“Guess who’s back? Back again. Shady’s back. Tell a friend… Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back …” I’M BAAAACK! Finally, after a four week break from writing these polls (after having written four straight in a row last season), it’s my turn to explain the madness going on between both our leagues at K.O.A.L.A. Kickball. If you still haven’t figured out who’s writing this poll, it’s Rene Medina. Enjoy!
- PSN Slidaz – 2 first place votes. 29 points; previously 3rd. Once again, PSN Slidaz is one week away from winning the regular season title. Just like last season, they’ve had to sweat out the results a couple of times, but unlike last season, this team has – in its typical fashion – found a way to beat teams down by not making mistakes. I was watching Top Gun a few nights ago, and Goose had this to say about Iceman, “That’s him – Iceman. It’s the way he flies, ice cold, no mistakes. He wears you down, you get bored, frustrated, do something stupid and he’s got ya.” The quote could easily have referred to the way PSN Slidaz plays kickball.
- Life’s a Pitch – 1 first place vote. 27 points; previously 1st. I respect win streaks. If I see a team in college football that has a 17 game win streak, I believe that team should be ranked #1 overall unless they play in a weak conference (like the ACC). However, while the Commissioners don’t genuinely believe that Tropical is a weak league, we do appear to believe that the older, more established Miami Lakes league has the stronger competition, and as a result, we bumped up PSN Slidaz after dismantling Night’s Watch last week. Here are the numbers they’re looking at this week: +56 (Prestige Worldwide’s best run differential in K.O.A.L.A. Kickball history during the inaugural Tropical Park season with six teams) and 86 (total runs scored by Prestige Worldwide that season). Personally? Life’s a Pitch remains my number one overall. But that’s just me.
- Night’s Watch – 24 points; previously 2nd. Another season. Another unexplainable destruction at the hands of PSN Slidaz. To me, this is their most talented squad ever (even better than the team from two or three seasons ago that featured the best female in both leagues playing for them). And yet, somehow, someway, they managed to come up short against PSN Slidaz again. I genuinely feel that, just like how the Colts historically had better individual players than the Patriots, Night’s Watch has better individual talent on its team. Here’s the only good news for them… at some point, the Colts did beat the Patriots to win the big trophy.
- Goon Squad – 19 points; previously 4th. A bunch of goons playing together for a fun time. As usual, when they actually show up and play, this team is pretty good; unfortunately, even when some of their pieces are missing they also win (like when they beat my Tropical Park team with only eight players), so I cannot punish them in the poll (as I have in previous editions) for frequently having a revolving door of players that leaves teams frequently asking me, “Wait… so and so is on that team?” This team’s talent level is elite, and, honestly, when people think that Life’s a Pitch cannot be beaten in Tropical Park, Goon Squad is usually one of the first teams I think of that have a chance to pull off the upset.
- Leon’s Angels – 19 points; previously 5th. Leon’s Angels became a victim of the first ever tiebreaker in the poll (we’ve decided that, when a team is tied with another team in points in the poll, we will use the as a tiebreaker the number of commissioners that voted one team ahead of the others). Leon’s Angels has a HUGE upcoming matchup against a Night’s Watch team that might be reeling from their 7-0 loss last week. Will they have a statement win to remind the rest of the league that last season’s league runner-ups aren’t going anywhere?
- Our Kicks Don’t Lie – 15 points; previously 6th. This team has beaten their last two opponents by a combined 19-1, and they seem to be hitting their stride just in time for their biggest game of the season against Life’s a Pitch. Life’s a Pitch is confident that they can set new records for run differential and runs scored for this season regardless of the opponent; the question remains whether Our Kicks Don’t Lie can keep its collective composure to give Life’s a Pitch a great game.
- Big Black Kicks – 13 points; previously 9th. This team bounced back from a 17-2 loss to get a nice win against a 5-1 squad in Freeballing. They’ve been more consistent and less “Jekyll and Hyde” this season than in past seasons, which bodes well for them as they prepare to make a deep playoff run.
- Freeballing – 7 points; previously 7th. “Cause I’m freeeeeeee!!!! Free falling!” A fitting song for a team that’s right now a little disappointed after suffering two losses against two tough teams at Tropical Park, Freeballing still boasts a surprisingly feisty team that genuinely believes they can compete with anyone at Tropical Park.
- Ballbarians – 7 points; previously unranked. A familiar team in Miami Lakes has made an appearance late in the season in these polls, here’s a team that has players who have many times underperformed in the regular season only to switch into two higher gears during playoffs. The historical “bracket buster” from Miami Lakes hopes it can repeat a little bit of its magic once more this playoff season.
- Wolfpack – 4 points; previously 8rd. Wolfpack has suffered a couple of bitter losses at the hands of teams they desperately want to defeat. However, they have an incredibly experienced team with talent in key positions, and they don’t want you feeling for one second that they cannot play with against the best in Miami Lakes.
Quick Reminder on How the Poll Works: Once both leagues have played at least 2 games each, the Commissioners each cast an anonymous ballot for the teams that they think are the top 10 in K.O.A.L.A. Kickball across our Miami Lakes and Tropical Park Leagues. The first ranked team in each ballot gets 10 points, the second ranked team in each ballot gets 9 points, and so forth all the way to the tenth ranked team in each ballot, which gets 1 point. The points that each team gets from each ballot are added up, and then the 10 teams with the highest total number of points are declared the Top 10 in the Commissioner’s Poll. If there’s a tie for points, then the team with the most number of Commissioners voting it higher than the team they tied will receive the higher position. Remember that this poll does not affect standings or playoff seeding in any way; it’s only for fun!