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calendar   Wednesday - March 02, 2011

Squaring The Turkey

There haven’t been any bowling post lately for a reason. I got tired of writing variations on “I bowled OK but our team got beat anyway” every week. Team Loser has been doing worse than the Mets or the Cubs in an off year. That’s bad. Last week we won just one game. The two weeks before that, none. One game the week before that, several weeks of no wins at all. You get the picture. I don’t think we’ve taken as many as four points since ... around Christmas? We’ve got such a lock on last place that, with 8 weeks left, even if we won every game from now until the end of the season we’d still be in last.

So last night our guy Joe didn’t show up, so our effective handicap got reduced by his absentee penalty. Thanks Joe. Thanks for calling ahead and lining up a sub. We were bowling the 2nd place team; their team average is roughly 175 points higher than ours. Every guy on their team has thrown at least one 300 this season. We were in for a slaughtering. Again. As usual.

So I didn’t care. Fuggedabowdit. So I just bowled. I’ve mentioned before how my game improves when I don’t try. Seriously, for me bowling is an inversely proportional activity. The less I do the better I do. Go figure.

During warm up I realized that the right lane was one board off from the left lane, so I did my best to remember that. I’m the lead bowler, so I started the first game and rolled a strike. And so did the rest of my team. Nice. Then I rolled another one. And another one. A turkey! Yay! Out on the approach going into the 4th I had a moment of doubt and figured I’d mess this frame up, but I talked myself out of that and threw another strike. Ham bone! Then I threw two more in the 5th and 6th. Nice. Never in my life have I ever thrown more than seven in a row, so the self-doubt came bubbling up again in the 7th. And I put it away again, and just relaxed and kept my head down and kept my eyes focused on my target ( the 7 board, about 15 feet out, even though I always throw inside that. This is because I don’t have binocular vision and I’m right handed but left eye dominant. So I target off to the right to compensate ), came through the ball, and threw another strike. Hell yeah. But I kept my elation hidden as was cool about it; you never tempt fate by crowing about your own success. At this point the rest of Team Loser is doing just a little over average, but enough so that we are holding on to our entire net handicap of 130-something. I was savoring the sweet sweet mental taste of a 150 in the 5th, which is a perfect score at the halfway point. I’ve only known that taste once before. [ in bowling, scoring a strike gives you 10 points plus the score of the next 2 balls you roll, so when you roll a big bunch of strikes each one earns you 30 points for the frame before the previous one. Thus a 150 is a perfect score in the 5th frame because you’ve rolled 7 strikes in a row, a 180 is a perfect score in the 6th frame because you’ve rolled 8, etc. ]

I kept my Zen state and threw a strike in the 8th, and broke my personal best record. Forget that 150 in the 5th feeling; 180in the 6th is sweeter. So is 210 in the 7th, which I found out when I struck again in the 9th. Nine strikes in a row. A turkey of turkeys; squaring the bird. Horry Clap! And then I realized that I was Almost There. Could I do it? Could I go all the way? Why not? I wasn’t nervous at all starting the 10th frame. I wasn’t thinking that I was on the very edge of throwing a perfect 300 game. At least I wasn’t actively thinking that, right at that moment. I think. But something inside said “let’s try for it” ... and trying is the wrong thing for me to do. Just as my arm was swinging past my offside foot I felt that something was wrong. My elbow bent in too soon, and I pulled the shot. 7 pins, leaving the 3-6-10. Crap. But more of an “Oh well” than a “#*&!!” because I was still in that Zen state. I shifted left 3 boards, threw my strike ball line, and made the spare, then casually threw another strike to finish the 10th, so I wound up throwing 10 strikes and a spare for a 277.

X X X X X X X X X 7/ X.

Which is the best game I have ever thrown, by 19 pins. And I won myself another exciting USBC refrigerator magnet award. And I’m quite pleased with that, even if the prize itself is a cheap bit of cardboard.

image

The 300 game? It will happen, someday. If I can roll 10 and a spare, then I can roll 12.

We won that game by 148 pins. The other team beat us in game 2; I went back to throwing strikes, but spared in the 2nd frame and a couple others, so I finished with a 193. I really really wanted to hit over 210 in that game, to put me in a good position to roll a 700 series, which is another bowling milestone I have never managed. But it didn’t happen. This time. We lost the 2nd game by about 100 pins. Our opponents were getting tired in the 3rd game, and the rest of my team finally woke up. That’s a good thing, because by that point I had lost the focus and had forgotten to keep my head down and my eyes on the target. So I messed up bad, and only threw a 161. We won that game, and actually got wood for the first time in I can’t remember when. 5 points for Team Loser! Woo hoo! And I finished with a 631 series, which is pretty darn good for me, but nowhere near the 700 I dared to dream of for half an hour. Someday!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/02/2011 at 09:43 AM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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