This is a fun week in the schedule. We have the only week of B division crossovers kicking off and we have only three A matchups, but they are all late, all good and one of them is for first place. Oh yeah, it’s also the last week before the all-star cutoff – top 12 guys and 8 girls from each night after this Friday’s games are in (except I’m sure several people won’t be able to make it so we’ll move down the list for replacement players).
Game of the Week
#1 Back in Black (5-1) -1 vs #5 Off Constantly (5-1): A lot of folks scoffed at OC’s lofty preseason ranking, and I even questioned it myself when McQueen went AWOL. They have lived up to the billing through the first half of the season, however, and if they win this match would be alone in 1st on Tuesday A. Of course that’s easier said than done. Back in Black is certainly not the team they were with Bama in the lineup – he’s irreplaceable – but they still have enough to make a run at back to back titles. Stevie Strikes has elevated his game to compensate for the loss and is pulling away in the Top Dawg chase. G-Boi is a perennial all-star, and new add Skippy Strikes throws a wild ball that, while inconsistent, gives him huge game potential every time he rolls. Not to mention offseason addition Skittles is Tuesday’s #3 woman and G-Boi’s Ma is a lock for the all-star game. How does OC match that? They have been surprisingly led by Dick Liquor this season who is holding on to an all-star spot by the skin of his teeth. Nuber and Oz are big game players and should show up for this one, and Coucou is due for a breakout (though Honey Bunny has stepped up with all-star caliber rolling herself).
A lot of folks compare BoPo teams to high school cliques – at my school this would have been jocks vs smokers (not pot smokers, that’s another top 10 team). So break out your letter jackets or your denim jacket with the hand drawn Twisted Sister logo inked on, pick a side and watch the battle for 1st place. Should be an excellent one.
Early Games – All Crossovers!
XO: (TU) My Balls (5-1) -3 vs (TH) Happy Hands (5-2): The match to watch early. These teams have been rivals of a sort for seven years. Maybe Bubbles will even come out of retirement for an old school showdown with Sasha Northfield. My Balls took their first loss last week but were shorthanded due to the blizzard (though Captain Barry Violet admirably drove 60 miles in that crazy storm to play, bravo!) They now find themselves tied in first, and look to get back on track. Wej is back and now has his own ball (though the 300 was with a house ball, so…) Happy Hands is looking to avoid their first 2 game losing streak in two years which by itself is pretty impressive. Munj will battle, but they will have a hard time matching the depth of My Balls.
XO: (TU) Three Livers (3-3) -3 vs (TH) Lesbowlians (2-4): Is Three Livers getting ready to make their move? Larry is starting to climb the standings and posted his first 200 of the season, Wilma looks like she could sneak into the all-star game with a couple ladies out of town, and Bernie is the rock solid foundation and team energizer. They should help get Tuesday off to a good start in this friendly rivalry game with the Lesbowlians. The Thursday ladies have bowled a bit better this season but are hoping to pull off a few more wins this time around. This one won’t be an easy start but they do have the potential.
XO: (TU) Cape Fear (5-2) -5 vs (TH) Guacabowle (4-3): Cape Fear was in A last year and while they are now in B they have a better average than 2 Thursday A teams. Bacon has assembled a team that won’t talk to you much during a match but bowls with a lot of intensity, and they bowl well. Guacabowle counters that steely reserve with a bubbly enthusiasm. That could really wreak havoc on a bowler like Southpaw’s concentration. Guac does have a history of rising up for big games so this one could end up being closer than predicted, but Cape has some pretty gaudy numbers that are tough to overlook.
XO: (TU) Pinups (2-4) -7 vs (TH) Bad News Spares (0-5): Yes, this would make it a clean sweep for Tuesday B in the early games if my predictions hold. The pinups look to arrest their slide after a hot start and get a pretty good matchup to do so. The Spares are on a two year losing streak, though their scores last week were significantly higher than in the past and could signal a win or two in the future. The Pinups can have tough nights, and Gutterpussy could be battling for top points. It shouldn’t be close, but it’s not out of the question.
XO: (TU) Incredibowls (4-2) -3 vs (TH) Roll Another (5-1): Roll Another was the last undefeated B team, but now looks like they could go on a two game losing streak. The Incredibowls are a strong team right in the mix in Tuesday B. The media mashup crew would love to get Spidey back this week as he tries to pull off the rare feat of making the all-stars from B Division. Chup will need to rally his troops for their road trip to Tuesday. They have the ability to pull off the win but have been scuffling lately – maybe it was the pressure of being undefeated. They are still in 1st and would like to stay there.
XO: (TH) I.B.S. (5-2) -3 vs (TU) Snakes On A Lane (0-6): If my predictions hold this will be the sole W for Thursday. I.B.S. can sympathize with the Snakes troubles after their own brutal 2013, but they won’t show mercy after their loss last week (in a game Oolie boldly predicted wouldn’t even be close). The Snakes have been showing some signs of life and can field a lineup capable of grabbing a few points. An upset win seems highly unlikely but if IBS coasts in this one they could be in for a surprise.
#7 Yahtzee (4-2) -1 vs #8 Strikes of Hazzard (4-2): Hazzard has lost two in a row, but they have not had General Lee at either of those games (apparently not enough traction for winter driving, it is a Dixie vehicle after all). That aside the rest of the team has struggled a bit too. They need to right the ship in a hurry if they want to keep up with Yahtzee! Cheddar’s bunch has been bowling great as of late. Sparkles seems to have turned a corner and Pauly is always a threat. The ladies’ pair of Babe Froman and Lala is one of the best tandems in BoPo. This is a great battle to see which team will still be in the hunt for the Tuesday A crown and which will be looking over their shoulder at the bottom half of the division.
#6 Binga’s (5-2) -5 vs #15 BEER (2-4): Oh how the mighty have fallen. After three finals appearances in 4 years team BEER is struggling to stay out of the Tuesday A basement. They did get a boost last week with a win over Hazzard but the win belies the fact that their top score on the night was a 177. Binga’s would love to kick their old rivals while they’re down. They have some extra motivation after BEER throttled them last year 15-0, so expect no mercy if Binga’s has a chance to return the shutout favor. Jerk and Hungus battled all season for top dawg last year, but this year is a different story. Jerk has regained his form of late after a tough start and gotten back to the all star game while Hungus is nowhere close. Cookie is finally having his breakout season, and Chernobes has been dominant all year. Binga’s is thinking championship this year and are rolling great. It looks like a mismatch but matches between these two squads are always interesting. Can BEER rise from the ashes or will Binga’s avenge last year’s shutout?