Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Josh Blanchard's Fall Heard Round the World

"Trust me if they didn't show me and just showed Jason it would have been fine with me!!!" ~ Josh Blanchard, commenting on Facebook

My previous post featured a video of professional bowler Josh Blanchard hanging up in the thumbhole of his ball when he tried to release it and slipping on the oily heads past the foul line and falling in the channel on his butt on last Sunday's PBA telecast. I said nothing about Australian two-handed sensation Jason Belmonte bowling 300 in the next game and then defeating Brian Kretzer to advance to the PBA World Championship finals to be shown next Sunday.

And it seems that, despite the still relative rarity of 300 games on PBA telecasts (there have been only 21 in 50 or so years), Belmo's accomplishment garnered virtually no attention from the sports or news media. Instead, they were all about Blanchard's boo-boo, with ESPN even interviewing him by phone while playing endless slow motion repetitions of "the fall."

To Blanchard's credit, he handled the interview with good-natured grace, but I'm guessing that this isn't how he wanted to find himself featured on ESPN, as his quote above amply implies. Yet, should the media have ignored him or, at least, given equal coverage to Belmo's 300 and tournament victory?

This was probably the first time a bowler has ever fallen like that on TV compared to the 21 PBA perfectos that have been televised. Yet, if Belmo's 300 had been the first or only the second or third perfecto ever, I'm wondering if it wouldn't have still been eclipsed by Blanchard's fall so far as the media's concerned.

Some complained about the media's coverage. Others said they understood it, even agreed with it and that the PBA should be grateful for any mass media coverage it can get. What do you think?


  1. Poor guy...that stinks! I bet he's a really great bowler too...however it doesn't seem like he might be living this down anytime soon! Perhaps some complained about the media attention, however, isn't any news good news in the sense that it draws attention to the sport? ..

  2. I'm not too familiar with Josh Blanchard, but I'm guessing he's pretty darn good or he wouldn't have made it to the show in the first place. I do hope that his fall and low score on his first televised appearance doesn't get him down on himself and interfere with his professional bowling career.

  3. I was watching Xtra Frame coverage yesterday and saw Norm Duke do almost the exact same thing, except he didn't fall. Fortunately for Duke, because I'm sure that would have made its way around the Web, too. Somehow, when Duke stepped over the line, he managed to maintain his balance. Whew!

  4. I was out of the house most of the day yesterday and didn't see that incident with Duke, but maybe I'll catch it later. How fortunate, indeed, that Duke didn't fall the way Josh did. At his age, he might have injured in addition to embarrassing himself. ;-)