The Finals, and the Bowling Ball, are amazing. An annual party to celebrate with all your leaguemates and dress up like woodland creatures or what have you, and dance all night to good bands. It’s a spectacle. But for pure bowling purposes, no night is better than the Thursday before. Eight teams show up, battle all night long, and 2 survive. Teams have to play on early and late, have to balance partying with sobriety over 6 hours, have to have some depth or strong arms. It’s an amazing night to watch, and I encourage everyone to come check it out. First games start at 5:45 and we have some heavy hitting matchups.
As for the 9th Annual Bowling Ball, it’s North Woods Bowl themed. Dress however that strikes you. I’ve heard lots of people will be dressed as animals and trees and maybe pancakes. Probably a Paul Bunyan or two and I think the Lumberjacks mascot may be stopping by. Doors are at 2:30. B Finals are at 3pm. Womens doubles finals are at 3pm as well. Mens’ doubles finals were supposed to be at 3, but due to tough scheduling we may have Cheese/Precious vs Gen. Lee/Sparkles in the semis at 3 with the winners playing Crackerjack/Tom E Gunz at 430, unless they can squeeze that semis game in on Friday. We’ll see (and definitely the end of 2v2 as we know it after this year). Crushed Out is the band.
An explanation of lane assignments. The top 2 seeds will have the inside pairs (YB2 on 7/8, and SauPo on 5/6). Then the semis will shift, so winner of SauPo game plays semis on 7/8, and winner of YB2 game plays semis on 5/6).
Turkey Club (10-4) -1 vs Saucy Posse (14-1): I love this game. Yes, both teams brought in some big guns, but those big guns immediately meshed into the BoPo social fabric.
The Club had to make a move to replace Tango, and when Railroad fell through they grabbed Buck Ripcord. At first he said he’d miss the quarters, but now he’s all in. That’s part of his embrace of the league, from his legendary 52 night to his legendary 300 night. But T-Club is more than Buck. Roadhouse had an excellent year, surging over 200 in average with that magical near 300 in front of the pros. E-Minor has been solid all year and has had a couple monster nights, and he’s a lefty. Herk is a proven energy guy who will spark the team one way or another. Two Koops stepped up when needed and Bora will high kick her way to some decent scores. They are a franchise that has come close but never sealed the deal. This could be their year. Of course I’m the guy that picked them to go 12-0.
Saucy Posse has been in the league from its inception. They were slightly above middle of the pack for a while, then fell toward the bottom of A when divisions came out. This year they made a bold move, adding a couple non-Sauciers in Nut Sacue and Master Splinter. They’ve been great, Nut Sauce running away with Top Bitch and Master Splinter rolling well but just as importantly coaching up the rest of the team. He had a hand in Hot Sauce’s 244 in the 1st round of the playoffs, and Hot Sauce’s general transformation as a bowler. Walter has thrived with the pressure off his shoulders, and Beef Strokinoff actually brings BoPo championship experience. T-Burr is the glue. They have the pieces, they are the number one seed.
I just see Buck outrolling everyone, with Roadhouse and E-Minor picking up a bunch of 2nd and 3rd place points. Enough for an 8-7 win anyway.
L.O.S. (11-3) -1 vs Yahzee (12-2): This one will most definitely not be a party. You’ve got guys on both teams who take winning very seriously. What it will be is an awesome game. These are two teams that built in-house, and they take great pride in that point.
Yahtzee is back on track after a little stumble. They raced out to a 10-0 start before losing their last two, but they are in the quarters now and the rest is irrelevant. Tango had a monster season, and Cheddar is back. Sparkles seems to save his best for 2v2 but he has more than his share of 250+ games. Deputy may be the best #4 in the league, and Lala has been on the rise for the second half of the year. Then they have Rotini, who has been sensational over the last month.
L.O.S. will likely be running out a much shorter lineup due to impending birth. Any LOS talk starts with the towers. No one puts in more practice time or study than Cheese, and Precious has actually bowled better this year spending a little less time at the lanes. Mr. Stiffy is always rock solid. Nugget has been getting better each year, and finds herself in the 2v2 finals. Her battles with Rotini will be epic.
I’m picking the Towers in a nailbiter based on their ridiculous scores from Tuesday night.
Young and Bowled 2 (14-1) -1 vs Body English (10-4): Wig out. Lots of great storylines in this one. I actually think it’s going to a bowloff, but if so it’s pretty hard to pick against Crackerjack.
YB2 has been an interesting story. Born from the wreckage of TDYOB, named after a long ago franchise. Shifter was the Captain until he jumped off a sign and shattered his leg. Senator ITZ stepped in and made some bold moves. They signed Crackerjack, who is primed to pull off the never before done single season grand slam. No one else even has a career slam. Then he brought in Mystery Powers, an excellent bowler from the legislature. They already had Pistol Pete who is a proven commodity, and they added Mo $ who brings the spirit. The surprise move was bringing in Glossy Mexican, a 200 avg guy to run beside Crackerjack. Sen ITZ has made some good moves, including Tuesdays surprise play of Shifter in game 2 over Glossy with his team down 4-1 and the season on the line. It worked. Right now all his GM moves are panning out.
Hungus made an interesting move of his own, and it actually comes back to Crackerjack. On the eve of the season CJ introduced Hungus to Tom E Gunz who was looking for a home. With West on the way, and Filthy and QB having a honeymoon, BEER signed him. Now he gets to battle his close friend Crackerjack all night. BEER had another huge signing in the offseason, bringing in Brandy. Like YB2 they have a giant roster of 7 players all of whom will be there, which in the past has not been a recipe for titles but both these teams look to overcome that. Natro’s injury seems to have subsided, and he’ll have to battle Pistol Pete at leadoff. QB had a PR in Tuesday’s playoff game, and Slow Roll just made a 2v2 run to the semis. Filthy is the heart and soul of BEER, having been there all 9 seasons. He’ll need to be clutch when his number is called.
I really do see bowloff potential, setting up a Crackerjack vs Guns clash of the titans. I’ll side with the big lefty who has just dominated Bayside all season.
Bingas (10-5) -1 vs BUI (9-5): This is the strange duck of the matchups. B.U.I. caught a nice break and kept the BoPo tradition of no repeat champs alive by beating up a 3 player Back in Black. Bingas went typical Bingas, almost letting a big lead slip away before rallying late to win again and advance against a feisty underdog. Like LOS vs Yahtzee, this is an all in house-bowler battle.
Bingas is led as always by fan favorite Jamaican Jerk. He’s pretty much a lock for a top 10 average every year, and he puts his all into his team. They may not win Team of the Year every year but they always could. The patches, the shrine, the camraderie. As their free agent signee Knuckles put it “When Binga’s asks you to join you can’t say no!”. Knuckles and Chernobes have been a fearsome duo in the lady spot all season, as Bingas had 100% attendance at every game. That changes tonight with Hot Mango away. That probably means three for Cookie, who saved the team on Tuesday and is feeling very good about himself right now. Tso hasn’t had his monster game yet, which really means he’s due.
B.U.I. doesn’t care how they got here, they are in the quarters and have a very realistic shot at advancing. It’s like a Brooklyn strike, all the scoreboard says is strike. Duke Thunderwood has officially stepped into the top tier of Bayside bowlers with yet another great season. He is more than capable of hanging with Jerk tonight. G Unit has been a nice add and has had a lot of 200s (and seemingly a ton of 199s!) Snapshot is the wily captain who will be crunching numbers to look for advantages. Happy Feet Pete is back but not sure how he’ll work into this one, he’s a bit of a wildcard. Hexy and Animal will need to be at the top of their games to battle the Binga’s ladies.
I think Bingas finds a way again to survive, and sneaks into the semis with an 8-7 win.
I’m not going to put much writing into these hypothetical matchups, but if the quarters go the way I predict, here’s what I think happens next. I think T Club is just too much for Bingas (even though the late lanes/grinding issue makes me hesitate). I’ve been bullish on the Club all year so not stopping now. On the other side I see YB2 getting past LOS. LOS seems to really dislike late lanes. YB2 has played late every game this season. Crackerjack carries them.
So I’m predicting a Turkey Club vs YB2 finals. Go out and prove me wrong everyone else!
Good luck tonight. Enjoy this, it’s a pretty special night to be a part of.