Week One: Gutterballs Surprise, Heavies Hold Serve (updated)

Well, it feels like we were just here.  While there are some new teams, and more even gender balance, BowlPortland III opening night looked like a continuation of years past.  The Big Boys (OC, Binga’s) served notice that they haven’t let up, as they prepared for a week 2 showdown.  Living on a Spare and C.B. O’Nutz opened some eyes with big wins, and the Madbotts took direct aim at Three Livers’ crown.  Anyhow, on with the writeups.

Huevos Rancheros 13 Strikes of Hazzard 2

It’s been a long off season for the Huevos, what with all the “baby making” and “poop shoveling” they’ve been busy with (some people have weird turn-ons). The team’s Captain Bubbles, formerly of Derelicte My Balls, moved North to do some “fahmin’” , and brought teammate Barry Violet with her. Apparently the farmhanding has built the right muscles, as Barry roared out the gates with a 510 series to pace the team. Also good to see the Ball Doctor make a house call…as the Huevos would say, “Yee Haw!”

As for the Strikes, it’s really a mixed up bunch. What are Roscoe and Boss Hogg doing hanging out with Bo, Luke, Uncle Jesse and Daisy? Well, I can guess with Daisy, but this small town bunch wasn’t quite ready for the bright lights of the big city. Things that seem perfectly normal back home, like “stealing cars, smoking crank, and going to bake sales” are looked upon with disdain by them city slickers. We’ll see how it all shakes out next week – tune in for the next episode of the Strikes of Hazzard!

Dirty Half Dozen 12 Bowlderdash 3

Artists can seem a little different to the common bowler. So it may not have looked any stranger than normal to see DHD Captain Riggs and Bowlderdash Captain Michael Bowlton trying to work together this week at SPACE, but secretly trying to intimidate the other with an increasingly abstract series of papier mache masks. But they would acknowledge it was unusual. “I usually come at something like this with an interpretive dance” noted Riggs “but this matchup just got to me…I guess it got a little out of control.”

On the lanes, the back to back finalist 6ers showed off some gorgeous new prison wear, featuring the likeness of their patron saint, the incomparable Andy Varipapa. Then they quietly picked up their 12 points and went home, where they were happy to be off the meds that had been prescribed for “The No Bowling Blues”.

Bowlderdash has to feel good about their opening night showing despite the loss. They had to overcome the loss of their old Captian Miss Moxie, but Michael Bowlton stepped up with authority. “There is no offseason! Iron Fist!” There were a few missteps, which they attributed to nerves, but that excuse was belied by the fact that they said “it felt like we never left”.

Lesbowlians 9 Splits Happen 6

Lesbowlians Captain Trixy had been lying low in the weeks leading up to opening night, brushing off requests for interviews. Turns out she had her team in a run down house in the country with no electricity or running water, doing curls, pullups, and playing chess (yes, bowling is a cerebral game). The ripped biceps paid immediate dividends as her team showed that they are ready to move forward from their expansion season. Tilt-A-Whirl led the way, and attributed her success to a steady diet of “beer, butts and babes”.

Meanwhile, Izzy Moxy has her hands full. A newcomer to the league herself, she is trying to manage an unwieldy squad of 11 first timers, all while trying to be “the prettiest – and manly – team in the league”. See, she really is being pulled in many directions. All in all, they are happy to pull down six points, and they did get higher scores in each successive game. They will spend the week on a training regimen Izzy will only reveal “involves red licorice and a slip and slide.”

Pud’s Taxi 10 Roll Another 5

Not sure what happened here, as these teams failed to submit a scorecard. Pud’s wandered off muttering about a hot date of “sexytime and cheese doodles”, and Roll Another just asked Pud’s for a ride home.

C.B.O’Nutz 14 UREA! 1

UREA! came into their first game shorthanded, only rolling four players. T-$ posted a strong showing, and they were happy not to get shutout. They plan to spend the season explaining the definition of Urea to their less artistic opponents.

The Nutz on the other hand have nothing to explain or define. They are looking to just bowl and share their nutz. As Deez Nutz said after the game, “Our secret is an extremely important one. Just as life is an ongoing process, so should the method be in how we [bowl]”.

Gutterballs 9 No Pins Intended 6

There was only one game I called wrong, and this was it. (Well, I said BEER would lose by one and won by one so that’s kind of a tossup). Maybe I should have figured it out when The Nihilist changed his name. It certainly looks like he has a team to believe in.  Hildo tore it up with a 162, and Big Ed took a break from waxing his moustache to announce himself to the league bigshots. This kind of win can give the G-Balls some momentum.

NPI had a tumultuous offseason. First, there was a tremendous amount of turnover, and then they renounced their German citizenship. Oolie was burdened under the weight of tremendous preseason hype, and it showed with his opening shot. They also tried underwater training, which probably was a bad idea. Anyway, they’ll regroup. Strangely, though they played the Gutterballs, they left the lanes spreading the rumor that “The Incredibowls are mostly professional sex workers”.

Three Livers 12 Madbotts 3

Portland Daily Sun crack sports journalist Curtis Robinson referred poetically to 3L’s quest to become the “Lance Armstrong of good times” this year. In this case, doping would not be frowned upon. Well, just as the Tour is a long race, BowlPortland is a months long struggle, and one bad stage won’t doom you. That said, there was definitely a surprising lack of merriment form the Rafters. They will have to step up their game to defend their crown. But maybe that was just them being distracted by the Madbotts. 3L admitted that “their costumes screwed with our mojo”, and then revealed some insecurity by saying “the madbotts won’t steal our title”. That sounds like worry.

Madgirl has made clear that a big piece of her strategy is distraction, and that will impact different teams differently. If it can make the league’s party squad seem subdued, it may affect the top bowlers’ bowling. Their team motto “The bigger the hair, the harder they fall” is a piece of unassailable wisdom. They’ll regroup with some hairspray, fishnets and disco sticks, and come back ready to roll. And they made a strong postgame debut for an expansion team. No one would have expected less from a team coached by the Mad One herself.

B.E.E.R. 8 Pinups 7

The only close game of the night was as hard fought as the score indicates. The see-saw battle went 1-4, 5-0, 2-3, and each of those points was close. Cheddar led B.E.E.R., which is also a nice menu. The lovely and talented Tom “Hacksaw” Richards posted a strong second game, and held his own in a trash-talking fest with Bulj Temptingly. Yes, Bulj – not Bulge – turns out he was Dutch. Isn’t that vierd?

Silky Pete and Kaiser Awesome joined the Pinup parade of high scores, but in the end fell just short. A dejected Bulj said “it’s a bit of a surprise the Commish can roll, and not just cash checks.” He then added “Would anyone like a shmoke and a pancake?”

Living on a Spare 15 Three Fingered Willies 0

Well, a shutout. When Alley-Lujah made some roster changes, we knew they were serious about improving, but we did not know that they had lost all compassion. Natro had the evening’s top score with a 220, and his partner in crime Coco averaged over 150 in three games, showing off what they had learned in their Monday night league. “Must have been all the cornhole” mused Shithawk. Well, they have the week off to consider their destruction, before facing BEER upon their return.

The Willies are an unusual bunch. They could be down 10 or up 10 and no one would ever know the difference. Probably all that time in the Mystery Van, which they immediately hopped in after the game, jamming out to some Davey Jones and leaving the lanes without comment.

I.C.B.I.N.G. 12 The Who? 3

I.C.B.I.N.G. almost didn’t make it to the lanes, due to an overaggressive pregame effort. The party was so extreme, Deep Fried thought she might be pregnant. Maybe that’s part of their new religion – the say they spend Sundays rolling at the lanes in worship. They overcame all this to pick up the win, and still found time to call Dr. Thunder a “candya**”. Early stoking of a division rivalry.

Ichtanzegern’s crew really went wild with a stream of consciousness postgame interview. “Melbourne orgy…Jesus was a good bowler…pudding shots only in the parking lot…cheese is life…my cat sh*** on the floor…bamboo recycled dirty napkins…YEAH!” Ok, you try to interpret that.

Happy Hands Prod 14 Great Lost Spares 1

When your team loses the Captain of the Year, and a guest Captain named Smokeabowl takes the reins, you are probably in for a slow start. They seemed unfazed by the loss in this pink-off, and refused to reveal what was stashed in the giant pink bear (hint: look at the guest captain’s name.) They did show a knack for 11th frame strikes, which at least is a start.

Happy Hands enjoyed the one night all year where their pink shirts looked subdued. They did not enjoy driving on Forest Avenue, a street they’d avoided since last season. Overall they were happy with the results, even though it took an hour extra, and they did develop a new language of happy hand signals.

Off Constantly 13 Urban Achievers 2

It’s not often in BowlPortland you put up team scores of 577-528-566 and lose, much less lose big. Such was the case for the tough luck Urban Achievers, whose initial opponent dropped out and faced a tough schedule change. Though they played well, the result was a disappointment for a team that reached last year’s semis. One bright light was the very impressive debut of La Gatita, who looks like she will be in the running for top woman all year. They did have some disdain for the initial opponents TDYOB “calling in sick for the first day of work”. True that.

OC has been burning since last year’s semifinal loss to Binga’s. They long to drink again from the chalice, and came out of the gates on a mission. Oz led all bowlers in week one with a 184.7 average, and was closely trailed by week one woman leader Honey Bunny’s 171.5. Add on Tron’s 171, and Dick Liquor’s 166, and well, you get the picture. “We’ve licked out wounds, we’re fresh, when I think about you, I touch myself”, said Number One, to no one in particular. These guys are primed for their rematch with Binga’s.

Binga’s Ringas 13 Incredibowls 2

Binga’s opened their title defense with a nice win over a game Incredibowls squad. Though Jamaican Jerk was “hella erratic”, Buffalo Booth picked up the slack with some large rolls. They may have grown a little complacent after a year holding the Cup. Danny Diesel took up bird watching, and Hot Mango Mike just strung up a hammock on the beach with a pile of rosemary and some headphones. Still, they managed to do enough to win. Now they get to renew acquaintances with the OC in the best rivalry of BowlPortland.

The Incredibowls probably feel good about facing this strong early season test. They know it’s a long season, though, and pledge to “hold our juices to the end”. Boston put up some strong scores, and they did as well as they could considering that they “weren’t able to get their dance on.” We’ll see if that can be remedied next week.

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