So does it really matter to you if you are a bowler or a fan of the sport if you watch of the PBA Tour on Sunday if it’s live or taped days or weeks ago?
After last Thursday’s PBA World Championships conducted live at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno on ESPN, the answer may well be it doesn’t matter.
First of all, thanks to last year’s ratings boost for the PBA, ESPN offered a live telecast of the World Championship in prime time. It marked the first time in 14 years that a national finals were conducted in prime time. That meant moving the World Series of Bowling from its normal date and spot in November at South Pointe in Las Vegas to Reno because the casino and hotel could not accommodate the event at that time.
No problem. Bring on the NBS and its great facility. It has showcased bowling before, and the powers that be created a similar setup to “Kingpin”, giving it more of a true arena feel. That’s necessary because the place is so big.
But while the telecast of a major live was very good and historic with Gary Faulkner Jr., winning not only his first title, but becoming the second African-American to win a title in the 57-year history of the PBA.
Faulkner was cool, calm and collected all night long and continued to repeat shot after shot and that proved to be the winning formula in finding a way to keep ahead of the lane transitions as four lefties made the stepladder finals. I think he might be someone who can win again soon on this tour.
Now back to the live-taped thought. Jeff Richgels, in his 11thframe.com blog, reported that the television audience was only about 550,000 for the event, according to comments made by PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. That’s about what ESPN does normally in that time slot (6 p.m. CT) on a Thursday.
Consider a couple of things … The West Coast was not in prime time when the show aired. In fact, it was 4 p.m. PT which means a lot of people may have been leaving the office and driving home during the show. Also, there is no ratings measurement of those bowling centers showing the tournament to their league bowlers.
Hopefully, bowling centers were showing the bowling on most of their TVs and not something else, like the football game. Surely, our local and area centers had the bowling on, right?
The Sunday shows have gotten much better numbers. I think factors like above may be a part of it, but I think it does show in this day and age, live and tape are relative things when it comes to bowling on ESPN. The taped shows from the World Series are rolling on Sundays, most weeks at noon through the end of January.
We would like to take this opportunity to send our condolences to the family and friends of longtime New Orleans bowler and bowling association manager Lanson Chien, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 73.
Chien was certainly well respected by all those involved with the sport (and that really doesn’t do it justice). I have heard there already are some big plans underway to keep his memory alive and support youth bowling in the area.
Details are still being worked out, but a Lanson Chien Memorial Youth Scholarship is being established that would be presented annually to a youth bowler who best represents what Lanson stood for his entire life — respect of the game, integrity, honesty and sportsmanship. Keep an eye on the Facebook page of longtime friend and NOLA bowler J.L. Vangilder, because that’s the likely spot many of the details will be coming out through.
He was scheduled to be recognized this June at the 2016 USBC Championships in Reno for what would have been his 50th consecutive tournament appearance.
Honor roll notes
Leading the scores was a fine 805 on games of 268, 258 and 279 for Duke Koontz at All-Star Lanes, while Sarah Broussard with a 247 game had a 693 series. The youth leagues were led by Jacob Dupre with 662 (278) and Dylan Ringo at 655. In the senior leagues, it was Gary Zeringue with 696 (247) and Deborah Zeringue with 627 (223). I think that’s the first time I can remember that happening in the senior portion of the honor roll.
Eric White, Delery Matherne and Ian Widdick had 300 games while Monte Arabie had a first 200 (201). Julie Stout (127) and Diann Kelley (148) had triplicate score sets). Diane Milton topped 500 for the first time with 539.
Hope it is a great holiday time for everyone. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and be sure and check out which centers are open and their hours during the holidays. We’ll be back with you on Jan. 5.
Until then, good luck and good bowling.