Posted on: June 19, 2008 8:57 am
Edited on: June 19, 2008 8:59 pm

Bowling for ... SWEEPS!

We were on FIRE last night and it couldn't have come at a better time. We played one of the best teams in the league, which came into the match at 16-2. Assuming we won Week 2 -- and we should have -- (I love the rule, if you miss a week, you have two days to make up the match or they use your averages, but because the team that missed is buddy-buddy with everybody that works at the bowling alley, they've gotten a little "extra time") -- we came in at either 9-9 or 11-7.

Excessive celebration penalty coming up!Now at first glance we thought, we can take this team; the average age is like 70! We can't lose to a bunch of people who eat dinner at 4 p.m. and drive 40 mph in the left-hand lane with their blinkers on! We can't let it happen!

So the lineup was as follows -- me, Roland Liwag, Eric Kay and Ron Davis. We knew if we scored at least 900 (with handicaps) we could win.

The goal is win Game 1, set the tone, because for some bizarre reason, this old team gets stronger as the night progresses. Most old people wear down, but the past two weeks, they've gotten better. Must be the Chinese Buffet really kicking in around 9 p.m. giving them that extra energy.

We came out fired up! Or at least I did. I bowled five strikes in the first game for a 177. Best game I've ever bowled. I was pumping my fists, pointing to the sky, doing little dances. I easily had at least three excessive celebrations, but who cares, I never had a game like that before. I was afraid the old ladies were going to tell me that wasn't good sportsmanship, but they could tell I was having fun. (Isn't that what's it all about kids?)

I knew it would all come crashing down next game, so I had to enjoy it while it lasted. So we cruised to a Game 1 victory. We scored 903 and they had like 770.

Game 2 was a different story, I came back to reality with a 116, but Roland was there to pick me up with a 144. Who says alcohol doesn't work? After a few beers in Game 1, he was awesome. Roland bowled a 177 last week in Game 2. Maybe we should just have him show up like 45 minutes late with at least two beers in his system. Eric and Ron did their usual -- 138 and 160 and we were well on our way to another victory. This time it was closer though, 907 to like 840.

We already won the match, but we wanted a SWEEP! It was in doubt early, but Eric was ready to show his MVP skills. After opening the first frame with a nine, he reeled off five strikes in a row. FIVE! That's crazy. Imagine somebody hitting five consecutive birdies at Torrey Pines? That's what it's like. He was in the freakin' zone. You could tell by the looks on our opponents faces, they knew it was over. Or maybe they just realized it was past their bedtime.

Ron wasn't going to let Eric have all the fun and he ran off a series of strikes and spares too. Isn't that the way it always goes? You have the game of your life and somebody else has to have a great game too? After Eric finished with a 201, Ron closed out strong for a 212. And that has to say "That's not even my best game." Well, thanks for that. Eric just dropped like 42 points and 7 three-pointers in a clinching Game 7 and you come along and score 46 and say "Damn, not even my best night."

So we swept, we could be sitting at 20-7! If the bowling alley every updates the site, we might actually know soon. In fact we all had monster games with our handicap:

Ron Davis and Eric Kay letting the whole world know their 200+ score.Darin -- Game 1: 177, with handicap 281.

Roland -- Game 2: 144, with handicap 248.

Eric -- Game 3: 201, with handicap 269.

Ron -- Game 3: 212, with handicap 284.

On to some more bowling observations...

-- I wasn't sure how people would react in a bowling league. So far, everybody has been very friendly and relaxed. It's definitely a million times different than men's flag football or competitive league softball. People out there think they are playing for long-term contracts or Super Bowl rings. But the bowling league has been great, very social.

-- Some guys at the bowling alley play an additional game of Bowling Alley Poker. For every strike you get, you get a card. So at the end of the game, whoever has the best poker hand wins the pot. Gambling at the bowling alley, but not gambling on your actual score. Now is bowling really a sport when you can drink beer, eat crappy food and play poker all at the same time?

-- Miss "Throw the ball like a shot put" was next to us again. I think her name was Electra, but that has to be a nickname, right? Nobody really names their daughter Electra. Either way, she was chucking that 12-pounder and I swear she made some dents in the lane this week. It really is a treat to watch, especially when she can bowl like 120 with that throwing motion. It's just not fun when you are trying to pick up a spare and she drops that bomb next to you.

-- Again with the ninth graders invading the bowling alley at 10 p.m. That's a definite sign of getting old when you are asking yourself "Don't these kids have school tomorrow? How come their parents let them out so late?" Man, 36-years old and I'm already screaming for kids to get off my lawn.

-- When you order a beer at the bar, just take it, leave a 50-cent tip and get the hell out of there. I thought bartenders are supposed to be friendly, not 65-year old ladies who are ready to rip your head off for ordering a bud light. One time I said “Excuse me…” and she yells out “I SEE YOU!” Very bizarre scene. The other bizarre scene is people who actually just sit at the bar and drink all night. I used to go out drinking with the boys and I don't ever recall saying "Hey let's hit the bowling alley bar tonight." There has to be a better atmosphere at local bars around town.

-- Best bowling alley food so far -- Nachos. I really wanted to test the limits of the stomach with popcorn chicken, but that would have really destroyed the great lunch I had from Salad Creations. So I went safe and was rewarded. Like Eric said though, you should have to eat something actually thrown in the fryer. Good point, nachos was definitely a cop-out, but my stomach thanks me for it.

Report Card so far:

Practice week -- Pizza.

Grade: B-

Result: Two Tums

Practice week -- Chicken Wings.

Grade: D

Result: Two Pepto; Immodium AD in the middle of the night.

Week 2 -- Hamburger/Fries.

Grade: C+

Result: Two Pepto

Week 3 -- Nachos

Grade: A

Result: No stomach pain.

See you next week!


Category: General
Tags: Bowling
Posted on: June 12, 2008 10:48 am
Edited on: June 12, 2008 12:55 pm

Bowling for ... victories?

After going 2-7 the first week (I know, it's strange playing one team and going 2-7, but you play three games -- each victory is worth 2 points and if you win the best-of-7 you get three bonus points), we needed a strong showing this week ... and I think we got it.

The team we played wasn't there (something about a Pearl Jam concert), so they used their averages with a 10-pin penalty for each person. So all we had to do was beat 835. Assuming my handicap is around 100, it looks like we might have swept.

Since I wasn't there Week 1 (something about my 4th wedding anniversary and spending it with my wife, I know, lame excuse), I had to bowl this week for my handicap. Game 1 was like 835-770; Game 2 was 835-789 and Game 3 was 835-807, so if you add my handicap we crushed them and we all had our best games.

Greg Bromberg, Production Manager had a 133; Roland Liwag, formers SPiN producer and current photo editor, had a 177 one game and Ron Davis, NFL Producer had another strong showing by bowling at least 150 for three straight games. As for me, I had a 135 one game, my best of the night.

So I think we went 9-0, 7-2 at worst. That will put us right in the middle of the pack after two weeks.

More bowling observations...

-- I need to cut down the celebrating after strikes and spares. I have to be the only person in the alley that had to go home and ice his knee after bowling. And it wasn't because of my form or anything, it was my excessive celebration after nailing a strike.

Is it a good sign when your doctor tells you your meniscus in your knee is like a pair of old blue jeans? I've put so much wear and tear on it, that it could rip. Do they sell patches for your knee I could just iron on? Can you go on the 15-Day DL in bowling? So many questions.

-- I saw more 16 year old girls dressing like they worked at a strip club and a few 50+ women looking like they used to work at a strip club. Very distracting.

-- Speaking of kids. I didn't know hanging out at the bowling alley and shooting pool was still a popular hangout for high school kids. Especially on a Wednesday night. Here it is 10 p.m. and I'm heading home to go to sleep and these kids are just now piling into the alley.

-- A female next to us wasn't really bowling, she was more like throwing the ball down the lane like a shot put. She'd walk up to the line and push the ball from her chest down the lane. It had ZERO spin and it made such a loud noise when it hit the lane, you could hear it outside in the parking lot. She must be doing something right because she bowled a 100 every time.

-- This week's bowling alley food was hamburger and french fries. Not bad, but the real test comes an hour after you eat it. And that's where the problems came. It was another Pepto-Bismol night. To recap....

Practice week -- Pizza.

Grade: B- Result: Two Tums

Practice week -- Chicken Wings.

Grade: D Result: Two Pepto; Immodium AD in the middle of the night.

Week 2 -- Hamburger/Fries.

Grade: C+ Result: Two Pepto

(Note: The grade is while you are eating it, if we graded on result they would all be Fs)

I'm eyeing those popcorn chicken next week. My goal is to try every food in the place or land in the hospital with food poisoning, whichever comes first. The wife suggested going a little safer next week with nachos, but got to push the limits. God only knows how much longer I can keep this study up.

-- There are 10 teams in the league, everybody shows up with bowling balls, shoes, bags, towels, etc. Us: Nothing. As I'm ready to bowl my first game I look at all the other teams and our lane is the only one with bowling alley balls. That can't be a good sign.

-- Special thanks to the guy next to us Barry, answering all our bowling questions. He was strong, bowled a 211 one game and the last game started out with five consecutive strikes. Very nice guy.

See ya next week!



Category: General
Tags: Bowling
Posted on: May 29, 2008 10:20 am
Edited on: May 29, 2008 11:32 am

Bowling for ... 9s

A few of the guys from work went bowling last night to practice for our upcoming bowling league.

This is what my life has become -- poker on Monday, bowling on Wednesday, golf on Saturday. Old man sports. Not that I'm complaining, some of my friends aren't allowed out of the house more than once a week because their mommy (wife) won't let them play with their friends.

But its just funny to look back and see what I was doing Pre-Marriage/Child and Pre-Knee Problems. It was competitive men's softball Tuesday, sometimes Wednesday, basketball Friday and Sunday was either co-ed softball or men's flag football depending on the season. 

But no more, its poker, bowling and golf. Remember when you were like 17 and you thought golf was boring and only your grandfather played it? Same with bowling. Only losers watch bowling and the only time you went to the bowling alley was to kill time on a Friday night during high school -- shoot some pool, goof off with your buddies and throw the 8-pound ball as hard as you could and with more spin than your friend.

Now I'm in a bowling league with some guys from the office. Should be fun, I'm batting leadoff on the team, let's hope my 120 average is good enough to compete with the other late 30 beer drinking crowd.

On to some observations from last night.

- 14 year old girls dress like they are 25 and 55 year old women dress like they are 25. Scary. Who let's their 14 year old daughter dress like that to go bowling? You know the outfit I'm talking about. Note to my 2-year-old daughter. If you EVER dress like that, you are going to be locked in your room for months.

- You are really pushing the limits with your stomach with bowling alley food -- I went chicken wings last night. Not a great choice. A few weeks ago I went pizza. Again, anytime you leave the bowling alley with the thought of taking Pepto Bismol the second you get home, it's not a good thing.

- Is there anything else in non-professional sports as good as seeing all the pins come crashing down for a strike? I've played lots of sports throughout my life, but when that big "X" hits the scoreboard and you walk back to your seat, that's a pretty sweet feeling.

- To the people who have their 1-year-old sleeping in the stroller while you bowl is a little strange to me. Did you really need to come out and bowl that badly that night? Were you and hubby sitting at home saying, "I know little Johnny should be in bed by 8pm, but I REALLY have the urge to down some beers and bowl a 83 tonight." Unbelievable. Is there really any good time for a baby to be at the bowling alley?

- I'm all for music, while you are bowling, but the '80s slow love songs by Air Supply doesn't really get me pumped up to do my best.

Our league starts next week. All I can hope for at this point is to not finish last, not get sick off the food and not make a fool of myself. If I can avoid that, this is going to be fun.


Category: General
Tags: Bowling
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