by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
We’ve heard the term “Grand Slam” overused in many sports, including baseball, golf, and tennis. Even a co-sponsor of the PBA Tour, Denny’s restaurants features a grand slam breakfast on their menu. We could also stretch it to pro wrestling, with grand being a thousand, slam being slam, and Grand Slam being the number of times the claw master, Baron Von Raschke threw Scrap Iron George Gadaski to the mat. West Side Lanes in St. Paul is home to the Marty O’Neill Classic league, in memory of the somewhat timid ring announcer for the AWA.
The Professional Bowlers Association has tried various gimmicks to stir interest and build a fan base for bowling at the high level. Millions of Americans bowl, but they can’t seem to find ESPN on Sundays. They have tried a house lane pattern, a plastic ball tournament, and their standard PBA patterns named after creatures found mainly in western South America. Those who have taken the time to log in to mnbowling and read this article understand what’s going on, but does the average bowling fan really want to watch Norm Duke defeat Parker Bohn 203-191?
That would be like me tuning into a PGA golf tournament to watch Tiger or Phil slice a drive behind a tree, punch out, shank the approach into a greenside bunker, flip it on the green and three putt for a 7. Why watch something I can do myself?
So it’s time to shake things up. First, maybe they would consider giving championship belts to the winners instead of trophies.
Second, We’re tired of these interviews:
“I just want to make 12 good shots and see what happens”.
It’s time for “Grand Slam Bowling”. We need a mousey little announcer to hold interviews, (Rob Stone will do). Then pre match hype would go something like this.
“Let me tell you something, Rob. They don’t call me the Big Nasty for nuttin’. I’m going to wipe the approaches with Minimum Bob and send him back to the Mixed Nuts league in Sparta, Mississippi ! Then I’m going to take care of the dolly sisters Barnes and Weber, and me and Miss Elizabeth are going to the saloon and have a few beers.”
Smith comes running out - “Rob, I just heard that punk, the Big Musty, or whatever his name is call me Minimum Bob. Let me tell you something. He’s going down in ten frames, even if I have to loft the ball 40 feet.” It would also help to have a few scantily clad women hand their bowler a towel during the match, and maybe dab the beads of sweat from their eyebrows. We would also like to see the players’ ball rep sneak into the settee area in the 7th frame and untie the shoes of the opponent when the referee is distracted by a hairspray incident on Lane 43. The final touch … The good guy wins, but the bad guy then slams him in the head with a 2 X 4 from… where else? Lumber Liquidators. Don’t forget the fake blood. Who knows? When their bowling career is over, maybe one of them could run for governor of Minnesota.