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In Sports Commentary

Add bowling to the list of Dave Begel's not-so-favorite sports.

Bowling: Sport or not?


Once upon a time, I met a short little guy who exuberantly shook my hand and introduced himself as "Tye Critchlow, PBA."

Tye was the Rookie of the Year in the Professional Bowling Association and, much like my soccer friends do, he spent an hour telling me how bowling was going to be the next big sport in Milwaukee as well as the rest of America.

Yeah, right.

I've got news for Critchlow. Not only is bowling not the next big sport in Milwaukee and the rest of America, it doesn't even qualify as a sport.

In fact, here are my top 10 reasons why bowling isn't and never will be considered a sport:

10. Until people passed a bunch of crazy laws you could smoke and still bowl.

9. You can drink beer, rum and Cokes, whiskey sours and wine spritzers and get chicken wing sauce on your ball and nobody thinks you are odd.

8. There are no uniforms. Most men wear double-knit pants and untucked shirts. Women wear culottes or short skirts, no matter what kind of legs they have. Sleeveless blouses are also big. And what's up with those shoes?

7. When a group of young people gets drunk by 10 p.m., they decide to go bowling because it's fun to watch their friends fall down and slide along the alley.

6. If your Wonderlic score is under 20 you can't figure out how to keep score.

5. You can't name two professional bowlers without looking it up on the Internet.

4. Bowling is too easy. Anybody can do it. Make the ball weigh 50 pounds and put 50 pins down there and then maybe we can get a sport.

3. There is no fantasy bowling league.

2. Hollywood producers tried to start "Bowling with the Stars" but Kathy Griffin, Eric Estrada, Heidi Montag, Richard Simmons, Kevin Federline, Judge Judy, Sylvester Stallone, Ricardo Montalban (dead), Tony Curtis (dead), Gary Coleman (dead) and Ron Jeremy all declined because they didn't want to associate with bowling, even if it was on weekly television.

And the number one reason bowling isn't a real sport ...

Can you say "Poker gets more coverage on ESPN."

Talkbacks

MrHuber | Nov. 25, 2010 at 7:38 a.m. (report)

Begel, you only see Bowling as a game here in Milwaukee because more people play it during the winter when there's nothing to do. I've heard stories from a few friends down south that during some nights they go to baseball and football fields to run the bases and climb the goal posts pretending they're in college again when they're all slobbered and have nothing to do. They can do that there because of the weather. You're going to find bad manners with anything you enjoy. Bowling is actually a much better way to socially interact than most sports, and with the stupid senseless text-messaging era that is hitting harder than Juan Pierre and making most people dumber I wouldn't hesitate in letting my child be a part of the sport.

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Broner | Nov. 24, 2010 at 9:44 p.m. (report)

Actually, the #4 you site is my retort to Dave's #4.

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DanEBoy | Nov. 24, 2010 at 5:16 p.m. (report)

Broner: My viewpoint was not that bowling was not a sport, because I contend that it should be classified as a sport. My reply was more to comment on Dave's 4th point, which said "bowling may be easy but bowling well is not". If anyone thinks that lane conditions and the lack of the ABC not controlling these conditions is not a factor. Then they know very little about the sport.

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Broner | Nov. 24, 2010 at 10:47 a.m. (report)

@DanEBoy, I don't know that different/better lane conditions are an argument that bowling isn't a sport. More 300 games might be bowled than before but it's not like the average person walks in from the street and rolls a 300. People who bowl 300s put in a lot of time. Look at the advances in equipment and conditions in virtually every sport. A few examples: Basketball hoops have better backboards and more forgiving rims, golf clubs and balls make old ones pale in comparison, and shoes for every sport have been crafted specifically for increased performance where a split second or inch makes the difference between winning and losing. Again, I don't really care if people care whether bowling is a sport or something else. This was just Dave stirring the pot with lousy points.

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DanEBoy | Nov. 23, 2010 at 5:50 p.m. (report)

Dave is right about bowling being easy. Case in point would be that years ago, the American Bowling Congress had strict rules on lane conditions. As a result a 300 game was an unusual event and for some a happening of a lifetime. If you check the Journal-Sentinel bowling scores each morning you'll find that some folks have 20, 30, and even 50 or more perfect games What's wrong with this picture? Sounds easy to me.

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