Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sean Rash Scolds Jason Belmonte in Bottlegate #2

"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.


  1. lol i am suprised that sean rash called him out... now i seriously doubt if Jason intentionally did that

  2. When I watch the video very closely and turn up my speakers, the only thing I hear that sounds like a crinkling water bottle occurs when the ball is more than halfway down the lane. And someone close to the story has told me that this was, indeed, what Sean was reacting to. If this is true, it casts the incident in a very different light.

  3. To me, the bigger issue is that the PBA is once again hyping these stupid confrontations.

    There is a large thread on the PBA forums about this stuff and the bottom line is that the PBA is determined to hype any and every incident of this type that they can. Obviously, they're not only condoning, but encouraging this behavior from Diaper Rash and anyone else.

    Mike Laneside apparently posted this video to youtube and then posted a message in the referenced thread, crowing about the hits that it gets.

    They want the negative publicity. Your blog and all of the other blogs and sites that are talking about this issue, are giving the PBA exactly what they want, by further hyping the issue. They don't care that it's completely unprofessional and offensive behavior by Rash. They think that they need these confrontations, so they can have viewer buzz like the pro wrestling.

    I'm completely disgusted with the PBA. Rash should be punished, fined and banned from 3 or more future tournaments for his behavior. The PBA isn't going to do that, he's their hero now.

    I replied to Laneside's post on the PBA forum, that I was to be counted as one against their policy and that I wouldn't watch the tournament, because of it. Further, I'm done with the PBA forum completely. I'll not be party to the nonsense. I despise that behavior and don't want to waste my time watching it on TV, but there's no sense talking about it, because the PBA thinks that they're doing the right thing by getting us to talk about it.

    I hate where they're going and think that the PBA is doomed because of it. But, this is the last post I'll ever make on the subject. I'm done with the PBA and the USBC completely.

  4. In the brad angleo incident, I didn't hear anything, I think he overreacted. Also I realize that competitive bowling in the PBA is different than your average league night... But if your a pro you should be able to preform whatever your sport is, despite the distractions.. baseball, hockey, football, basketball, almost every other sport encourages yelling, cheering, even the occasional booing... Yet a tiny bottle crinkling, and all hell breaks lose... Yes, if Belmo actually did it intentionally, he is 100% wrong, I'm not advocating what he did... I just think it's wrong to start accusing, cuz you don't know if it was purposeful or not, and if a tiny sound like that distracted you that much, then there's something wrong... What if someone in the audience coughed or sneezed??? is he going to yell at them too??? While the PBA does try to minimize the distractions, it's bound to happen. Nobody should be afraid of drinking a bottle of water....

    Now in the Rash incident, it was a little more apparent that yes there was a distraction, and was easily heard.. While I would give him the benefit of the doubt in the first incident, this time i have to say he was wrong, intentional or not, esp. since it wasn't the first incident,he has to learn to be a little more cautious and careful when drinking from his bottle... BUT Rash was absolutely 100% unprofessional and nasty... Never a reason for cursing and that kind of language EVER in any pro sports.. Children are watching and idolizing these so-called-heros that are just acting like big babies!!! I am no longer a Rash fan after watching this video...

    In summary, Rash should be suspended or otherwise punished for his very unprofessional behavior. Belmonte should be warned, but not necessarily punished. And everyone should just take a step back and realize why they're in the PBA -- for the <3 of the sport, and to get paid to do what you enjoy.. stop the bellyaching and have fun :)

  5. Kerry, yes, the PBA is milking this for everything they can get out of it, and, at this point, I'm not sure what I think about it. It probably will draw viewers to the Team Shootout that wouldn't otherwise watch, that would bring them more of the money they seem to desperately need, and those additional viewers will get to see what I've heard is some really spirited and high-level competition between many of the PBA's best.

    Will this progress down the slippery slope to PBA WWE telecasts or some other absurd mutation of the original PBA telecasts? I doubt it. I suspect that, in the final analysis, the bowling itself will always be the primary focus.

    Will young viewers hearing Rash call Belmo a "bitch" harm them? I don't know. Maybe not if Rash is disciplined for it and the disciplinary measures are announced on or shortly after the telecast.

    I hope you won't let this or anything else stop you from watching the tournament and future PBA events, from posting your thoughtful and eloquent comments to the PBA forum, and from further involvement with the USBC.

  6. Anon, what I've heard most recently is that Rash appears to have been reacting to one or more prior incidents in which Belmo crinkled his bottle when Rash was on the approach and not to any sound occurring during or after the shot shown in the video. Of course, this contradicts what Belmo told me personally in a private message Tuesday evening.

    PBA Xtra Frame announced today that it plans to air a larger clip tomorrow that shows more of what actually happened before and after Rash's outburst. And it may end up on YouTube soon after. We shall see, and, in either case, I'll be blogging about it.

  7. NO... Belmo is a D bag and does it to people even when not on TV. His sweetheart 2 hand, international, PBA poster boy image is going by the wayside and no one can accept it, or face up to it...

  8. It sounds to me like someone may be a little too green with envy. I suspect that many are quick to think the worst of Belmo's character and motives not because of anything he's actually done to deserve it but because they resent how talented and relatively successful he's been and the attention he's received for it.

  9. Bowling is not a confrontational sport. There is no place for offense or defense, thus confrontations should not occur in bowling, ever.

    There are many individual sports that are also non-combative, non-confrontational, with golf being the most popular.

    The PGA would never allow, condone or encourage the type of behavior that the PBA now wants. Your blog entry on Thursday, concerning Xtra Frame's announcement about Belmonte, references heated confrontations both before and after the Rash clip.

    Pro bowling is now a series of heated confrontations? Sorry, but that is just absurd. Is that really what you want to watch, when you turn on the TV to watch bowling, Steve? Do you really want to watch several people constantly bickering and swearing at each other, while bowling? I don't. I see no reason to watch the show. I despise that kind of unprofessional behavior.

    The bottom line is that none of these bowlers are tough guys. They are all a bunch of pansies in comparison to the real tough guys in the world. Why would I want to watch them in their little sissy word fights, when I can watch real men, fighting for real, in the WEC and UFC cagefighting events.

    I watched bowling, hoping to watch excellence in bowling, nothing else. When I want to watch fighting, I watch MMA fights.

    Rash wouldn't last 60 seconds in a real fight in the UFC in his weight class. He's just another schoolyard bully, picking fights with the weaker kids. Is that what you really want to watch and blog about, Steve?

    I don't and won't. I have plenty of other things to occupy my time. I won't waste my time, watching pro bowling emulate pro wrestling.

    I've enjoyed your blog and wish that there were another avenue open to me. But, I really despise what the PBA has become and see no point in further comments.

    I wish you well and hope that you're successful and happy in the future, not only with the blog, but in all things.

  10. Kerry, I too like to watch UFC matches. I've been watching them from the beginning, and PBA bowlers are certainly not UFC fighters, nor do I want them to try to be. But I'd be lying if I said I don't get a little jazzed over the prospect of seeing a verbal confrontation during the course of the team competition. I'm human, and a part of me, as questionable as it may be, responds this way to this sort of thing. However, it's also my understanding that the GEICO shootout this year is VERY competitive and entertaining and features some excellent, nailbiting matches and great bowling, and that will still be the primary focus of my viewing the event and my subsequent blogging about it.

    I hope you'll reconsider watching the matches. You could start by watching on the weekend of the 25th. Those matches do not feature "the confrontation." THAT will be shown the following weekend. If you like what you see next weekend, you may just decide to watch the next weekend too. You can turn down the sound and look away when the confrontation happens and then resume watching after it's over.

    In any case, I value your patronage and comments highly and hope you won't be giving up on this blog. I'm planning to add a wider variety of content to it and, if I can figure out how to do it, improve the graphics of it. So, I really hope you'll stick around.

  11. Are you deaf? How could you not hear anything on the Angelo one? Angelo was rightly pissed about that. I didn't hear anything during Rash's approach/release but about half way down the lane you hear the bottle going. That doesn't mean that Rash didn't hear anything prior to that though. You obviously know when you're making noise and Belmo is doing this on purpose. It's bush league stuff from a bush league player.

  12. I never said I didn't hear anything in the Angelo incident. But I HAVE questioned whether it was intentional. As for the Rash incident, Belmo himself told me privately that Rash was reacting to the noise that occurred AFTER he released the ball, and that is certainly supported by what I hear when I view the video. But I've also read elsewhere that Rash was actually reacting to noises and, perhaps, other incidents involving Belmo that occurred before that shot. I'm hoping that when I view the extended clip that Xtra Frame has promised to air this afternoon, I'll have a better understanding of it all.

    But even after I see it, it may not be clear to me, even if it is to you, that Belmo is purposely making these noises to distract his opponents. But if he isn't, it IS clear to me that he needs to do whatever he needs to do to stop making these noises.

  13. If you look at the extended clip now posted it show rash as the real dick he is, the shot before this happens he says to belmo "step up to the plate now bitch" after throwing a strike. Sean was totally in the wrong in the incident and was intimitated by Belmo

  14. I agree that Rash was out of line, and the PBA has now stepped up and socked him with some kind of fine.

  15. To me all these guys have some kind of drink in a plastic bottle. Rash should be fined and suspended. I think it was an opening for Rash to get back at Belmo for his teammate Angelo. Totally unprofessional on his part. Apology or not, I think this was premeditated and he was waiting for the opportunity to slam Belmo.

  16. think of the kids?!?!?!

    some people are so retarded...

  17. SoCal, you may be right. But who knows? Even Rash may not know. I agree with you that Rash should have been fined. I've heard an unconfirmed report that it was for $2,500, which for a bowler, earning the peanuts that even top-level bowlers earn compared to other professional athletes, is not an insubstantial amount. I don't, however, think he should have been suspended. I didn't think it before yesterday, and after spening eight hours yesterday with Sean at a local bowling clinic, I have to say that I think he's a pretty decent and thoughtful guy who's just very serious about his bowling and extremely competitive once he laces up his bowling shoes.

    I suspect that he's learned his lesson, and Belmo has learned his.

  18. I did not hear anything until his ball already left his hand... however even if belmo did it intentionally, by accident or not at all.. Sean Rash is a roll model for kids and kids watch this and even had some in the audience he should be suspended or fined heavly at least angelo didnt blow up with profanity he knows hes got his voice miced grow up you remind me of those imature people at my local alley I bowl with on leagues..

  19. Just take a look at a previous Australian attempts to foil their opponents chances . . . .


    Of course the bottle was popped on purpose!

  20. @Kerry - OMG!!! Is this bozo SERIOUS? I guess he's a member of the Y-Generation - the seriously sensitive generation. During the 1970s and 1980s, the PBA Tour had more obnoxious people than just Rash. Does Marshall Holman come to mind? This guy used to punch lockers after loses, and at least once broke his knuckles because of it. He also destroyed a foul light, and many times made ridiculous rants on TV. He was fined thousands of dollars. And yet he voted in the top-50 all-time PBA. Ernie Schlegel is another character - at times he intimated players during matches. And look at what he did to Randy Pedersen during his last PBA Tour win in 1996 (watch it on YouTube.) And of course, Pete Weber! Alcoholic and at one time actually getting kicked out of the PBA.

    Kerry's the problem! What is he going to do - watch Japanese and Taiwanese bowling on YouTube? If you give up the PBA and USBC - what's left? It's like being anti-cow, but still claim to like beef. Grow some nads, and realize that unsportsman conduct is not killing the PBA Tour... IMO, the owners treating the PBA Tour like a redneck tractor pull or NASCAR event is what's causing the decline of the Tour. Don't go placing the decline on any individual bowler.

  21. Simple solution. Belmo, lose the bottle!

  22. Jason Belmonte is a piece of garbage. Watch the match against Brad Angelo and you can see that he trys to time his "crinkle" to distract him. Now here he is again trying to mess with someone in a match. Cant stand the guy.

    On the other hand Rash should not and can not be able to curse in that way on television. Call him out but no cursing. I was watching with my 11 and 15 year old sons for crying out loud. I am supposed to tell them that its ok to ack like that?

  23. Watch Belmontes eyes and facial expression in the Angelo match you can tell he is trying to "time" it so it bothers him.

    Why would he take THAT many small sips of water during an opponents approach and delivery?

    I cant stand "no thumbers" anyway.

  24. Don't worry about Belmo. He's learned his lesson. Besides, he's got a reputation to protect and preserve as this year's ESPY award winning "best bowler." ;-)

    But seriously folks, I don't believe that Belmo crinkled his bottle on purpose. I think he's a genuinely nice guy and good sportsman who had a bad habit that caused some problems. I also think Sean Rash is a decent fellow who REALLY wants to win and will watch his mouth better from now on.

    It's really interesting to see how much attention this whole "Bottlegate" business has attracted and how much passion it's stirred.

    Finally, to the commenter who says he "can't stand no thumbers," *I* usually throw my strike ball without my thumb. But at least you'll never have to catch so much as a glimpse of me on TV or Xtra Frame. I'm much too lousy to make it THAT far.

  25. We can say, bowling is a game that has been around longer. In particular, archaeologists have found the items for the bowling alley in Egypt dating around 5300 BC. Some archaeological evidence showed that the Indian bowling was played since ancient times. solar panelslohn

  26. I stand by what I've written previously about my perception of Belmonte. I think he's a good guy and a fantastic bowler. Did he crinkle his bottle to purposely distract Angelo and Rash? I don't think so.

    I realize that it looks like he could have, but appearances can be deceiving, and when they conflict with everything else you've seen in someone or know about him, I say there's a good chance that they ARE deceiving.

    In any case, I don't think that even if he did do it on purpose, it would make him "a piece of garbage." I think that's the kind of overreaction all too typical of people chomping at the bit to rush to condemnatory judgment of their fellow human beings.

  27. you think a pro bowler of the status of belmonte could afford a water bottle that didnt crinkle

  28. Well, it seems that he's now drinking out of a crinkle-free cup on the telecasts.

  29. Really? Done with the PBA and USBC completely? Get over it, its a stupid issue with a stupid plastic bottle and you're going to let that ruin you watching great bowlers do what they do on sunday? Im sorry but is it more childish that Sean did what he may or may not have done....or is it more childish that you're letting it ruin the sport of bowling for you? Lighten up and learn to enjoy a game for what it is...a game!

  30. It was OBVIOUSLY on purpose. Because he did it AGAIN 5 seconds later, only this time waiting for Rash to start his approach. If it was an accident, he would have made absolute sure to wait until after the ball was thrown. It isn't as if there is some really short strict time limit that would have prevented him fro waiting until the ball was thrown, then taking a drink as his leisure, and then still have time to take his turn.