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The Right Approach...Views on the world of bowling.

Volume 2, Issue 10, The 62nd Edition

By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      Watching the U.S. Open results trickle in this week has been wonderful. It's been nearly four weeks since the PBA started their hiatus, and the PWBA is just ending their break of closer to two months. Boy, did I miss bowling on TV--when the tours are on break, it's like I go through withdrawal. But I got my fix this week. And all week, both tours have been bowling at the same time, and how awesome that's been. The PBA even posted the women's results, so for once, it was one-stop shopping for the fans looking up the results.

      Part of the problem with me, is that I really don't have a preference between watching the bowlers of the PBA and PWBA. I just like to see good bowling. It's the same with my own bowling. I don't get on the approach and think, "Gee, I am a woman bowler" anymore than I think, "Oh my, I am bowling against a male bowler." We all just bowl. We are all just bowlers. Get 340 bowlers together at an event like the U.S. Open, and you're bound to hear about good bowling. Amateurs and pros bowling. Men and women bowling.

      And on Sunday for the telecast, there was one arena and six bowlers representing two tours. And it made me realize what a shame it is that it only happens once a year. How incredible it would be to have both tours bowl together more often. I'd love to see more doubles tournaments pairing bowlers from each tour. They could let it be a random pairing, or let the bowlers choose spouses, relatives, friends--I just like to see the camaraderie. Or maybe like the Open, the powers that be could simply have the two tours compete side by side. Since both tours seem to be struggling a bit, both for bowlers and for advertising and sponsorship, it really makes sense to try to save money anyway they can. The folks traveling on tour get room mates to cut hotel expenses, so what would be so different about having the tours split some of the common expenses of the tournaments and telecasts?

      The tours could save on all the behind-the-scenes people that travel with each tour, and share the expenses of the support staff. Week in, week out, those fixed costs surely add up. When it came time to videotape the telecasts, there'd be more to save by using one production crew, one set of folks in the announcer's booth (as long as one is Phil Ferguson), and one set of sponsors for a tournament. Heck, maybe ESPN would consider giving them a "group discount" when it came time to buy air time. Sure there'd be the need for more sponsorship money, but you'd have twice the selling power with twice the pros, and hopefully twice the fans out there watching.

      Until they're both so large and cumbersome they won't fit in the a single venue, it's something to think about. There certainly were PBA tournaments in the past that boasted fields that exceeded the current touring rosters of both tours. It certainly would fill both the A and B squads so there aren't so many dark pairs. And if there was a fixed number of spots on each side, it might bring back the much missed "rabbit squad." For the fans, the exhibitions and pro ams would have even more star power to appreciate.

      Hey, while I'm at it, why not combine ABC and WIBC and get it over with. We're all just bowlers after all. Uh oh, I can hear a collective scream across the country, and people rifling through drawers, looking for something to come after me with. I didn't mean it. I really like paying twice the dues. Honest!

Gotta Split,


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