If we had TV Ratings for league tennis the news this week would have further diminished the buzz for this weekend with no Bob and no Eddie already.
I will attempt to create some excitement on what might go down this weekend. The bottom line is 3 of the 8 teams have no chance of retaining 70% of their players and earning a wild card including the two big favorites (OC and Garland).
Red Flight Breakdown:
Lakes (25 to 1)
This is a good team but they are in a flight with two great teams. Fankhauser is undefeated this season and gone to 4.5 but not sure he will remain undefeated and that will be the difference in some close losses for this team. Now if Fankhauser turns it up and wins then their fortunes may change. Fix, Richardson, Balan and Sinclair can scratch out some wins as well so this team is a dangerous underdog.
Brookhaven/Burt (20 to 1)
I think Burt put it best when he told me about this team, they would do well in the regular season but when they played the 4.5'ers in the playoffs they would struggle. Luckily he has a couple of his own in Ludwig, Rivera and Stein. These three are very tough but they will need to go undefeated against some stiff competition this weekend because there is a drop off in talent level after that although Burt and John played pretty well last time I saw them (and lost to them). I think I would have liked this team in the other flight to contend but they just don't quite stack up against OC and Garland.
OC (Pick'em) and Garland (Pick'em)
I have stared at these names for a while now and I don't see any huge difference and really it will depend on John and Don to set the lineups right to earn a close win and they play each other on opening night (BRRRRR) so this flight may be decided early. I like OC doubles a little more but I have not seen Tran or Guzman play so not sure they can overtake any of the Garland singles players. If I was forced to pick, I would go for OC 10-8 in the 3rd set TB.
Blue Flight Breakdown
Three of the four teams here actually have a shot at the wild card as they return the bulk of their players although that kind of speaks to why Greenhill has to be the favorite here.
Village (30 to 1)
With only Fred Givhan as a big gun here and bump to 4.5 I think it will be hard for them to scratch out wins here, although I did learn the hard way you have to bring your best against this team but I just don't like their doubles matchups in this flight.
JCC (10 to 1)
I like this team but not enough to put them at the top. I think Lieberman, Drazner and Elovitz will have to play every match and win all their matches to get them in the mix and that is tough to ask for anyone. I think their lack of depth will hurt them since their doubles drops off after line 1 and in the playoffs you need to have a chance to win all 5 lines.
Brookhaven/Brad (5 to 1)
I am not sure what to think about this team but Chris Ellis has changed their chances for fair to strong. If he and Don Buford can play strong along with Helterbrann/Mattes this team will be tough to beat all weekend long. Moore/Smith had a strong run this season and with depth like that I think this team might just be the favorite in this flight.
Greenhill (2 to 1)
So close to being eligible to return as a wild card but not quite but on paper they should be a favorite in this flight. They have not been dominate but vets like Russouw, Odell, Wildberger, Sweeney, Carlquist and Nguyen they might just be too tough at doubles. The trick for this team is singles. Oleg and Chris Bergeron will need to step up and win some matches or they may not make it out of flight play.
Finals: OC wins 4-1 over Greenhill
Tourney note: The registration deadline for the 200 pt. Cotton Bowl is coming up on December 14th. I have cleared my schedule and I will see you all there.