Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bowling Quote of the Day--4/13/10

"You're an exempt professional bowler. One of the givens at that level of the sport is not missing single-pin spares, especially in the clutch. So when you miss such a spare in the last frame of a national tour event that opens the door for a victory by your opponent, should you even be allowed to be Player of the Year?"
--Jim Dressel, from his Bowlers Journal column 'Bowlitically Incorrect'

In a word, yes. In my humble opinion. Even the best of the best players on tour are human. All except Walter Ray, perhaps. I've seen him miss a single pin spare or two in his 160+ TV appearances, but I don't think I've ever seen him do it in a clutch situation, although I did recently see him leave six pins on his fill ball when he needed only seven to make the U.S. Open telecast.

But my point is that it's easy for some bowling writer to denigrate and dismiss from his armchair an outstanding bowler just because he makes a single costly mistake. But Player of the Year is an assessment of a bowler's ENTIRE season and not just of one human mistake. The bowler in question had a very good season and almost won Player of the Year despite that mistake. But Walter Ray won it instead, despite his own big mistake in the U.S. Open.

One mistake does not a season make.


  1. I agree with you 100% - "One mistake does not a season make". However, sometimes one mistake ruins a season.

  2. I agree too, Steve. This logic would mean the Player of the Year would be decided on these merits: "Among bowlers who did not miss a single-pin spare all season, the bowler adjudged to be the best shall be declared Player of the Year."

    That's ludicrous.

    It's like saying Roger Federer should not be a top-ranked tennis player because he faulted on a serve. Or Alex Ovechkin should not have won the last two Hart Trophies because one of his shots missed the net at some point during the season. Or Albert Pujols should not have won the National League MVP Award last season because he made an error in the field.

    That's enough examples. Williams deserves the award more than anyone.

  3. Yes, Bob and Jef, human beings DO make mistakes and sometimes very costly ones. But the best athletes, and that includes bowlers, even though some would have us believe that professional bowlers aren't athletes, tend to make fewer mistakes, especially of the costly variety, and that's why their performance over the course of the entire season is as good as it is, despite the occasional mistake.

    I love it (well, actually, I don't) when these writers, myself excepted of course :-), are so hard on athletes who fall a smidgen short of their inflated ideals.