't think it's about rekindling schoolyard glory, it's just a fun game we were exposed to when we were little and it's a shame that we weren't allowed to play it when we were older because it wasn't offered. It was something we learned how to play when we were young kids, so if the love of playing it was there when we were kids, then it should be there now. And it is for a lot of people.
This Saturday is the first Brooklyn Kickball Invitational Tournament in McCarren Park - what should people expect to see if they come to watch?
Mayhem. Absolute mayhem. All the other leagues have been talking a lot of trash. I know that Providence - their league is a lot older than us - might try to get a Harley onto the field and they have a smoke machine. I warned all the leagues that you can be hit with a water balloon at any time.
We're going to have five musical acts [Browningham, Full Metal Lyricist, The Big Sleep, Breakup/Breakdown, and Rye Coalition], we're going to have DJs, and we're going to have a very, very, very nice grand prize [Kevin would not disclose the prizes to Gothamist] for both the winner of the kickball tournament and the karaoke competition afterwards at Capone's. Everyone's going to be getting drunk as drinks are really cheap - it's $1 for Sparks, PBR and Reingold at the Turkey's Nest.
How many cities will be represented and how do you expect Brooklyn to do?
Providence is coming with three teams, DC is sending two, Toronto is sending two, we have three, Atlanta and Hoboken both have one.
I like our teams chances, and we've got a "dream team" that I've always wanted to put together. But a team like Atlanta isn't an all-star team, but the champion of their league so they're a cohesive unit. The know how to work together. I like Brooklyn's chances, but Providence has a good shot too. If I had to choose favorites, I would put Atlanta first and we would probably be tied with Providence for second. Of course, this isn't the NCAA Tournament - we've never seen each other play, we can't watch them on TV, and there are no Vegas odds.
I tell you one thing though - the billion to one shot is Toronto winning. They have absolutely no chance of winning. They'll be among the cutest though.
How has the kickball league evolved since you started it in 2003?
We started the league in the Autumn of 2003 in Red Hook. It was just me, a couple of the co-founders, and a few of our friends. We'd bring out the barbecue and play high school kids who would kick our ass every time. We did this every week for a couple of months and it was magical. In 2004 with the aid of MySpace and word of mouth, we had a few teams off the bat like Los Piratas Mechanicos, the Orange Sleeves, the Daggers and the Orphans. Since then, growth of the league has been exponential. We went from 6 consistent teams in '04, to 10 consistent teams last year, to about 20 teams this year. We never imagined at the end of last year that we would have to use three simultaneous fields.
What are some of the more amusing names that you've seen for a kickball team?
I like a lot of the team names this year. I've always been partial to the Orange Sleeves. I love Los Piratas Mechanicos, or Robot Pirates, loosely translated. I love the Burninators as a team name. As I like the Knickerbockers, I like the play on words with the Kickerbockers. I like Kick Your Balls Say Yeah, Bacon Bits, Makeouts, Phuket United - a nice play on words too, Shockamania I like as well. I like the fact that we have the traditional names like Tigers and the Daggers too.
Do you like the Burninators to repeat again?
Well obviously they're the favorites and they have a great team. They're led by Jesse "Sportz" Alexander and his brother, Ben. Those two guys set a very good tone for the team. They're definitely the odds on favorite come September. Anything can happen between now and then though - teams could merge, and someone could pickup some random soccer player.
What's the prize for the winner of the league?
The prize for the winner is what's known as the Chuck D Cup. Back in 2004, I knew Chuck D was going to be at my friend's club, so I brought a kickball for him to sign. It's also signed by Treach from Naughty By Nature. It's encased in glass and it's our little version of the Stanley Cup.
Is kickball experiencing a resurgence right now? Or has there always been some sort of underground following?
Well, there are several leagues. There's the original kickball league, WAKA and someone that broke off from them and there is the a third league, the Urban League, which has the teams that are coming here on Saturday. Look up and down the coast and in the midwest, I would bet that every major city in America has a kickball league just like ours.
If a movie was made about Brooklyn Kickball (we envision the title as "KICKBALL!"), who would you cast in the film?
I would have the late, great, Rodney Dangerfield star as me. I'd cast Tom Cruise as the dick. Natalie Portman as the girl to win over and Sarah Michelle Gellar as the ringer. Norm MacDonald as our co-founder and Salma Hayek would be the lawn candy.
What are some of the common mistakes by people that haven't played kickball in say 20 years?
Tagging up is something that people don't know about. Sometimes people think that an uncaught foul ball is a live ball. It's not about kickball, but about knowing the rules of baseball. To help with that we're getting B.A. Miale to do a kickball instructional video for kickball. She did all the original kickball videos, about a video a week in 2004. We'll be covering a lot of the trickier rules including the infield fly rule, which I've always wanted enforced.
And the common misconceptions about the sport?
Yes. Some people would go as far as saying that it's not a legitimate sport. Say what you want about the talent of our league, but you have to catch, you have to throw, you have to run, you should slide and you have to be smart in certain situations. I'm here to say that, not only is kickball a legitimate sport, but it's a great sport. And as far as I'm concerned, it will be around until my dying day.
The first Brooklyn Kickball Invitational Tournament takes place this Saturday in McCarren Park in Greenpoint/Williamsburg from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Regular season kickball games are Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. - for more information go to Brooklyn Kickball's website and MySpace page.