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Author Topic: May Column  (Read 3664 times)

Rommaker

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May Column
« on: April 30, 2003, 05:17:12 AM »
My May column has just been posted on the Alabama Bowling web site. This month's column is entitled:

"The PWBA - Professional or Pathetic?"

As bowlers, the fate of the PWBA should concern us all. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with my opinion, let's hope that something give's this organzation a much-needed shot in the arm!

Click the link in my signature to go to the web site.
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Rommaker
.... strokin' to please!


Check out my monthly column,

"A Little Off My Mark" at:  http://www.alabamabowling.com/home.shtml



 

mumzie

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Re: May Column
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2003, 10:47:57 PM »
Sent you an email...
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da Shiv

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Re: May Column
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2003, 06:57:43 AM »
Personally, one of the main reasons I watch pro bowling on TV is in the hopes of learning something.  For that reason, I enjoy watching the women bowlers at least as much if not more so than the men.  On the PBA shows, I enjoy seeing the different guys and their different styles, while still hoping to see at least one or two per telecast that have a style similar enough to mine that I can maybe pick up a few things from watching their approach, armswing, and release closely.  The men have a combination of power and accuracy that is amazing.  Most of us men bowlers can perhaps approach them in either power or accuracy, but getting the two in combination--that's the trick that keeps the vast majority of us off the PBA tour.  That said, I kind of enjoy the PWBA shows a little more.  That's because, with few exceptions (Michelle Feldman) most of the women don't match the men in power and have games that rely much more on accuracy and shot repitition.  As a mere mortal male, I find that I can learn more from watching the women pros than from watching the men pros  do things with the ball that I can never hope to do.  A particular favorite thing to do of mine is to watch the release point in slow motion.  Unfortunately, this doesn't work when the lefties are bowling because the camera is always positioned over the bowler's right shoulder and it is therefore impossible to see the lefties' release.

To get to the issue of the telecasts, that's a hard one.  For me personally, the thing that bothers me the most is that it is the same seven or eight bowlers on every time.  The top men are on the PBA telecasts, too, but usually there is at least one fresh face.  On the women's telecasts, this rarely happens, and that gets boring.  Of course, that leads to one of the problems--there are usually only about 40-50 women entered in a tournament, so the possibilities of fresh faces are limited.  It also seems clear that one of the reasons there are so few entrants is that the prize money is so pitiful, most can't even meet expenses.  Just recently, I spoke to one of the women pros who lives around here.  She has won several national tournaments.  I inquired about a couple of the women I had bowled with in a pro-am before a PWBA tournament near here (more on that below) last year.  She said both of them had left the tour and gotten what she called "real jobs" because they couldn't make ends meet on tour.  I'd sure like to see the prize money beefed up, but it seems unlikely.  

For a couple years, the PWBA had an event in one of the houses where I bowl--Shore Lanes in St. Clair Shores, MI.  I went every night to watch all the qualifying and I went to the TV finals too.  Crowds were quite large.  I talked to some of the pros and they said that the crowds on the non-TV nights were bigger than what they were used to, and that they liked it.  The tournament was held there for two years.  When I noticed that the tournament was not coming back, I asked the center manager about it, and he said that the house was expected to foot too much of the bill for the prize fund and they couldn't afford it in spite of the large crowds.  (The PWBA is having a tournament at another house in this area this month, and I wish it success and I hope to go.)  

Back to the telecasts.  The announcers keep it pretty non-technical so as not to lose the casual viewer.  More serious bowlers would like more, but they don't want to lose the casual viewer and they probably figure the fanatics will watch anyway.  If they "Vegas up" the telecast with the usual American staples--bright lights, loud noise, and cheap theatrics like provocative clothing--then they risk disgusting and losing the serious bowlers in the audience--possibly without even gaining much in the way of additional viewers who can get the  lights, noise, and T&A in ample measure from non-sports such as wrestling and Fox news.

 I enjoy the PWBA shows, I bowl in the pro-ams, and I go and watch the live action when they're around here.  I don't know what else I can do.  The PWBA is in a tough spot and I wish them well.

Shiv

Maybe ballreviews member kimbo will get involved in this discussion.  It would be interesting to get the viewpoint of a PWBA multi-winner.

Edited on 5/1/2003 7:07 AM
Listening to the monotonous staccato of rain on my desk top

Rommaker

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Re: May Column
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2003, 08:27:25 AM »
Thanks for reading the column, Shiv.

As I stated in the column, I enjoy watching good bowling regardless of gender. Our sport is one of the rare birds where neither gender, age, ethnicity, or IQ guarantees victory.

I watch these ladies with a sense of awe and amazement, I really never tire of the same faces as long as they have the game to get them to the finals. Watching Michelle Feldman bowl is a treat. Kinda like watching Laura Davies play golf. That kind of overwhelming power is rarely seen in women's sports. Generally speaking, the women's game is one of finesse and accuracy, and there is certainly room on my plate to appreciate the mental toughness it takes to compete. But the telecasts are, to quote Simon Cowell, "simply dreadful". One would think they are watching a funeral wake instead of sporting event. There is vast room for improvement, and my opinion is that steps should be taken immediately to enhance the telecasts. America seems to crave "flash". The nation's atttention span is woefully short. So in order to keep the viewership among other than the most staunch of the fan base, the excitement level must, somehow, be increased.

As for the prize fund, it seems to be a pretty simple matter of securing some major corporate sponsorship in order to make amounts more attractive to keep the young talent in the game. Perhaps if Madison Avenue felt that their advertising dollar was well spent with the PWBA, they would stop throwing their dollars at Lifetime <the man-hater's channel> or Oprah. But I wouldn't imagine that any ad exec in his right mind is going to toss megabucks in the direction of the PWBA until there is some degree of certainty that viewership is on the increase. Catch-22? Not really. But you must start with a team of announcers that act like they're happy to be there as well as a high level of external enthusiasm on the part of the participants. While I certainly support a "non-technical" approach to TV commentary, you must still have some excitement about it. In the column, I merely lament the lack of excitement on the broadcasts.

For the record, I agree with you concerning the "T&A" aspect. While I find the current attire on tour to be ... well, shall we say "dated" ... I do not endorse anything too revealing. But who wants to see a woman, or man, stuffed into an outfit that seems 3 sizes too small for them? But we can address the clothing issue later. Right now, all I am really after is some enthusiasm. I want to see the participant share their passion with the audience! I want to see some charisma! I want them to make me look forward to next week's tournament! I want some electricity! In my opinion, it just seems that they, for the most part, simply go through the motions.

I would consider it an honor if Kimbo would weigh in on this issue. Her opinion certainly carries a great deal of weight with it considering her status in the bowling community.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment, Shiv ... I appreciate it.
--------------------

Rommaker
.... strokin' to please!


Check out my monthly column,

"A Little Off My Mark" at:  http://www.alabamabowling.com/home.shtml



da Shiv

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Re: May Column
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2003, 09:21:31 AM »
You make a good point about enthusiasm.  That's something that they could fix pretty fast, I would think.  Right now the announcers tend to talk in the dull, funereal tones that are always heard on golf broadcasts.  There are MORE (that's MORE) than enough comparisons drawn between bowling and golf, and I hate to make another one, but the announcers could manage to talk a little less like they're in church without bellowing and doing the clown act seen on football pregame shows.  As for the bowlers, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard shows some firy emotion frequently.  I expect that they are discouraged from doing too much of that, and that's a shame.  There's no doubt that some bowlers are better off keeping their emotions on an even keel, but you can bet that there are others who would rather vent and just don't because it's considered inappropriate.  

Shiv
Listening to the monotonous staccato of rain on my desk top

Rommaker

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Re: May Column
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2003, 09:30:40 AM »
quote:
You make a good point about enthusiasm.  That's something that they could fix pretty fast, I would think.  Right now the announcers tend to talk in the dull, funereal tones that are always heard on golf broadcasts.  There are MORE (that's MORE) than enough comparisons drawn between bowling and golf, and I hate to make another one, but the announcers could manage to talk a little less like they're in church without bellowing and doing the clown act seen on football pregame shows.  As for the bowlers, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard shows some firy emotion frequently.  I expect that they are discouraged from doing too much of that, and that's a shame.  There's no doubt that some bowlers are better off keeping their emotions on an even keel, but you can bet that there are others who would rather vent and just don't because it's considered inappropriate.  

Shiv


Shiv,

Once again, we are in agreement.

But, asking the entire readership, what's considered appropriate? Certainly we're not looking for another Brian Kretzer or Pete Weber who drops "F" bombs like so much ordnance during the World Championship.

But we see it all the time locally ... just because a woman is a "lady" doesn't mean she can't pump her fist or do a victory dance or scream "YEEAAAAHH!!" when she hits the sweet shot under pressure to seal a victory or come from behind.

And if the PWBA is "discouraging" this type of celebratory exclamation, then shame on them! They're inhibiting their memberships right to self-expression (within tasteful limits). Moreover, they're killing themselves. Maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing ... then the girls could join up with the guys and they could all compete under the same umbrella. I'm not necessarily sure that would be a bad thing. In fact, it might be what would separate bowling from the rest of the pack.

Kimbo, how would that fly?
--------------------

Rommaker
.... strokin' to please!


Check out my monthly column,

"A Little Off My Mark" at:  http://www.alabamabowling.com/home.shtml



da Shiv

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Re: May Column
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2003, 09:46:43 AM »
I shipped off a message to kimbo on the board's personal messaging system with a link to this thread.  I hope she responds.

Shiv
Listening to the monotonous staccato of rain on my desk top

Rommaker

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Re: May Column
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2003, 10:46:27 AM »
quote:
I shipped off a message to kimbo on the board's personal messaging system with a link to this thread.  I hope she responds.

Shiv


As do I. It would be nice to get the valued opinion of a true insider!


--------------------

Rommaker
.... strokin' to please!


Check out my monthly column,

"A Little Off My Mark" at:  http://www.alabamabowling.com/home.shtml



da Shiv

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Re: May Column
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2003, 09:01:27 AM »
I see that kimbo has now opened the PM I sent her, so I'm sending this post back to the top, in case she wants to have a say!

Shiv
Listening to the monotonous staccato of rain on my desk top