Professional bowling is a sport that people are so vaguely aware of that you can say anything about it, with just a shred of confidence and they'll feign a mixture of interest and surprise. No one will question pro bowling's existence, but they won't be able to refute any claims you make. Oh, I didn't know they did Sprint Cup style scoring. You can't do that with Pro Ultimate Frisbee. You start talking MLU and most people will respond, "Really?! That's a thing?" We've all seen bowling on ESPN. Though we may not understand it's appeal, we already acknowledge it's existence. But no one knows enough to refute an assertion that the championship starts tomorrow.
Here are some real PBA events listed on the PBA website: PBA Xtra Frame Gene Carter's Pro Shop East Classic (THAT'S ONE EVENT), PBA Cheetah Championship, PBA Shark Championship, PBA International-World Bowling Tour UAE Open, and PBA International-World Bowling Tour It's Daejeon International Open. Events are held in Dohar, Qatar; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Las Vegas, Nevada; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Middletown, Delaware and Daejeon, Korea. All of that information sounds made up. What professional sports league holds events in Saudi Arabia and the 4th best city in Iowa? Council Bluffs makes sense. I would bet that bowling developed a stronghold as preferred pastime in CB, because you can only visit the Pottawattamie Squirrel Cage Jail and Museum so many times (Is that a jail for squirrels?). The funny thing is that on TV, all bowling events look like they're in Council Bluffs, because they're in a bowling alley, and all bowling alleys look the same. The audience is sitting in the shadows on risers, which is the vibe of Council Bluffs, a dimly lit bowling alley. We're coming to live from beautiful Riyadh.Whatever you say, Brent. I'll take your word for it. Arial view provided by the Goodyear blimp.
Is that the Dark Tower?!
Naturally, Vegas is a host city (as is Reno). Vegas is what bowling enthusiasts consider an ideal vacation spot. It's the vacation spot for when you can't (or don't want to) think of a better idea, in the same way that bowling is the activity friends choose when they want to get out of the house but there aren't any good movies in theaters. "I guess we could go bowling," is the way every bowling excursion begins. Anyone legitimately excited by Vegas or bowling should be treated with suspicion. There's a reason that every movie centering around bowling is about misfit weirdos, creeps, and boderline-psychotics, because that's who can tolerate this game for more than 60 minutes twice a year.
Me when someone wants to go bowling.
In high school, I took a Lifetime Sports gym class. It focused, as the name implies, around activities you can play throughout your life, up to and including the decrepitude of old age. You know what people can't do well into their twighlight years? Play sports. The fact that badminton, archery, ping pong and bowling were included should tell you the physical ability they require. Grandpa might be able to shoot hoops or play catch, some aspect of a sport. He is not playing a game of half-court or two-hand touch. But he can bowl! Peak physical condition is not required to bowl at the peak level. Anyone can bowl a 300/perfect game. Hannah Diem did it at 9 1/2 years old, making her the youngest person to officially do so. The oldest person, according to Bowl.com, was 90 years old and requested to have their name withheld, presumably because being too good at bowling makes an otherwise cool person seem like they are not cool. Look at what it did to John Turturro.
Hannah Diem was too young to think of having her name scrubbed from the record books. To her, bowling was something she did at her friends' awesome birthday parties, not a high intensity athletic endeavor. You don't even need to be a freakish athlete to be dominant at bowling. If Hannah or Name Withheld had gone up against this guy,
If you can participate wearing dockers, it isn't a sport.
it would have been a tie. Or a bowl-off. However you determine a winner after you're done bowling and you don't know who did it best. Look at that guy. He's the most famous bowler in America and I have no idea what his name is.
And what kind of sport has a cap on the number of points you can score? That's for board games and youth sports leagues when you're still protecting fragile egos. There's no maximum number of goals in hockey or soccer, only the physical limitation of what a team can achieve in the allotted time. Bowling has a mercy rule built in. A real sport always contains the possibility of complete, unchecked annihilation. In fact, the only thing that makes bowling resemble a sport is keeping an objective score, and that's all. Players score definitive points. There are no judges. The pins either fell or they didn't.
Bowling, like golf, also lacks the element of direct competition. There's no defense, only turns. You know how in Final Fantasy games when you "battle" an enemy everyone sits and waits for their turn to attack, and you're sitting there thinking, "What kind of Queensberry bullshit rules of engagement is this?" That's what bowling has. You launch your polished stone only after your opponent has taken his seat. If you can't play defense or directly effect your opponents actions then it can't be considered a sport. And the only way to effect your opponents performance in bowling is to order another pitcher of beer and secretly get them to drink it all.
BOWLING: Not a sport.
New rule learned: NO MERCY!