B2 WEST PREVIEW
1. B SQUAD ñ Steve Horton and Tim Walling productions have just created the #1 seed in the west built around ALL CRFC Mike Salamas. Throw in the outside shooting of Ben Pressgrove and the inside presence of Lester Beaton and you have a very solid squad that I think looks to be the best on paper. Then again, I think only one of my number one seeds has ever actually won the championship, so what do I know.
2. EVEN MORE COWBELL ñ Despite losing Mr. Fantasy Stat Fred Bermont, The Worm Jeff York and the perennial GM of the Decade Godfrey Chua to free agency, More Cowbell looks to compete again for the title. Joey Breton is back now that we donít have games at 11:30PM on Sundays and he should replace most of the scoring void left by the departed. Former B League MVP Jon Hanson has also been nabbed off the free agent wire to add some much needed grit and toughness to this team. Matt ìCooxî Cuccaro will have to continue his much improved game to aid Breton down low. ESPN analyst Chris Connelly and Boston Improv artistic director Wil Luera is also back (and I recommend his show in Inman Square).
3. ALS-TDF ñ And then there were the Heywoods. Ben and Jamie are back again at CRFC but this time they bring a whole new squad for them. Who knows if they even work at ALS-TDF, but I hope they have some game. They certainly have lost a lot of the old time ALS-TDFers, like Andy Moreno (ankle), Ken ìHowardî Thompson (retirement), Fernando Vieira (love) and Gregg Schmidt (rugby), but I think Shaq alone is worth a bunch of wins for this team. The rest of the newcomers are wild cards, but, if I were a betting man, which I am not (I used to have a problem), I would bet they can play.
4. GET SHORTY ñ After a New England Tour of the C league championship trophy, GM of the Year Manorack Somviengxay moves Get Shorty up a division to the B2 League. But I think they can do compete with the return of Donal Kerrigan, Sun Sommala and championship hero Morris Young. This team has a lot of heart and I think that will add to their competitiveness in this league.
5. BAY AREA LABS ñ Who knew that Fama PR employees Mike Reilly and Matt Gill moonlighted for a supplement distribution company in San Francisco? BALCO has emerged at CRFC to play some hoops amid a huge cloud of controversy. Hey, this has to be good for their company morale given all the negative press they have gotten over this past year. What better therapy than CRFC basketball? Whoís next for CRFC? Enron? Worldcom? Bringíem on! The key to this team will be how Matt Gill responds to his just completed anger management program. Sad to see no complete Fama team in this league though ñ end of an era.
6. WHEELERS ñ Pierre Loic Assayo is brought back from an ankle injury and has brought with him his buddies Sonjay and Tom Tallet. I was a lot younger the last time these guys played at CRFC, but so were they, so that is why I am a bit worried for them. The Jennings brothers as well as Sean Rahim have been added to this team to bring some much needed youth. Itíll be interestingÖ
7. BIOGEN ñ BGEN is back with my main man Eiu Kim. And is that Jeffrey Bowen I see on the roster? Being a former employee and current friend of Mr. Bowen, I have more connections to this team than a giant game of Red Rover. In the past this team has had a good balance of inside and outside play from Zoran, so letís see if they can be competitive again, unlike itís stock price (sorry, a little bitterness from my BGEN days just crept out ñ wonít happen again).
8. SHOWTIME ñ What a hodgepodge of a team with The Cooz Andrew Darien, former fellow TH&T employee Jeff ìKooshî Kushmerek, always reliable Brian Feller, former Wolverine Award winner Jason Sawyer, and the nicest guy at CRFC Gerald Young. How is this team going to put it all together? Who is going to carry the scoring load? Who is going to yell at someone when they need to be yelled at? I think The Cooz really needs to step up an lead this team.
9. SAN JUAN EXPOS – Where have you gone, Eddie Rodriguez? Akhil Goel finds himself without his trust sidekick ERod in this league, but he does have the always pesky Fred Mottley. The key to this team will be the unknowns, but without a consistent scorer, they may struggle in this league. Did I mention that all of their home games will be played in CRFCís facility in Puerto Rico?