"Take that you bottle bitch!...I'm tired of it. Everyone, you do it to."
--Sean Rash to Jason Belmonte after a Rash strike
Here we go again. A little over two months ago, I wrote a series of posts about the infamous "Bottlegate" incident in which Brad Angelo took Jason Belmonte to task for his noisy water bottle in a televised match. I defended Belmonte, mildly criticized Angelo, and rebuked PBA publicist Jason Thomas for disparaging Belmonte and praising Angelo.
Well, it's happened again. Somebody has called Belmo to task for making his water bottle talk at an inopportune time. This time it was during the taping of a GEICO PBA Team Shootout match in Chicago between Team Storm and Team Brunswick, and Sean Rash is the guy doing the scolding, albeit after a strike and in a very different manner from the way Angelo did it.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't beginning to have serious doubts about Belmonte at this point. When it happened with Angelo, I thought it could very well have been an accident with an unexpectedly crinkly water bottle. But you'd think Belmo would now go out of his way to be careful about things like that. Besides, it seems to me that the sound emanating from Belmo's bottle this time is not an innocent crinkle but a fully deliberate popping of the top off the bottle just before Rash releases the ball. Now, of course, Belmo could have done this from force of unconscious habit that wasn't intended to bother Rash, but one could argue that this is being awfully charitable to Belmo under the circumstances.
Take a look at the two videos below (the first is of the incident with Angelo and the second is the one involving Sean Rash) and tell me what you think. And here is the write up that Jason Thomas did about Bottlegate #2.