by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
All sports endure changes over time. There’s generally some feel good press release to explain why changes are made, but 99% of the time, it’s about the money We live in a capitalist economy, which is the worst type of economy in the world, except for all the others, and the big potatoes are always looking for ways to increase the bottom line.
Major league baseball changed the game in 1973 when the American League added the designated hitter. Bud Selig introduced interleague play during the regular season and that has added to ticket sales. Gloves are as big as my bowling bag, helmets have earflaps, but so far they have shunned aluminum bats to hit the ball farther, however some have opted for steroids to accomplish this feat.
Golf has introduced square grooves, graphite shafts, titanium metal “woods”, hi tech long and soft golf balls, and huge souvenir tents at PGA events. They balance it by moving tees back 75 yards and cutting the pin 6 feet from the front of the green behind a 12 foot deep sand trap located just to the right of a lake. Then there is also a guy named Woods who helps spike the ticket sales and TV viewing audience. The pros accept the challenges gracefully, while I prefer to play the local course from the senior tees with the pin cut in the middle of a flat green.
Bowling has added urethane, then reactive resin, and particle bowling equipment costing almost as much as a “Big Bertha”, and most centers have converted to synthetic lanes and approaches, a computer that keeps track of your score, and synthetic oil to try to keep your last shot the same as your first one. Bowling centers are no longer above the liquor store, or in the basement below the pool hall. The PBA challenges the pros with oil patterns named after creatures, that will lower anyone’s average 20 pins before they change their shoes.
Paul Simon - “After changes upon changes, things are more or less the same” Advancements in equipment are not a bad thing. They hope to make your recreation more enjoyable so you will come back often, and of course, spend more money. But be careful of electronic technology. If I can’t make it to my league next week, I’ll just have my cell phone bowl for me.
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