If you enjoy televised bowling the way it has been presented for well over 50 years, then you might want to keep watching ESPN Classic at 9 and 10 p.m. on Monday nights.
Because when the new PBA season begins this November, televised bowling may never be the same if articles in the newest Bowlers Journal are to be believed.
Oh, by the way, how many of you who religiously watch the bowling telecasts also enjoy the World Series of Poker broadcasts on ESPN each Tuesday night?
Well, that may be the way you get your bowling on Sunday afternoon starting in late November - taped telecasts where a storyline created by the producers is the hallmark of the telecast, as is proven in every WSOP show; where every shot in the match may not be that important to see in the 90-minute broadcast much as every poker hand isn’t important to see; a telecast where Randy Pederson becomes bowling’s version of poker analyst Norman Chad.
One thing is for certain - Pederson and host Rob Stone will be post-announcing the events from the production studios for the majority of the events and the look and tone of the shows will change dramatically.
Eight tournament finals over four days in November will be taped at the World Series of Bowling.
There will only be seven other events after that and three majors will be live on ESPN - the Masters, the U.S. Open and the no longer million dollar or on ABC Tournament of Champions. By the way (can I say I’m still not happy about this), the Masters is set to begin Jan. 29 in Henderson, Nev.
It seems wrong that both times Baton Rouge has hosted the event (2005, 2012), the Masters went elsewhere. I’m just saying, maybe USBC should give us a little money back. I know, I’m dreaming.
If you want to see the four other events, bowling fans are going to have to pony up for the PBA’s in-house website streaming telecasts on Xtra Frame. There will be no ESPN coverage of those events.
At some point, TV ratings have got to go up or there will be no more PBA Tour as we know it. This may be a last ditch effort to bring a new-school look to an old-skewed TV format. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out later in the fall.
Good stuff in SASBA
Gordon Stuntz recently got his second career win on the Senior All-Star Bowling Association tour in Houston, posting a nice 6-2 match play round to win the $1,000 top prize.
Also, congrats to Randy Summers who took fourth in the recent Dallas Super Seniors event and that, with his two wins, brings his money earnings to 14th overall this season.
Updating 2012 USBC Open
Good news on the USBC Open 2012 in Baton Rouge as we are now 179 days from the first shots at the specially-constructed lanes at the River Center.
The team count, according to USBC officials, is now past 9,000, five-member teams or over 45,000 bowlers now entered in the event.
The goal is to try to reach the 13,000-plus mark that came here in 2005, and that would be a major accomplishment if we can pull that number again.
Tournament this weekend
The first AFT Mixed Doubles Handicap Tournament concludes a three weekend Saturday and Sunday with a $2,000 guaranteed first place up for grabs at Metro. Shifts Saturday are noon, 2 and 4 p.m., while Sunday shifts are at 2 and 4 p.m.
Dunaway honor roll notes
Darren Senegal fired an outstanding 806 that started with a perfect 300 game to lead the men, while Lyndsey Stewart posted 723 (245-214-264) and Tristan Senegal posted 718 (258, 248, 212) for the ladies. Sumner Taylor just missed 800 with a 798 that also included a perfect 300 game. Congrats to Anthony Russo in the youth leagues for a 711 that included a 255 game and Gregory Snee for a 686 with a 278 set, and to Mike Bass (711) and Cheryl Albarez (656) in the senior leagues.
Anne Byland and Homer Jackson in the seniors both picked up the 6-7-10 splits and earn congrats while senior Corinne LeBlanc’s 184 was 49 pins over. Junior bowler William Oglesby had a 574 series, 76 pins over average.
We are back in two Tuesdays on August 30 as fall leagues begin to really get underway. Until then, good luck and good bowling.