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No fly zone! Quidditch game in McCarren Park did not get off the ground

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A gang of Harry Potter fanatics turned a make-believe game into a real world sport in McCarren Park on Saturday.

Two teams of fiction-obsessed athletes staged a game of Quidditch — a high-flying sport practiced by wizards and witches of the bestselling young-adult novels.

But there was at least one key difference between the game depicted in the pages of J.K. Rowling’s books and the sport practiced on the soggy Greenpoint field — the players in Brooklyn couldn’t fly.

Instead of whizzing around the air on broomsticks, players from Emerson and Middlebury colleges ran around holding brooms between their legs while attempting to score points by throwing volleyballs through six makeshift hoops.

Players say they prefer remaining on the ground.

“Not being able to fly actually makes us work harder — it makes us real athletes,” said Ian Cardoni, a chaser for the Emerson squad, which traveled to Brooklyn to take part in a promotion to coincide with the July 15 release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

Flight is only one discrepancy between the version played in McCarren Park and Harry Potter’s airborne Quidditch, which is like a mix of lacrosse and basketball — as if played at a Renaissance fair (make that “faire”).

In the real-life game, iron balls called “bludgers” were replaced with kickballs, and a player wearing a gold T-shirt and gym shorts filled in for the “golden snitch” — a winged, walnut-sized ball that avoids players who try to catch it.

Despite the rain, some Harry Potter diehards waited for hours to watch the 7-on-7 game — which they claim is really taking off.

“Sure, we don’t fly, but the fact that they’ve pulled off making a fictional game real is pretty impressive,” said Jonathon Rosenthal, a spectator at the match.

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Reader Feedback

JH from Williamsburg says:
Fact Check: McCarren Park is in Greenpoint 11222, not in Williamsburg. In fact, it's original name is Greenpoint Park. Williamsburg has a park along the waterfront called East River State Park.
June 24, 2009, 12:39 am
Alex Cantatore from White Plains, NY says:
Poor description of Quidditch. And we use kick balls, not whiffle balls. We did actually play, you missed a good game.
June 24, 2009, 6:44 am
Gasm from B Park says:
Wow... You can't tell the difference between a red kickball and a wiffle ball? And I'm assuming you didn't write the caption under the photo, because it contradicts the majority of what you say in the article.
June 24, 2009, 9:15 am
Quoted Above from Not Brooklyn says:
I think the game being organized and filmed by MTV is more off the ground than the Brooklyn Paper is.. just sayin.

Also, you're readers might have already assumed that people don't actually fly.
June 24, 2009, 10:12 am
Liz from Westchester, NY says:
Yeah, Quidditch players don't fly...but that's not the only difference. Anyone who was there at the game and had EYES could see some really cool differences--such as, the snitch is a person and the bludgers are dodgeballs/kickballs. You mention these things, but of course, the not-flying part is what you focus on.

And also, the players aren't Harry Potter "obsessed", nor are they "fanatics". They're creative people who took a fictional game and turned it into a real one.
June 24, 2009, 11:50 am
Joe from Ossining says:
You should really stick to writing things you know about.

If you took any time at all to learn about what we were doing you would know that we try very hard actually to separate ourselves from the books so as NOT to appear to be some kind of fanatical fan club.

Many of us have never read the books and could care less about the characters or how Quidditch is represented in the books.

We just want to pummel each other on a field and if you had stayed to watch the event you would be writing an article about you would have seen we do just that.

Thanks for taking away credibility that this event was supposed to help build.
June 24, 2009, 12:30 pm
Jeff from Cold Spring says:
Dude, you suck. This article it probably the stupidest thing I have ever read. Eat slugs.
June 24, 2009, 2:28 pm
KP from Action Acton says:
I second Jeff from Cold Spring.
June 24, 2009, 2:58 pm
Kara from poughkeepsie says:
The Snitch was hilarious!!! All Though we were soaking wet& soggy that was a lot of fun :D
June 24, 2009, 2:59 pm
Matt from Manhattan says:
Now I can see why you write for a worthless newspaper like this one. Your writing is just bad, and your little "clever" descriptions of the game and the players aren't cute but disparaging and condescending.
June 24, 2009, 4:48 pm
Abbehy from N. Attleboro says:
Renaissance Fair? Did you see any jousting or tunics? Try not to confuse uniforms for costumes and athletes for actors.
June 24, 2009, 6:44 pm
Ian the "Nerd" from Not Brooklyn says:
Just because you went back to edit the article to change the things that WE pointed out, doesn't make your article sound any better. (ie. changing whiffle ball to kickball, Williamsburg to Greenpoint) You still came off like a dingbat.

Next time, an apology, letting us throw a bludger at you, or staying to watch what you're reporting on will suffice.
June 24, 2009, 7:27 pm
Sam from Boerum Hill says:
God, what a bunch of whiners. If you're out there playing ——ing Quidditch in public, you should expect a bit of ribbing.
June 25, 2009, 2:12 am
dana from Billyburg says:
This was so fun!!- http://www.mtv.com/videos/movies/403904/how-much-do-you-love-quidditch.jhtml

Movie Trailers - Movies Blog
June 25, 2009, 4:04 pm
dana from Billyburg says:
This was so fun!!- http://www.mtv.com/videos/movies/403904/how-much-do-you-love-quidditch.jhtml
June 25, 2009, 4:04 pm
Mike from Connecticut II "The revenge of yuppies" says:
What the fck happened to Brooklyn? It reminds more of Connecticut now.
July 7, 2009, 3:29 pm

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