Game of the Week: Tuesday, Jan 4th – 6pm
#3 Team Micaela (-7) vs #8 Saucy Posse: No team enters the league with more buzz than Team Micaela. They are in an unbelievable place for an expansion team with a #3 preseason ranking, but they do have the house mechanic on the team (his bowling name will be unveiled on opening night). He has recruited several house regulars that should form a relentless wave of big scores, but there is a possible achilles heel. Their Captain hasn’t signed off on anything. There is some confusion at the top. How will Micaela’s good cheer affect Steve’s focus? They open against one of Steve’s proteges in Walter and SauPo. Walter has been practicing hard and has taken over the captaincy of this veteran team. SauPo hopes to represent for the old-timers and squash the upstart team in week one.
Tuesday, Jan 4th 6pm games
#16 Sweet Rolls (-5) vs Lesbowlinas: Two third year teams do friendly battle again. Both teams had drastic improvement from year one to two, so where are they now? The Lesbowlians have the benefit of a super consistent lineup and the accompanying chemistry, and the team name that gets the most giggles. Sweet Rolls had Binga’s 5-5 in the playoffs last they rolled, so they may be looking to make a big step forward.
#11 White Whale (-3) vs #17 Pinups: It’s official, DHD is dead. Long-ago captain of the year Riggs set sail in a new direction, taking Harlyn P with him, and then changing their respective names to Ahab and Father Mapple. Jeltz decide to make junior Jeltzes. Riggs, nee Ahab’s new crew is bolstered by former champion Fern, who has also undergone a name change, and some talent poached from the Fall Restaurant League. They will battle Big Ern’s squad in a top 0 duel. Big Ern has gone from mouth of the league to complete hermit. At least he doesn’t have to study medical charts anymore, as the Oft Injured Chunk has retired, ending a promising but injury-riddled career.
Roll Another (-7) vs Balls of Fury: Can you believe Chupacabra has been a BoPo Captain for four years? Yet if I asked you to pick two adjectives to describe Roll Another, could you? Maybe this is the year the team forges an identity. They need to in orded to leave an impression on Balls of Fury, an expansion team. Their roster is a mystery. They are young.
#19 Bowlderdash (-3) vs Gutterballs: Michael Bowlton had a five year plan, and things are right on track. Last year his team made the jump from predictable to frisky. This year they are ranked, and opening as a favorite. The Gutterballs saw their captain move on, but have filled the gap with an in-house promotion. I don’t know what the team looks like yet, but I do know that Rusty Nail had some big games last year.
Tuesday, Jan 4th 8pm games
Three Livers (-3) vs UREA!: Three Livers are fun, that has never been in doubt. They like to rock the party. They dance. They eat M&Ms. But their bowling has been in steady decline since the opening season. What do they have in store for us in 2011? They will show us on opening night against a 2nd year squad, UREA!. They feature the league’s smallest roster, and their captain is undergoing a jarring transition from art to law, so they have a small margin for error. Still, something about them seems like they may be sneaky decent.
#9 Irritable Bowl Syndrome (-5) vs The 5 O’Clock Somewheres: Don’t be fooled by the new, crazy long team names. This game features a lot of BoPo stalwarts. Wut What and Oolie have gone from Germans to Pun deliveres to a too gross for comfort disease. They are ranked #9 in spite of themselves, as Oolie rants against teams that have high rankings or winning records. They will likely slide out of the top 20 before their midseason rebound if history is any indicator, which it isn’t. The 5-O-S crew is the remainder of The Who?, a 2010 expansion team that lost its Captain Ichy Love. But further back in history, two of their current members were teammates of Oolie and Wut What on Die Gassenjungen. Maybe they’ll dress up for old times sake.
Pud’s Taxi (-7) vs. Madbotts: The biggest question is what will the Madbotts be wearing. Surely it will be mad. Pud’s Taxi will be looking sharp in a red and black getup from American Bowling Apparel, and Dink is back from the West for another run at glory with his crazy dance troupe. Word has it Cuppy has some fancy new moves.
#12 Strikes of Hazzard vs. The Big Jab: Uncle Jesse’s team turned a few heads last year with their scores and seeming penchant for running over skunks on the drive in every time. Weird! Now they are in rarified air for outlaws, sniffing around the top ten. They face the #2 expansion team, Big Jab. They won their spot in BoPo by winning the Media League, so they are battle tested. Captain Danks is a mercenary, too, cutting his on air partner before the playoffs to bring in a stronger bowler. If a man can do that, than such a man is capable of a lot, and is not to be trifled with. This is no gimme for the boys from Hazzard. The board should be lit up like a Christmas tree with callers wanting to break down this one.
#5 Binga’s (-5) vs #18 Incredibowls: Binga’s had an incredible run. They were last place in 2008 before a makeover. In 2009 they were never tested, rolling undefeated to a title. 2010 revealed a few chinks in the armor, but they were still undefeated and sitting in the finals. Then they lost to the team of destiny, and the dynasty was shattered. The team has split in half, but Jamaican Jerk has brought in a few dope players to the party. Now they are even looser than before, and have no pressure on them. Good times and sunshine. They play a motivated Incredibowls team that is always up for measuring stick games. Boston is steamed after blowing the Media League finals, and would like little more than a big early season statement victory. They have also become purple.
Thursday Jan 6th 6pm games
#15 Wrecking Balls (-5) vs No Eye Deer: The Dude’s mellow exterior belies a raging inferno of competitive spirit. Ha. Anyway, at #15 preseason the Wrecking Balls are the preseason favorite to win the Thursday B crown. They open up against an expansion team that has a couple of old Nutz. Smart money knows, though, that Wrecking Balls always underperform as favorites.
Snakes on a Lane (-1) vs Splits Happen: Only because I don’t do toss-up predictions. Snakes are the cleverly named annual Frisbee Expansion Squad, following in the footsteps of ICBING and TDYOB. I will try to refrain from calling them S.O.L. Splits Happen had Izzy Moxy and Xander Rolle getting quality time in the Draft league, but also are known for having the league’s biggest roster. Unpredictable to say the least.
#6 Young & Bowled (-3) vs #20 ICBING: One of relatively few top-20 clashes. Y&B stud Pistol Pete really made a name for himself in the Draft League (and restaurant league). He leads a team with some solid support in Senator ITZ and Lou Dawg, former Lookin Good Award champion. R.R. and Anya help round out a very strong roster. ICBING sometimes seems afraid of success. Captain Peanut Gutter folded under the stress of Draft League, disappearing before the first ball was rolled. He will probably be more comfortable once his team loses a few games.
#7 Still Livin On A Spare (-9) vs Pinny Candy: Former Gutterballs’ Captain The Nihilist has found an ethos, and it is an angry one. He has changed his name to Jaw Breaker. He brings what is essentially an expansion squad into a very tough first game. Still LOS has a bone to pick with the league, and are eager to show they are still a team to be reckoned with after losing Natro and Coco. They may be one week one’s top scoring squads.
#4 The Walkaways (-5) vs #10 TDYOB: This is the game of the night if not the game of the week. The Dr. is hoping his talking can rattle the more talented Walkaways. His team is much improved from an expansion year that came within a drunken 100ish score from reaching the quarterfinals. The Walkaways carry a much heavier weight of expectations. La Gatita, the league’s most coveted free agent and top woman bowler, joined forces with powerhouse couple (and two time PDA champs) Natro and Coco. Then they added Booth and Diesel from Binga’s. They all dominated in the competitive Draft League. I don’t want to give away Dr. T’s master game plan, but if the Walkaways ignore the chatter, they should be alright. If they engage, well…once you’ve engaged, you’ve lost.
Thursday, Jan 6th 8pm games
Happy Hands Productions (-3) vs The Lovernauts: Happy Hands enters their 4th year ready for a new start. They have kind of held steady while the league rose. Sasha has worked to change all that, bowling in the draft league. I think they can get off to a winning start. The Lovernauts are league vagabond Ichy Love’s new family. Who knows what how they will bowl, but they will certainly be memorable.
Goldilocks and the 5 Spares (-1) vs Shambles: First, the Spares. They didn’t like losing in a play-in last year, and set out to change things. The did add a strong free agent in the old school (BoPo I) Lt. Striker. But more importantly, they improved from the inside. Great Gay Bear captained a draft league team, and La Striking Senorita and Pinfall Wizard played crucial roles in it. They’re back, same pink shirts, different attitude. Shambles is an expansion team with a some potential. They are captained by a champion, Slow Roll, and have some intriguing parts. Bayside employee Dirty F’n Nate shows flashes of potential, and Unbelievabowl’s reputation proceeds her. But, they are Shambles for a reason, and holding it together will be a constant challenge.
#2 Off Constantly (-7) vs #14 C.B. O’Nutz: When the season opens, the championship banners will be hanging at Bayside. The first of those will read “Off Constantly”. For the last two years, they have been beat down by Binga’s, and then ecen eclipsed by the upstart Team B.E.E.R. Something seems different this year. If it’s possible to regain swagger, yet seem humbly focused, then they are doing it. Oz was insanely good in a few draft league appearances, and the drama seems gone, with marriages replacing breakups. Of course, they are bringing McQueen back so things will stay interesting. O’Nutz woud love to pull this one off, but though they have solid team this year, it may be too tall a task.
#1 B.E.E.R. (-3) vs #13 My Balls: They may be the defending champs, but BEER always struggles with My Balls. Could be the sibling rivalry of captains Bubbles and Hungus. This year, Bubbles has brought back Easy E and Ma, and Barry should have a big season. But BEER are the champs. They are at home. Cheddar has become the ace of the lanes. Filthy has dropped the hooker for something more stable. Hungus will miss week one with a wrist injury, and Hacksaw Tom Richards will be out of town, so they will be shorthanded. However, newly signed Restaurant League start Coco Lopez should be a great fit, and Bishop of Bowl was tourney MVP in the draft league. Queen Bee is ready to become a more regular roller with her last second breaking ball. BEER is #1 till they lose.