A fast and furious Long Beach weekend: Fast cars, pocketing food and the best college volleyball one could desire

By Steve Lowery

The rich are different. They get to do stuff.

I, who am not rich — a fact made clear as I finished doing my taxes this weekend; my initial relief at getting to skip multiple steps soon tempered by the realization that all of those steps were related to the making or having or saving or investing of money — was invited to one of those things that rich people love to do: throw parties before, during and after sporting events for the purposes of community/fun/ongoing business relationships.

This one was thrown by powerhouse law firm Keesal, Young & Logan, which represents the Long Beach Post, and took place at its 14th-floor offices in the Union Bank building, offering spectacular views of the city; from the engineering wonder of the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement, to the grounded suck of the Queen Mary, to the bustle of Downtown on Sunday, the day of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. Why, if you looked real hard at just the right time, you might even be able to make out just a glimmer of entitled angst emanating from East Long Beach.

Though the Grand Prix was the biggest event of the weekend, it was not the best sporting event of the weekend. That was no doubt the Friday-Saturday matches between the men’s volleyball teams of the University of Hawaii and Long Beach State. Hawaii came into the matches undefeated and top-ranked, while Long Beach had lost just once and was ranked second.

The Friday match went the full five games with Long Beach winning in the fifth. I attended the Saturday match and was part of the largest crowd to watch men’s volleyball at the Pyramid, nearly 5,000 people. The match was worthy of a national championship final, which these two could very well meet in. The crowd was loud and seemingly evenly divided between Long Beach and Hawaii fans with, I think I’d have to say, Hawaii fans being a bit louder.

But Long Beach had TJ DeFalco. I’ve covered lots of sports for lots of years and there are athletes that, as cliché as it sounds, refuse to lose. That was DeFalco, Saturday. Once his team was down 2-1, he became a madman. And I don’t just mean he played out of his mind, you could see his teammates were borderline frightened of him and stepped up their game not necessarily for their alma mater, but because they were afraid of pissing off TJ.

You need more details? Go to this link at LBPost.com


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