Thursday, June 16, 2011

PBA Xtra Frame's Announcement About Bottlegate 2

"I did get to see it today, I saw it, and you don't want to miss it."
--Jeff Mark

Today, I had meant to post a lot more about the increasingly infamous Bottlegate 2 incident where Sean Rash called Jason Belmonte a "bottle bitch" for crinkling his bottle while Rash was bowling. But I've been watching PBA Xtra Frame's live coverage of the PBA Senior U.S. Open, and I heard PBA publicist Jason Thomas and "Bowling Doctor" Jeff Mark explain that there's a lot more to the story than is revealed in the short clip of Rash's outburst that's been making the rounds.

Apparently, some pretty heated confrontations occurred before and after Sean's angry words that were caught by the cameras and will be shown the second weekend of ESPN's airing of the GEICO Team Shootout. The first week's airing is on Saturday, June 25. So, I'm reluctant to say much more about Bottlegate 2 until I've seen all of this.

PBA Xtra Frame Exclusive

Fortunately, as a subscriber to PBA Xtra Frame, I may not have to wait until early July to see it. For Jason Thomas and Jeff Mark announced this afternoon that they've obtained video from ESPN that shows more of the incident and that they've asked for and expect to receive permission to show it on Xtra Frame. If they do get that permission, they plan to show it tomorrow between the final match play position round and the beginning of the stepladder finals. This means it should air shortly before 3:17 PM PDT tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised if it also ends up on YouTube shortly thereafter, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it. In the meantime, I'll watch it tomorrow and blog soon after about what I saw.

Besides this, while watching Xtra Frame, I got a chance to ask Jeff Mark and Jason Thomas, via the PBA's Facebook, page the following question:

"Do you think Belmo is crinkling his bottle to purposely distract his opponents and is lying when he says he isn't, or do you think he's doing it out of unconscious, nervous habit?"

Jason Thomas replied on Xtra Frame by saying that given the frequency of Belmo's bottle crinkling and the problems it's been causing, there are essentially two "options": (1) Either Belmo IS deliberately distracting opponents and then lying about it when called to task for it, or he's pretty "clueless" or careless. In either case, Thomas said, Belmo needs to stop doing what he's been doing and should "come out and address it" publicly before he suffers irreparable damage to what's left of his good reputation.

Belmonte Writes to Me

Now it just so happens that after I posted my first blog entry about this issue on Tuesday, Jason Belmonte wrote to me privately to give me his side of the story, and I would love to share with you what he said. But I'm still trying to secure his permission to share it. In the meantime, I will only say that he denied purposely crinkling his bottle to distract Sean.

When I look at all the coverage I and other people are giving this relatively minor incident and issue, I feel a little sheepish continuing to write about it here. Yet, I won't lie and say that I'm not kind of jazzed over it and that I'm not having fun writing about it, and I've received many more hits on this blog over the past couple of days than I normally do. So, it seems as though a lot of you are interested too.

Please stay tuned for further developments.

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