Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quaterly report: 2010 - 2011 season

As I read the last entry (a guest author submission by bowler #4 back in March), it prompted me to read some previous entries. Not only did I enjoy the way the words just flew off the screen effortlessly, it brought me back to a glorious time in the history of Los Diablos. There was talk of the team 5 x 500 (this "land on Pluto" type dream has not been mentioned once this year) and weekly 7-0 records. We sat clearly on top of our division. Was last season a preview of our future league domination or was it a fluke, an aberration, as it were? I will let you decide.

Having had the distinction of being the only other published author on this blog, JD knew he had to do something to get the updates started again. After all, wasn't it his argument (albeit a flawed one) that the long standing tradition (less than 1 year) of the tequila frame must be reinstated to get the bowling world back on its axis? He was sure that his 11 in the first frame would prod this stubborn author into action but he was wrong. What could he do? He figured the only way to become legendary was to do something previously thought unachievable in a men's bowling league....he scored a 1 in the 1st frame. Knocking down only the 7 pin like a pro in a practice session, all he needed to do now was throw a gutter and the 1 would be his. Not JD, though!!! That would be too easy and not very noteworthy. As JD approached on his 2nd throw, he knew the only way to make this special was to throw the exact same ball again. He released the ball, it curved across the lane and to his delight, slid out of sight in the same spot vacated by the 7 pin, all 9 others in place. The smirk on his face seemed to say "write about THAT, blog master!"

While I must admit that it is blog worthy, would we not all agree that Pat throwing a ball while the pin sweeper was still down was a little more "interesting"? As he watched the ball slowly roll back towards him after loudly crashing into the sweeper, a goofy "WTF? / "how'd that happen?" expression crossed his face. The bowlers on the surrounding lanes shook their heads in disgust and wondered how this group had ever managed to get into this league. Quite blog worthy I am sure you would agree....but the story does not end there. Seeking the attention that Pat got (negative as it were), Mark too let his ball fly while the ball sweeper was still down. Now the remaining teammates had the collective "WTF?" expressions on their faces. "We are going to get kicked out of this league" was their sentiment. Once was bad enough, but twice?

Some facts to digest: Last year's team average: 824. This year's 769. Muck last year: 186, now 172. Dan last year: 167, now 156. Pat last year: 164, now 158. Brian last year: 155, now 140. JD last year: 158, now 134. That is 4 out of 5 with the sub 10 pin average asterisk next to their name. Pat is about a 440 series from making it 5 for 5. On a positive note, we did have the first beer frame of the year. Later on in that same game we again all had strikes during a team 7 consecutive strike run started in the 7th by JD. We are not the best, we are not the worst...something better change quick or we will never finish first.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Guest author summarizes dismal 2-5 evening

Editor's note: Please enjoy a fresh perspective from guest author, bowler number 4, for the nice (unedited) summary of this past week's efforts. The references at the end have been added for clarification. As always, enjoy.

"Fellow stray diablos,The diablos melt down to a 2-5 night, if it wasn't for Muck's 9 strikes to close out his 256 (?) game we would lost all 7! the subs held there own especially Mark with another strong 500 series. It was a very quiet night without a word about tequila, a Diablo tradition(*). I don't feel number 3(**) is an option, we need to some how bring back the team tequila frame in some format.On the ride back to Naperville Higgs and Prybel wondered what happen to tequila? I believe in the 2nd game, 6th frame a tequila frame occurred.The super subs were at a loss with no tequila, a Diablo tradition(*). Hopefully we can work something out!"
milk toast

(*)tra·di·tion trəˈdɪʃən/ [truh-dish-uhn] –noun
1. the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice: a story that has come down to us by popular tradition.
2. a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting: The rebellious students wanted to break with tradition.
Editor's note: Los Diablos was formed on 1/3/2007. The long standing "tradition" started this season (although first introduced in concept during the last two weeks of the 2009 season).

(**) throwing additonal money in the poker pot in lieu of a tequilla round (ironically, the only option presented that did not keep the tequilla frame alive)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

We demand a recount!!!

Going into the evening we all felt we were a sweep or 2 away from wrapping up the 2nd half division title based on what we thought was a commanding lead. A quick glance at the standings, accompanied by some BS "explanation", revealed that our lead was not quite what we thought it was. The explanation was there was a minor error and only about 15 points were big deal. No big deal unless of course you are the team that saw your 21 point win column lead shrink to 12. Oh well, I guess it is what it is. How would the team respond?

Bowling our most consistent game of the year (172 low to 193 high) the 895 total was good for a 31 point win. While the 2nd game was not as good (835) it was almost as consistent with scores ranging from 151 to 184 and a 37 point win. Game 3 saw a further dip to 819 (but still above average) and a 153 point victory for a 7-0 sweep. We will just have to build up our big lead again.

Brian remained on a tear blowing away the perceived unachievable 500 for the 2nd week in a row with a 553 (177,184,172). For his efforts he got to buy the team a tequila round. Jim bowled 541 with a 193, 170, 178. Dan's 517 was nothing special with a 173, 164, 181. Pat managed to get a 470 despite not hitting the head pin one time all evening. This marks only his 2nd sub 500 series since his 629 series 10 week ago. That brings us to JD.

Perhaps it was the preseason hope that JD would be challenging Jim for the anchor spot or his own recent success that prompted Brian to once again show he was indeed the team captain. Making a bold lineup change he switched Pat and JD. How would he react? How does a 181 followed by a 166 sound? With a 2 game total of 347 a 500 series was almost ensured. The team's consistent first 2 games had set us up for our best chance for the 5 x 5. There was no need for someone to bowl a 200+ to reach 500. Pat needed a 177 (he bowled a 147) and JD needed a 153 (he bowled a 121). Oh well, no 5x5 but a 7-0 evening nonetheless.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2 pins away from a 7-0

Although they are a team in disarray, anytime we meet head to head with the Misfits it is a special night. The bad blood between the teams may have stemmed from the infamous no hand shake game last year when we kicked their asses and had no shame in letting them know it all evening. Or is it the Mini Me's and the blue tooth? I have written many times about our battles with the Misfits and to see the team crumble before your eyes almost make you cry. Almost, that is, until you hear Neal mumble something about "wrong side", or watch his contorted delivery style (oh, yeah, forgot, only Pat and I admit to watching other bowlers). Yet I think what gets us the most (as well as other league members) is the yell as his ball approaches the pins. Jim, from the next lane over, described the yell as the sound one would make as a boiled potato was being inserted in one's rectum (rectum...damn near killed him!!). I can only hope to never experience this procedure to validate that theory.

After last week's light bulb moment regarding the likelihood of reaching a 500 series(not), I am glad to report that Brian decided to man-up and actually prove to the team, and to himself, that he could break a 500. His first 2 games of 179 and 182 put him in excellent position (wait, I have heard this tune before). Would the desire to remain a 148 bowler overshadow this great start? No!!! Bringing it home with a 211 he bowled a career high 572 series. Of course we all enjoyed our captain's success and continually reacted well as he was having his success but nothing could have matched our reaction after one particular strike. Knowing it was a "cheap" strike, a grinning Brian stuck out his hand for a high five from Neal. Looking shocked and disgusted all at once, Neal disdainfully turned his head and left Brian's hand hanging in the breeze.

Other bowlers also had success on this evening. A couple lanes down Dave was clearly irritated when his 300 game slipped away, prompting Jim to state: "Ole long arm doesn't like 280 games". Speaking of Jim, he rolled a solid 565 (182, 180, 203), Pat's 569 (165, 205, 199) was 2nd to Brian and Dan had a quiet 540 (174, 199, 167). Four down and one to go for the 5 x 5(despite Brian's "not a chance in hell that is ever going to happen with me on the team" declaration last week). JD has flirted with and achieved the 500 in recent weeks so it seemed a distinct possibility. Although a 137, 157 and 136 would be admirable scores if you took 3 separate IQ tests, this is a men's bowling league and a 430 series is not all that impressive. Better get those 133 average evenings out of the way before the neighborhood kids finish their five lessons!!

With all games above average (837, 923, 916) we finished the evening 5-2. This despite losing the 1st game by 2 pins (when we thought we had it in the bag). Tequila shots (as well as Fat Tuesday chips and salsa) were supplied by Dan, who cried: "JD has gotten about 3 strikes all night and one of them has to be when I have to buy shots?" Although Dan's recent 10th frame difficulties seemed to be eliminated, there was one particular 1oth when Dan did not have a strike and 2nd man Brian managed to get his first 2 strikes in the 10th. Pat then proceeded to throw a non strike on his first throw which prompted Jim to say: "That may be the first ever one ball, double tequila bailout".

Monday, February 15, 2010

An average evening

Sporting a team average of 809 our scores for the evening were 830, 800 and 803. Based on the "all we have to do is bowl our average" theory you would think that we won the first game and lost the second well as series. If that is how you thought, you would be right. Could it have been the shots of Oberweis chocolate milk that powered us to the first game victory or the lack of tequila shots that contributed to the below average 2nd and 3rd games? You never really can tell but with no beer frames or tequila frames you may get the impression that the team was not clicking on all cylinders.

To his credit, JD came out smokin' with a 170 and 210. Knowing that a 500 series was in the bag it appeared he may have let his guard down in game three. I am not sure if the 88 was in the 7th or the 8th but I threatened to wring his neck if he let the 500 series slip away after his great start. He puffed out his chest and declared: "If I don't get a 500 I will not bowl the rest of the year". I am glad to report he rallied to reach the girly 120's (127) and finish with a 507. Jim's lackluster evening was somewhat salvaged as he need a 204 in the 3rd game to match JD's 507. Pat's 508 was the high series of the night while Dan's 492 wa slightly below average. Brian's 1st game 153 had us all anticipating a normal week's performance of three games of 150 plus or minus 6 pins (we wish). Brian scorched past the girly 120's with a 132 and 134.

There was one "light bulb" moment on this non descript evening. Brian, with his 148 average, came to the realization that it is much more difficult (and unlikely) for him to get a 500 series than it is for Jim (185 average) to get a 500 series. I am pretty sure as Brian was stating this somewhat obvious fact that in his mind he was thinking " get OFF MY BACK!!" I just don't think "Four by 5 and a score less 500" has the same ring as "5 by 5". Who knows? Let's try it out this week.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ass-pan returns..or does he?

With a last minute sub (Mark) in for the previous last minute sub (Jim H.),no one was sure how the team would react due to the line up changes or the absence of the team captain. Does a record breaking 960 game answer the question? With scores ranging from 166 to 234, it was clear that everyone was on their game and in the first game we needed to be. We blew away our previous high game by 24 pins and managed to win the game by only 17 !! You feel a little bad when a division "C" team out bowls their average by 131 pins and still loses to a division "A" team....NOT! As the Beatles say: "......isn't it good, Morning wood." At least they got that going for themselves.

You may recall we came out smoking last week and then had a huge 2nd game let down (130 pins) but that would not be the case tonight. With scores ranging from 165 to 204 we recorded a 907 and were up 4-0. Unfortunately, although above average, our 3rd game (822) was quite a bit lower with scores ranging from 125 to 200. Wait, I see a trend. A girly 120's, or lower (never mind, Brian wasn't here) and our team score suffers. I have seen the light. The reduced score resulted in a 4-3 evening, not bad considering how well a division "C" team bowled.

You may be wondering if the excellent scores had any further perks and they did indeed! A first of the season beer frame and 2 tequila frames. Feeling so good about ourselves we even went with the pizza / fries combo pack. Could all 3 games over our average equal the elusive 5 x 5? Dan's 616 was a career high series coupled with a career high game (234), this despite his Asspan-like 10th frame collapse in all 3 games . Jim had a very nice 575 (209, 172, 194) and Pat continued his 500+ tear with a 510 (180, 184, 146). Three down and 2 to go. Mark's 1st 2 games of 166 and 204 had the team talking of how it seemed like Mark was playing for a roster spot and that a 500 was in the bag. Oops...4 splits in the first 8 frames had Mark talking to himself. Thank goodness for the 10th frame turkey which allowed him to climb his way into the girly 120's with a 125. This left him at a 495. JD's 171, 165 also left him sniffing at a 500 but a 3rd game 157 left him 7 pins short with a 493.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Los Diablos continues to roll despite slight letdown

You would think that sitting on top of our division and having the winless "B" team as our next opponent might make us a little overconfident. Couple that with the total catastrophic meltdown that the Misfits are suffering through it set up as a perfect opportunity to put our collective foot on the throat of the division and end this race early. We have, however, choked in the past in this type of scenario. How would we react on this particular night?

The team came out on fire led by the leadoff man's 213 (in light of the brewing bad blood regarding the self ingratiating positive press afforded this individual I will forgo mentioning him by name), Pat and Jim hit the 190's and Brian was a pin shy with a 189. If not for the milktoast effort of 150 by the 4th bowler we would have shattered the Los Diablos' all time high game.
Bottomline, a 143 pin shellacking. Talk of a 5 X 500 and a 7 - 0 sweep now was quite prominent.

How did we react? 159 pins less than our first game, a mark less first frame and a 124 and a 117 game (insert names as you see fit). For as bad as we bowled, we only lost by a mere 15 pins, therefore giving the other team their first 2nd half points after starting out 0-23. I'll be the first to admit I am not sure how the team scoring goes and Brian always seems to know what we need to do in the 10th to win, but I am pretty sure that a gutter after a spare in the 10th doesn't help, right?

In the third game we bowled below our average (792) yet still managed to win. taking the evening 5-2. Not a bad effort considering the disturbing and distracting 4 inches of hairy butt crack we were subjected to each time Rich bowled. Oh yeah, only Pat and I noticed it since no one else on the team watches anyone else bowl, they only watch the pins (so they homophobically claim). Not sure who those people were with which I had weekly conversations regarding the different bowling styles such as boner leg Rosary Florist man, Corkscrew Hank, Double bird Corn, gyration Jim K. and long arm Dave Weil. Oh well, glad Pat and I share more than a name and are secure enough in our mandhoods to observe everything in our surroundings and not be so paranoid to comment on it (i.e. sweaty crack fat man in the other league). So for the others on the team who did not notice.....there was more crack on our lane than Harlem!!

Jim 596 (194, 215, 187), No Name 544 (213, 160, 171), Pat 498 (190, 161, 147), Brian 444 (189, 117, 138)...nice way to offset the 189 effort with a 117 to get to your 150 average!!. Finally, Milktoast 423 (150, 124, 149). This fine 141 aveage earned him the right to buy shots. We are still beer frame free.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Readers outraged......alleged biased reporting!!

Scouring through reams of old copy and compiling some "statistics" of his own, the captain felt it was time to back his anchorman's claims and finally end the controversy over the alleged lack of fair and unbiased reporting. The "take that, you prejudiced @#%hole" sentiment was clearly felt as Brian exposed the truth regarding the frivolous nonsense that the readers of this blog have been subjected to over the last few years. Clearly offended by the author's lame attempt earlier in the week to "prove" how fair the reporting has been, Brian laid out a laundry list of facts that showed that indeed this blog was a self serving forum in which the author spoke poorly of his teammates and protected the sanctity of the family. All I can say is I merely call it as I see it (and then embellish it so that it makes me smile).

Now, on to the recap of this week's contest. Everyone was on top of their game right off the bat, all bowling above average. Everyone except Jim, that is. As this year's new anchor he has been carrying the team, continually exceeding his outstanding performance from the week before. As a team we all secretly fear there will be an off season Wilbur Marshall-like bidding war for his services from the likes of the Rat Bastards or Spare Dogs. Unthinkable you say? No one ever thought small town Mississippi boy Bret Favre would leave the Packers and go to big city New York but he did. Could Jim's slow start have been caused by the pressure of being the only one on the team not carrying an embarrassing average or could it have been another case of an angry bowel like he experienced last year? Whatever it was, it clearly was frustrating Jim that he could not hit his mark on the way to a 134. At one point Pat hunched over the table, looked cautiously from side to side and with a very concerned, hushed tone stated: "He's gonna blow before Rocco!" We were all glad to see he kept his cool despite only beating the girly 120's by a mere 5 pins.

Another week passed and still no beer frame, however, we did get another tequila frame courtesy of Dan. Beer and or tequila frames usually have a certain level of anticipation and excitement in them as each bowler steps to the line. Are they up to the challenge or are they the ones to do the bailout? Worse yet, will they have to hit the hip and buy (therefore killing the beer frame and drinks on the house)? Do you root for the teammate's good fortune of another strike or do you secretly hope for a miss so that you do not have to buy? It's a delicate line that we all know has no impact on the outcome. However, on this particular night, Dan did not get to experience any of this as he was bowling in the next frame and was not aware that his non strike first ball in the previous frame had set up a tequila frame. While he walked back to his teammates without a care in the world his heart sank when he heard the fateful words "you might as well keep walking". The team gleefully pointed out that on this night and in this frame the tequila would be on Dan. Having missed out on any of the normal thrill that one usually experiences as a tequila (beer) frame unfolds, I can now relate to what the Sargent was referring to in Full Metal Jacket.....I didn't even get the courtesy of a "reach around" as I was getting #%&%'d up the &$$!!!

Well, I see I am on paragraph 4, and as Brian so painstakingly pointed out, my average entry is only 2 paragraphs (now that's a fact I would like to validate). Jim rallied in games 2 and 3 with a very nice 217, 223 combo and ended with highest series of the evening: 574. As these outstanding games were unfolding, the team discussed how it was good to have Jim "back". We all nodded our heads in agreement when Pat stated: "Thank God he's back...he was on the verge of tears". Speaking of 2 quote Pat, he had the next highest series of 573 (202, 189, 182). Dan followed with a 516 (177, 155, 184) and JD's 168, 179, 164 totaled for a 501. Sorry, JD, no big news flashes for a 501 like Mark got for his 500. Brian, possibly distracted by his impending investigative reporting, turned in a lukewarm (if not consistent) performance of 156, 144, 149 for a 449. That is 4 /5 of a five for five evening which lead to a 7-0 sweep.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ass, wait...a successful evening

Inspired by Jake and Elwood Blues' mission from God to get the band back together, the captain felt it was time to reunite the starting lineup for Los Diablos. JD looked refreshed and ready to go and Jim M's enthusiasm was hard to ignore as he came in skipping, wildly waiving a piece of paper. This image brought back fond memories of the time my own son came home from preschool after he had received his first smiley face sticker for a job well done. Once Jim caught his breath, he was able to recall the glory from 2 days prior. Taking a perfect game into the 10th, Jim ended with a 279. Nicccceeee!!!

With the starting lineup back together and the momentum from the 7-0 performance last week, the stars seemed to be aligned for another solid week. That is until we started bowling. A 232 pin!!! This was one to forget and does not need to be mentioned again...ever. The team score of 763 (our average is 797) was paced by Brian's 113. Not much to say here but it does make one ponder.......if a score in the 120's is "girly", what on earth can be used to described a score in the teens?

The second and third games saw steady team improvement as the scores increased to 811 and 932. The 932 included 3 bowlers (Dan 222, Jim 213 and Pat 200) reaching the 200 plateau, potentially a 1st ever (although JD thinks we had 4 once). This improvement led to two victories and a 4-3 evening record. There really was no realistic hope for a 5 point effort after the huge hole we had dug ourselves into in the first game.

No mention of beer frames or tequila frames, you ask? Oh, yes, we had our opportunities. As usual, when Jim steps up to the line with the chance to put the lime in the shot, the side bets started to fly. "He's clutch, start grabbin' your wallet" and "Yea, but he has been Mr. Bailout this year" are just a couple of the many comments that come out. You can almost guess what happened based on the fact that we have had 0 beer frames and only 2 tequila frames all year. Yep....another Muck bailout. The bowling gods only give out a certain amount of strikes to each bowler and Jim had apparently used up his quota on Sunday. While there were no shots to be consumed after this first opportunity, Jim did come through on the next 2 tries. Yes!! A 1st ever 2 tequila night!!

Speaking of 1st's....Pat and Dan (with strikes in the 8th and 9th) had the rare opportunity to end a game (and the evening) with the turkey, ham bone, cinco equis combo platter. Although they both turkeyed they were unable to hit number 4 and 5 in a row. Nice ending tonight after a rough beginning. Scores for the evening: Jim 575 (169.193, 213), Dan 561 (171, 168, 222) Pat 518 (158, 160, 200), JD 467 (152, 152, 163) and Brian 385 (113, 138, 134). Hey, at least you beat Jim's 1st and 3rd game total of 382!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Prybel sparks the team to a 7-0 evening

After having held the top spot in the standings the majority of the 1st half of the season and then seeing an 0-14 stretch sink them into 2nd, Los Diablos was determined to come out strong in the 2nd half of the season. Sensing a little burnout, the team captain benched Jim M. and JD in favor of Jim H and Mark P. (not to be confused with Mark L). For any regular readers of this blog who may be wondering who is Mark L., you may better know him as FNG. While we have had a new 5th team regular each year, he was the only one to have been bestowed the nickname "FNG". Refer to any of a number of previous blog entries to remind yourself why (plus the author just likes the term FNG and this allowed him to use it once again!).

With 2 new bowlers to integrate, the team captain created a lineup that could be best described as a "Doyle sandwich". Dan on top and Pat on the bottom with Mark, Jim H and Brian serving as the bacon, lettuce and tomato in the middle. The saying "it is better on top" held true on this night as Dan had a career evening with a 592 (193, 190 and 209). While this appeared to be quite impressive in the mind of Dan, apparently it was not in the minds of the 2 benched regulars. In 2 separate e-mail exchanges with said benched bowlers, they both congratulated Dan on the 7-0 evening and both stated: "heard Mark had a 500". When questioned if he had heard of the 592 series, JD replied; "you tend to hear about 500 or 600 series, you usually don't hear anyone talk about a 592 series". I guess I can't argue with that.

Speaking of Mark's 500 series, it consisted of a 170, 152 and a 178. Mark stated that the 178 was his highest in competition but the team historian (how many roles on this team do I have?)must take exception to that. Please refer to Mark's 181 as listed in the newly updated "Career Highs"section of this blog (the averages are updated for the last 3 years also). Pat turned in a 3rd consecutive nice series (527.), while Brian had a solid 468 and Jim H.'s 147, 146, 148 showed an amazing level of consistency. Who would have thought 2 subs would help produce games of 827, 851 and 850? As in the NFL , the team is only as strong as its 53rd member.

All in all a very good night despite some controversy over what constitutes a "tequila bailout". One scenario did occur and there was no controversy on this one. Dan opened a frame without a strike and then Mark, Jim and Brian all got strikes. Dan was all but ordering the shots knowing that BagsPat was now merging with BolwerPat and a 4th consecutive team strike was almost a foregone conclusion. Pat confidently stepped up and proceeded to throw what has been termed a "Doyle bailout". There would be no beer or tequila frames on this otherwise successful evening.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mid term report - half the season is over

After leading the standings much of the year, sometime in November we fell behind the dreaded Neal and the baldheaded mini me's. Two consecutive 0-7 weeks will do that to you. With first place now out of reach the goal was to hang on to 2nd as we hit the mid season break. Fortunately, we picked an opportune time to have a career day as a team. One week before position week and paced by Pat's insane 629 series (206,207, 216) the team was over 900 in all 3 games, had a scratch total of 2751 and a handicap series of 3702. Jim tried to keep pace with Pat as he checked in with a 613 (224, 197, 192). JD (521), Dan (520) and Brian (468) all contributed solid efforts also.

The 7-0 effort was not enough to catch the Misfits as they had us by 9 going into the head to head completion of position week. The magic from the week before was not there as we were not up for the challenge and lost the evening 2-5. Al tough Pat cooled off from the previous week, I think we all agree that some of BagsPat is starting to creep into BowlerPat and that is a good thing. Four of his last 6 games are over 200.

Let's make the 2nd half of the season belong to Los Diablos and finish strong.