Well, BoPo has matured. Not in terms of how we act, thank god, just in terms of upsets being possible and tourneys being more interesting. While the two true heavyweights are still alive on one half of the bracket, the other half is wide open. 90% of folks had BEER or LOS in the finals, and they are both gone. We could be setting up a classic David vs Goliath finals or Off Constantly will seize the opportunity in front of them with a decimated bracket and get back to the finals after an off regular season. Either will be exciting, and I find myself with some unexpected free time to write about it and set the pieces in place for the best Bowling Ball party ever.
Binga’s (9-4) -5 vs BUI (10-3): BUI was the first Thursday team to break through to the win column, opening the door for a surprisingly high number of their compatriots. Now they go up against an old-school BoPo powerhouse. I would have considered leaning toward an upset when I first heard Jerk’s hand was hurt, but then I saw him handle his business in a doubles match win on Saturday. Binga’s has learned the hard way in the past not to take any teams for granted. They won’t – they’ll advance.
Guns of Brighton (11-2) -3 vs Strikes of Hazzard (8-5): This one should be exciting. GOB survived a scare from a fired up SauPo team. Redonk led SauPo toa 3-2 lead but GOB held on to win 8-7 behind Mr. Pickles excellent match and captain Invisible Hand’s big third game. Strikes of Hazzard has been an enigma all year. They have some potentially powerful bowlers in Uncle Jesse, Deputy and Flash. No one who can hang with Mr. Pickles but definitely the depth to keep this one close. I think GOB got their wake up call already.
Cunning Linguists (10-3) -3 vs Nutz (7-6): Another evenly matched game. The Nutz advanced despite Bustah not having his best game, which shows more depth than expected. Now Bustah is due and he does have the ability to carry a team. Peanut and Hootie both overachieved, and Fuzzy stepped up. The Linguists may now be the favorite to reach the finals. Gutterslut and La Gatita have been a great 1-2 punch, and Pauly Ringwald is always capable. Col. Angus is ready for his closeup.
Yay! (12-1) -1 vs Turkey Club (8-5): This is thje one both teams wanted. These are in effect two expansion teams, but they have a history with each other. The core of TC has beaten the core of Yay! in the playoffs twice in other leagues. Yay! is struggling, having most of their games lately come down to the wire including an opening round win of just 1 pin. Turkey Club is surging, winning big. Both have tandems still alive in the doubles playoffs. There will be much drinking. All the indications are that XXX Club has the momentum and will take it, but I can’t get past Yay!’s ability to win the close one. These guys are due to rebound. I wouldn’t be remotely surprised to see a Smallwood/Roadhouse bowloff.
Back In Black (12-1) -9 vs Pinny Candy (8-5): Pinny Candy advanced when Almond Joy turkeyed in the 9th and 10th, and Marv Gomez missed his turkey with a 9. Now they get the unenviable task of going against heavy championship favorite BIB after BIB got a scare in round one. Stevie Strikes and Bama were on fire, and that’ll likely be enough to advance here, but BIB needs to see Gutterboy pick his game up before a quarterfinals match with Binga’s.
Off Constantly (7-6) -3 vs Young & Bowled (5-8): OC is going to be surprised to look across and not see BEER. They had a big playoff win to shake off their regular season rust. Now they play a team they demolished last year in the playoffs. Y&B have to come down quickly form the high of their big upset. They hope The Truth can now lock in after the first round pressure is gone. Pistol Pete will need to be at the top of his game, and noone on their team is hotter now than Senator ITZ. They need to coach and play to win, but if OC slips up, they will be there to pick up another shocking scalp.
TDYOB (10-3) -3 vs Tequila Mockingbird (8-5): Another rematch from last year’s playoffs. Last year Tequila had a 7-3 lead, then fell to a screaming Dr. 8-7. They didn’t like the Dr. TDYOB is hoping they can get in their heads again. Tequila had the big advantage of only having their top 4 bowlers show up for week one and their big upset over LOS. Last year with a 7-3 lead they played backups – what will Riggs do this year if the game is on the line? No such question for TDYOB, they will play to win. Sneaky Pete will look to continue her surprising postseason play.
Walkaways (11-2) -7 vs ICBING (10-3): This one looks like a giant mismatch, but this tournament has proven already that anything is possible once teams hit the lanes. Peanut Gutter is rolling extremely well, but will need much more from Fabio if they are going to have a chance to keep this one close. The Walkaways are on a business trip right now. They have one goal in mind and look pretty focused, brushing off a 660 from Guacabowle like it was nothing. I don’t think they’ll be slowed here.