Thursday, April 7, 2011

More on Jason Thomas' Praise of Brad Angelo

Jason Thomas posted an article to the PBA website the other day praising Brad Angelo as his new "favorite bowler." He said this was because Angelo is a good bowler who stands up to provocations from players like Chris Barnes and "Australian golden boy" Jason Belmonte and brings an "in your face" attitude to televised matches that gives PBA telecasts a needed dose of excitement. He also said he respects Angelo for not "bemoaning" his or the PBA's use of the infamous "Bottlegate" incident to stir up interest.

I posted an entry here Tuesday criticizing Thomas' article. I said I was "disappointed" with Thomas for defending his promotion of Bottlegate in the manner that he did, for praising Brad Angelo for his conduct, for insinuating that Belmo may have deliberately distracted him and then protested too much when called on it, and for implying that the PBA might do well to turn its telecasts into "PBA Sunday Smackdown" to liven things up and attract more viewers.

A Reader's Comment

I was pretty harsh in my criticism of Thomas and the PBA, but nowhere near as much so as one of my regular readers and commenters, Kerry, who posted the following scathing comment regarding Tuesday's article:

I read Thomas' piece on Monday. My initial thoughts on it aren't fit for publication. Angelo is now some kind of hero, to be held in higher esteem than the likes of Jack Jurek, Tommy Jones, Norm Duke, WRW and many, many others? wow........

I am completely and thoroughly disgusted with him and the PBA, for not only condoning but obviously approving of his and Angelo's behavior.

I had intended to obtain the Xtra Frame goodies, via a yearly subscription. I'll not do that now. I'll not support an organization that doesn't share and uphold the value system that I hold dear. My value system puts honor, honesty, integrity and fair play above all else.

Obviously, they think that pro bowlers have to change into some kind of reality show participant, where the folks can tune in and laugh at the dysfunctional players. Next we'll have "inside" looks at the pros double bunking in their hotels, fighting over the bathroom and TV remote and so on. We'll get to watch and listen to their phone conversations with their wives and/or girlfriends, completely revealing their dysfunctional relationships over the seasons. Of course, that won't be enough. They'll have to have several staged fights at every tournament, with lots of commercials showing teasers of the fights in upcoming matches.

No thanks. Not interested. Maybe other folks are and they'll succeed. If not, I'll wait until they go under and see what, if anything, takes their place.

I will say this about the water bottles. I have a new brand of bottled water at home, with bottles that make a lot of noise. Those bottles store energy and will make noise for some time after they've been set down. You take a drink, cap the bottle, set it down and it'll entertain you for a couple of minutes. That's something that I'm quite sure Angelo and company don't know or wouldn't share if they did know.

Lastly, I'd offer up this video clip for those that like to whine about noise ruining their shots. It's the 1999 PBA National match between Dave Arnold and Chris Barnes.

Their treatment of Belmonte has left a sour taste in my mouth and seriously dampened my enthusiasm for watching bowling.

My Response

For the record, I still think highly of Jason Thomas. I think he's a bright, knowledgeable, and creative guy who loves the PBA and works extremely hard on Xtra Frame and in other ways to promote professional bowling and its players, and I know these must be very challenging tasks given the appalling amount of apathy that seems to exist toward bowling and its top players even amongst serious bowlers. And I do hope Kerry will mellow in his displeasure and subscribe to PBA Xtra Frame to enjoy fabulous in depth coverage of the PBA like no other.

But I also hope that the powers-that-be in the PBA will not put publicity at any cost ahead of the integrity of the game and the respect it, the PBA, accords its players. Incidents like "Bottlegate" and, if I may be permitted to coin a new term, "Brooklyngate" are so noteworthy precisely because televised confrontations between the players are so blessedly rare. I hope it stays that way. Hockey players can pummel each other silly on the ice. The boys of summer can brawl on the pitcher's mound to the point of bruised exhaustion. But let PBA bowlers continue to conduct themselves on the lanes with exemplary professionalism and class and the PBA continue to encourage this.

No comments:

Post a Comment