Monday, February 28, 2011

How my passion for writing and my internet connection combined to lead to the greatest bowling night of my life

Yesterday was my usual Sunday. I was off so, naturally, I tried to relax as much as I could. I finished reading the book, "Terry Bradshaw: It's only a game." If you're a Steeler fan, or just a Terry Bradshaw fan, I highly recommend it. It's great stuff. Very entertaining. Terry writes like he talks. Full of energy.

I also did my laundry, worked out, and performed other various activities that one must do on a regular basis.

After that all was done, I decided to treat myself to some writing. I love to write. It's probably my favorite thing to do. I especially love writing about sports and I had an idea to write a piece about Lamarr Woodley's contract status and how I thought he should be the Steelers top priority among their own free agents.

I started writing it about 2pm est and got done with the bulk of it around 4pm or so. But I'm very anal about my writing and I have to go back and check it over and over again before I publish anything. I'm a prefectonit about my writing and I hav to makre sure I splel evertying rite.

As I said, I'm very particular and I spent the next hour or so spell-checking, moving stuff around, taking stuff out and adding things in. I do this all the time when I write a post even though I've never been paid a cent for anything I've ever written in my entire life. Ok, that's not true, I have made 5 cents from the AdSense coupons I've linked to my blog.

One of my favorite things about Sunday is bowling night. I've been in a recreational league for about two years now and it's always a good time. Bowling is like golf. You can be horrible at it and still have a great time doing it. At least that's been my experience.

However, I am a competitor and when I do something, I want to do it to the best of my ability. I'm also cheap and despite bowling for 2 years, I still have yet to buy my own ball. Therefore, on bowling nights, I try to get to the bowling center extra early so I can find the particular house ball that I use and that will someday lead me to greatness. If I don't find the ball I normally use, there is no way I can bowl well.

There are many bowlers in my league who are also very particular about their favorite house ball and race around the place before the game searching for their magical ball.

Anyway, back to my blog post. In addition to posting on my own blog, I also enjoy posting a lot of Steeler material on the blog Behind the Steel Curtain. The folks at BTSC have always been great and receptive to my writing and they sometimes even post my stuff on the main page. When I was writing my Woodley blog yesterday, I won't lie, I was thinking to myself, "this could be front page material, Tony. This post you're writing is brilliant."

So about 6 o'clock, I decided to publish my post in the fanposts section of BTSC. But for one of the few times, my high speed Internet decided to act super-slow and it just wouldn't send it over. Now, I normally leave for bowling around 6:10 so I can get to the alley by 6:35 for a 7pm game just so I can find my ball. As I said, I need my unbelievable ball. The ball that I've been using this past season is a 12 pound green house ball and the holes are just right for my fingers. It's the third "must have" house ball that I've used since I started bowling. The other two mysteriously disappeared never to be seen again. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought those balls were "must haves."

But as I said, I was having Internet problems and my computer was acting uncharacteristically slow. You know how frustrating computer problems can be. I sat there and clicked and clicked and swore and threw stuff and clicked some more. Finally, at about 6:30, my post was sent over. By this time, I was so flustered and full of rage, I barely wanted to go bowling.

On the way to the bowling alley, I was barely able to focus on driving I was so frustrated from my computer experience.

By the time I pulled up to the bowling alley, it was 6:53, and naturally, there were no premium parking spots left. I had to drive up the hill beside the alley and park at least 4 blocks away. I ran down the hill as fast as I could, cause, you know, if you don't get to the bowling alley in time for a recreational game, they might arrest you. But the real reason I was running so fast is because I wanted my special green ball. My magical ball. The ball that has given me my awesome 131 average. Probably a record as far as averages go. I'll have to look it up.

I got into the alley out of breath but determined to find my ball. It was no where to be found. Some other jerk "stole" my ball. They had to know it was my magical ball. I was forced to search the leftovers for another house ball. But none of them were satisfactory.

The ones that I could fit my fingers into were too heavy for my tastes, and the balls that were ideal in weight had holes too small for my fingers.

Damn. So I had to settle for the extremely heavy balls. I figured it was the last match of the season, just use what you have and play out the string. Things didn't start out well for me. My first three frames were open. It was at that time that I tried one last search for a good house ball.

I came upon this ball that was painted with all these funky colors. It was a real trip, man. The ball was light enough for me to use, but the holes were just a little snug.

But it was certainly better than the boulders I started out with. And then things started to change. I didn't have another open frame the rest of the first game until the 10th. I finished with a 146. Pretty good for me, especially considering how frazzled I was when the night started.

The second game was pretty damn sweet. I didn't have an open frame until the 8th. I won't lie. I was going for a 200. I've never had a 200 game and it's always been one of my personal bowling goals. I wasn't sure what my score was until I finally had that open frame, but as it turned out, it was only 146. Damn, my chances at a 200 were pretty much dashed. The problem was I didn't have many strikes in that game. I normally don't get a ton of strikes. When I get a strike in bowling, it's like a pitcher in baseball hitting a homerun. Everyone is surprised. You need strikes for a 200.

Okay, so I didn't get a 200 in that 2nd game, but I did finish with a 174. My highest score of the season and tied for my highest score ever in that league.

Before the third game, I felt spent. My arm was like rubber. I could feel it. As I said, I don't get many strikes so I've increased my velocity over the past few weeks in an attempt to increase my strike total and my scores. My first two games were pretty good but I didn't have much confidence that my third game would go really well because of how tired my arm felt.

My team was doing awesome. We won the first two games and were looking for a sweep to finish the season.

I thought my only shot at a 200 game was done, and the way my first three frames started out in the last game, I didn't think I would even sniff the 200 mark. I spared the first frame, but left 2 and 3 open. But, strangely enough, in frame four I found my strike ball, and I didn't have an open frame the rest of the game. I even had a turkey in frames 7 through 9. In frame ten, I wasn't sure of my score, but I knew it would be pretty high. I didn't strike the tenth frame, but I did spare it and got nine in my last throw. My score: 190. Damn!

But that's okay, it was not only my best game ever, but my best match, and the first time I've ever bowled 170plus in 2-straight games.

So, you see, my passion for writing finally paid off. It made me late for bowling and made me miss out on my awesome magical ball. I had to find another magical ball and I bowled better than ever. Now I have a new magical ball and those jerks at the bowling alley better not touch it. It's mine, damn it!


  1. Great work Anthony and congratulations on your new bowling high score!

    John W.