Lots of jumbled standing in the two Thursday divisions as we hit the last three weeks (last two division weeks for A as they crossover on the final week). I.B.S could be the first team to clinch a division if things break just right completing an amazing turnaround from 0-12 to first place. The other two tickets out of the Shootout for B teams are also up for grabs in a four way tie. Over in A the division crown is a three team race, with Leisure Rolls the only one controlling their own destiny. There won’t be any easy ways through the tourney this year, but the division winner gets a Back In Black-less path to the Bowlportland VII title game, and that certainly helps.
Lucky Train delivered 4 t-shirts, a pitcher of moosehead and two bottles of champagne on Tuesday and the train is rolling directly toward Thursday night with a few cars still full of cargo…
Game of the Night (late)
#15 I.B.S. (8-2) -1 vs Granola Bowlahs (6-3): This should be a good one. Granola isn’t just looking to delay a the IBS coronation, they could still win the division with a win and some help. I’m pretty sure Bijou is done for the season, and while she has etched her way into the BoPo history books (with a top 5 all-time women’s average) the Oatsters would love to have her anchoring them with the playoffs coming up. Rick Vaughn and Colucci Kid will need to roll well with late comer Razor also coming into form. I.B.S. has been getting contributions from all fronts. Oolie has always gotten the headlines, but Ripper has been solid and coach Wut What has gotten more from the team than the sum of its parts. If Bijou plays this line changes dramatically, but with her out I like I.B.S. to wrap things up.
#12 TDYOB (4-5) -3 vs Bowled and Beautiful (3-6): It’s possible that after tonight Thurday A could be divided neatly in half with 5 team at .500 or better, and then 5 others at 3-7 or worse. TDYOB would like to think they are in that top group and they could prove it with a win in this one. They lost Friday to GOB but battled hard early before getting overrun. They’ll bowl with just four which sometimes is an advantage. B&B has had some flashes of brilliance and are capable of winning some games before the book closes on BoPo VII. Mr. Mayor needs to get his groove back and support Billy James, with Beaujolais the glue and Dr. Pheelgood the preferred provider of good times. They are a sneaky underdog.
#4 L.O.S. (7-2) -5 vs Linguists (3-6): L.O.S. moves into first with a win and a Leisure Rolls loss. They should be able to roll past a Linguists team that hasn’t had its signature game yet this season. Precious and Double Cheese have been as advertised and Mr. Stiffy was really hot before the break. The Linguists have to hope Gutterslut and Wildcard do some inspired bowling, and La Ga has one of her stronger nights if they hope to challenge in this one.
#8 Guns of Brighton (6-3) -1 vs #7 Leisure Rolls (7-2): Ok, ok, you could make a strong case for this as game of the week, I’m just sticking with I.B.S./Granola because it could technically decide that division while this game just has an enormous impact on A’s championship destiny. G.O.B. may have risen from their mid-season slumber with the return of Pickles propelling them to a crushing win last week. iHand took care of business himself with a 200 average. If E-Minor gets it back, look out. The Rolls have hit the meat of their schedule and now have to bring their level of play up even more. They can finish as high as the #2 seed in the tourney by winning out, and will be favored in their final two – so this is the big hurdle, against the preseason Division favorite no less. GOB’s not ready to turn things over to the new guys just yet.
Yay! (4-5) -1 vs UREA (2-7): Let’s start by acknowledging that UREA is bowling better than their record indicates. They’ve lost an 8-7 game and bowloff and have had a rough schedule. That said T-$ is starting to drop 200’s on the regular and the lady lineup of Steff, Knuckles and J-Bird is solid and relentless. I’m still going to take Yay?, though. Yao has shown signs lately that he can hang with T-$ in a shootout, leaving Jewdy, Bombpop and Mona Laudley to battle the girls in yellow. It should be close and hopefully gives us a fun finish to watch since I’m going to be here bartending. Tie guys, let me ring that bell at the bar! I’m dying to ring that bell!
Happy Hands (6-4) -3 vs Bowlderdash (3-6): The Hands may not be repeating as B champs this year but they still have a ton to play for – a top three finish keeps them out of the Sunday Shootout and gets them a much more winnable playoff game. The Munj and Lance Cocksure have been fixtures on the practice lanes and this team can put up some numbers, especially when Sasha Northfield locks in. Bowlderdash doesn’t look like it will be able to keep up in this one but they have won a few other games I thought they wouldn’t be able to win. Maybe they’ll surprise me. Boys McCracken and Fried Bowlogna are making strides.
Lovernauts (6-3) -7 vs Bad News Spares (0-8): Barring a monumental upset the Lovernauts will find themselves at 7-3 after this one with a good shot at a top 3 spot (perhaps a tie for 1st?) and certainly the best season in franchise history already clinched. They want more. The Spares may be looking ahead to next week’s lowdown showdown with the 0-9 Five O’Clocks.
Roll Another (6-3) -7 vs Five O’Clock Somewheres (0-9): This game is almost a carbon copy of the writeup above. One team having a breakout season and about to sit at 7-3, another team winless and looking to next week’s lowdown showdown too. I should at least acknowledge the 5 O’s Automatic in this one though since he’s banged out a couple league 200s in the last 2 weeks. Nice rolling!
Guacabowle (6-3) -1 vs Lesbowlians (4-5): Yet another 6-3 Thursday B team but this one has a much more difficult task at hand against a Lesbowlians team coming in on a 2 game winning streak (and with current free bowling champ Tilt-A-Whirl). Guac has the big advantage on paper with a team average around 35 pins higher, but that’s nothing in the face of a fired up opponent and the Lesbowlians are hungry to reach .500. This should be a battle to the finish. Seems like Tilt-A-Whirl is destined for a bowloff this week.
Slaughterhouse 7 (5-4) -3 vs Pinny Candy (3-6): The S7 posse still have an outside chance of escaping the Sunday Shootout but would have to win all three remaining games and still get help. They can only take care of their own games and hope to start on the right path with a win here. Coco Lopez was not her usual self last week so she should come out guns blazing. Pinny Candy will counter with Pay Day and Twizzler and hope for sweet results.
Young & Bowled (3-6) -1 vs BUI (3-6): Thursdays are a long day for Pistol Pete. He’s up at three bumping some Rogers and Hammerstein, then he’s got to make it through a whole day of upholstering without napping on a couch right in front of him, then finally at 8 hits the lanes. It’s all worth it when he rolls those 200’s. Senator ITZ is also rolling in after marathon negotiation sessions in Augusta. BUI has the well-rested advantage, but they trail Y&B in team average (though admittedly by very little). At their best they are consistent in the middle, sacrificing top points but grabbing the others. I’m wondering if the ol’ Lou Dawg gets motivated by March Madness to lend his energies to his old teammates to keep them awake in this one.