Hey all, So excited that in just a few days, we'll meet again at Nokomis. As has become tradition, my annual predictions piece for Golden Weekend.
Cedar - Almost Average
If you watched the Rink Rat bracket on Opening Weekend, you probably thought the Cedar was last weekend, yeah, we know. But it ain't. The boys and girls of the Cedar lace em up on Golden Weekend, and while rosters have changed, we've got some heavy hitters back in the mix.
A few teams are back from a brush with the open, and right away enter the mix of favorites. Kirkwood is obvious, as is Almost Average. I liked what I saw out of the Van Buren Boys and Dangleberries in 2020, and Navin R. Johnson and the Jerks always has a special place in my heart, but this year we're going with Almost Average.
Open - Andrea Arabanos & Associates
The Open Championship is special. Over the past 9 years, Commish has watched new teams emerge (Evan Williams, Andrea Arabanos & Associates), defensive masters (Wright Homes/Four Star, Tailgators/Hendy Homes) and Offensive powerhouses (Lululemon, Elevate Hockey). The tournament can also shift and go to long time fan favorites (Kemps, RJ Ryan). And while we're missing a few long time participants (Woodstars, MGK Tax, Wabana Hosers) we know 2022 will be lit. (editors note: team name changes may mean some history is missed)
When Andrea Arabanos burst on to the scene (as Duluth Stewart's in 2019), they were the talk of the tournament. Commish is a 218er, and knowing the lore of Duluth Stewart's teams from the 80s/90s, knew that they would be a team of the future. In 2020 I went with Elevate, and no doubt, they'll play into the afternoon on Sunday, but I'm going with Andrea Arabanos & Associates and this year, the championship parade goes through Canal Park.
40+ Open - Tradition
In my book, this is a two horse race. I know this cause Commish's team hasn't played a single game together, and two of the other teams have something like 12+ titles to their collective credit. Don't want to fully discount Screeching DUDEFACE, but combined teams seem to need some time to gel.
And while Van Buren Men and Screeching Dudeface would probably get +100,000 odds in Vegas, the favorites for the finals will be Wright Homes/4 Star and Tradition. I'll never bet against Hendy and the Tradition boys until they lose. Thanks for the hats buddy.