When I thought about writing this bowling column, I knew I wanted to include a feature I adopted from the Saginaw News into a bowling column in Houghton at the Daily Mining Gazette, the two newspapers I previously worked at during the 1980s and early 1990s.
That was spotlighting a bowler of the week, based on pins over average, among the men and women league bowlers in the area.
When I say area, I don't just mean Marquette County, though much of the material that comes through this column will be from Superior Lanes in Marquette and Country Lanes in Ishpeming.
If there's interest from other areas, I'd like to include the centers in Alger, Baraga, Luce and Schoolcraft counties - High Fives in Munising, Whirl-I-Gig in L'Anse, Press Box Lanes in Baraga, Tahqua Lanes in Newberry and Lakeview Lanes in Manistique. They're all areas we have daily subscribers for the humble product we produce every day.
I'll give it a trial run, but for sure, I'd like to recognize the man who bowls the most pins over average for a three-game series during the past week, and also the woman who does the same thing.
If there's enough interest from our non-Marquette County friends, we could do the county bowlers of the week, plus the outlying areas bowlers of the week.
Just a thought, though.
With the availability of email - all we had were faxes back in 1993, the last time I was doing this - this could be a pretty easy proposition nowadays.
This week, I'm going to try to collect the email addresses of league secretaries in Marquette County, since I'm on the association's board of directors. But if you secretaries want to be proactive, feel free to email me at the address at the end of this column, and if there's some questions about it, give me a call, since the editor's note lists my office extension, too.
What I'll need is your league, the bowler and his or her series with each individual game, the average entering and the number of pins over average.
I'm figuring a good guideline to start with is a minimum of 100 pins over average for the series, and unless two of them are particularly high, say maybe two men or two women go 150 over, I'll just need the single highest man and woman, if any, that go 100 or more over.
As we get into this more, we can probably move the minimum up so any given league would only be reporting a score about once every four or six weeks, but it's hard to tell where that should be until I start seeing what the scores are like.
Of course, as with any endeavor, you've got to lay out a few guidelines, but I'll try to limit them to as few as possible:
I wouldn't be surprised if somebody thinks I should make the cutoff 21 games, but that seems like a pain in the neck having to look up old numbers when the league is already going with this year's average, so hopefully nine games will be a good compromise.
I just didn't want to see a 170 average bowler happen to shoot 400 in the first week, then turn around and hit 600 the next week and suddenly be 200 pins over because of a bad first week.
It doesn't have to come from sandbagging, since most of us are probably rediscovering how tough it is to get back into the swing of things on the lanes after taking four or five months off.
I usually get out and bowl a little bit during the summer during weekly tournaments in Ishpeming since there's no commitment to show up week to week in them.
And I still have a hard time.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.