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

Volume 2, Issue 28, The 80th Edition

By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      Just when I thought things couldn't get any funnier out of Wisconsin, the folks running the 2000 ABC Tournament are taking a page from the traditions of the WIBC National Tournament and many (including California) state events.

      Gentlemen, get ready for the ABC version of the "Lookin Good" award. The American Bowling Congress has announced they are awarding teams with matching shirts and pants in the same color "Bowler's Pride Awards" lapel pins. The incentive, along with team cohesiveness and fashion statement, being booth discounts for recipients of the awards.

      Oooh, I can see it now, men arriving early in Albuquerque and perusing the vendor booths looking for team shirts in order to be recognized.

"Does this color wash me out?"

"Excuse me, sir, do you have this in size M and size XXXL?"

"This print makes my stomach look big."

"I think they were cheaper over there."

      If you don't think it can happen, it does already in WIBC events. Getting those pins is a matter of pride and the highest competition. Women who are trying to be somewhat original are devastated when they encounter another team in "our" shirts.

      First time I received the award, I thought it was a little silly until I was told my teammates had been earning them for years. I had to stifle my giggles out of respect to my team. Women actually FIGHT for them. And soon I felt the harsh stares of the other teams as they turned green with envy.

      OK, ok, I'm being a little silly. Please don't get me wrong, I've been wearing team shirts both in my leagues and in my tournaments for quite some time, and it appears we have our shirt sponsors already lined up for New Mexico (I guess we're gonna have to agree on a pants color and whoa be the bowler who doth not obey). I will concede that some people at ABCs end up looking like they slept in their clothes before coming to the event, and others look like they serviced their cars on the way to bowling. But I honestly think ABC has more to worry about than whether bowlers make a fashion statement on the lanes or not.

      Remember, they can't seem to agree on enforcement of a rule pertaining to clothing as it is. Last year, one month jeans were banned, then they were re-allowed midway through the event. The year before, we had ball check-in guys who doubled as skirt monitors accosting women because the men apparently didn't know the difference between a skirt and shorts.

      Hello? We have a sport losing members every year, and we're worrying about if their pants are the same color? Puhleez. Are we going to send the monitors to a fashion camp so they are equipped to handle the demands of these new duties? The up side is that I will leave Albuquerque with a consolation prize--a $100 lapel pin.

      One reason I've enjoyed my ABC tournaments the last few years is that there is no Macarena dancing in the squad room or country music making our entrance to the lanes from the squad room. I know that my WIBC tournaments will always have that "tea party social" element to them. But I've looked forward to the ABCs because they were serious. Maybe I've been a bit hasty in all that merger fever I've been talking about. Because if they turn on the music for the Chicken Dance in Albuquerque, I am outta there.

Gotta Split,


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