Most of the analysis this year has been on the teams with the best records, or at least those that have players practically living at Bayside and supplying board material. This week, let’s spend some time with the teams facing elimination this week in the play-in round.
THU: ICBING (-1) vs Goldilocks and the 5 Spares: ICBING was ranked at a couple points this season, and seems out of place in the play-in round sporting a 508 average. So why are they one-point favorites? Peanut Gutter and Clarified Gutter are Goin’ To Chicago. That means they will be playing this game with three players. That makes this one fascinating. Fabio has hair for two, and will have to bowl with a pulsing, overwhelming passion. Sweet Creamy will have to best his 117 avg, and Deep Fried will have to focus her aggression on the pins.
Where does that leave Goldilocks? They average a 430, but that may be enough to beat the ICBING-3. They are led by the quiet veteran Lt. Striker and his 139 average. He needs to at least hang with Fabio. Pinfall Wizard and Striking Senorita got some invaluable crunch-time experience in the Draft League, and now form the 2-3 punch in the middle of the lineup. After that, they have seven more folks on their roster, so hard to know who will be there. Great Gay Bear is the logical choice. The Spares have been picking up steam, and have a golden opportunity to get in the big dance. I just think ICBING has enough to squeak this out, by a hair. Every pin will matter.
TUE: Strikes of Hazzard (-9) vs Madbotts: The Strikes are another team that was ranked – actually reaching as high as 12th I believe – before spiraling down into the play-in round. Their season was rattled when Uncle Jesse left for two weeks, which makes sense. Imagine the trouble the Duke Boys would have gotten into every week without the sage, calming advice of the wise Uncle. When he returned, the discipline was broken down. They do enter on a two game streak, however, and Cooter cracked 200 recently. With all-star Mabel, they should be fine in this one.
The Madbotts have always done their own thing: bowl fashion-forward. Fishnets and bowling shoes. They bring something unique to the league that can’t be replaced. They just dance and bounce around in full regalia for three hours, welcoming players from other teams to slide in and out of their little dance party. They don’t have much chance on paper of winning this one, though they did close the season strong to lift their average over 400. Imagine the havoc these ladies would cause if unleashed in Hazzard County however. Uncle Jesse really will have to reign his boys in.
TUE: Pud’s Taxi (-9) vs UREA!: T-$ has left the building. Or the state even. I don’t know, he just left a heartfelt message about cosmic well-being and disappeared on a pegasus. It was beautiful. That leaves J-Bird a bit short handed in her matchup against Pud’s. She does have Tecumseh, he of the perfect attendance award (33 games!) He has the best form for the score in the league. One night it will click in. Hopefully for the legal artists, that night is Tuesday.
Pud’s Taxi has been quiet this season…too quiet. They became known for their dancing and postgamery in their first season last year, but have faded on both counts. They did lose Cuppy, and that seems to have had a profound impact on the whole ethos. Dink and New Cuppy/Cupasoup/Cupid/Cupster are muddling around in the 120’s. but have potential. I think they have enough juice to get past the $-less UREAns.
Thu: My Balls (-1) vs Pinny Candy: My Balls used to be impressive. They were a team to be reckoned with. Now noone knows what to think when they see them. I think they still have something left in them. I think they are still winners. They need to call on all their reserves to get this done. That all the ball jokes I can fit in one paragraph.
Pinny Candy has shown marked improvement throughout the course of the season. Skittle has set records for amounts of practice and it is paying dividends. Twizzler has been their go to roller with a 125 average. They could really use the help of Mr. Goodbar who sported a 142 average. They do have a giant roster, so hard to predict who will actually be there. I think they want this win, but I can’t quite figure out how they’ll get it done against Bubbles, Barry, Ma and Studley. The game could deteriorate into politics.
3 Livers (-3) vs 5 O’Clock Somewheres: Tillie has done a masterful job of teambuilding with the 5 o”S. She and Felty (two of the seemingly infinite number of former Oolie teammates) brought in some new blood, but no ringers, and decided to build from the ground up. They have bonded over team dinners and seemingly identical bowling scores. Anyone of them could get top score, and everyone of them will be happy. They have improved all season and are really a great example for others looking to build a BoPo franchise.
3 Livers, on the other hand, has been around forever. They danced before Pud’s, dressed interestingly before Madbotts, screamed before Sweet Creamy and Dr. Thunder. Now they are sitting in a play-in game. Wilma did return from the Grand Canyon in time to put up a couple of 190’s last week, and Bernie has his hook under control now. Last week they looked back to their old selves, Flo’s dancing included. They should survive another day. Bring back the M&M’s!