So, I started writing some recaps, and I certainly enjoyed your submissions, but then I received a missive from Canada. Yeah, THAT Canada. Ladies and Gentlebowlers, after these few game write-ups, I am proud to present the return of…
“The Man From Hope: A Canadian Take On BowlPortland” a.k.a. “The Bang On Chronicles”
Livin’ On A Spare 15 The Who? 0
It takes a man’s man to self-anoint oneself “Precious”. That man has arrived, and taken the pressure off his teammates in a nice run by the L.O.S.ers. (© Natro). The team is quietly taking care of its business and has jumped back up in the rankings. They are also in the running for “Most Likely to Be Swingers”, particularly when hopped up on Liquid Sunshine. So, for those of you who had an eye on one of these guys but were worried they were taken, you may have a new window of opportunity.
The Who? submitted the league’s best ever answer sheet, decorated with heart stickers and three types of glitter (which looked awesome when it sprinkled all over my suit at work by the way). There is a reason they are a runaway favorite for “Most Likely to Bring Glue to the Lanes”. They eagerly anticipate winning so they no longer have to refer back to their other award, The Congressional Medal of Suck. Oh, Who?, how we adore thee.
Bowlderdash 14 Splits Happen 1
Michael Bowlton has played for kings and queens and to countless sold out arenas, so he was perhaps the least likely to be phased by bowling against a sitting member of Congress. His steadfastness put his teammates at ease too, and he watched with pride from the bench as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead with big scores from Lois Lanes and Dombomb. The crooner himself struggled with an 87 in game two, but closed out his evening with a yahtzee and a satisfying 182, only topped by the crisp deliciousness of the Colt 45s they cracked postgame.
Despite having their own press secretary on board, Splits refused to take any questions after the loss. Perhaps it is best, for it is difficult to synthesize the voices of 25 team members into a coherent one, a lesson Izzy continues to learn. Happy Birthday, Izzy.
Binga’s Ringas 15 Three Fingered Willies 0
When a team with three fingers loses one third of its players as the Willies have, does that make them two fingered? If so, this Sparegasmic squad can just buy it back, as their most Munjalicious player took home the $200 50/50 pot. They also included in their postgame submission a very sophisticated graph that I can’t quite translate to narrative. It did say that BowlPortland was cool but lowbrow, the tights on the Madbotts were cool and moderately high brow, the lack of snow is uncool and lowbrow, and the Mass. Senate race was uncool and highbrow, among other things. Good to know.
Binga’s isn’t in the business of counting fingers or feeling sympathy. They are in the business of chicken wings and turkeys. Jamaican Jerk showed his first signs of weakness, but the always gregarious Hot Mango Mike continues to put up big numbers. Actually, his performance raises the question, would you rather roll a 204 and a 99, or two 152s? Ponder. The team also admitted it has its eyes set on not just another League Title, but also the award for “Sickest Bong Slides, Dawg”.
Great Lost Spares 8 Lesbowlians 7
And then there were two! The Great Lost Spares picked up their first win of the year with an exciting nail biter, meaning 29 of 31 teams have picked up a win so far. Despite being unsatisfied with the tunes, they managed to just hold on to their lead in game three. This “Most Pink” team really doesn’t like listening to Erykah Badu while rolling, but maybe that dislike drove their focus.
As for the Lesbowlians, team Captain Trixy called the result “shocking”. “Seriously,” added Downtown, “total shocker!” No offense. The team drowned its sorrows with PBR’s and painkillers, after which they all got Tribal Lesbowlian tattoos in a sign of team unity. “One thing’s for sure” slurred a tipsy Tilt-A-Whirl, “we own the ‘Most Lesbians on A Team’ category”. True.
Urban Achievers 14 No Pins Intended 1
For a team of inner city children without the necessary means for the necessary means for an education, this team has come a long way. This week the UA’s put together one of the most complete performances of the year, with only one score all night under 140. Just when La Gatita started to come down to earth, Pinky showed off her 2009 form. Throw in some Moose Knuckles and the league is in trouble.
Tuesday, that trouble was all for the No Pins Intendeders, (“Nintendos?” “NoPinIns?” “No entiendos”?). Oolie continued his personal comeback with a pretty 216, but that was the only ray of light on this night. That, and their spectacular human pyramid.
ENOUGH ALREADY HUNGUS! BRING ON THE CANADIAN!
Savoring the Olympic flame as it passed from torch to torch beneath the gaze of a five metre high chainsaw carving of a grizzly bear wearing hockey gear and forechecking a parade of Chinese lanterns, my mind chanced upon the unspoken tragedy of the athletic extravaganza just a few flag parades hence. It’s another even-numbered year, and the assembly of Earth’s greatest athletes is still incomplete. Bowlers in every time zone will continue to push their bodies to the limits of endurance and metaphor, dreaming of the day their passion earns official gold medal status.
In happier days one summer in Seoul, bowlers felt the ancient Greek buzz as a demonstration sport. Barcelona proved to be a bad bottle of Cava for strikers and gutterites, and the sport has not been seen in the games since. As valiantly as the FIQ lobbies the IOC, bowlers must still content themselves with the annual Bowling World Cup. Popular thinking on the movement has become way too uptight. It is time for Olympic bowling advocates to shift their focus 540 ° and apply for entry to the winter games.
Make no mistake: the winter games are struggling. They are the forgotten victims of a forgotten feedback loop, transporting snow by the truckload to replace the snow melted by their media tents. Already there is talk of awarding the next 45 Winter Olympics to Antarctica, as that would give each Antarctic Treaty signatory country the opportunity to profit from irresistible penguin mascots before snow becomes extinct. Brazil, the nineteenth signatory country and thus projected host for 2092, is apparently discussing construction of a mega-resort in the Fimbulheimen range named ‘Reno di Janeiro’.
Bowling is a sport the Winter Olympics needs because it is the perfect sport for 21st century winters. Whatever side of the thermocline you float on, you are wise enough to know that in winter it’s better to be indoors. Here is the world sport that creates a perfect world; no need to wrestle with the vagaries of ice and snow. Winter weather is bad weather, and bowlers make it to the alley no matter how bad it gets outside.
Cynics in need of inspiration need look no further than one of the redeeming triumphs of that old stupid century: the introduction of curling as an official medal sport at Nagano in 1998. The skips and their sweepers launched their ‘curlsade’ 74 years earlier at the first winter games in Chamonix. After three more auditions as a demonstration sport, the IOC finally heard the beauty of the Roaring Game after Lillehammer. The saga is a stirring testament to the indefatigable resolve of competitors who wear collared shirts and slippery shoes.
If you question whether the struggle to become an Olympic sport is worthwhile, take a gander at the drama on the rink these next two weeks in Vancouver. Once you become addicted, imagine that your favorite Bowl Portland teams have morphed into international curling titans, battling on the international stage. The following estimation of appropriate bowling-to-curling team analogies is based on the Week 6 leaderboard, the 2009 World Curling Championships and the remains of some killer Super Bowl chili.
Binga’s Ringa’s : Canada
The host with the most, Canada is the self-proclaimed Eldorado of Curling. Skip Kevin Martin, the Boss of the Rocks, and skip Cheryl Bernard, who started throwing rocks at age 8, both know that Eldorado has nothing to do with silver or bronze.
Off Constantly: Scotland
The inventors of the sport compete valiantly under the flag of Great Britain, their monarchical landlords. The athlete-farmer skip David Murdoch and the young, tattooed skip Eve Muirhead want to recreate ‘the stone of destiny’ that put the Scots on the podium in Salt Lake. Why does Puerto Rico have an Olympic team, but not Scotland?
Urban Achievers: Denmark
The Danes have an axe to grind with the Canadians over the disputed territory of Hans Island halfway between Greenland and Ellesmere Island. Fatalist skip Madeleine Dupont and poker-faced skip Johnny Frederiksen are looking to make a geopolitical statement with their pick shots.
Young & Bowled: Switzerland
The Swiss are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Hard-driving skip Ralph Stöckli, who took silver at the last World Championships, and skip Mirjam Ott, whose rink shoes were stolen last week in Winnipeg, are out for redemption.
The two-headed threat from the Bundesrepublik comes in the form of skip Andreas Kapp and his brother Uli. Equally formidable is the German women’s team skipped by the venerable Dr. Andrea Schöpp, a former wunderkind of the sport who won bronze at the European Championships at age 15.
Livin’ On A Spare: China
The Chinese are new to the sport, but they are learning to dominate. The women’s team, skipped by Bingyu Wang, won the last World Championships. She is the Coco of the Middle Kingdom.
Pinups: United States
Don’t expect to hear much southern twang in these “HARD” calls. Women’s skip Debbie McCormick was born in Saskatchewan and now lives in Rio, Wisconsin. Men’s skip John Shuster is a Duluthian who goes by the nickname Shoostie.
Saucy Posse: Norway
Although the women’s team did not qualify, the men’s team is skipped by a talent the likes of Walter. Thomas Ulsrud has come close to gold at several recent competitions, and is part of what commentators call “the New World Order” emerging in international curling.
B.E.E.R. : Sweden
The Swedes have a brought case of glögg and a giant bag of nuts and raisins to Vancouver in preparation for a victory party. Skip Anette Norberg, an actuary away from the rink, is the defending Olympic women’s champion, and men’s skip Niklas Edin, a fitness nut like Hungus, is the defending European champion. The Swedish word for beer is öl and the Swedish word for speed is fart.
Huevos Rancheros: Russia
The proud women of Russia have made the trip alone. The skip, Ludmila Privivkova, and the rest of the team are the self-proclaimed “Girls from Moscow.” Since one of the primary drivers of success on the curling rink is the ability to withstand cold, this team can never be counted out.
Dirty Half Dozen: France
Without their women, the French men’s team will be miserable but competitive. Skipped by Thomas Dufour, the French are quite envious of the status curling has in Canada versus their homeland. They refer to Edmonton as “la Mecque.”
Cracked Bowl of Nutz: Japan
Although the men’s team didn’t qualify, the Japanese women’s team is a rising sun. Skip Moe Meguro was just one frame away from the gold medal game at the World’s in 2008, before the Canadian’s stole a point with a brilliant peel. Revenge is dish best served raw.
Unfortunately, that is all of the countries that qualified for the Olympics this year, leaving the rest of the Bowl Portland teams without a nationalistic curling alias for 2010. The following trivia challenge, however, is open to all teams, and the first correct respondent will be rewarded with a goody bag of Olympic paraphernalia direct from British Columbia:
What countries won gold in women’s and men’s Bowling, respectively, when it was a demonstration sport at the Seoul Olympics?
All in favor of Bowling in 2014 in Sochi say “DA!”