Just about everyone wants to be liked. That’s not just human nature but a survival mechanism that’s been hardwired into the brain chemistry of a wide range of social animals going back millions of years. With all the hype over personal branding, employee engagement, and social networking, it’s not surprising that the pursuit of likability has become a priority for most people.
In the case of 31 year old Bruce and 25 year old Nici of Long Island, they have admittingly found strength and unity as the most disliked team on the wallball scene. Teammates since 2014, Bruce and Nici started playing wallball together at Sayville Park in Long Island. In 2016, they played in their first big tournament together, the Long Island vs Florida Open Doubles. Competing in their first tournament, they came out on top and simultaneously earned the name “The Villains”. Since then, they have won over 20 tournaments as partners.“They call us the villains because we are the most hated team in the sport. We talk trash, argue, try to embarrass our opponents and still win,” says Bruce.
Inspired by their haters and nay sayers, “The Villains” have been dedicated to winning Wallball tournaments and proving wrong to all who didn’t believe in them. “There were people who thought I could never be a good player and told me I sucked. Those are the people that made me the player I am today” says Bruce. As a young man, Bruce used drugs but has been sober since 2010. He started playing wallball at 26 years old. “Wallball has played a major part in my sobriety” says Bruce, “I don’t plan on quitting this sport anytime soon.”
Bruce and Nici have dominated the “B” division over the past 2 years and have been ceremoniously advanced into the Pro division after receiving their “A” (Pro) cards. “The Villains” look forward to competing in tournaments against the pros in 2018.