There are apparently no neutral observer volunteer writers, so I will do my best to put my ‘neutral’ hat on. I did get every game right last night so maybe that gives me some credibility. (UPDATE: Invisible Hand did do a writeup, which will be posted below the Hungus writeup)
Back in Black is in it’s 2nd year, but it is really the third year for their dude trio of Bama, Gutterboi and Stevie Strikes (they were Team Micaela members in year 1). They’ve been the overwhelming favorite to win it all every year, but had yet to reach the tourney finals til this season. Last season they lost on a gut-wrenching gutterball when a pin would have sufficed. This year they seem to be in a ‘leave no doubt’ mode, blowing out every team they’ve played all year, except one. BEER handled BIB 11-4 early in the season, but frankly may have been better served losing that one so BIB rolled in undefeated and looking past them (sort of like 2010 Binga’s). That won’t be the case this time.
Bama finished with the top average for his team, finishing 4th overall but posting a BoPo high (since obliterated by Stevie Strikes in the playoffs…twice, 298 and 290). Stevie and Gutterboi finished 5th and 6th. Their new signing T-Square has been having some really solid games in the playoffs, seeming to have found her game just in time. The team also adopted a ‘two quick screwdrivers’ policy for Gutterboi’s Ma that has really helped her get off to faster starts. They have set and re-set the team records and individual records all year. They only have one thing left to do.
Karl Hungus finished the season 2nd in average, but had been way off during the playoffs before he finally went off in game three of the semis edging Nuber 245-234. Luckily for BEER new teammate Natro has had several big games in the tourney, including a 257 and 278 in back to back games last night, as he looks to win back to back league title on different teams. A BEER win would make him the first BoPoer ever to win two years in a row. The rest of BEER is also looking for 2nd titles. Slow Roll has had some strong playff games and picked up a huge point in the semis tying Oz at 171. Filthy McNasty hasn’t had his best stuff yet but noone would bet against him busting it out when it counted most. Queen Bee has shown remarkable improvement and should battle T-Square. Finally there’s Tom “Hacksaw” Richards who has made a career of being the 140’s guy who rolls huge in the playoffs leaving other teams shaking their head and muttering his name in disbelief. Plus, the pants.
Those are the players, those are the franchises. BEER makes its third title game appearance looking for their second banner. Back in Black makes their first appearance looking to validate their record setting numbers. Back in Black is the overwhelming favorite in the fan poll. I’ll let those votes determine the final prediction:
Back in Black 10 B.E.E.R. 5
Invisble Hand Disagrees…
This is it. The 2013 finals have arrived and the match-up is true to Bowl Portland form. Two Bayside titans are barreling towards each other, and when the dust settles, the victor will hang their colors on the wall. Back in Black is a team that all others have loved to hate. With pin crushing prowess that is the stuff of legend, they have rattled bopo to its foundations with record breaking scores and enough games over 800 to get anyones attention. For almost all who have crossed their path, the end result has always been the same. Calm dispositions, cool attitudes. The shaking of the fist, the knowledge that the ball thrown is without a doubt on a path to the pocket. But like any goliath, there are weaknesses. If the calm can be rattled, wether it is lane conditions, rough spares, or a healthy dose of heckling, the bullet train to 800-ville comes off the rails.
Enter B.E.E.R. The only team to walk away from a match with Black victorious. For good reason. Body English is a lesson in cohesion, in solidarity amongst teammates. Many times has a member of this long lived crew been picked up by their fellows and brought back into the fold to present outstanding games. Those outstanding games will need to be presented in this brawl for a bopo banner. The battles between Hungus and Stevie, Natro and Bama, and Filthy and Gutterboy will shake the lanes to their sawdust and glue origins. But what may save B.E.E.R. from the incessant fist wagging and pin crushing of Back in Black is their depth. The ladies of B.E.E.R., Slow Roll and Queen B, are not necessarily as imposing as Gutterboy’s Mom’s two drink 200’s and T-square’s occasional 160’s, but are certainly more consistent and reliable, and both show marked improvement. Also lurking in the depths of B.E.E.R.’s roster is the ever influential Tom Richards. His explosive effect on his team has bolstered them in times of doubt, an added influence that Back in Black is without. It will be a hard fought battle between two teams with something to prove, and an evening of great bowling will surely be had.
Show up expecting stiff competition, lots of noise, and the party of the year for all of us in Bowl Portland.
B.E.E.R. 8 Back in Black 7