- Next up we have the Pretenders the teams that talk the big talk, might even upset a few teams on the Saturday, decide not to go to the party so they can be ready for the big match, but will very soon find themselves in the 9-16 bracket complaining about a difficult cross or a poor initial seeding wondering where it all went wrong :’(.
The Barbearians are the fresh blood in this year’s Windoors and although their players are well drilled and battle hardened this is a team lacking in cohesion, many dissenters choosing to represent other teams, and 2 and a half of their best players hiding down under until the whole thing blows over has left this team in disarray. There were concerns when it was discovered George “boring” Siddens’ new job involved working with drug-dealers, consequently these concerns proved greater than feared when he was revealed to be a Wetherspoons “chef”. Yet they march on, led by current Bears 1 star J”Noah and the Whale” Varney and team announcer Willem Garnier – until it gets too tough and they go play for Bears 1 instead – they may even prove a bit of a wild card. In amongst the chaos is the ever pres(id)ent Billy “Beane” Bolton, a man so organised he earned enough money changing his Facebook name to afford a new contract for talismanic receiver Andreas Vasilioulieoiulliou; contract talks had been in a tense 2-year standoff, but the outcome has been described as a Wei Win-Win and Stasisfactory result.
Onwards and upwards to the mighty Bears 2, or rather downwards, with an average height of probably 5’5, they are surely one of the smallest all-male teams. Decimated by injuries, exams and Bears 1’s obsession with picking too many players, Bears 2 will have to be reliant on their star players to make plays. Enter Akash “Cobra Killer” Milward-Bose a man whose sole aim appears to be to travel around the pitch in as few layouts as possible. This will also be an opportunity for new players to make a name for themselves, look particularly to James “stuck on the Isle of Man” Taylor and Daniel “New Wrah” Brown to provide strong defensive pressure and a consistent offense to complement the traditional bounce spice of Eugene “Where’s Chok Gone” Chong. Nevertheless, like all teams there are many questions that remain to be seen, will Harry Fidler leave the floor when he jumps, will Mike “Watts a defence?” discover what a defence is? How many of the women has Stevie tried to get with? Can Dan “Wartortle” Galvin recover from dropping the game winning goal against Bears 1?
15th was an extremely disappointing showing from Carebears last year – note the team maintains that it was not a coordinated homage to the century of Tobias Huxol’s birth *pours one out* :’(. On the other hand, it appears this year, captain Rob “Fully” Terrett can afford to feel confident, his revelation that you can pick better players than the other Carebears could prove to be a tactical masterstroke, akin to when a player first sprinted deep, changed direction and cut under. His 4 pickups span across 5 years, offering vast experience and in-depth knowledge, including some National team experience from Ed “The” Fresher (I know it’s a hot topic, so for everyone wondering Ed is OK, he is looking forward to the party safe in the knowledge there are plenty more freshers in the (Kel)seas). In a more bizarre move, Carebears have signed Andrew Hillman who I can only think they’ve confused for Clapham and Fire legend Anthony Hullman, however they should have known better as he famously hates indoors. Hamza “Claphambeater” Alawiye returns alongside P “Alex” Money and Ollie “Can we get a Chair please” Stidwell. Fears Hamza was struggling to handle the commute from Oxford to Kasbah were soon put to rest as the Coventry club announced it was opening the Giant Redwood Suite in the coming year. Pickups Seb Rieger and Cathy “£400” Hensman round out the squad, Cathy has since confirmed she would have picked-up for anyone given the right compensation.
Now over to the Darkside, Justdics League, fresh off the back of a strong club regionals, this luckless group of players has at long last tasted the sweet nectar of victory over a Bears team, and you can bet they’ll want more. They will hope to carry this form into Windoors but without pickups such as “Tall Bald Guy” and “Guy that looks like a young Robbie Tink” they will need to rely on the old guard, Yikes!. So, here’s my list of 5 things to look for:
- Ridiculous grabs by Rowan,
- Someone blaming Amir for their throwaway,
- A narrow Loss/Draw to a Bears team,
- Amir wearing his Bears top,
- Jack & Brendan convincing Bears women to play with them.
One of the unknown entities of the competition are InYourEndo, led by Tom “Not that one obviously” Daly I have been informed they are the team to watch if you like big D’s, or a good pull although you should be prepared for the occasional strip call. They expect to play a lot of zone though I’d imagine for adept handlers it’d be easy to run the disc up and down the shaft before heading deep for the score.
Also hoping to make their way into the top 16 we have usual suspects Leamington Lemmings and Brixton Angels. Initially, there had been some confusion about whether Brixton would be invited back after last year’s incident involving four hairbands and a lefty scoober, club captain Jon Hughes (not to be mistaken for bears 1 receiver Jon Hughes, though they are clearly the same age) was particularly relieved, but claims he knows nothing of the mysterious and generous donations received by President Bolton. Lemmings, one of the few mixed teams attending, will be hoping to match last years 12th. When I bumped into captain Jamie Loftus, he had this to say, “I’m not playing Lemmings, I’m playing Bears 1 & Barbearians, I only play Lemmings at tour.” seems like a bold move to me. Finally, we have Stangeblue, another true mixed team that’ll be in for a tough battle with Lemmings. They’ll be counting on Rajan “Straw” Troll and Fi “Fi_Chang” Chang to make the difference on what is clearly a team so stacked, ex-bear and current Strangebluer Ali “Pally” Thomas has once again missed out on selection.
9th – Carebears
10th – Jusdisc League
11th – Bears 2
12th – InYourEndo
13th – Barbearians
14th – Leamington Lemmings
15th – Brixton Angels
16th – Strangeblue