One week left. One bye left. Let the fun begin. On to the recaps. I apologize for their weakness – I have hit a writing slump. Hoping to bust out of it by playoff time.
Binga’s Ringas 9.5 Off Constantly 5.5
Well, the cat is out of the bag. For those of you who hadn’t noticed what was happening at the bottom of the standings, Binga’s has been whittled down to a lean, mean 5 players or so, highlighted by Tender Alex, the league’s #2 bowler. They also have won three straight. Last night they handed it to the league’s best team. Well, they won’t be able to sneak up on anyone in the playoffs, but they might not need to. No one wants to draw these guys in the prelims. Last night Binga’s served notice on the league, holding Oz scoreless and coming back from 4-1 down for a convincing win. They started off embarrassed that their coach forgot their jerseys, but quickly overcame it. “Next week, short shorts” noted Wing Mike, who has been the glue of this squad from the dark early days to the hitting-on-all-cylinders current run. His band pans to debut a cover of the Cars’ “Let the good guys bowl!” next week at Bubba’s.
Off Constantly had nothing to play for with first place locked up, but had to be a bit taken aback by the outcome. Suddenly that air of invincibility is gone. “We may have gotten a little ahead of ourselves” said Tron. “We were already working on our acceptance speeches for the championship trophy and the three other awards we have sewn up: sweetest stroke, strongest finish and nicest balls”. Another strong consolation prize is that for only the second time all year they got to use their team name joke.
#1 Off Constantly vs # 10 Spare Us
#11 Binga’s vs #12 $3 Gutterballs
Happy Hands 11 $3 Gutterballs and Friends 4
Could it get any worse for the Gutterballs? Already mired in last, they had to rely on handouts from the Saucy Posse last night just to field a team since their co-captains had abandoned them. The Pinstigator tried to put the team on her back, and fought hard with a 148 and 160 before collapsing under the weight for game 3. Understandably, they declined interview requests.
As for Happy Hands, who the f knows? Poppy Wildwood is tearing it up. They are making strong showings at postgame. They are within shouting distance of 4th place. They did tell me I smelled of Sex Panther, so I will be looking for ways to lend them a hand in exchange for the compliment. Then again, they dissed my playoff system. So…
#6 Happy Hands vs #9 Purple Haze
#12 $3 Gutterballs vs #11 Binga’s
Derelicte My Balls 13 Spare Us 2
Several weeks ago Spare Us was losing big but winning a lot of money. Then the cold reality of odds slapped them in the face and the stopped winning 50/50. So, they decided to win games. They shot up from the bottom and got as high as 7th. Now they may be losing that too, so are in the market for new things to win. Chupacabra has started a cockfighting ring (when not disemboweling goats). Uncle Buck plays Rochambeau for $20 a pop on street corners. When they do bowl, they do like the role of underdog, which is good, because they are heavy underdogs in their finale vs Off Constantly.
We all learned a couple of things about the Balls this week. Without captain Bubbles, they can still roll well, but are much quieter. All their interview answers were one word. Many were one sylable words. They did still continue their postgame dominance, and set up a classic battle for 2nd place next week. Of course, it doesn’t mean much more than bragging rights, as if the playoffs go according to plan, they would meet again in the semis. I guess the winner would get home lane advantage.
#3 Derelicte My Balls vs #2 DHD
#10 Spare Us vs #1 Off Constantly
3 Livers 9 Purple Haze 6
No one is having more fun in BowlPortland than 3 Livers. They are a bit turned off by ‘all the lawyers’ but it is a minor complaint. They proposed a trophy for “highest average score in proportion to breast size” but I’m really not sure the formula one would use to calculate that. They also proposed a “lowest average” award, and that is simple and likely to happen. Shoot for the stars. They rallied back from a 5-0 hole on Tuesday for a huge win, setting up a showdown with BEER for the final bye. Overall, they are psyched going into the playoffs, not thinking, and hoping to beat Off Constantly again. Oh, and if you beat them, you can bet your ass you’re getting dumped in the river on BowlPortland Day at The Forks, July 12th.
Purple Haze thought they had turned a corner after last week’s win. And after getting off to a 5-0 start they looked right. Then it hit: The Bowler of the Week Curse. The Dude was the latest victim, and followed his all-league performance last week with a 128, 109. As they started to fall, they turned their attention to what they do best: glorious form and flourishes on their followthroughs. That they did well. They could end anywhere from 6th to 11th.
#9 Purple Haze vs #6 Happy Hands
#5 3 Livers vs #4 BEER
Dirty Half Dozen 11 Saucy Posse 4
DHD spent the first half of the season as the frontrunners. Then for three weeks they were on the ropes. Well, they appear to have fought their way out of the corner, picking up their second straight win to clinch a playoff bye. The team brought back Harlyn, straight off an 09 recruiting trip to Missouri, where he said the bowlers were “hot”. It is impressive that this team is developing a scouting program and not resting on its laurels. Apparently he picked up some tips, because he bowled his fisrt 200+ game and averaged 76 pins higher than his season average. Wow. And he spread the love. Dutch picked up a personal best, and Jeltz approached his first week form again. To top things off, Pirate was kind enough to pick up the bar tab with his 50/50 won booty. Next up, the Balls (but they really want another shot at the Pinups, and the feeling is mutual).
Saucy Posse is in a freefall. “Goddamned hitchikers!” they kept screaming. Players kept sneaking off to roll with another team. D Sauce said he would be sitting out week 11 unless his contract demands were met. One bright spot was R Sauce, who kept up his blistering pace, and K Nash’s 164. They likened my playoff system to the BCS, but that is a false analogy, as my sytem produces a champion. “We’re gonna have a sitdown dinner and get a pep talk from Ma Sauce to see if we can turn this thing around” said captain P Sauce. Well, can she bowl?
#2 Dirty Half Dozen vs #3 DM Balls
#8 SauPo vs #7 Pinups
BEER 10 Pinups 5
Things looked bad early for Team BEER. Hungus was distracted, running around handing out forms. The rest of the team was too focused on the media, giving hackneyed phrases like “we’re just gonna take it one frame at a time” while subtly jockeying into prime position for the photographer.
The team proceeded to stink it up. Meanwhile, the Pinups had no trouble with the media glare. Beebop seemed most charged up by it, roaring out to a huge start. When it was over, the Pinups had a commanding 5-0 lead. Hungus immediately benched himself, and the team responded. The Pin Whisperer, recovering from a year long bowler of the week curse, regained some of his lost form, the Bishop of Bowl eked out a one point win and Tom Richards closed the deal to tie things up 5-5. “How come your dads didn’t teach you to bowl like men?” queried Big Ern, trying to rattle the BEER. Hungus followed with a hyper-macho two handed running throw, but when it failed miserably, he and his team decided to bear down. BEER finished strong with another 5-0 win to take the game and take over fourth place. Rocksteady was dejected after the game. “George Bush said it best last week, and I quote ‘we managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of those trying to defeat us'”.
#4 BEER vs #5 3 Livers
#7 Pinups vs #8 SauPo