You may not have heard of Kolan McConiughey, but President Obama has, and so has Mika Koivuniemi.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
You may not have heard of Kolan McConiughey, but President Obama has, and so has Mika Koivuniemi.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
"I like both guys, but I was there about 10 feet away. Jason did NOT wait until Brad released the ball. As a matter of fact, Jason did it twice within a minute. The first time Brad stepped off and reset. The second time he was already on his way to the foul line. Jason was wrong on this one."
"Intentional or not the water bottle noise is distracting, the entire center is quiet and the guy behind you crinkles a bottle, wtf! You wouldn't see that at a PGA event, hopefully lesson learned."
"Belmo seems like he is too nice of a guy to do something like that. I never heard any water bottle make noise so I think Brad is just being a big baby. He needs to learn to block stuff from his head. I thought that is what pros are supposed to do. Must be why he is not on TV much lol."
"First off - Brad and I had a chat directly after the match. We hugged and made up. He explained that he over reacted in the heat of the moment and I told him how awful I felt. Brad is not a D-Bag, quite the opposite.Now, what I told him: I explained to him the first time the bottle cracked was completely my fault. I didn't expect the bottle to crack like it did and I should have paid more attention to my competitor. The 2nd time I waited till the ball was off his hand till I unscrewed the cap to have a quick sip before I had to bowl. Problem was that the bottle made a single pop sitting in my hand. I didn't attempt to open the bottle in his swing like people or the PBA are trying to suggest. That would be a D-Bag move and last time I checked I'm not a D-Bag.
There was a noise, a single pop and it did put him off. We bowlers get 10 frames to make the 10 best shots we can on TV, I felt horrible because I accidentally took one of those shots away.
I'm a little sad to see the PBA try and blow this out of proportion, considering the match itself is a great match and was very close all the way to the end. Clutching at straws I guess.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
"Every bowler throws a good shot now and then, relative to his or her skill level. But what's the one thing most bowlers don't want to do? Change! I hear it all the time. I want to raise my average, increase my rev rate, have better balance, I want to throw it better, but I don't really want to change my game." Well, guess what? That's pretty much exactly what I try to do as a coach. That is, changing a bowler's game without them feeling that they are being changed."
"The hardest part for me is when the feedback I get from a bowler comes in the "I pulled it" or "I elbowed it," variety, which is basically just a bunch of baloney about the release which, in reality, is more a byproduct of something that went wrong somewhere in the approach way before that. It's simple cause and effect. The bad release is the effect and once you find the cause and fix it, a miracle happens. The bowler has the "A-HA" moment. Now you have something, because once a bowler knows what he does (and what it feels like) when he throws his best shots, and can then start to tell me why he missed in a larger (and sometimes, like Barnes, more mechanical) vocabulary. At that point, the improvement is immediate."
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
1st, 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions
1st, USBC Queens
1st, U.S. Women's Open
1st, PBA regional, Lakewood, Wash.
1st, Pan American Confederation Women's Championships doubles
1st, Pan American Confederation Women's Championships team
1st, Malaysian Open
2nd, Pan American Confederation Women's Championships all-events
3rd, Pan American Confederation Women's Championships singles
3rd, Pan American Confederation Women's Championships trios
5th, PBA Earl Anthony Memorial Women's Series
7th, PBA Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles
PBA Women's Series average - 219.32
PBA Women's Series earnings - $46,440
1st, Japan Open including a 300 game
6th, PBA Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles
PBA Women's Series average - 198.42
PBA Women's Series earnings - $3,000
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
After the recent Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship, I wrote here that I would rather see bowlers required in all elite level tournaments to use bowling balls with polyester coverstocks and simple layouts so that the sport would downplay the importance of bowling ball technology and return to emphasizing a bowler's physical and mental skills. It seems that Chris Hardwick, the multi-talented son of bowling legend Billy Hardwick, agrees and would like to see bowlers at all levels subject to the same restrictions.
These new balls and surfaces mean more strikes, which means higher scores and more perfect games. By some counts, amateur bowlers can average 40 pins higher per game than a professional bowler did 40 years ago — and that's not because of some recently evolved mutation in the human bowling gene. Look, we all want to excel at bowling. How else would we attract potential sex partners? Not to go all Harrison Bergeron on you, but when everyone bowls perfect games, then no one bowls a perfect game. Sure, other sports have tech. A titanium shaft and weighted clubhead will let you hit 300-yard drives until your spine unhinges, but they'll still slice. With bowling, the equation is simpler. More tech equals more strikes.
As a purist of the sport, I'm grateful for the change. We should have to earn our marks the way our daddies (or, at least, mine) did: with hard rubber balls on wood, a hot lamp over the scoring table burning our hands and faces, and watered-down American beer lubricating each frame until we go home smelling like an ashtray in a chemical plant. "Keep yer got-damn science off mah balls!" we'll cry, and life will be good and pure and true.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I love the PBA plastic ball championships. And, if the truth be told, I wish there were more of them. I hate how having the right ball in one's hands seems to have become more important than throwing the ball with the right speed along the right line with the right kind of roll, and how the touring, ball staff member pros with their armies of ball reps and unlimited access to equipment seem to have such an unfair advantage over their less privileged brethren.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The first was about Walter Ray Williams Jr. It began with the words: “The man many consider the best bowler in history arrived at the United States Open virtually unnoticed.” Later, it described how he “parked his motor home in the lot, walked into the site of the United States Open--his favorite event and one he has won twice--and received roughly the same reception as everyone else in the building.” I also remember someone commenting on PBA Xtra Frame recently that there were very few people watching Walter Ray bowl qualifying.
How is it that this man, of whom Norm Duke is quoted as saying, “He’s the very best, I think, ever,” receives so little recognition outside or even inside his sport from sports and bowling fans?
The article attributes much of this to Walter Ray’s self-described “loner” personality. No doubt there’s some truth to this, along with the fact that Walter has never been a flashy player or personality like, say, Pete Weber. But does one of the greatest bowlers if not the greatest bowler of all time need to be a raging extrovert or a master of flamboyance to receive his due from no less than the bowling fans who flock to major tournaments such as the U.S. Open?
Can you think of any other sports where active all-time champions can walk amongst their biggest fans “virtually unnoticed”? I’m not a golf fan, but Jack Nicklaus never struck me as a particularly outgoing or flamboyant guy, and neither does Tiger Woods, yet neither had any trouble being noticed if not mobbed by adoring crowds. So, why not Walter Ray Williams Jr.?
Some might say it’s because bowling fans are too intelligent or classy for hero-worship. Oh, they respect what Walter Ray has accomplished, but they’re too cool to let it show. Too “cool” to even stand behind him and watch professional bowling’s all-time champion and seven time Player of the Year bowl in a big tournament?
The second New York Times article was about Kelly Kulick. It detailed her unbelievable season last year and how little recognition, beyond an initial flash of limited media attention, and financial reward she received from it all. “No endorsement offers. No big payday...No calls to appear with Oprah, Ellen, or Rachel Ray, which she really wanted. No lasting mainstream recognition. No new car,” says the article. And I’m guessing that she doesn’t receive much more notice from bowling fans at tournaments than does Walter Ray despite her miraculous accomplishments last year.
Why does bowling draw so little appreciation from even its own fans that even its biggest stars go “virtually unnoticed”? And how can bowling thrive at the professional or any level as long as this continues to be the case?
I’m glad America’s premiere newspaper featured articles about these two great bowlers last week. But if bowling fans themselves don’t start giving players like Walter Ray and Kelly Kulick more attention and respect, professional bowling's future doesn't look very bright.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Yesterday, I posted about how some have criticized Mika Koivuniemi for "choking" and being too theatrical and unsportsmanlike at the end of the U.S. Open last Sunday. And some in my bowling league have said they can't "stand" him. By contrast, bowling fans everywhere seem to adore and almost revere Norm Duke, and one hears nary a bad word about him.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I loved Mika the "Drama Queen" missing the 10 pin, he should get an Oscar for that, the falling on the approach was one thing, sitting with his hands in his head when he should have gotten to his feet and congratulated Duke was inexcusable. Suck it up boy, you made a bad shot. If Duke does not stone an 8 pin you are a dead duck anyway.
I'm guessing that Mika's loudest detractors not only won't ever have to "handle something like that," but that, if they did, they'd be so nervous they'd miss the 10 pin by throwing the ball in the opposite gutter several feet down the lane, and then they'd bawl like a baby afterward. ;-) What's the old saying, "Those who can, do, and those who can't, teach."? Well how about, Those who slam sports competitors can neither do nor teach.? ;-)
Mika bowled almost superhumanly well all day to find himself in that pressure-packed situation, and then he made a very human mistake at the end, just as Norm made one earlier in the game. Both bowled like champions, and both deserve praise rather than blame. Yes, Mika was upset, but only at himself, and he later said nice things about Norm. And life goes on.
Actually, I don’t accept the saying, “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.” I understand that there are some excellent teachers among the ranks of the finest men and women bowlers in the world, including Norm Duke and Kelly Kulick. I’d gladly take lessons from them any day, and I was fortunate enough a few months ago to receive some coaching from Bill O’Neill. Now, if only I’d follow his advice.
I personally didn’t take offense at Mika’s reaction at the end. He had just lost $40,000 and the most coveted title in bowling by a mere few inches. Well, actually, he would have still needed an eight count on the next ball to clinch it, and that’s no gimme on a flat oil pattern. Remember Walter Ray, of all people, needing an eight count to make it to the U.S. Open TV finals last year and getting six? But the point is, I don’t think anyone can reasonably blame Mika for being as upset as he was, and I don’t think he acted egregiously in his upset. Furthermore, he did compliment Norm in his post-game comments.
What do you think? Do you think Mika’s conduct was inexcusably unsportsmanlike? Furthermore, do you think his missing that 10 pin will haunt him and, when and if he faces a similar situation in the future, cause him to miss again?