Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends,
We're so glad you could attend, come inside come inside,
There behind the glass stands a real blade of grass,
Be careful as you pass, move along move along
Week 8 and the pairings are up, good to be here to share a few moments with the readers in their busy lives. I have to tell you, the USCL is really a lot of fun and there is a simple reason for that. Think about it, there are a whole bunch of us who wake up on Saturday's and Sundays in the fall or winter so that we will be certain to watch football on TV, later in the year it will be hoops. After watching our favorite teams we go on the blogging sites and critique the coaches and officials, the failures of the players and the insanity of the beer commercials. Here in the USCL we can do pretty much the same, well except for the beer commercials. There is a difference. I never played organized sports past high school and have no idea what it is like to compete at those levels, nor have I ever been on the field or court with any of the players I see on TV. I have played in tournaments against a whole bunch of the USCL players and expect to look across at some of them again! Oh no, I am not a titled player or anything like, don't get me wrong I have been in a ton of team leagues and know what it takes to play and win. That's the deal, just because the players in the USCL are stronger or have higher ratings doesn't deny the fact that we have all been in the pits of playing chess right there along side them, as opposed to pro/college sports where very few of us have any idea what is involved. Yeah, this league is a lot closer to home and that makes it so much fun. So, as I start to embarass myself again with these inane predictions, let the USCL know what you think. I am certain that the Commish is more than welcome to ideas and comments. Ok? Bring on the next act!
Monday sees the match that so many have had circled, the Boston-New Jersey showdown. But first there we should comment on the other 2 Monday night menageries. Dallas faces Miami. This is it for the Destiny, they can still make the playoffs and have a certain amount of their fate in their own hands, but it has to start here. It looks like they are seeing it the same way I am by having Ludwig and Kiewra in the middle. If they can pick up a score on the outside boards Dallas has a cood chance to win the match. Miami is still a formidable team, but have misplaced some of the magic they had last year. I have a feeling that the Destiny aren't quite done yet and will pull this off by width of a caterpillars nose (Note to Ron Young: I am trying out this scoring system using words... hope it works). Chicago has Arizona on Monday as wll. Both teams are coming off surprise victories last weel. Chicago's Jan van de Mortel has proven to be a barrel of fun on first board, but the Blaze don't have Angelo Young. Combine that with Arizona's push to the playoffs and I see the Scrops winning by the distance between major cities on an AZ state road map. Now, the Blitz and Knockouts setup. It is surprising that neither Christiansen or Benjamin is playing, but the quality of top board matchups doesn't fall with Gulko vs. Perelshtyn and Sammour=Hasbun up against Ippolito. Boston has an advantage on third board, while the Knockouts have high expectations for youngster Ng on 4. I want to think that Boston has an advantage based on the difference on third board, but NJ has been showing a lot of resilience so far. If there is going to be a surprise in the match I suspect it will be on board 2, though that is entirely a hunch. I am going to say the match ends in a tie.
Wednesday starts off with the Knights against the Cobras. Carolina picked up there best result of the season last week, but the New Yorkers have some battle tested players back. This one goes to the Knights by the width of one of them streets in the Big Apple. Philly has Baltimore. The Inventors could move into the bottom playoff position with a win and are trying to find a hot hand on board 1. The Kingfishers have been in a funk all season and I don't see them getting out of it. I like the Inventors by a crack in a bell. San Francisco faces the Queens squad this week. The Mechanics are going with the same lineup as last week, there must be some scheduling issues for them as the risk of going further down the playoff list is nothing to sneeze at. Queens is looking to make a late pull into the playoff race in the East. The Mechanics are a tough bunch and I really don't like picking an eastern team in 6th place over a western team in 3rd place, but it looks to me like Queens has a better group on the first 3 boards and will win by a donut hole. Now we get to the Sluggers and the Tempo match. This is one of those times where you kind of look at the matchups and wonder just exactly who Kreskin is working for. Seattle put their 2 GM's out there, obviously anticipating the Tempo would do the same, and Tennessee has sold some carrots on the top two to get potatoes on the bottom 2. Ok, sounds like I am saying "Seattle on first 2 and Tennessee on the bottom", but not quite that easy. I have faced Burnett online a bunch of times and have the utmost respect for him as well as Todd Andrews, but when you go into the cage with the lions you gotta think that very few good things are going to happen. It would seem that if there are going to be results that don't fit the schedule it would be on one of the two bottom boards. I am thinking board 3 will be the place the match goes one way or the other. Bereolos and Readey are similar types of players and I think I know what opening it will be ( I don't want to give away anyone's secretes here, but the opening line I am thinking is on page 234 of the.... cough, cough, uh never mind). I think the match will be a tie with Seattle have about a 1/3 of a point chance for victory.
Ok, Alfred Hitchcock is on and I gotta go. Remember to let your USCL team or the Commish know how much you enjoy this league. Big thanks to Emerson, Lake and Palmer, to Eddie, to that whiny guy in the Sluggers mascot costume, to Joe the pizza delivery man and of course Dean Wormer. ttyl and have a nice day