BoPo VII is right around the corner. The divisions are finalized. The schedule is finalized (matchups only, not start times). Probably time to start my preseason countdown but before I do a quick public service announcement – enjoy your time on the approach, but don’t make BoPo institute a shot clock. If you’re up there more than 30 seconds it should only be because you are dancing around celebrating a strike you already threw.
Without further ado, the preseason rankings.
#44: Bad News Spares (Thursday B) – Last season: 0-12: They haven’t won in two years, and that was against the defunct Madbotts. Yet this team is always one of the first to register, first to pay, and one of the happiest teams on the lanes each week. Eventually they are going to have a breakout season with 2 or 3 wins, but they won’t be bothered if it doesn’t happen this year. The best part is they’ll still come to the Sunday Shootout, fired up, believing they can pull off the miracle. They have found a great team name and are becoming a BoPo institution.
#43: I.B.S. (Thursday B) – Last Season: 0-12: It’s actually hard to rank the 30-43 teams, but I have to start somewhere. I’ll make that start with I.B.S. simply because they are coming off a winless season. They certainly won’t go winless again having moved to the B division, and they have been aggressive in the free agent market. They signed Lucky and Irish Scotsman away from the suddenly rudderless Young & The Bowled, and seem to have coaxed Oolie out from semi-retirement. Wut What is also serving as the conscience of the league helping us create an upcoming BoPo volunteer night series.
#42: Pinny Candy (Thursday B) – Last Season: 3-9: Pinny Candy is another team making the step down from Thursday A to B, and that is primarily because they lost their hear and soul in Skittles who left to chase a title with BIB. Will Twizzler be able to keep getting Pay Day and Almond Joy to show up, or will he have to turn to sub 100 average bowlers from last year Mr. Big, Kit Kat and Starburst. Too many questions to rank them much higher.
#41: The Rick Vaughn Project (Thursday B) – Expansion Team: Rick Vaughn brings a joy to bowling that can’t be denied, but what will his team bring to the table? He seemed to have a great two year signee in Queenshit winner Bijou Lowry but her Draft LEague attendance rates don’t give them much hope of seeing her often. Colucci Kid has been getting his work in in Restaurant League and now Draft League, so like Ricky he won’t be intimidated by the BoPo stage. Other than that I don’t know their roster. They could make a free agent splash if someone wants to go dominate Thursday B. Whoever they add, with Rick Vaughn captaining they’ll be a fun team to play against and are a welcome addition to the league.
#40: The 5 O’Clocks (Thursday B) – Last Season: 4-8: Former Captain of the Year Tillie managed to squeeze four wins out of last year’s team despite having the second lowest team average in the league. That’s impressive. Also impressive, their wide array of celebratory high fives and moves. Really good stuff to watch. They usually start with a teambuilding team dinner at Bayside before the games which doubtless helps them find ways to win in the close matches. They finished last year on a high note and are looking forward to getting back out there and congratulating each other in new and exciting ways.
#39: Bolwderdash (Thursday B) – Last Season: 3-9: Last year’s disappointing finish in the B league surprised me. Michael Bowlton is also a former COY and certainly improved his own game. Unfortunately K-Ron’s 127 was the team’s second highest average as Dombomb and Fried Bowlogna took steps back. I’m willing to call it just a down year and project they’ll get the team average back up over 500 this year, but the league around them has gotten better too. Still, if they just beat the teams I’ve ranked lower than them they could squeeze out a 5 win season.
#38: Lesbowlians (Thursday B) – Last Season 2-10: Following the logic from my Bowlderdash writeup the Lesbowlians could be ranked 38th and still finish .500 with their Thursday B schedule. This is another team that shows up every week ready to win in spite of their record. They let a few games get away from them last year but sometimes winning yields more winning and if this tea can get on a hot streak they could have a franchise best year. Tilt-A-Whirl continues to put in the time and has been a strong roller in Draft League. She’s also had teammates in here practicing, even on their birthdays.
#37: Cape Fear (Tuesday B) – Last Season 8-4: We finally venture out of Thursday B and to a team that was a strong A team last year. This year’s version of Fear looks totally different, however, jettisoning E-Minor and Dill and bringing back Hard Body. Losing two top bowlers can really rattle a team and I was tempted to rate them lower but it’s possible a team shakeup was just what they needed. While their average will undoubtedly decline they may gel better as a unit. Plus they’re moving down from Thursday A to Tuesday B. Bacon continues to find new players from the fertile Cape Elizabeth recruiting grounds…could someone like Southpaw be next?
#36: Samsquampch Lives (Tuesday B) – Expansion Team: This will be a fun one to watch play out. Squampch was unceremoniously dumped from T-Club when they thought they had signed Deputy. When that deal fell through and his spot reopened, he was long gone, and now will make his debut as a BoPo captain. He should be bringing along a Casco Bay league team and he may thrive in the role of team top bowler. This team will enjoy their first season. The only unfortunate thing is that there is no matchup with T-Club (unless they meet int he playoffs).
#35: Pinups (Tuesday B) – Last Season 4-8 : The Pinups are old pros having been around since BoPo I. They return to old leadership this year as Big Ern retakes the reigns. Last year’s Captain Beaujolais has moved to the expansion Bowled and Beautiful and taken the team’s top average with her. I’m sure Silky Pete and Bulj Temptingly will be excited for the opportunity to step up, and who knows maybe Big Ern even re-signs the Oft Injured Chunk to bring back the good old days.