Rat Island Riot
Bronx // 1967 - 1989
Originally named the “Rat Island Fleabags” in honor of the island’s history as a place to quarantine typhoid patients, the team name was changed by the island’s owner “Red” Brennen in 1975 in honor of his friend Randy Rhoads’s new band. Due to the island’s small size and low-lying terrain, games were played only during low tide, and as a result, often played at odd hours—which led to a long-standing conflict with the island’s most prominent resident, noted Proust scholar and great blue heron Stanwyck Westwoodshire, who would often be woken up by the games.
While technically a street hockey team, the Riot became known for their unique hybrid “street-slide” style of play that melded elements of running and skating, developed due to the unique problems of playing on a surface coated in large amounts of gull guano.
The team disbanded after the notorious “Summer of ’89” season, when no fewer than four members of the team went missing after matches during the long swim back to the mainland (travel by boat was not allowed due to league rules). Their remains were not discovered until 1997, when the NYPD raided the home of an amphibious lizard-human hybrid living in Pelham on a trumped-up drug charge only to find the bones of sixteen missing individuals.
Rat Island’s current owner, Alex Schibli, has expressed a desire to resurrect the team, possibly under the name “Rat Island Ragemuffins.” •