October 9, 2012

Week 6 Recap

Game 1: 171
Game 2: 182
Game 3: 182
Series: 535
Week Avg: 178
Season Avg: 191

With the unexpected and permanent departure of our opponent's anchor due to some medical reason, we saw the amount of handicap given to them increase from 49 to 113, so we had a bit of ground to make up each game.

The first game started out with a spare and a strike. I was in the pocket most shots, but the ball just didn't seem to want to carry this week. I threw another strike surrounded by all the spares through the middle of the game. I opened on a 4-pin late in the game, but was able to stay clean the rest of the way. My teammates put me in a great position as the anchor, so I only needed to mark to win the game in the tenth. I picked up a solid 5-pin leave for the win and a 171 game.

The second game was a tale of two halves. The first half saw me miss a 10-pin, strike, and then throw three splits in a row. In the second half I threw a spare and a turkey. In the tenth frame I needed two marks to win the game. I left another 4-pin on my first shot, but luckily I was more accurate this time and picked up the spare. I adjusted slightly closer to the foul line on my final shot and struck to win the game for the team and salvage a 182 for myself.

The third game was pretty unremarkable. I had a difficult time striking, but was better at picking up my spares. Even though we were behind going into the tenth, our opponent's last bowler didn't make an effort to throw first, so I wasn't sure how far behind we'd be in the end. I always try to strike, so it didn't really matter to me. My first ball in the tenth was buried in the pocket, but then something happened that I've never seen before.  The 6-pin was tapped by another pin and slid, while standing straight up, to a position just left of where the 5-pin usually is. It never wobbled and never leaned. I picked up the spare and struck my last ball, but that odd leave cost us the game and left me with another 182.

I wasn't as consistent this week. I caught myself a few times just not giving my full concentration to hitting my marks. Getting too comfortable in your abilities can be a curse, and I fell victim last night. To make matters worse, the line was a bit tighter than it had been my last few outings and so a miss a board or two from my mark was not as nearly forgiving.

It was a weird night at the bowling alley to be sure. I was stunned at the awful pin action for most of the bowlers on our pair this week. My incident in the third game was not the only one involving sliding, teetering, and rolling pins.  I can think of about ten cases where a pin walked or slid out of position instead of falling. More than I can ever remember happening during one night. To top it off, at the end of the first game as our lead off bowler was shooting for a spare a pair of legs dropped down onto the lanes in front of the pins just after his ball hit them. It was scary because if that ball had hit him his leg would have been broken, but those pins were also still in play and he could have affected the outcome.

Unfortunately this wasn't the only inconsiderate thing the bowling center did last night. Just as we were preparing to start the second game two women and three kids, I'd say about 2, 3 and 11 years of age, were placed on the pair of lanes next to our's. Yes, there was an empty lane between us; however, these ladies could not control the kids and they were running around all over the approach. Finally, after finishing about seven frames, one woman and the two year old fell about a quarter of the way down the lane and they decided to call it a night.

This is a pretty sad commentary on who the bowling centers think are more important. It isn't league bowlers, that's for sure.  These were the only pair of lanes open last night and who knows what the center would have done if a league pair broke down. Most adults don't have bowling etiquette, so I don't know why they thought a couple of toddlers would. These people were given a lane on a full house league night, yet I have been denied a lane several times because the center was hosting a couple of birthday and Steeler game watch parties. If you want to know why the sport of bowling is declining, look to the centers, the "activity" of bowling, and the bigger profits they bring.

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