We are 18 hours away from the opening roll. I’m home on New Year’s Eve (not at Bayside) for the first time since we opened 8 years ago. Of course, I never would have opened Bayside except for the community that sprang from a random group activity 12 winters ago…’fuck it dude, let’s go bowling’. Back then the league was honestly more of a creative writing experiment loosely based on a drinking activity. Now, the ‘bowl’ in Bowl Portland is slightly more relevant, but the party on Tuesdays (and now Thursdays, and a couple Fridays and Sundays) is as awesome as ever.
The last several years have featured lines, with game previews. Back in the old days the writing was focused on recaps. I was planning to get more into the recap thing this year but couldn’t roll into week one empty handed, so here’s a super quick look ahead. (I should also mention lanes will be oiled at 5pm tomorrow…no bowling between 5 and start of practice).
We’ve got a full slate of 12 games opening night. OG BoPo DJ Baby J on the 1s and 2s
Turkey Club unveils their banner at 5:30 then plays two-banner holder OC. Noone is picking OC in this one, so I want to, but I cant. Carl Spackler looks good out there, and Bucky could be persuaded into some title-celebratory manhattans, but I’ll take the easy pick, Club 10-5.
Speaking of champions and banners, Bowl Trolls unveil their B banner and start their title defense. They start against a revamped Wrecking Balls. Swanny brought back Dude and added Xander. They are going for it. The Trolls’ title will last forever, but I think this one game means more to the Wreck. Wrecking Balls 10-5.
BoPo finalist Skol also opens early, against Swinging Richards, t.f.k.a. “f.k.a.y.” Skol came out of nowhere in their first season to reach the finals. They bring back everyone but now have the proverbial target on their backs. S.R. , with Lala’s expert work, had the chance at the next great BoPo logo – I would have killed for one of their beer koozies – but the design idea was nixed by the new Captain. Oh what could have been. I’ll take the mutineers over the finals loss hungover Skol: Richards 9-6.
The expansion Noyes Boys squad makes their debut…in the party pit! They should find a warm welcome against the the father of Turkey Club, Tootsie, and his friendly Whoomp. Noyes 10-5.
Splits Happen is under new management, co-captained by Sarge and Bananza. No idea what to expect. Hookers haven’t bowled in a while but they are professional drinking sport enthusiasts. Hookers 8-7.
Squampch’s Ball That crew get to welcome another expansion team to BoPo. Show them a good time, ok? B.A.R.E. captain Sticky Fingers has got some Draft experience. He gets it. Still, first night of BoPo. Ball That 10-5
One of the best rivalries in BoPo leads off the late lines. No Eye Deer let a B banner slip through their hands last year. They got there with poached former Incredibowl Spidey. The Incredibowls often practice on Fridays with NED, but make no doubt about it they want to beat them. Badly. Going to be a good one. Incredibowls 8-7.
Railroad left Sharks to join Body English. Sharks poached former BEER player Cheddar from a Summer fling with Y&B. It should be a lot of fun to see this rematch of a BEER playoff win. Ricky Vaughn also debuts for BEER, ramping up the energy to 11. Sharks say they have another big name who’ll be bowling with them but I’m still skeptical. Body English 9 Sharks 6
Welcome to the party pit, pals! Bingas changed their ethos for BoPo 12, and brought in noted BoPo mercenary Gutterboi. Hot Mango is gone, but Chernobes and Cook are welcoming a little Binga in the Spring. This could go a lot of ways. Hazzard lost last year’s ringer Rev Lord, but I’d expect UJ to have added a new one. These guys often play Binga’s tough, but I’ll take Binga’s 11-4.
We had someone volunteer for Tuesday A duty! Kudos to you, Y&B2. After a couple dominant Thursday regular seasons they want to join in the Tuesday battles. They have some new faces, and while the Cheddar thing didn’t pan out they are still loaded. S.O.D. added Rev Lord to Couch, and lost Dentist. It’s an odd mix, but Diesel’s teams win a lot. I’ll take them here in a nailbiter. S.O.D. 8-7.
The Burners, 2018 Darlings of Bayside, are back. They play the Cleaner’s Strikes on Tap (sans Cleveland) crew to open things up. Until I know more…Burners 8-7.
Welcome to BoPo, Poultry Association. Iceberg captained an expansion Draft League team to the playoffs. Now he gets to bring his CBS League team to BoPo. They’ll be a great add. BILF is driving in from Buxton for this shit, guys, so damn straight they are here to drink beer and take names! Poultry Association 10 BILF 5