Shocking Developments! BowlPortland Playoffs – Prelims

I think the playoffs were last night.

Oh, yeah, now I remember, they definitely started last night, and they were definitely AWESOME!  The tone was set as you walked through the door and saw a world-class bracket board.  Thanks to Edison Press and Josef of Die Gassenjungen for putting that together.  Beautiful stuff.  There were some sick games rolled last night as well as the playoff spirit captured BowlPortland.  Thank God DJ Jay showed up for game two as the tension was almost unbearable with the silence.  Three upsets, one forfeit, and six chalk results.  Let’s take a look at the games.

#7 Pinups (WIN BY FORFEIT) over #26 Maine Yacht

Ugh.  First forfeit in league history, and it came in the playoffs.  The only good thing about this is that it was the last place team, so we in effect just expanded to seven byes.  Also, from B.E.E.R.’s perspective, it means the Pinups roll into next week’s game still facing their first-playoff game jitters.  Oh, and less writing for me.  Big Ern summed up the empty feeling by saying “it feels about as good as beating my parents at shadow puppet tournaments in pre-school.”

GAME OF THE WEEK

#16 Purple Haze 8 #17 Three Livers 7

Well, I guess you’d expect the closest game of the night to be the game with the closest seeding.  And what a game.  The first game was 3-2, the second game tied it up at 5, and the game was up in the air until the tenth frame of game 3.

Both teams came out a little slow in game one, but at the exact same pace.  The teams had two ties in game one, with captains Wilma and The Dude deadlocked at the top.  Three Livers pulled out the third point by winning the overall by 10 pins.  In game 2, Bernie came out strong for the Livers, picking up some difficult spares on his way to a game high 160.  This time, however, Purple Haze picked up the tiebreaker, winning the overall by 6 pins.

In the final game, Wilma surged back to a game high 167, taking down the Dude. Lefty edged Flo for the fourth place point 97-94.  Arnie squeaked out the third place point 114-112 over Ruth.  That leaves Bernie and Lulu.  Lulu apparently thrives on playoff pressure, as she rolled about 20 points over her regular season average, despite a “wardrobe malfuncton”.  In game three she put up a 119.  Last year, the heavily favored Three Livers had their playoff game come down to the final frame.  Bernie needed a six to tie, seven to win.  He rolled a five.  Now,  this year wasn’t as dramatic, and any of those other matchups could have made the difference too, but Bernie wanted to take the fall.  Again, he fell one pin short of the tie for his team, losing 118-119.  So sad for the snakebitten man.

Three Livers only said that “we love fun” in their final press conference.  Next up for the Haze  a monumental challenge: the overall #1 seed, Binga’s Ringas.

#18 Die Gassenjungen 8 #15 Saucy Posse 7

What is it with Saucy Posse and the playoffs?  For the second year in a row a strong Posse team fell in the first round in a big upset.  This time, they withstood the best shot of the underdog in game one, moved ahead 6-4 after two, but then hit a wall, falling 4-1 in game 3 and only totalling a 382.

Meanwhile, Die Gassenjungen came up with their best game of the year at just the right time.  Uli led the way with a powerful 221 in the opening game, and this time he had some help.  Wingman Josef followed his leader with 171.  In game 2, Josef took the lead with a 169, but it was Uli’s 141 that edged Kathy Nash 137, picking up the only point for Die Gass.  In game 3, Uli returned to prominence with a 186, and Josef picked up second with his 137, but the gamewinner came from Felty, whose 76 was good for the fourth place point.  Way to roll, Felty.

Die Gassenjungen moves on to face the 2 seed Urban Achievers.  How will the Achievers respond to their week 10 blowout loss and a week off?  This could get interesting if Uli and Josef keep it up.

# 8 Alley-Gash Rollers 12.5  #25 Three Fingered Willies  2.5

AG Rollers was unhappy that the Balls slipped past them into first.  The question was how would they respond.  Natro showed that they would channel it positively as he rolled an out of his mind playoff record 240 in game one to quickly erase any upset thought the Willies may have had.  Only Schizo’s excellent 134 kept them alive at all after game one, but the Rollers left no doubt with a 5-0 sweep in the middle game.  Natro’s magic game has the Rollers dreaming big as they go into battle next week with the verbose Pud’s.

#10 B.E.E.R. 10 #23 I.C.B.I.N.G. 5

B.E.E.R. manager Karl Hungus made a bad mistake leading up to this game.  He took Peanut Gutter’s invitation to swing by his house for a friendly pre-game beer (on tap in his basement).  It sounded innocent enough.  Turns out Peanut Gutter’s basement is full of Frisbee players who apparently just live down there all offseason.  It was disorienting.  So disorienting that Hungus struggled to get his head in the game at the lanes.  Luckily, B.E.E.R. has Cheddar, and those are two things that go great together.  Cheddar led the way in game one and BEER pulled out a 3-2 win.  Tom Richards and Bishop of Bowl made their connections and landed in time to arrive for game 2, spelling the heroic Queen Biscuit who played game one despite a debilitating flu. 

Guttercup entered the match for game 2, and PG had to be kicking himself for not playing her earlier afer she opened with a Turkey.  Gobble gobble.  Again, Cheddar had enough to outlast the challenge, and BEER led 7-3.  Not wanting to risk anything, Hungus penciled himself in for game three before Filthy implored “you have to show faith in the team”.  This seemed like the right thing to do until Hungus returned from his mingling to see BEER facing a possible 5-0 loss in the third game.  Peanut Gutter came strong with a 146 and Guttercup kept up her playoff push, but strong Cheddar and Filthy finishes provided the winning margin.

BEER will face the #7 Pinups next week in what looks like a great game.

#9 Pud’s Taxi 13 #25 Lesbowlians 2

These two teams seem to like each other, so there was no bad blood after the favorite advanced.  There were some grumblings around the league that it just won’t be the same from here on without watching Butch dance.  You never know, he might show up.  After being let down by Cher, he is turning his focus to Tina Turner for 2010.  Lesbowlians also left us with this gem summing up the joy of this season.  “When I fall asleep at night, I dream of balls.  That’s never happened to me before!”

Pud’s took a few hours off from internet stalking to come pick up the win.  In a remarkably consistent performance, noone ever rolled under 106.  Cuppy’s opening game 179 was the highlight – that or him picking up Crips after every shot.

Expect the trash to fly early as Pud’s prepares for the AG Rollers next week in the always interesting 8 vs 9 game.

#21 Happy Hands Productions 10 #12 Gutterballs 5

HHP is like the anti-Saucy Posse.  They came through in the playoffs again with an exciting upset over the expansion Gutterballs.  Mitten Woodmore apparently has grown comfortable rolling as a man, and put up 179 in game one.  Combined with Jasper’s 171, it pushed them out to a lead they would never surrender.  Captain Sasha benched herself after one game, but it paid off.  They also drew me another picture of a naked man, with hairy knees and an erection.  I’m not sure why they keep doing that.

Gutterballs took the loss in the absence of their Captain, but have vowed to come back even stronger next year.  They submitted a prepared statement:

“For the First Season…hell yeah!  Good times.  We hung in longer than expected and better than we expected.  Facing sudden death and uber-slick lanes we had to admit that too much lube can be a bad thing.  No friction, less sensation…you get the idea.Our team mantra was and will continue to be “we rub our balls for luck”. Next season we commit to more consistent rubbing, less time in the gutter and to keep our hands more firmly engaged in the process.  Finally, a little confession.  We’re a wee bit grateful we didn’t have to submit ourselves to Off Constantly.  We know it’d be all about them, and humiliation play ain’t how we roll.”

Yes, there’s that.  Happy Hands advances to play Off Constantly, in what I believe is a rematch of last year’s semifinal.

#13 Great Lost Spares 9 #20 Hyper-Bowl-E 6

In an exciting game, Pinstigator led her team to a comeback win and the Spares advanced to the Sweet 16.  Miss Moxie tried to put her team on her back, as she came out with an opening game 156 and led them to a 3-2 lead.  Unfortunately for her, the second wave of players that joined her for game 2 were rusty, and the Spares took all 5.  HBE won 3 of the last 5, and fell six pins short of picking up the gamewinning sweep as Michael Bowlton awoke with a 140.  It was a great first season for Hyper-Bowl-E.  I expect Miss Moxie to field a winner next year.

As for the Spares, Pinstigator got the most from her team.  Leading 7-3, she took herself out, and watched as Spinella’s 145 provided the five point margin of victory.  They advance to play the #4 seed, Roll Another.  Both Pinstigator and Chupacabra played on bottom dwellers last year before starting new teams.  Now one of them will be in the Elite 8 in one short year, proving that fast turnarounds are very possible in BowlPortland.

#19 Incredibowls 12 #14 Young and the Bowled 3

Don’t be fooled by the final score…this was a hard fought contest.  In game one, Large Marge (152) and Senator ITZ (148) led the YB’s, but Sweet Baby Lue carried the day with a 160.  The final was 4-1, but the overall was just three pins difference.  Boston rebounded in game 2 with a 146, and the Incredibowls grabbed a 7-3 lead, though again the total pins score was only 10 apart.  Demoralized by the close losses, the YB’s faded in game 3 as their minds shifted to dance-off prep.  Special K and her millions of followers have been a tremendous addition to the league.  They left us with a series of Haikus.

Here to dominate/Freshy wears his biznass pants/writeups are so sweet

Tell em lahge mahge sent/cha is what i say eac time/lahge mahge rolls some rocks

poods, freshy, london/big thumbs, bowlder mama/flaming boobs. much love

Now, the Incredibowls have been pretty impressive themselves.  Frankly I never refer to their captain because I don’t even know if they have one.  They are a collective.  That makes them dangerous – there’s no head to cut off.  This should be an interesting game against Bubbles’ Balls next week.

#22 Strikes of Hazzard 12 #11 Sweet Rolls 3

In the biggest upset of the night, the kooky inhabitants of Hazzard County shook off the shiftless hillbilly label to advance to the Sweet 16.  The Strikes were unspectacular, but very consistent, only putting up one sub-100 game.  The game was actually over early, as it was 8-2 after two.  Candyman picked up the only two points in the first couple of games, but the rest of the crew couldn’t keep up.  Always the glass half-full type, Sugar noted that the loss allowed her free time to attend a friend’s birthday party.  Frenchy just punched a hole in the wall.  Still, a successful season for Sugar’s startup squad.

As for the Strikes, on paper they don’t stand much of a chance against last year’s runners-up, Dirty Half Dozen, next week.  But this is March Madness!  Anything is possible.  Any given Tuesday.  (Insert cliche here).

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