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April 7th, 2003

Changes in Bowling

(Since we hadn’t done a theme week on the Ping in quite a while and we skipped the observance of April Fool’s Day, Paul and I decided to take our snarky remaks to a new level and make the WWE proud by staging a fight. Granted, neither of us got our neck broken by a botched attempt at a Swanton Bomb off of a ladder, but we duked it out, fictionally, for the weekend. I was the “Stone Cold” to Paul’s Rock.

We hope you enjoyed our display of heelishness and weren’t too concerned about us or the Ping. We’ve managed to avoid a “real” fight for over ten years, and we attribute that success to one thing: we’ve only met in person once. If only all real-world relationships were that successful. Besides, if I was really angry at Paul, I would have replaced his picture on the About page with one of Fonzie the (allegedly) Fondling Clown.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled Ping, with no futher shenanegans planned.)

This weekend I went bowling and noticed a few things.

Back in the olden days (12 years ago) when I bowled in a Saturday league, we kept score by hand. Learning to score wasn’t terribly difficult and we never ran into the problem of having to fix a botched computer score when pins were knocked down during re-racking. The little wax pencils that we used to keep score were pretty cool, too, allowing us to mark off “beer frames” and change each other’s name on the overhead display very easily.

As I was bowling this weekend with computerized scoring, I realized that bowling’s attempt to become at all “with it” was its biggest mistake. Sure the computerized scoring is helpful for “casual bowlers,” but with it comes loud music (c’mon… music while bowling?!), flashy lights, and $2.50 shoe rentals. I feel like the good old days of bowling are gone. It seems like kids these days don’t know how to keep score and we can’t make the 0’s on “100” look like boobies anymore. What has the world come to?

Fortunately, teenage boys still act like jackasses when they bowl, even with all the technological advances. I’m glad to see some things haven’t changed.

Posted in Sports

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Monday April 7, 2003 -- 12:37:50 am
Great prank, guys. Let me get this out: I TOLD YOU SO!! (Man, I feel better.) I laughed my ass off. Great job, guys. :)

Onto bowling, yeah, I'm not a fan of a lot of the changes to bowling. I've been bowling since I was 6 (170 avg in my current league). Granted, the computer scoring takes some of the pressure off casual bowlers, But the prices have gone consistently up, for what? Adding black light? I can't even see the lanes if I try and bowl on a Saturday night.

For me, I'd like to be able to bowl with some friends, while having a few drinks without wondering where the arrows are and listening to gangsta rap and 15 year old girls giving shoutouts to "all her bitches on lane 16". Bah.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday April 7, 2003 -- 8:17:25 am
Yeah, I'm not keen on the changes to bowling, either. It's gotten all-electronic, loud, and expensive.

It's almost tempting to open up an old bowling alley AS an old bowling alley, but then it'd be 'cool' and 'retro'.

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday April 7, 2003 -- 8:38:23 am
I had a 150ish average back when I bowled regularly. However, a family bowling outing these days ends up costing $40. The only thing I like about the high tech scoring systems is that some alleys can pipe cable TV to the unused screens - so they have football games or whatever on too.

FROM: Rob [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday April 7, 2003 -- 12:41:51 pm
I never learned to score bowling. Someone else always did it, so I just never learned. I still don't quite know, really, and I should probably take the time to just look, as I'm sure it's easy. But the computers let me use them as a crutch anyhow.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday April 7, 2003 -- 2:35:28 pm
Rob -- It's really quite easy. There's only three or four "rules." You could figure it out with four or five months of studying, max.

FROM: Rob [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday April 7, 2003 -- 3:02:58 pm
I don't know... I'm a little slow. It might take me a whole year to learn all that. Once I get that arithmetic stuff down, that is.

FROM: Marcus Mackey
DATE: Tuesday April 8, 2003 -- 6:08:30 pm
Rather than retro Paul, why not apply a "Best Stores" mentality to a "NEW-age" alley? It could be retro in how the lanes are presented (like actually "LIT"), but modern in how different from the past it truly is (maybe each lane is raised and separated from one another slightly, or perhaps the lanes are staggered in heights to be "unique" architecturally), even perhaps in how it's lit and presented (ambient "WHITE" light that's bright enough to see what's going on, unique surfacing of lanes, etc. etc.). Hell, how about having lights project out of the gutters top edge (could be curved up higher) onto the lanes for better visibility down the lanes? The possibilities are endless...

Hell, how about a Mac-based scoring system that finally puts a legitimate use to "Inkwell". ;) Make it a truly "EASY" system that's easy to score, and let Ryan make his boobies and beer frame annotations as Bowling was intended to be. :) That way, you could still have the automated scoring assistance... but have the flexibility to bypass the computer for corrections via a simple erase/write function on the scoring pad, or even moreso... add to the abilities that the "RIGID" and difficult (did BMW hire the bowling alley lane people for their do-all computer or what?) computer systems have taken away.

Do that and the PBA would be knocking down your door to get away from the truly mundane. You'd probably get more people to bowl too without all of the razzle-dazzle garbage.

So when does McAleer's Best Lanes open? ;) I might have to break out my ball and see *IF* I can develop a respectable average. LoL

Joshua April 19, 2007, 11:44 pm

I have to agree with the saddness of changing of the bowling guard so to speak. My first job was at the local bowling alley (now it’s a god damn Wal Greens). I go to know the ins and outs of bowling culture. I was pretty much raised in the two “Saturday Churches” in town.

I spent some time over seas in the military and came home after a successful tour, while I must respect the idea to broaden the spectrum of bowling customers, must it be at the sacrifice of the essence of the game. I still bowl on Thursday nights and carry a 196 average, (damn 10 pins are my weakness), I used to enjoy keeping score by hands and putting “stoppers” such as barbed wire, and brick walls, as well as putting the roof over a 111 to make a house. Call me superstitious, but I think somewhere in the back of our minds it’s still plays a little trick on us.

I love to rainbow or raindrop bowling, that was the most fun a guy in a hick town such as mine could have, however adding the ear drum crushing of the newest hippest ghetto music in the world, drives the experience down. You have to shout to talk to someone thats 2 inches in front of your nose. Don’t get me started on “Cosmic Bowling”. Isn’t America Great, where a 15 year old girl can look trashier than a 27 year old skank, and complain because older guys look at them, and boyfriends get slapped by their of age girlfriends because they can’t believe what they see?…

Raise your glasses boys…Real bowling is over and done with, done in by over hyping a great sport.

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