I spent the day yesterday with some big rollers in the bowling community as I continue my long march towards a fully integrated bowling vertical on Barstool. Think the golf tournament we do but at bowling alleys and with a shit load more booze and high fives and guys being dudes. That's my dream and COVID be damned I'm going to get us there boys. The wheels are in motion and I'm grinding it into existence. I want you to know that.
So there I am yesterday, hanging with the bowling crowd, talking shop and strategy when my guy Brian drops the 21-game bomb on me. Obviously I'm a bowling novice so my grasp of What's Amazing might not be as strong as others. But holy shit is 21 games a lot of 300 games in my unprofessional, unqualified opinion. My grandpa bowled in 3 leagues for like 60 years and he's got a handful of 298's. Some say the 13th frame is what killed him. Others say it was the booze and cigs. Either way he was a great fucking guy and an awesome bowler and he never did it once.
Naturally, I'm thinking to myself that I'm in the presence of greatness. Not only is Strikeforce Bowling VP of Operations a steady stick on the golf course. Not only is he well versed in broad ranges of global inventory management and customer relations. This dude's out here on Thursdays banging out 300's like a jazzed up hedge fund bro in a Bangkok whorehouse. TWENTY ONE TIMES he did it. Wow. I couldn't believe it, and this is where the story gets sad:
On it goes, one serious bowler after the other telling me I'm a moron for celebrating 300 games. That I suck and I'm stupid and Barstool is trash and has no place in the bowling community because I don't respect the game. 300 GAMES DONT EVEN COUNT ANYMORE I'm being told. Another guy legitimately challenged me to a fight because he thinks I'm a fraud for even getting excited about 21 much less 50 different 300 games. Like where the fuck is everyone getting all this time to be so dominant on the lanes? What's wrong with a little fun and games along the way?
IN A WAY THAT SHOWS I DON'T CARE?
I care buddy. Let that be a message and a lesson to everyone. I fucking care about bowling.
Am I the best? Most knowledgeable? Insightful or experienced? Do I have literally ANY qualifications at all? Yes: I have one, and it's major.
I love being at the alley. That's my qualification. I'm a purist for the activity. I love the camaraderie and the beers and the friends and how everyone is (usually) super nice and it's cheap and easy. Anyone can do it at basically any age. Nobody really cares if you suck. Everybody LOVES hanging with a good bowler and seeing the pin action. I love the thin crust pizza on the table and the card game that I literally never win but always put up the $10 for anyways. I love that the beer specials are actually ON SPECIAL and that there's this natural musk that reminds you of your Uncle Frank. I love the smoke breaks between league night games just to get the juices flowing. Stepping outside in a short sleeve shirt when it's 22 degrees out to bum a cig will always feel better than it sounds. And all of this stuff revolves around the fact that we're out bowling and having a good time.
I may not be the perfect bowling guy but I'm going to give you my best effort. If that ultimately sucks then so be it. But I won't stop being myself and that includes being fascinated with 21 separate 300 games.
And for what it's worth, the greatest bowler in the world still gets nervous:
So who knows. Maybe a perfect game is a big deal?