If you don’t get the reference, read through to the end…
To recap the situation: Coming into tonight I had 70 standings points, and I needed at least 21 tonight (four firsts, or three firsts with two seconds) to have any hope of making A division.
The best thing that could possibly happen to me was to be placed in a group of three, making first place finishes that much more likely in theory. The reality, of course, was going to be a lot different, because the two players I was grouped with were Rob Torres and Jeff Mleynek. Jeff had an A division slot nailed down already. Rob needed 14 points to be assured of an A division slot. I needed, realistically, a 25 or maybe a 23. Basically, most of the points I needed would come at Rob’s expense if I was able to convert, and vice versa.
There was a light turnout with only six groups. There were only six machines in play: Wrestlemania, Attack from Mars, Medieval Madness, Star Wars, AC/DC, and Metallica. Our group got assigned the five excluding AC/DC.
We would begin on Wrestlemania. I was able to keep up with Rob for the most part. After the second ball, I was behind by only around 1.65M, but he blew it open on the third ball, leaving me a nearly impossible gap to close. I needed to come up with around 40M points on ball 3, and needless to say, I didn’t get them. I would have to be content with a second place with 13.5M+ to Rob’s 50.9M+.
Next up would be Medieval Madness. This game was a disaster all around. I tilted the first ball trying to save (I still think the tilt on this game is way tighter than it needs to be, as Jeff tilted at least one ball in this game as well). I would not even break the 2-million mark, meaning I’d easily take last place. BOOM! This last-place finish mathematically eliminates me from qualifying for A division, at least if all the A division players show up to play.
I stick around to play the remaining three games, with the first of those being Star Wars. Amazingly, I manage to manufacture a first-place finish here. It’s funny how all of a sudden it’s easy to win now that it no longer matters. My 73.6M+ would be cannon fodder for the likes of Phil, Erich, or Bryce, but tonight, in this group, it was good for first place. Two games to go, 9 standings points.
We would play our fourth game of the night on Attack from Mars. I kept this one close but would come up short after my third ball, signing off with 1.41B+ versus the 1.57B+ from Jeff. So I’m at 12 standings points going into the last game. Every point still counts, even if now I’m just defending my seed at the top of B division.
Finishing up the night would be a game on Metallica. Realistically, I never really had a chance in this game. I put up a 4.5M+ which wasn’t even going to be close to either of the other two scores. So I sign off for the night with 13 standings points and an apparent third seed in B division.
Congrats to Rob Torres for making A division. He needed 11 standings points to do so (he had the tiebreaker over Jamie Jenkins and Joe Cuellar with 20 points in week 2); he got 17.
In case you were wondering, the reference in the post title is a parallel to the opening lyric of the old Houston Oilers fight song, which begins, “Look out football, here we come! Houston Oilers number one!” On one level, the comparison between the Houston Oilers and my pinball league performance is tongue-in-cheek. On the other, it’s spot on and intended to encourage me to do better going forward.