Splitzter - December 5, 2003

  I agonized for days about going here. But, with Thanksgiving removing a good chunk of this week’s scores the column can take a bit of an editorial turn. I have a pet peeve about bowlers of the higher average variety. To put it bluntly: sometimes they act like jerks. Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen a guy throw a ball square into the pocket, leave something, then show his IQ by making an obscene gesture to the offending pin. Oh… here’s one. How about blaming that ball return for the four pin you just left on the shot that came in just a bit high? Yup, that’s right. Kick that stupid Sure-Pik as hard as you can to show it that you’re a much better bowler than it is.

I just don’t understand it. The worst part is that I seem to see this type of childishness from folks that are considered pretty good at this sport. I have yet to notice antics like this from recreational bowlers. There’s a reason the PBA fines its members for such displays. It bodes ill of the sport and the offending bowler. I remember a few years back when Marshall Holman was suspended from the PBA for kicking a foul light during a qualifying round. It wasn’t on television but those in the gallery saw it and the PBA took action. Good for them.

One particular story that will stick in my mind. A guy was going after the coveted 300 game and had the first seven strikes. He was throwing a truck that game and everything that tickled the head pin was carrying. I have no problem with this. He was throwing so well that the pins were dancing. It was fun to watch. He throws an absolute beautiful ball in the eighth frame and crushes the pocket. Solid ten pin.

He stands there at the foul line in total disbelief as I think to myself, “Don’t do it.” You know full well what happened. Fifteen seconds of antics and whining that would embarrass even Hoopster. I don’t understand. You know everyone saw the ball you just threw. Yes, it should have been a strike, but it wasn’t. Here was the perfect time to show a little class while your fellow keglers sympathize with your plight. I guess I was asking for too much.

I cringed one night as poor Eggman was catching a tirade of complaints from some fellas that thought the shot on their pair was not to their liking. In some ways I can see it. When a bowler is in the market for a new ball, 90 percent of the time the conversation starts with, “What’s the ball that hooks the most right now?” Then the weather changes or something happens that affects the oil pattern and the shot isn’t a bumper lane shot. You know what a bumper lane shot is, don’t you? That’s where you have a ten board area and can hit the pocket.

So our hero with his “hookingest” ball can’t throw strike after strike. Actually, he can. But he’s so used to only moving a board or two that a fifteen board move escapes him. Heaven forbid that bowler actually come out and practice once or twice a year to work on a possible weak point in his game. I guess it just aggravates me. Give me a team of five grinders of average ability who will adjust to any shot, shoot every spare in front of them and enjoy the evening for what it is… a night out with their friends. Now there’s my dream team.

Okay.. getting off my soap box… Betty Mohring of the Monday Sports Widows league took high honors for ladies’ game this week with a 221. Now while the 221 isn’t earth-shattering, the fact that Betty is a 146 average bowler is. Nice game, Betty. Right behind her on the hit parade was Rose Ashenfelter with her 215 game on Saturday’s mixed doubles league. Once again, Rose checks in with her 148 average and strokes the number. And how about Cheryl Kerwin on the Ball and Chain bunch? Cheryl popped a 206 game with her soon to grow 150 average. Congrats ladies.

There were no sixes for the gals this week, probably due to the scratch ladies league eating turkey instead of bowling. The fellas nailed four sevens while being led by Tony “Bunman” Adams with his 248-256-238 effort for 742. John McClure was right behind him with 257-269-215 for 741. Andy Phillips and Randy Schwaiger rounded out the top four with their 720-702 respectively.