Someone with access to posterity once said that in order to know where you are going, you have to know where you came from. Thatís why before I go out for the night in Vegas, I always write my hotelís name and room number on my hand. But I guess the phrase is more applicable to situations like our very own B Leagues. The original idea back in 2003 was to get some of our ìAî League role players more playing time during games and a chance to showcase their skills for the full 40 minutes, rather than wait for guys like Poulos, McMahon and yours truly to stop shooting and actually pass the ball. So we started the first CRFC B League with a very humble 6 teams and 36 players, mirroring the A League as best we could. The league was so small I was able to ref all the games and do all the write-ups easily on just one can of Red Bull. But nowadays itíd take me at least a full case of 16 oz Red Bull (which I hear are coming out with soon) as CRFC is at full capacity with 4 distinct B Leagues, 41 total teams and over 250 players. The distinction between ìAî players and the ìBî players now is pretty much the same as the difference in hotness between the Coors Light Twins – non-existent. We have guys like John Mazzone, Ramon Penrose, Trevor McAndrew and Jay Sartori all playing in our B leagues, so it has clearly become a much different league than we anticipated. But we certainly didnít go from 36 to 250 players without help, so I thought this was a good opportunity to reflect and give some thanks to those who added so much to the growth of CRFC B League basketball.
Jon Hanson, B League Pioneer
Jon was the one of the first ìAî players to join the B League to get some more playing time and showcase his skills after playing on one of my A teams and not getting the minutes he deserved. It worked out great for him as his Solid Gold squad not only won the first ever B League title, but he added the 1st ever B League MVP to his trophy case, not to mention he was the 1st ever Wolverine Trap guest back in the old days when the interviews were actually done over the phone (those were really awkward). Many other ìAî players like JayPro, John ìRasheedî Little, Maverick Howe, Charles Wong, and Sergery saw what the B league could do for their game and soon followed suit. But back then we needed one guy to help legitimize the B leagues for current players and be the catalyst for future growth, and Jon proved to be just the man for the job.
The Professor Jon Mozenter, the Susan B. Anthony of the B League
In addition to being the 1st ever B League GM of the Year, the Professor constantly barraged Josh and I with emails during the 1st season pushing for equal rights for the B Leagues like expanded stats, write-ups, awards, etc. And the Professor succeeded in this endeavor as, like most equal rights protagonists, he was absolutely right on point with most of his commentary. He is responsible for many of the leagues ideas, including the fantasy stat player rater, playoff formatting, and bringing clipboards to the game to draw up plays during time-outs. No word yet on the truth to the rumor that the US Mint is considering replacing Sacagawea with the Profís image on the new dollar gold coins.
All members of Cobra Kai past, present and future
From the originals Duncan Primetime, ìDJ Jazzyî Jeff Hall, Rob ìThe Animalî Jenson and ìThe Reverendî Jeff Coburn to the newer members The ìWidowmakerî Jose Torres and ìPerfect Stormî Scott Sonia, Cobra Kai has always embodied the spirit and enthusiasm that CRFC Hoops tried to promote. They are the model that teams like Serenity Now, the Mullets, Drago, and the Nympho Junkboxes are now molding themselves after in the embodiment of that spirit, enthusiasm and all-around good guys. Memorable moments for these guys include The Reverend raising the bar for all future Wolverine Trap guests, Primetime taping his nickname on the back of his jersey before games, Primetime tanning before the finals for the team picture, Primetime bearing chest hair at the league party, and Jazz making the CRFC court his personal pin ball machine by careening out of control into the wall on almost every lay-up. In their 1st B league, their strategy was pretty to cross half-court and whoever had the ball at that time got to jack up a three pointer. With that strategy culminating into very limited success, they then transformed themselves into a championship winning squad that won the title against Flash and the rest of Sasquatch in one of the greatest CRFC Finals ever played at CRFC. They gave me so much material for the write-ups, I feel like I should at least give them at least half of the fortune I have made on my writing. So, Iíll tell you what, next time we are all out together, I will treat you all to a round of buffalo chicken tenders, small.
Ian Whitney, Kool Aid
The year Ian entered Kool Aid as a team was a defining moment in the B Leagues. It wasnít until he brought John Mazzone and Mark Raymond on the same team that we had a legit full ìAî level team in this league and the lines between ìAî and ìBî leagues began to permanently blur. After they won the championship that season, teams started to build around matching up against Kool Aid, adding guys like Google, Shorey, and Kent to their teams to compete. As a result, the very next league had to be split between B1 and B2 to adjust for the increased talent level. Ian has had a team in both B leagues ever since yet despite being in these leagues for all of these years, I have yet to ref one of his games without him shouting ìOh, címon Wolverine!!!î when I call a foul on him. You think after all of this time heíd either adjust to my calls or just accept that I am going to call cheap fouls on him!
Tim Hinkel, Webmaster
Sometimes I refer people to our website to take a look at our leagues and they are absolutely amazed. I am not sure if the amazement stems from how great the site is or how unusual it is for grown men and women with presumably some semblance of a job to check 1st thing in the morning and see how many turnovers they had the night before or the who is the front-runner for the next league partyís Most Wasted Award. Either way, CRFC website design and maintenance is all done by CRFC Family member Tim Hinkel and his company, Orcapack. He has successfully managed the website despite the quick and explosive growth of CRFC hoops as it was originally designed for just one 6 team, 36 person league with the only statistics being points per game. There is no other recreational league website like it anywhere in the world ñ I have checked.
B League Characters
Over the years, we have had many characters that lent themselves to being anointed nicknames. Among them, ìThe Wormî Jeff York, Ethan ìNeedlesî Borg (former CRFC acupuncturist), the ìHuman Pogo Stickî Andy Danielson, ìCadillacî Rick Garza, ìLocal Heroî Ed Finn, ìMr. Fantasy Statî Fred Bermont, ìWild Onî Klay Dendrinos, Ben ìShaqî Heywood, Chris ìMagic Manî Louis, ìLil OíCalî Dan Lenihan, The Man Only Known as Renat, Andre ìFlashî Jones, ìThe Mechanicî Greg Schmidt, ìThe Professorî Jon Mozenter, Keith and Richard Manning – the most deadly brother combination since the Menendez Brothers, John ìRasheedî Little, Jiggy, John ìMVPî Mazzone, Mike Marksmanship, Duncan Primetime, The ìCoozî Andrew Darien, ìMr. Everythingî Jeff Hrkach, ìThe Anvilî Vin Farina, DJ Jazzy Jeff Hall, ìERodî Eddie Rodriguez, ìThe Reverendî Jeff Coburn, Mike ìCWebbîCifelli, ìThe Human Missileî Fernando Vieira, Ian Tosti of the Town, ìThe Good Kingî Adam Kneeland, the ìIcemanî Jean Cadet, and the list goes on. And there are surely more to comeÖ
Godfrey is first player to win CRFC titles in both the A league and the B league and is also the winner of the past 4 GM of the Year awards. We may have to rename the award after him when all is said and done. He a solid player who has a knack for coming up with big shots at the most critical time ñ I am not sure how many times I have used the headline ìThank God-freyî for his games, but it has been many. Godfrey is a great guy who assembles players like they are Legos and he has the trophy case to prove that he is very good at assembling those Legos.
All members of ALS-DF past, present and future
This team is the Cheers of CRFC ñ the longest running CRFC show as they have played in every singe B League since inception. From ìThe Human Missileî Fernando Vieira, to Andy Reed, to Ken ìHowardî Thompson, to ìThe Mechanicî Gregg Schmidt to Andy Moreno, to the Heywoods, this team has played more CRFC games than I care to count. And never a technical foul, never a bad word to another player, and never a complaint about anything. Class acts all-around at ALS-TDF.
Andrew Danielson, In Memoriam
Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Andy knew what a great athlete and person he was. He played countless B League games where he won just about every award there was to win – MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, ALL-CRFC and a Championship. Each night he made sure guys explosive scorers like Mazzone, JayPro, and Tom Bain worked for every point they scored. Easily one of the best athletes in the gym and easily one of the classiest guys I have ever met in my life. We now have an annual charity 3 on 3 tournament in his honor as well as a sportsmanship award in his name to show just how well respected and liked he was here at CRFC. I canít think of the early days of the B League without thinking of him.
Thanks to everyone who has played in all of the B leagues for making hoops competitive and unique!!!!!!!!!!