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Internet opens new horizons for bowling

But it’s too easy to get addicted

November 8, 2011
The Mining Journal

OK, I'll admit I'd been putting off something that Country Lanes league secretary Joleen North told me about right at the beginning of the season in early September.

On Monday, I finally checked out the www.bowl.com website for some of its videos.

Not that I didn't want to see them. Heavens, I'm a junkie when it comes to bowling on TV, which this basically qualifies as, even if my computer can't do the picture the justice that even my 10-year-old TV can.

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And not that I'm afraid to wade through the techno-garble hoops that somebody half, or a third, or in the best-case scenario, about a fifth of my nearly 50 years is much better at.

No, it's because I'm afraid I'll get addicted. I've got hundreds of hours of programs to watch on my VCR (yes, not DVR!) and I can't afford to eat up a lot of time watching bowling on the Internet. Priorities, man!

But on Monday, I broke down and took a peek at some of the bowl.com videos, if for no other reason than to have a good topic for today's column.

Fortunately, I waited till late afternoon, so I couldn't waste the entire day wading through about 15 videos of this past summer's Senior PBA Masters, a half-dozen of the USBC Junior Gold championships for teenagers, or what I counted as 29 separate videos from the World Championships, held in of all places, Hong Kong.

Trust me, I'll be taking a look at these vids a lot more in-depth in the coming weeks, and probably report on some of what I found in this space.

The advent of the Internet and digital cable have reopened opportunities to watch bowling again after it's fallen into disrepute, I think is the correct term, on free TV and even basic cable TV.

I've seen a few videos on places like YouTube, but what I like best are old ABC and ESPN shows of Professional Bowlers Association events on ESPN Classic, which is Channel 158 on Charter, meaning you have to have digital cable to access it.

I'm not always checking the listings, but it seems like this channel shows two or three old finals back-to-back about once a week.

Some are just from last season, but one day I stumbled across a really old show from 1961, the year I was born. Of course it was in black and white and the picture quality was so-so, but what a time capsule.

The guys all had on bowling "blouses," the glasses were all horn-rimmed and the haircuts looked like post-World War II basic training. Great!

On the Bowler of the Week front, I had a number of nice men's scores reported, but only one for the women - Heather Sandberg shooting 89 pins over her 186 average in the Wednesday Country Lanes Trio League with a 647 series.

For the men, the top shooter was actually in the Monday Northern Michigan University bowling class at Superior Lanes, Zachary Owen rolling 187 pins over his 176 average with a 715 that included a high game of 259.

As I mentioned here last week, instructor and local bowling legend Hope Virch (she'll hate that description of her) runs the class like a league with instruction for the students mixed in. I suppose in some ways that gives them an edge - imagine how much better you'd be if somebody fixed your mistakes all the time, unless you're like (pigheaded) me.

On the regular league front, John Kauppila of Marquette was 160 over his 164 average with 652 in the Tuesday Mixed League at Superior, with a high game of 244.

Just behind him was 157-average Michael Oman in the Friday 800 Mixed at Superior at +156 with a 627 series and 233 high game.

From Country Lanes, Andy Goldsworthy was 142 over his 206 mean with a nice 760 on games of 258, 266 and 236 in the Tuesday Miller Genuine Draft Major League.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.

 
 

 

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