Sunday, December 7, 2008

King of the Hill

For the 2nd week in a row JD broke what used to be the unattainable threshold of a 500 series. His 511 (161, 135, 215) in week 13 helped us to a 5-2 victory. He topped that in week 14 with an inspired 562 (209,181,172) which propelled us to an impressive 7-0 for the evening. At this pace we may become a 500 team in the standings!!
An interesting tidbit over the last 2 weeks was the fact that 2 weeks ago JD was the only bowler to top a 500 series. Brian was close with a very nice 489 but Dan (437), Todd (408) and Jim H. (412) failed to flirt with 500. Jim H. started strong with a 175 but the 3rd game of 93 (yes, his 1st sub 100) put any hopes of a good series to rest. By contrast, in addition to JD's 562, Jim M. (526, high game 224), Dan (522, high game 200) and Pat (516, high game 176) all managed to exceed 500 in week 14.

Our overall record has improved to a season best 44-54!!!.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Captain Brian is a Star!

The core team of 5 was back together for the last 2 weeks and it was clear to Brian that he needed to shake things up in his role as team captain. Going with the "dress for success" philosophy, Brian looked radiant as he donned a smart looking blue blouse with a large white star emblazoned upon his chest. The other team members noticed that his physique looked slightly more "puffy" (too bad Jim D. was not there to admire the body change as he did when he commented how Jim M. was filling out his clothes last season). It was not until the 3rd pitcher of beer when Brian revealed not only the reason for the puffiness but his unusual choice of body jewelry. Author's note: I would have bet his would have been pink, not brown!!!
Whatever the reasoning for the change, the team appreciated it as Brian bowled like a man deserving to wear a star upon his chest. Three games all over average (150, 165 and 157) and a very respectable 472 series to overcome our 1st game massacre to win the night 4-3. Jim M. returned to the solid Jim of 2008-2009 with a 550. Dan (439) and Pat (462) put in sub par performances. Mark, fresh off last week's dominating performance that led to the cocky, walking out to the car comment "I told your I was a 160 bowler", finished up with a 390 (that's a 130 average for anyone mathematically challenged).
Two comments regarding the commitment to the team and new ball purchases: 1) After Brian's performance I hope he does not feel he is just fine with his current equipment 2) After our opponent's "What is that, a 12 pound ball?" comment to Mark, I hope he has been quilted into a purchase.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

14 game losing streak..FNG returns!

Since the last entry when there was a comment about how our .314 winning percentage had taken a nice jump up to .428 by virtue of some recent stellar team play, our winning percentage has plummeted to .333! This is what happens when you go 0 -14 over a 2 week period and your overall record drops to 24 and 46. Not sure what the answer is but we are just not in sync this year.

There were no real highlights last week except Jim's solid 567 series bolstered by his 2nd game 224. Other than the always appreciated "I'm carrying the team" commentary from Jim nothing of note occurred as no one else cracked the 500 barrier (pointed out by Jim).

You might have guessed that to go 0-7 a 2nd week in row would also have very few highlights but you would be wrong. Dan (181, 185, 198) and Pat (177, 172, 185) both smashed the 500 series mark and battled throughout the evening as they tried mightily to hold the struggling team together. Wow, 2 others over 500 and of course Jim probably broke 600. Wrong. Mr. Broad Shoulders was reduced to a quivering mess as he struggled ("I have a scab on my leg, don't you know?") to a JD-like 457. FNG beat him in the 3rd game for crying out loud.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beer Frame - noun. The act of all five members of a bowling team rolling a strike in the same frame. Achieving the five consecutive strikes is traditionally rewarded with a round of drinks provided by the bowling alley.

After 3 seasons the pursuit of the elusive beer frame has finally come to an end. There was an increased amount of talk about this throughout this particular evening.....did everyone sense this was the night? How could this rag tag collection of 60% regulars and 40% subs even think of it, especially when the man who has been carrying us (so graciously and humbly, I might add) was not present? The tension built as JD knocked them all down, then Brian (yes, BRIAN!) followed by Jim H. The two subs and Brian did their part, now it was just down to the brothers. Could they hold up their end of the bargain? Pat, Mr. Clutch when he needs to make the perfect bags throw (but also the owner of the most gutters this year) came through followed by Dan. The team's reaction as the 50th pin fell in the 9th frame of the third game was as if we had just won the Super Bowl or the World Series. The rest of the bowling alley must have thought someone had a 300 game. There was a collective shaking of their heads as they realized it was just Los Diablos finally getting a beer frame....losers.

It was this 3rd game where everything came together. It helped erase the memory of the 8 pin loss in the 1st game where everyone but Pat failed to mark in the 10th. We rebounded in the 2nd game and won by 38 pins. It was on the strength of the beer frame that the bowling gods smiled upon Los Diablos. Brian finished the game with 5 consecutive strikes, Pat got his 4th and 5th straight strikes in the 10th on the way to a 216. Dan threw a strike in 6 of the last 7 seven frames to overcome a 3rd frame score of 33 on the way to a 202. Free haircuts for Brian, Pat and Dan.

Our 11 and 24 record (.314) of a few weeks ago has been improved to 24 and 32 (.428). It's fun to string some winning weeks together boys...let's keep it going.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Muli-Gutter night....

Looking back at the previous two blog entries, the author feels the appropriate amount of time and lineage was applied to the less than stellar 1st game efforts of Dan. However, Dr. Sensitive ("how come you always pick on me and not on Pat?") has pointed out that this is not the case.

Here goes....for the third consecutive week, the "anchor" came out of the gates with a dazed and confused look. Time after time pins remained and the designated 7 quarters for the evening were gone after one game as Dan "hit the hip" more often than his ball hit the pins. With a 74 in the 8th, Dan would need a couple or marks to break 100 (yes, Dan, we realize you are the only one who has not gone under 100). Of course, when you have earned a 74 through 8, doing this is not a sure thing. With the encouragement from his team (yeah, right) Dan got his 2 marks and limped in with a career low 107.

This was not the only low light of the evening as Pat managed to bowl 2 gutters in the same game. JD was so intrigued by the prospect of missing all tens pins with his first ball, he too, threw a gutter. This extraordinary bowling process (by 2 members of the same team who were different than the 107 game guy) prompted a member of the other team to sarcastically state: "Thanks for cleaning out the oil from the gutters!" Ouch.

Three paragraphs in and no mention of Captain Brian? He was there and proud of the fact that his 2nd game 109 was not as bad as Dan's 1st game 107. It is nice to know Dan's 1st game efforts are now the standard by which Mr. 133 average and Mr. 122 average gauge their games. While Brian was walking around with his 109 influenced chest puffed out, Pat brought him down to reality when he stated "I don't think I have ever seen Brian pick up a 10 pin". Ouch, again. Author's note: Brian did pick up the 10 pin.

There was a collective team effort in the last game as we rallied to salvage 3 points. Some gems from the other team...."Who put the quarter in Dan" and "You are the only team that can keep up with us drinking."

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Failure to launch!

For the 2nd straight week Dan showed up with his head up his ass, not prepared to do his part for the team. After an anemic 1st game "effort" of 116 last week, Dan topped that with an impotent 111 (his all time low). While this individual effort was pathetic, the other team members hardly picked up their struggling clean up man. Pat's 1st game 144 was 13 below average, Jim's 147 was a whopping 47 below average and FNG's 119 (he actually was bragging about his 119 in relation to Dan's 111!) was 4 below average. Thankfully, super sub JD's solid 165 kept the bleeding to a minimum and we only lost the 1st game by 111.

There was not much else positive on this evening with the exception of JD's high game of 179 on the way to a very nice 508 series. Pat's 455 was actually not that short of his average but a far cry from the 500+ goal he has set for himself. While Dan's 429 resulted in a 4 pin drop in his average, it was not quite as bad as the 9 point pin average hit that Jim's took as the result of his 484 (we all suspected that the two 600+ series would be hard to maintain, but not getting to 500?). After a solid 2nd game effort of 142, it was pointed out that FNG just needed a 139 to break the 400 barrier. With this added pressure on his back (and hand on his throat), he threw up a 115 to finish with a 376 for the evening.

O for 7 boys......let's regroup and get this team heading in the right direction.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mind blowing.....and a loss by 4 points

Was it the fact that Dan's mind was blown due to showing up and seeing only the FNG and Scott A. practicing that contributed to such a pathetic 1st game effort of 116? It could be but that was not the only score that was less than awe inspiring (Brian 124 absentee, Scott 128 and FNG Mark 123). Considering those 4 scours it was somewhat amazing the team only lost by almost 100. It was only Pat that could muster up a respectable 174.

Game 2 saw a complete reversal as Dan smoked the lanes with a 231 (nice consistency), Scott increased by 27 to a 155 and Mark increased by 13 to 136. Pat, on the other hand, plummeted by 42 down to a 132. All in all, the efforts lead to a 132 point victory in game 2.

Despite the very solid 3rd game efforts (Pat 161, Dan 167, Scott 163, Mark 136) we lost the 3rd game by 37 and the overall evening by a total of 4 pins to go 2-5.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FNG can't deliver on promise

"Hey, guys, I've got a 180 bowler that wants to join our team", Jim said enthusiastically. "Great, let's make him our new leader, we have to replace Ass-pan." Three weeks into the new season, as we sat around debating if the FNG (fu#@&ing new guy), claimed he was a 180 or a 160 bowler, it took a comment from Dan to put it all into perspective: "It does not really matter if he claimed he was a 180 or a 160 bowler, the reality is he is a 120 bowler". Of course this got the group laughing which led FNG Mark (his new name until he gets to at least 160) to state: "I don't think I like playing with you guys." "Neither does anyone else."

Thankfully we could laugh at that little exchange because our effort for the evening was only worthy of tears. After a dominating 1st game victory, we took a beating in game 2 and 3, losing the huge lead we built in the 1st game, stumbling to a 2-5 record for the evening. Despite the overall disappointment, there were a few highlights. Jim (223) and Dan (208) both broke 200 in the 1st game. Pat (516), Jim (521) and Dan (504) all broke the 500 series mark. Brain got more marks in these 3 games then he got in the month of April last season and Mark's 2nd game rally in the 10th allowed him to finish with a solid 105,avoiding the sub 100 humiliation.

It was fun watching Jim bowl his 4th, 200+ game in the 1st seven games of this season, but there was some suspicion that he was on borrowed time. Well, the bowling gods called in the loan in the 3rd game as Jim had six, 1st ball sevens and no strikes until the 10th frame on the way to a Brianesq 139 (Brian wishes he could bowl a 139!!). Pat, feeling the pressure of the 540 challenge put out by Dan, missed 3, middle of the lane 1 pin pickups on the way to a 151. If only 2 of the 3 had been picked up the 540 was within reach. Remember what your Dad says(no, not the smelly balls comment) "You have more than 2 ball widths to pick those up for crying out loud!!" At one point Pat was heard exclaiming: "The damn coach messed me up!!"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another Season is under way!!

Team Los Diablos started off the new season with 4 members of the original team and were once again searching for the elusive 5th team member. The dunce cap landed on yet another Naperville wannabe from the 'hood. It did not take long for the team to treat him as a long lost friend, taking no time to start heaping on the verbal abuse with no mercy. There was some speculation that Mark may n0t return for week 2. To his credit (or a testament to his stupidity) he showed up in week 2, raring to go.

Enough of the "welcome the new team member" crap. Let's get a re-cap of the nights' events. Week 1 saw Jim come storming out of the gates with an impressive 605 series...2 games over 200! Unfortunately for the overall team standings, those 2 games outscored the 3 game series for the majority of the team. Pat's 395, Brian's 379 and Mark's 357 left Jim mumbling under his breath. Dan's 461 was not all that much better and the team had an uninspired 2-5 record.

In week 2, Jim was out to show that week 1 was no fluke. A career best game of 255 led to a career best series of 620. After a 605 and a 620, I can only provide positive comments on this effort. Congratulations Jim. The question now is....can you keep it up? (easy Jim, I'm talking about the bowling scores). Pat up'd his score from the previous week, using a 210 to springboard to a 512 series. Dan had a 192 and 179 before limping home with a "Paulsenized" 3rd game 121. Brian, saving the best to last, had a 3rd game of 143, leading to the in-your-face "Paulsenize that!" comment. Mark's 131, 138 and 110 led everyone to fondly remember another Los Diablos of the same name. The team took the evening 5-2 to even up the record for the year.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

$$ on the line...what we've been waiting for!

For months we have gone with the idea that we will turn it around once playoffs hit. Tonight the playoff teams played for $30 a point and the game was on. In the 1st game, three of our 4 bowlers went over 2 bills (Rick 234, Dan 223 and Jim 207) leading to our high game of the year 949. This led to dominant 135 point victory. Rick and Dan both earned the 4 strike chicken dinner.

Game 2 was not quite the success story as we sunk to a 788 and lost by 96 pins. After 2 games, each team had 2 points with $90 riding on the last game. Rick, Dan and Jim, all cooled off in games 2 and 3, all averaging in the mid 170's for the last 2 games. It was Pat, shaking off the PP blues (Paulsen / Prybel), buried the memory of his 152 / 137 "efforts" in the 1st two games and exploded with a 233 in the 3rd (also earning the chicken dinner). This was a career best game leading to a series of 522. All 4 Los Diablos bypassed the 500 series mark (Rick 585, Dan 568 and Jim 553). This excellent team effort led to a 5-2 evening mark and tough guy talk about how great we are and how it was just a matter of time before we started to kick some butt again.

It is nice to have a solid effort under our belts as we head into the the final 2 weeks. One sad effect of the excellent bowling was the small poker pot winnings. We all agreed it will be nice to have Brian back so that the pots will be once again worth playing for...hurry back Captain.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Uh "O"-fer

The whole team was back for the 1st time in weeks and my buddy Brian looked like a new man. Our speculation that he was at an intensive bowling camp for the last few weeks was quickly dispelled as we saw him throw misguided ball after misguided ball. Is he going for the elusive sub 90 game, I asked myself? As it turns out he did achieve the team low of 86 (previous team low held by Mark and Pat with an 89). Of course the brothers aren't nearly men enough to have this score announced themselves so they talked Rick into doing it (it was funny, though). Dan (the unfeeling bastard) pointed out that Brian needed to bowl a 214 in this last game while kingpin Dan didn't even need to play a 3rd game for them to tie for the series.

Although I thought everyone knew I was an ass man, I was somewhat dismayed at Pat's shocked reaction when I proudly declared: "I'm an ASS man!". Maybe it was the timing of the comment since he had just referred to our teammate Rick as "Assman". Speaking of Rick, I find myself with a goofy smile on my face every time I think of his "She's Mrs. Candyland" comment regarding the 7 of clubs. Between that and the weekly USS (urine stained socks) comments, I am really glad I can affectionately call him my teammate.

I feel it is only right that I give Dan some credit. He bowled an impressive 614 series (230, 187, 197). At least he didn't gag like the last time he bowled over 230 and then followed it up with 125!!!! Hey,'s easier to bowl without you left hand clasping your throat!!!. Brian rallied in the last game to avoid his all time low 312 series, Rick was a little below average while Pat and I had 490 - something series. Right at our averages but bowling your average is kind of like kissing your sister....or in this case kissing your neighbor!! One more week of this humiliation and then I am off for a week of Deliverance-like adventures down in the backwoods. Pat sure has a pretty mouth!

Author's note: All accounts above are pure fiction and written by the same author as always. Any similarities to real people on a weekly bowling team in Wheaton is pure coincidence. Any change in style from an impartial 3rd party to a 1st party team member perspective is done strictly in the interest of providing a different point of reference.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

That Damn 10 Pin

It has been suggested that Los Diablos may not be an appropriate title since our recent efforts do not seem to justify what should be an intimidating name. Or, could it be that our play has gone to hell and that our name is totally befitting of our collective performance? Time will only tell and there is one fact that remains...we ARE in the playoffs and anything can happen once the big bucks are on the line!

Despite the fact that the scoreboard showed we were down over 100 pins very early on in the 1st game, Rick shook the dew off the lily and bowled five quick frames to get caught up after his late arrival. This seemed to spark the team on and going into the 10th we were in the thick of things...until we finished the 10th that is and managed to lose the game by 4 pins. Was it Jim's split inspired open frames in the 8th and 9th frames? Was it Pat's solid 6 spot in the 10th or Dan bowling 5 pins below his average? Perhaps Rick failing to mark in the 10th...we all could have picked up 4 pins somewhere along the way. The disappointing finish to game one led to a good 'ole fashion ass-kicking in the 2nd game. We did however salvage the 3rd game to maintain our stranglehold on last place.

Both Pat and Dan Prybel'd, pulling off the unconventional 1st ball gutter, 2nd ball spare routine. Rarely has this feat been achieved since the departure of "Walk-away Mark" and to see it twice in one evening is baffling. What could cause two 160 + bowlers to do this? I am not sure but it may have been indirectly related to Jim's disturbing comment (request?) to Scott about throwing him a big bone. I don't even want to know whose big bone was being referenced and where it was going to be thrown but my anal sphincter is puckering up as I type this!!

The glory of 1st is in our past, unfortunately now we are solidly LAST!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The computer is update

A few weeks without the services of the home computer and the blogging world is clamoring for a Los Diablos Bowling team update. In the past few weeks we have seen our 1st 600 series, turned in by Rick with an impressive 618. If Rick could actually get a mark in the 10th I could see a 700 series in his future. Nice job. Speaking of marks in the 10th.....the whole team (all five of us) went without a mark in the 10th frame of the 1st and the 3rd game...and Brian wasn't even here!!! Needless the say, we let a 7-0 evening turn into a 2-5 evening. Dan turned in the season's high game for the team with a 231 (previous team high by Dan at 226) and immediately found the 1st ball gutter ball that had previously eluded him and managed to score 105 pins lower in the next game. As a team we also shattered our previous high of 902 with a nice 927 effort. Pat's recent tear has put him in the low 160's, steadily improving his average.

Clearly some highs and lows over the last few weeks. Now let's do a little reflection on the season. Remember how we started out? 14-0 after 2 weeks and 19-2 after 3 weeks. We all knew that torrid of a pace would not continue but as of 11/13/07 we had a very respectable 50-27 and were solidly in 1st place. We started the downward slide about this time and limped into a 1st half of the season playoff spot with a record of 60-52 (10 and 25 the last 5 weeks of the 1st half). It doesn't get any prettier...since our 50-27 in November, we have gone 25 and 66. OUCH.

We are running out of time boys, winning breeds winning and losing breeds losing. We need to get back in the habit of winning in order to make some noise in the playoffs. We started the season solidly in first, it now appears we are aiming for worst.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Above average again, 2-5 again

For the 2nd week in a row we bowled significantly above our average in 2 of the 3 games yet we only managed to pick up 2 points. We blew away our 790 average in the 1st game with a solid 837 and came back with an 859 in the 3rd game. We had a rock solid effort in the 3rd with our scores ranging from 148 - 194 and all team members bowling at or above average.

Pat, with his weekly Sunday practice sessions now being complemented by hours of nightly WII (sp?) bowling practice, has really reaped benefits of the extra time dedicated to this red neck sport that we enjoy every Tuesday. Pat enjoyed another stellar performance leading to a 557 series (197, 169,185). Rick's 3rd game 194 broke his 2 consecutive games of 167 on the way to a nice 527 series. Jim's 1st game of 178 led the way to a near 500 series (498), while Dan (468) and Brian (409) were in the general neighborhood of their averages but overall had very lukewarm efforts.

The team shirts may be irritating our opponents into the extra incentive of kicking our butts each week but this would just be another lame excuse. Since about December 1st, we have been in a team funk with a very poor record tainting our strong start to the season. Let's remember, this season is a marathon not a sprint.....We are not the best, we are not the WORST...there still is time to finish FIRST!! Any ole' strike will do boys.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bake your balls boys and let the oil drip!

It is somewhat disheartening when we bowl 15 pins above the team average and get annihilated by almost 100 pins!! We took an even worse beating in the 2nd game, losing by almost 200 pins!! Fortunately, the third game combo of us having our best game (822) and the opponents having their worse (995) resulted in us escaping with 2 points, winning by a whopping 4 pins. Dan's "I'm clutch in the 10th" comment to Brian almost came back to haunt him as he tight roped his 1st ball along the gutter and left a sloppy pin placement for his spare attempt. Pat's effort for the evening, a career best 543 (199, 153, 191), were the only bowling scores worth mentioning. Nice job!

As usual, there were some classic comments made during the evening (none quite as good as the Jim D "outfit" comment last week). "It's a shame its not a mirror", "She wasn't parting the sea she was picking seeds", "All I am looking for is a little peek a boo(b)" and "The lanes are finally drying out its time to go full throttle" to name a few.

As we were leaving for the evening, Mr. 300, started telling us about some urban myth about baking your balls in the oven. My first reaction was "how do you keep your short curlys from burning?" After a little clarification I realized he was talking about BOWLING balls. I don't care what he was talking about but no one is going to put my balls in the oven.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

2008 - Grab your balls we are going bowling!!!

After our 2 week hiatus Los Disablos came to the alley as a united team. Everyone wearing the new team outfit......except off course, the captain!!! It wasn't long before our opponents discovered our unified look and had a nice little laugh. Although Brian's apparent snub and or boycott of the T-shirt did inspire one of them to ask: "what's wrong with him, didn't he get the e-mail?" I'm sorry Brian, I know Scott's shirt says "captain" on it, but please, get with the program.

It was somewhat alarming to see Los Diablos at 0-7 and at the bottom of the standings as they have re-set the league for the 2nd half. Despite an un-inspired 1st game 778 (11 below average) we actually dominated the opener by over 70 pins, thanks to Pat (177) and Rick (191) keeping us alive. The 2nd game we regressed, bowling a 762. Rick again bailing us out with a 198. We did rebound in the 3rd with a solid 826. Rick (202), Jim (190) and Dan (183) led the solid effort.

Brian, taking the T-shirt boycott a step too far, turned in a girl's 7th grade intramural league effort with games of 125, 119 and 120. Wow! When are you getting that new ball? We did manage to take the night 5-2, perhaps inspired by the shirts or a visit from former sub Jim D. Some classic comments were made, though none as disturbing as the "Wow, Jim, you really look like you are bulking up!! You really fill out that outfit!"