ROUGH-TOUCH

Take it easy this isn’t about a movie from back in the day on Forty-Doo Wop/Times Square.

No, this entry is about a friend Jack Kelly, who played rough-touch football down at Farragut Road.

Sunday mornings was special for me as a teenager.  I would head down to Farragut Road and watch Farrell’s football. If you waited outside the bar there was always someone headed down to the game whether it was a member of the team or a fan taking in the game. You just hopped in the car and off you went. Gerard Trapp often hooked me up with a lift.

This past weekend I had an e-mail exchange with Jack about his experience playing for Farrell’s. (First of four parts)

Container Diaries: Jack tell us about your playing days down at Farragut Road.

Jack Kelly: The league was around for a long time.  The team which became known as Farrell’s started in 1972 as ninth Avenue. I believe it was Paulie Lawrence, Mike Marona and John Devaney who put it together. I, along with the rest of seventh Avenue joined the team the next year.  We then became EJ’s.

It was a blast that first year for me.  Ninth Avenue guys, seventh avenue guys, the Hun’s and a few others from different parts of the neighborhood; all mixed together for a Sunday morning football game which lead to a long Sunday afternoon and night celebrating our youth. (Not many people made work on Monday’s that’s for sure)

To top it off, we won the Championship that year by beating McGuires, 25-24.

The next year, 1974, we became Farrell’s. I remember every Sunday after a game Eddie Farrell would buy a keg a beer down the Knights Of Columbus so we long-haired kids wouldn’t disturb his Sunday afternoon crowd at the bar.

It worked for most of us, especially for the Seventh Avenue and Huns guys, free beer was all we needed to hear.

That first year as Farrell’s we were again in the Championship Game, but this time we lost 14-13 to Five Corners who became Brennan’s the next year.

We got our revenge in 1978 in the championship by beating an undefeated Brennan’s team 19-6. That’s how it started for me on Farrell’s.

The following year McBears formed a team…it was started by my friends from Seventh Avenue.  But I stayed with Farrell’s; until the following year, that’s when I joined up with McBears.

Up Next: Jack’s tough decision; stay with Farrell’s or go with his friends and play for McBears.

-Steve

HOOPS135@HOTMAIL.COM

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15 Responses to ROUGH-TOUCH

  1. Jerry Kavanagh says:

    Steve,

    Great story today, and I can’t wait to read the next installments. As I’m sure I mentioned, I moved to Windsor Place from Stratford Road (Holy Innocents) when I was a freshman in college. I had played for several years against Farrell’s in that football league, first for Big John’s Knotty Pine and then for Club 17. John Devaney, my classmate at Xaverian, used to tell me to come over and play for Farrell’s, which I finally did in 1977, and we won the championship that year. We lost the next year, won the championship again the next year. In my fourth year, we were undefeated going into the last regular-season game (vs. White Horse/Skee’s Inn). Early in that game I intercepted a pass deep down the left sideline. The receiver, so frustrated, wrapped his arms around me while I was in the air and slammed me down shoulder first, breaking my collarbone (and ending my career). I was in Kings Highway Hospital for the remainder of the game (which we lost). Mike Marona drove my car and me back to Pearl River in Rockland County, followed by two other players (to drive Mike back to Brooklyn). Mike and John and Eloi are all gone now–great guys and great teammates. I sued to see the guys very year at the memorial mass for John, and kept in touch with Wally (Billy Kahaly), Corrado, and Gerard Trapp. I’ve played and loved sports my whole life, but the four years playing for Farrell’s were the most fun I ever had in sports. Tell Jack Kelly that he and Marty and Murph and Billy Walsh and the defensive rush they provided made it easier for cornerbacks like me and Howie.

    All the best, Jerry (JK)

    • hoopscoach says:

      Jerry,

      That is fantastic!

      WOW!

      May I ask, after you snatched the INT, and the offensive player pulled you down, did a fight break out? I seem to recall many skirmishes breaking out during the course of a game.

      Again, thanks for that story and I feel awful for you!

  2. richie k says:

    i remember playing down there, with ray collura, tommy smith, joe hurley and a bunch of others, we didn’t win much but it was a lot of fun, after the games was even better, going back to the winners bar!!!!! jack i thought u did play with mcbears when they started a team? i think at that time ronnie was there quarter back, i remember tommy mcgovern, john sarris, and a bunch of guys from 7th ave on the team,, that was a pretty tough league, i remember fat jacks team, some big dudes lolllllllllllllllllll

  3. Jack Kelly says:

    I know of one they did. They beat us ( McBears) the week after we tied Farrells 6-6.

  4. Jack Kelly says:

    Yes we did coach. We tied Farrell’s 6-6 the week before and the team thought they were good. But as the old saying goes your only as good as the next game.

  5. Glenn Thomas says:

    I remember watching Joe Sabbagh and Tommy Byrnes duking it out after Reds right after one of their games down at Farragut. The two went outside of the fence and settled it the old fashioned way. Tommy Byrnes was the coach of the team and I guess he had to take care of some team management issues. I must have been like 14-15 yrs old taking that all in that day. I used to go down to the games with Carlie Mirailh and Red’s played in the game just before Farrell’s took on another team. I loved those games!

  6. richie k says:

    yes we did steve!! i intercepted 3 passes that day,off Ronnie he was pissed good memory jack lolllllllllllllll

  7. mike slavin says:

    TOMMY AND JOE WERE 2 PRETTY TOUGH DUDES. MUST HAVE BEEN A
    HAYMAKER.

  8. richie k says:

    3 touchdowns? i think we were told not to even show up lolllllllllllllll

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