So after extensive research, interviews, emails, phone calls, and meeting with unnamed sources in a parking garage while Dustin Hoffman looked on, it’s time to trot out my picks for this weekend’s tournament. Although to be 100% truthful, all I did was look at Flat Track Stats for some scores, and make up the rest. So make your bets accordingly.
Houston vs Memphis
Neither team has done much this year. Houston has played a stronger schedule, but with less than stellar results. Memphis has more wins than Houston, but playing on a lower level than Houston. Ultimately, Houston’s experience wins out, but Memphis plays them strong and keeps it closer than Houston would like. Don’t bet the farm on this one. Depending on which Houston team shows up, Memphis may very well pull off the upset.
FINAL SCORE: HOUSTON – MORE, MEMPHIS – LESS. PROBABLY
Hard Knox vs No Coast
The epic battle for the right to have their souls destroyed by Texas will feature two teams that have near identical results against teams of similar talent levels. This game will likely come down to No Coast’s knowledge of the dead spots on their Skate Court. Also, Knoxville has a skater who goes by Koolaid. Clearly, the bad karma for stealing my name will render her team winless in the tournament. Let any skaters out there considering the names Chip Queso or Duane Cunningham be warned.
FINAL SCORE: NO COAST – MORE, HARD KNOX – LESS, MUCH LESS. WHY YOU WANNA STEAL MY NAME, HUH?
Kansas City vs Tampa
KC’s superiority in jamming, defense, experience and win/loss record will leave Tampa pining for the days of Hurricane Andrew. If you’ve got some chores to do this weekend, plan for Friday afternoon.
FINAL SCORE: KANSAS CITY – WAAAAAAY MORE, TAMPA – WHYYYYY DID WE BOOK A HOTEL?
Dallas vs Nashville
This may very well be the best game on Friday. Both teams have spent 2010 playing lots of games, and playing them against superior talent. Dallas is still smarting from their loss to Houston in last year’s regional 3rd place game. Nashville is still smarting from being forced to play Texas in the first round. Both teams have attacked 2010 with a vengeance. This game is almost too close to call, but since I have to pick one of them, <pauses, shakes magic 8 ball>, I’ll say it’s Nashville in a nail biter.
FINAL SCORE: NASHVILLE – JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE, DALLAS – JUST A LITTLE BIT LESS (UNLESS IT’S THE OTHER WAY AROUND, IN WHICH CASE, SWITCH THE TWO TEAMS MENTIONED)
Atlanta vs No Coast
This should be a cake walk for Atlanta, and the margin of victory in this game should be a very telling indicator of how Atlanta will fare in the next rounds.
FINAL SCORE: ATLANTA – A METRIC CRAP TON, NO COAST – JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE
Texas vs Houston
The only question in this game is whether or not Texas will choke on the bones of the Houston jammers.
FINAL SCORE: TEXAS – REALLY? WE HAVE TO PUT ON OUR SKATES? WHY AREN’T THERE DIVISIONS YET? HOUSTON – <in best E.T. voice> OUUUCH
KC vs Atlanta
Finally, a competitiveve game. When these teams met last May in Atlanta, the Dirty South girls had a 13 point victory. And a 13 point game in derby is nothing. Both teams should be relatively rested from their first round game. Both teams will come into this game believing they have a reasonable shot at taking town Texas in the finals, and getting a bye in the first round at WFTDA Championships in Chicago. I think the experience Kansas City gained from their 2010 schedule and their returning players bring will be the difference maker in this one.
FINAL SCORE: KC 122, ATLANTA 111
Texas vs Nashville
Last year, Dallas rested several key players in their semifinal match with Texas. Conceding the semi, they were hoping to take 3rd place and make it to 2009 Championships in Philly. I suspect Nashville will not adopt this strategy (nor will Dallas if they beat Nashville in their game), but either way, Texas should make quick work of whomever they face here. But do not expect either of Texas’ potential opponents to take this game lightly, and expect to see 60 minutes are hard hitting derby.
FINAL SCORE: TEXAS – OH, CRAP. WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO TRY NOW, DON’T WE? NASHVILLE – YES, YES YOU DO. TAKE THAT!
Nashville vs Atlanta
One team goes to Chicago, one team goes home. Ultimately, Atlanta’s stronger schedule in 2010 helps them win this game. They’ve played a higher level of competition, and this should help propel them past Nashville and into the WFTDA championships.
FINAL SCORE: ATLANTA- JUST ENOUGH TO GET COMPLETELY DESTROYED BY THE #2 SEED FROM THE WEST REGION, NASHVILLE- JUST ENOUGH TO NOT HAVE TO BUY PLANE TICKETS, AIRFARE, ETC FOR ONLY ONE BOUT
Texas vs KC
The fortunes of these two original WFTDA gangsters have waxed and waned over the years. They’ve met three times since the first Dust Devil, with an all time record of 1 win for KC to 2 wins for Texas. The obvious pick here is Texas, and they should ultimately prove to be the winners. However, if ever there was a Texas team that was vulnerable to an upset, it’s this one. And if Kansas City’s veterans are able to play at their previously powerful levels, they could be the team to do it. The impact of Texas’ addition of Sarah Heipel neé Killbox from Detroit can not be understated (nor can how much Detroit felt her loss in the North Central tournament). If Texas can defeat their long time nemesis, the penalty box, then they should end up with another trophy. Ultimately, this game looks to be a much closer affair than last years regional final when Texas won going away by 83 points. And no one should be surprised if Kansas City gets to hoist their first WFTDA tournament trophy since 2007.
FINAL SCORE: TEXAS – 129, KANSAS CITY 115