Hail to the Kings County!
A group of plucky Brooklyn amateurs ventured beyond enemy lines — the Bushwick-Ridgewood border — to challenge a band of Queens rivals in a series of cunning challenges to determine once and for all which is the greatest borough of all time.
There were tears and there was pain, but in the end the Kings County underdogs emerged victorious, forcing the vanquished foes from Queens to swallow the bitter pill of defeat in the inaugural Arbitration Rock Battle of the Boroughs.
“I’m okay with it,” said Queens resident Bob Temkin, whose team was trounced by brainy Brooklynites in the contest’s trivia component. “I’ll study for next year.”
Gladiators young and old journeyed to the hallowed turf arena beside Arbitration Rock — a historic boulder now in Ridgewood, Queens, but which once marked the boundaries of rival Long Island townships Newtown and Bushwick — to represent their beloved boroughs in a battle royal of truly epic proportions, according to the event’s organizer.
“It was the first time we did it and we had a nice turnout,” said Virginia Comber of the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society. “We might make it an annual thing now.”
The contest took the form of various competitive challenges — including a babies-only diaper dash, a hula hoop challenge, pie eating, egg-spoon relay, limbo, two dance-offs, and two Tugs-o-War — all events that, while arbitrary and arguably childish when taken separately, combined to form the most dramatic sporting match in Brooklyn history.
Queens took an early lead, scoring big in the hula hoop, limbo, and juniors Tug-o-War, but Brooklyn rallied for the dance off, trivia, and adult Tug-o-War, winning with the day by just 10 points, according to one volunteer.
“It was a really small margin,” said Diane Cusimano, who was serving food and refreshments.
And so the champions celebrated with their trophy — which sports a miniature sculpture of Arbitration Rock and will remain on display at the historic house in Ridgewood — and will bring back home eternal glory and the admiration of the thankful borough.
“They have the honors of bragging rights for this year,” said Comber.
Another Queens resident said that — even though she, along with all of Queens, lost — seeing so many people come together made everybody a winner.
“We all had such a great time, that even though Queens didn’t win this year, everyone was on top — no sore losers,” said Arianna Stimpfl-Fernandez.