Volume 2, Issue 29, The 81th Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez
Please bear with me. ABC has just thumbed its collective nose at bowlers (once again), and I'm trying to type when I really have the urge to pull my hair out or shake someone. Maybe thumbed its nose is too harsh a term. Maybe they just don't realize they're talking out of both sides of their mouths.
ABC has announced a new side tournament on 12 lanes installed within the Albuquerque Convention Center, along with the 48 lanes set aside for the regular tournament. Brunswick is sponsoring this two-game sweeper, and for that, I say great. It's another opportunity to bowl while in Albuquerque, and there are two divisions--a 190 and up, and a 189 and below. According to other accounts, this tournament will be using new completely synthetic pins, which is interesting, and the press release says the lanes will be putting down one of the new, more challenging "sport" lane conditions ABC has been hinting about for awhile.
But does ABC really consider bowling a sport, or do they just pay lip service to that word? You be the judge.
This press release says that by entering the tournament, bowlers can truly "warm up." Stupid question, but in any other sport, do the organizers actually brag about charging an additional $40 to allow an athlete ample time to be prepared to compete? I realize people can go to a batting cage or hit a bucket of balls at the driving range, but honestly, I can't remember any sport besides bowling at the ABCs where they require the human body to be ready for competition in the main event after two shots.
ABC's policy of one ball on each lane is just plain silly, and always has been. The fact they even address warming up as an enticement to bowl this side tournament acknowledges that bowlers have been complaining about the amount of time to warm up all along.
I'm still a relatively young person, and thankfully it only takes me a little bit to warm up, but there are people who need some more time. Last year there were serious issues with the approaches, and it took people several games to get acclimated (if at all). No amount of stretching will really prepare the body to lob a 15 or 16 lb. ball down a lane.
Honestly, I don't care if the pins are up there or not, nor do I worry about what the extra shots will do to the oil pattern. The only reasons I can think of are cost associated with the practice shots, which might amount to five or six frames per bowler, so that isn't incredibly high. The other is that the shot might break down. But considering they don't oil between every squad they can't be that concerned about a pristine condition.
If you didn't go to Syracuse for the ABCs, you missed just how funny it can be to watch guys bowling on stub lane to warm up before doubles and singles. They paid the photographer something like $5 or $10, and they weren't interested in the picture, they wanted to go through the motions. In fact, the photographer looked at me and my doubles partner funny when we asked if there was any place to take doubles photos too.
Secondly, rather than ask a few bowlers to shell out $40 in order to experience this new lane condition, wouldn't it be better to let bowlers try it out for a more nominal fee? Or acknowledge how dreadfully wrong lane conditions have become, and tell bowlers it's time to get the horses back in the proverbial barn, and close those barn doors once and for all? Companies have been wrong, and brought things back due to public outcry--television shows, Old Coke, you name it. How about setting it up somewhere that bowlers can really test it out, like in local centers, and not charge $20 a game? Or maybe that's the point--this is just another test, and bowlers in Albuquerque are just the guinea pigs.