It is finally my (Giovanni Lorenzo’s) turn to write the Commissioners Pole (sic) and this is very exciting. The Super Bowl came and went and what a Super Bowl it was. From a personal perspective, I could tell you that perennial Patriots hater, Rene Medina, was very upset with the result. My girlfriend who lived in Atlanta for about 5 years also donned a face of disappointment to see the Falcons blow a 25 point lead and the possibility of winning their first ever Super Bowl. The question that really can be pondered here is which city is more down on its luck for sports, Cleveland or Atlanta? Cleveland, even though the Cavaliers did finally win the title in 2016, has only won one sports title and have seen the Cleveland Indians blow major leads in the World Series. They also have the Browns. Atlanta, on the other hand, has lost two Super Bowls, seen the Braves win division after division in the 90s with only one World Series to show for it, has a basketball team that has never won a championship, and once had a hockey franchise that left town. I think Cleveland takes it here because at the end of the day, you still have to live in Cleveland…the “mistake by the lake.” Feel free to debate with me when you see me Wednesday or Thursday!
This season we have taken up 15 teams in our Miami Lakes league with La Familia leading the pack as the clear favorites that have given up one run so far through 4 games. Down south in Tropical Park where we have 10 teams, everyone has taken a loss and all teams seem very evenly matched. Any one of the teams can win that championship. We also finally opened our third league at Cutler Bay last week which is exciting news! Those teams will be eligible for the poll starting next week. Finally, our fourth league is in the works and we hope that it can start it sometime in March.
- La Familia (30 points; 3 first place votes): They are good. As an impartial non-player in Miami Lakes, I have been able to watch a lot of games so far and La Familia seems above and beyond the competition. They crushed their closest competitors, the team below them in this poll, by a whopping 8-0 tally in week 2. As has been stated before, they are being compared to the Golden State Warriors who were already a good squad that acquired Kevin Durant, just for fun. La Familia decided to add the Morales brothers after their playoff loss last season. We shall see if this team truly becomes the greatest of all time.
- Wolfpack (25 points): The Miami Lakes champion from Fall 2016 are facing a tough challenge in order to repeat. They have taken care of business in all of their games except the blowout against La Familia. Their girls are exceptional which will allow them to make a solid run through the postseason but can they win the rematch in the playoffs? They need to grow a lot to get their repeat.
- Life’s a Pitch (24 points): The Tropical Park bullies over the last three seasons make an appearance at third in the rankings. This team doesn’t seem to be as strong as seasons past but their veteran leadership and core could be enough to bring about the 4 peat. They lost this week to the Green Team in a very interesting and non-controversial game…. I think this loss was a product of Tropical Park being a very balanced league, which, again, is wide open. A repeat will definitely be difficult but is not impossible.
- Commissioners Pole (18 points): The black team of Tropical who have been around since day one of this league. I love their pitcher even though he brings about a very interesting sense of humor to the game. They also carry two of my nephews which will bring about a fun family competition when I play them in a few weeks. They are currently on top of the table at Tropical Park thanks to a nice run differential win week 1. The Commissioners Trophy is wide open at Tropical and the Commissioners Pole is in the running for it.
- Your Pitch Makes My Kick Hard (15 points): The very fast and very fun green team is also sitting at 2-1 at Tropical Park after their upset win over Life’s a Pitch last week. They played very well and truly beat Life’s a Pitch. Their speed is their weapon especially at the top of the lineup. When they’re playing defense, base runners can’t even fall asleep on a single because the outfielders will be quickly chasing you down for the out if it’s there. They are very generous with their beverage of choice too which we all appreciate!
- Kick My Bean (14 points): Mario and Jo have created a spin-off team from seasons past and formed a very solid Lilac team. Full of athletes and bombers, they are slowly picking up the game and understanding all the nuances that come from kickball. They are riding high and on a two game winning streak. If they truly put all the pieces together, they will become a dangerous team and tough out in the playoffs.
- Opa Locka Goonz (13 points): Watch out for the Red Team in Miami Lakes. I have seen them a few times already and they are silent (for the most part) but deadly out there on the pitch. Sporting a 3-1 record, they are on pace to make some noise. They have already defeated Blackout City and should have beaten Ballbarians in their interdivision games. They have also taken care of their divisional foes. Time will tell but watch out for the sneaky good Opa Locka Goonz.
- Balls on Fire (12 points): It is not fair that two very similarly named teams have very similar colors and both contain students or former students of mine. I get Balls on Fire and Balls Deep confused all the time but this DARK pink squad has performed well up to this point. They have gotten 2.5 of their four possible points so far with a loss to the Wolfpack in there. A mix of veteran leaders and young players hopefully will blend together.
- Freeballing (7 points): My team. The only one I am playing on this season has been a very interesting bunch so far. A weird first game loss to Pata Sucias followed by a great win over green followed by a mediocre performance against blue has me scratching my head. I personally do not know what to expect from my team from week to week. A strong bunch with great girls and guys who have fun together still screaming fire and water. Let’s hope for consistency from here on out! BALLS!
- Blackout City (4 points): The Rene Super team in Miami Lakes has been anything but so far. Sitting at a paltry 2-2, they can hold their heads high about giving La Familia a good game in a 5-0 loss. Tough division games remain for the squad to really prove themselves and see if Rene can finally push through and get that coveted title that all of the commissioners have been eyeing. Yes, no commissioner has ever won a K.O.A.L.A. Kickball league. Yes, seriously!
Other receiving votes:
This Pitch is Bananas (3 points)
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!