This ridiculous polar vortex is a good reminder of why this league exists – it’s a winter escape, a chance to bring summer behavior (going out on weeknights) to the dark months, and by the end of the season you find yourself in Spring. Bowling just happens to be the activity we built the party around.
For the 20 people who made Draft League semifinals, it’s been around 5 weeks without league season. For the rest of the folks who did Draft League, it’s been 7 or 8 weeks. For the majority of BoPo, it’s been 8 months. For those of us who work there we’ve just made it through party season and brutal school vacation week which seemed to last longer than one of Hessy Lou’s shots. For all of us, though, it’s one of the best days of the year: BoPo Opening Night!
Opening night is special because the whole community is back together. If there is one week of the season where early teams should stick around and watch late, and vice versa, it’s opening week. Maybe even check out the night you’re not on and see the other half of the league. Tonight we do the team introductions, we’ve got the celebrity first ball around 5:40, and we unveil Saucy Posse’s championship banner between rounds. Mosart is back DJing on all new speakers. The energy is awesome. Come be a part of all of it.
So before the lines, just a few of my annual PSAs. Actually, it’s really just one…think about other people. That covers all the specifics (early games moving things along and not taking long breaks, late games not rushing onto the lanes before servers have had a chance to clean them, not leaving tape and bowling bags everywhere, etc.) Opening night takes a little longer due to all the pomp and circumstance, but normally all early games should be throwing their first ball of the game no later than 5:40 so late games can get on at a reasonable time. Alright, here we go.
A disclaimer about my lines – I picked Roadhouse to win Draft League.
Sons of Danarchy (-11) vs Five Finger Discounts: I list this one first because it marks the return of crossover games. 5 Fingers is the first Thursday team to play a Tuesday game, there will be one each week. Frankly, I don’t know who any of their players are, and I do know Natro and Coco are retired (again). So, combine that with SOD adding Couch and I think you’re looking at a lopsided score.
Wrecking Balls (-9) vs Three Livers: I’ve seen Swanny practicing with some old BoPo names, not sure if they are rolling with the Wreck or not. Either way the Wreck were much improved last year and look to build on it. Three Livers is Wilma, Pearl, Bernie and a rotating cast of characters, not sure who we get this season. This wlll mark the 11th year of this matchup, pretty cool.
Hookers (-5) vs Strikes On Tap: I’m really just throwing darts blindfolded. I do know Hollywood added her wife Rotini as a free agent, and that is a monster pickup which should put Hookers in the mix for B playoffs. Strikes On Tap is a mystery. I don’t know their roster heading into this one, so we;ll see what happens. Good luck The Cleaner
Bowl Trolls (-1) vs My Balls: This should be an excellent game that could play a factor in playoff spots at the end of the year. My Balls are led by Cygnus and Luna and they have won a lot of championships lately. Barry Violet should be down to join them, and I assume the magical Wej is back. Bowl Trolls added a big name in Gutterslut (though they did lose Savvy). The Fuge may be too exhausted from making shirts to actually bowl in this one but I like the Trolls in a nail biter.
Budweisers (-1) vs Splits Happen: The Budweisers are the defending Tuesday B champs. Splits Happen was right with them til the end of the season and fell short of the playoffs. (Worth noting the B playoffs are expanded this year to Top 4 in each night.) This should be a high scoring one, and I wouldn’t put it past Xander to singlehandedly pull off the slight upset, but until I see the new teams in action I’ll pick the defending champs.
Saucy Posse (-3) vs Body English: SauPo has definitely enjoyed being champs. Hot Sauce and Chili Sauce got married and then summered in Europe, Master Splinter built his own place at Bayside, Walter recovered, Beef Strokinoff also got married (congrats Mrs. Strokinoff). The BoPo trophy saw some good times. Tonight they’ll unveil their banner, officially claiming Lane 17. Body English brought in Herb’n Legend (formerly General Lee), and they’ll need to lean on him to have any chance in this one. Patient Zero (formerly and in the future known as Karl Hungus) is battling the flu and is taking Slow Roll down with him. Brandy, Filthy and The Dude have the skills, but Master Splinter and Nut Sauce are always in midseason form since they don’t ever stop bowling. I like their chances.
NED (-1) vs Incredibowls: The Spidey match. If I understand correctly he left Incredibowls for arch rival NED in the offseason. God of Thunder will not take kindly to that. NED also is bringing back TUSH CHRIST after his Southern adventure, giving them a lot of volume and a giant roster. I’m not sure who Incredibowls signed to replace Spidey but I am sure I’m excited to see this game.
Off Constantly (-1) vs Skol: This is not the OC you remember. Last year they signed Gutterboy, this year they added Draft champ Mama D. Tron is on again. Oz has had the pressure taken off, and Nuber can calmly steer the ship. They welcome expansion team Skol, though there really aren’t any new faces there, just a new grouping. Viking has built a strong team with Tommy Gunz, Automatic, T-$ and Viqueen. They’ll be a force in their first year but I’ll go with the more seasoned team on opening night.
BILF (-9) vs High Rollers?: BILF also gets to welcome an expansion team, this one loaded with BoPo rookies. Taygod and Shooter McDabbin have harvested some of their industry pals into a new BoPo squad. They are psyched to be here but will likely be a a little caught up in the bright lights. BILF is as unpredictable as they come but they should cruise in this one.
Yahtzee (-3) vs Bingas: This is a pretty great matchup for opening night, big clash in styles, tons of big name BoPoers. Jammy J and the Binga’s crew have always done BoPo right and they are always in the mix. Tso had a monster season in Draft Legaue. Cookie and Chernobes actually took the season off so they’ll be itching to go. Yahztee lost Rotini, but I think Cheddar told me they had an awesome replacement (I hear a lot, remember a little). Regardless, the do have Cheddar and Sparkles and Lala, and Tango and Deputy and that’s a lot of firepower. Not sure how Tango’s injury is impacting him. Looking forward to seeing the shrine. A Bingas vs Yahtzee match just really feels like BoPo is back!
XXX Club (-1) vs Strikes of Hazzard: The Club moved to 0-3 in BoPo finals last year with their loss to SauPo, but they do keep making it there. They are really good. Buck Ripcord is probably ready to get himself a banner. Roadhouse too. E-Minor’s just more easy going, he’ll take it or leave it, either way with a grin from ear to ear. Hazzard typically wins 0-2 games in the regualr season then makes the quarterfinals or something like that. This year the dynamic has changed with the loss of the bowler FKA Gen Lee. They did go out and sign Rev Lord, who dominated Draft League with an average in the 220s. They’ll win a lot more than 2 games this time around, but I don’t like them in this one since it’s Rev Lord’s BoPo debut, it’s late, and he’s looking across at Bucky.