BoPo Year 2 Week 1: Debut of Jamaican Jerk, Invisible Hand (fka Hawse Pipe) and many others

Binga’s Ringas 15  Happy Hands Productions  0

Last year, only one team was merciless enough to roll a shutout: Off Constantly.  Well, this year Binga’s fancies itself as a top contender, and they look as if they will emulate OC’s scorched earth tactics.  They kicked off BowlPortland 2009 with a 15-0 victory over a shell-shocked Happy Hands Productions.  Hot Mango Mike busted out of the 80’s with a 165 average on the night, but the hero was newcomer Jamaican Jerk.  He set the bar high with a 231 as high score for the season (Bernie’s 233 from 2008 still stands as the gold-standard).  “Beats kissing our moms!” yelled a jubilant Danny Diesel, team captain.  We’ll see how their new bad-boy attitude fits them as the year develops.

“Your moms!” retorted Sasha Northfield.  She compared opening night to her first kiss “Both were sloppy and we want a do-over”.  Well, there’s always the playoffs. The Hands actually rolled well enough to beat many teams, but that’s the luck of the draw.  “We’ll be ok, it’s all gonna be ok,” added Jasper L. Pond.  Well, considering their team mascot “Bull” from Nightcourt actually was named Nostradamus Shannon, maybe they can in fact see the future. 

Off Constantly 15 Three Fingered Willies 0

Now here’s a team you expect to play like bullies, and they lived up to the hype.  One day before Dick Liquor appeared on Oprah (seriously) to soften the team’s image, the boys and girls of OC kicked dirt in the eye of the new guys.  Oz is out to defend his 2008 MVB trophy, and out up a nice 224 – 165.  When informed it was only good for second best on the night, he paused, fell back into his chair and fell silent.  The captain had plenty to say, but all of it was too x-rated for these pages.  Considering Knuffi plays for OC, and dates a Ringa, and those are the two bullies, perhaps she is the root of the mercilessness.

The Willies knew they had a tough draw, and really were more focused on getting to know each other.  We’ve mentioned in these pages before that they need Big Pap K to step in as a father figure, but he was nowhere to be found.  The Pin Whisperer is feeling out his new surroundings, and guest roller Barry Violet couldn’t break through either.  But the most important thing for a new team is to bond, and the tightest bonds are forged in the fires of adversity, so this may have been a blessing in disguise.  Team captain Dirk McLucky said “I’m just gonna go home, let it sink in a bit, and then makeout with, I mean, lay my head down on, my pillow.  It’s a long season.”

Dirty Half Dozen 14  Maine Yacht Club 1

Opening night couldn’t have turned out better for DHD.  They showed some class by holding back from the shutout, they get to fly a bit under the radar with Binga’s and OC seizing the headlines, and their shirts were the envy of many a team.  When asked how his team compared to those two this year, Riggs (who missed the game, but made postgame – excellent work!)  smiled.  “That’s like comparing Tiffany’s to Claire’s Accessories, or a fine white wine to warm pee.”  Oh snap!  Harlyn P. led the way for the filthy 6 with a 213, Jeltz was in midseason form, and Toonces answered the big question: would they be able to fill the shoes of Dutch.  Wearing a tribute “Dutch” jersey, Toonces showed she can handle the bright lights of Tuesday nights with a solid opener.

As for the Yacht Club, they’re going to take a few weeks to get their sea legs.  They showed wild fluctuations, like a Bay of Fundy tide.  Hawse Pipe followed up a 76 with a 167.  Sextant more than doubled her first game score in her second game.  The best news for the MYC is that they all improved as the night went along, and they weathered the storm of opening against a top team.  They did not take any questions, and were last seen piling into their Evinrude-powered helmet car and peeling out at 15 mph.

Urban Achievers 10 Pinups 5

“Hey, who invited O Town!” yelled Big Ern as he approached the lanes and noticed his opponents had no girls.  “What is this, the Planters factory?”  Ah, Big Ern.  Even in defeat he is magnanimous.  “Great opponent, great win for them…they suck!”  Just like 2008, Big Ern was without The Oft-Injured Chunk, though his other rollers put up some strong numbers.  Rickety Cricket, Bird, Silky Pete and Bulge Temptingly, the British schoolmarm, all put up quality games.  Big Ern dragged his team down a bit, but did not let that stand in the way of his haranguing his team for ‘more awesomeness’.

After the win, Urban Achievers’ captain J. Hammer sounded a defensive note regarding his team’s all-male revue.  “The commissioner said it was ok, blame Hungus!”  The Achiever s let their bowling do the talking, as they were one of only two newcomer teams to record a victory over a returning team.  Eleven of twelve games were over 100, and J.Hammer paced the team with a 180.  Manute Bowl was a consistent number two, but Turd Ferguson claimed “I’m the real number two!”

Three Livers 13 Hyper-Bowl-E 2

No returning team faced more questions than Three Livers.  Who would replace Hank?  Could new captain Pearl match Maude’s intensity?  Who would Bernie yell at?  Well, they answered all the questions in week one (noone, yes, and everyone).  Newcomer Ruth opened some eyes with her rolling, and Bernie with his dancing (though not as impressive as last year’s Apache routine).  Newcomer Flo also rolled solidly, and Wilma started strong before tiring in the third game.  Their postgame comments all blurred together, but the following could be culled from the cacophony:

Ruth: “His tongue was WAY down my throat!” Flo: “I was just trying to find myself.” Bernie: “TASTES LIKE CHICKEN!!!!!!!”

Hyper-Bowl-E only brought a reasonable number of bowlers, but looked like new kids on the block without their captain. “New Kids On The Block are a little too hard rock for me, actually” noted Michael Bowlton, mistaking the reference.  Perhaps the loud and aggressive music played a role in the rough performance in week one.  K-Ron led the way for the squad, that like many of the new teams is going to take a few weeks to gel.  They did look resplendent in their Turquoise duds, however.

I.C.B.I.N.G. 13  Strikes of Hazzard 2

Two teams that have a long history in another sport both launched their first BowlPortland season in this blowout.  The GutterBelievers were not spectacular, but consistent, and they came armed with babies.  Gutterface led all scorers with a 160.  The team refused all press inquiries, with Gutter Finger eventually knocking a cameraman down as his team bolted for the door.  “I said no pictures!”  They did not arrive at postgame, and there is speculation they went straight to the Old Port to get in some fights.

Things are complicated for the Strikes.  The captains are Boss Hogg and his loyal stooge Roscoe P. Coltrane.  So Uncle Jesse, Mabel Tillingham, Mizz Tizdale and Crazy Cooter are a bit conflicted.  They’re only playing because Boss Hogg has the Duke boys in jail and they’re going to take Roscoe’s keys when he starts to trust them, so they weren’t too focused on the actual rolling.  Only 2 of the teams 12 games were over 100.  Roscoe played loyal soldier: “Boss is our logistics man, so I’m sure he has something up his buttery sleeve. Gheeee-gheee-gheee.” 

B.E.E.R.  10.5  Purple Haze 4.5

Purple Haze brought their own guitarist, but BEER brought the heat in this exciting sibling rivalry.  The first game was an absolute shootout, with the teams splitting points in a 567-549 game.  The scores were no anomaly, as BEER and Haze ended up with the 4th and 6th best averages in the league.  For B.E.E.R., Cheddar lived up to his billing as a ‘calming influence’.  “Frankly, just knowing he’ll match up with the other team’s top roller, really takes the pressure off” noted Filthy McNasty, who started strongly himself finishing with a nice little 148 average.  Tom Richards and Roy G Biv, calling themselves the Trailer Park Boys,  played well too, though Tom kept taking his shirt off.  Stepping up with Fern out of town, the Bishop picked up two points for the team as well.

The score isn’t really reflective of Haze’s rolling – they look sharp.  A defiant Lefty finished the night with a Turkey, grabbed his coat and simply said “I’m out”.  The Dude came out blazing as well with an opening game 171, and I-Moan had a four strike streak at one point…in other words, these guys are strong.  On the injury front, Hendrix did get a thumb blister.  Knowing the Dude’s captaining ability, these guys will hunker down, bite their palms Lenny and Squiggy style, and come back firing next Tuesday.

Die Gassenjungen  8 Alley-Gash Rollers 7

The Germans aren’t really known for their subtlety.  Die Gassenjungen played to type with a blitzkrieg victory over division foe the Alley-Gash rollers.  Arriving armed with flags, beer mugs, pro-Gassenjungen propaganda and some sort of beer-maid dress, the crüe made quite an opening night impression.  They did get a bit too excited to submit comments other than some scribbles around a few German profanities, but Josef (who led the team with a 156) was kind enough to serve everyone a round.  Showing that they are not one dimensional, Die Gass also made a strong showing at the postgame.

The Alley got her team off to a quick 4-1 lead with some wise captaining, and acquitted herself well on opening night.  Led by Bunny and Natro, the team showed potential and has now been tested in a close game.  Coco was too distracted rehashing some of her favorite Jim Lehrer jokes (“and then….wait a minute, this is great, he turns to gwen ifill, and…oh man, ha ha.. he says…”) which may have distracted Lane.  All was not lost, as at least one of the team members got their first ever kiss.  Who, you ask?  Hey, this isn’t US Weekly, nosy.

Roll Another 9 Pud’s Taxi 6

No team carried more of an air of mystery than Pud’s Taxi coming into week one.  Perhaps the biggest mystery: would they show?  These are very busy guys.  Well, show they did, and they showed some real potential.  Cuppy showed amazing consistency with a 142-142-145 night, and Captain Dink posted a 142 himself.  Ultimately, they were let down by the lack of a bench, as Roll Another pulled out the win.  Noone from Pud’s spoke to the press, but when Hungus ran to catch them in the parking lot, he swore he saw “an old school yellow cab – it headed toward the exit, then the taillights turned off, then, and I know this sound crazy, but the car just disappeared.” 

Chupacabra’s team came up big in this, the first game of their “transformation”.  There were some fascinating statistical anomalies, like Uncle Buck and The Package getting the exact same score evry time, but ultimately this came down to attitude.  Tired of being pushed around last year, they tried on a new brash persona.  “With your mom, in the back, of a dark, with the Package’s mom”.  Clearly this is not natural for them.  Still you have to give them credit for staying focused when they spent the week not knowing if they’d have an opponent.  Well, now we now two things: Pud’s Taxi is real, and Roll Another is for real.

Saucy Posse  8  Great Lost Spares  7

SauPo’s Walter is a bit ticked off.  First, he felt “disrespected” at his team’s low showing in the coach’s poll.  Then he was furious at his placement on the very outskirts of the league in lane one.  “It was like a kick in the face.”  When informed he would be on the same lanes in week 2, he started to run toward Hungus, bowling ball waving madly, before Kathy Nash and N Sauce were able to grab him and talk him down.  He turned his anger on the pins, and knocked down 287 of them in two games, but still was unsatisfied, even referencing the Great Lane-Oiling Scandal of 2008.  P Sauce preferred to focus on the positives, noting his team came all the way back from a 5-0 deficit to win.  “Hitchhikers, pick em up” he said finally.  “Hey bud, let’s party” added D Sauce.  Party they did, turning out in full force for the postgame.

The fantastically named players on The Spares jumped out to a quick 5-0 advantage, but The Pinstigator acknowledged that winning is new to them.  They may not be used to winning yet, but they are used to excited crowds.  “Tonight was just like my first kiss…lot’s of beer, lots of people jumping and screaming!” noted High Roller. Pinstigator did lead by example, doubling her first game score with an impressive 168 in the 3rd, but in the end Walter was just too angry.  As of press time, there is no confirmation on the rumor that the team may be changing its name to Captain Meatstick and the Golden Girls.

Sweet Rolls 11 Lesbowlians 4

In what turned out to be a reunion of sorts, Sugar’s new squad opened the season with a victory over the nattily attired Lesbowlians.  Sugar beamed that “she felt just like Strawberry Shortcake!” as she basked in the win.  The win was aided by the perhaps awkwardly named given his captain’s name Sugar Daddy, who rolled a consistent three game string.  “Frenchie don’t take no mess!” added Frenchy, before explaining the concept of intimidation to a starry eyed Sugar.

Playing the role of Purple Pie Man were the Lesbowlians, and like him, their schemes to stop Miss Shortcake came up empty.  Still, the game (or maybe all the candy names of their opponents) has them hungry for more.  Not one to hog the spotlight, Trixy turned all the questions from the press to her teammates.  Tilt A Whirl said she’d embrace her memories of opening night to hopefully knock the memory of her first kiss out of her brain.  Butch said it lived up to the hype (but was very awkward).  Frosty was too drunk to respond, and Olivasudden ‘sank it more than I sunk it”.  Make of that what you will.

Gutterballs 13 Young and the Bowled 2

Another new team off to a fast start is the Gutterballs, who quickly established themselves as a frontrunner in the Joy Division.  The Nihilist couldn’t be bothered to answer any postgame questions.  He really didn’t care about it.  His team was paced by JP and Hildo, and they don’t really care either.  None of it matters anyway.

The Young and the Bowled  admitted mixed feelings about their start.  “Well, it was wet and clumsy, but totally memorable”,  noted Large Marge, who was quickly silenced by Special K putting a hand over her mouth.  “Listen Karl,” she said, “if you keep asking too many questions, you may risk grievous bodily harm.  If I were you, I would keep your business to yourself.”  Not addressing the fact that this was about their business, not mine, what is it they’re hiding?  Was this 2 point performance some sort of trap setting? This promises to be an ongoing story.  If I disappear, look in Special K and Senator ITZ’s direction.

Incredibowls 8 Derelicte My Balls 7

For the most part, there were few upsets in week one.  This one however sent shockwaves throughout the league.  A team referred to in some quarters as the Happy Hands JV squad knocked off a team picked by many as a title threat.  A lot of things were off for My balls – no Herbie, two newcomers, and no silver Fox.  Confusing things even more, someone on the other team had a Silver Fox jersey on.  They did take one for the league however, opening as the first team to be in the border lane.  Bubbles seemed remarkably unconcerned after the game, and hit the postgame as is her style. “Derelicte em!”

The Incredibowls proved they can roll, but more importantly “we can dance!” screamed Red Hot Hands Ryan, hands steaming hot from a smoking Turtle.  Boston led them on the lanes with a 137 average.  “We knew we had them when we opened up with a downorck and straight into a windwmill and they just stood there slack jawed,” said Poops McGee,  from a headstand.  If they take their bowling as seriously as they take their dancing, they’ll be a team to be reckoned with all season.