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No death spiral for PBA

Tour is more than just a few TV events

January 24, 2012
The Mining Journal

Though it doesn't really affect us Tom, Dick and Harriets on the bowling lanes here, there are a couple news items about the Professional Bowlers Association I heard recently that caused me to let out a "Hip hip hooray!" to myself in the past few weeks.

I'm going to stick to one issue this week - TV coverage - and I'll address the other - the PBA's exempt format - next week.

That is, unless a rash of 300s in the next seven days forces me to delay the topic for a week or two. I promise, though, I'll get to it eventually.

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Now, about the TV coverage. I'm thrilled to discover that a number of PBA national tournaments aren't being televised.

That's good news? Well, it was after I thought about it for a minute.

I'd heard rumors in the spring and summer that the PBA was on its deathbed, and it might suspend operations without warning. I was concerned when I saw the initial ESPN winter schedule showing that half the TV shows were taped from the three-week-long World Series of Bowling held in Las Vegas during November.

Along with a couple of major tournaments in the next two months, I thought, "Is that all the PBA has left?"

Then in the spirit of Mark Twain, I'm now thinking that reports of the PBA's death were greatly exaggerated.

There actually are other regular tour stops, but they aren't on TV, only the Internet. I don't know if they're free or only available on a paid subscription basis, but even if I don't watch them, it cheered me to hear the PBA has more left than what we're now seeing on TV.

Now on to the Mining Journal Bowlers of the Week, actually two weeks worth.

The best performance in that time was turned in by Bill Peterson last week in the Monday Northern Automotive Electric Industrial League at Country Lanes. He shot his first 700 series, a 715, to zoom past his 166 average by 217 pins. His games were 244, 213 and 258.

Runner-up was a 141-over effort by Tim McIntire in the Tuesday Night Mixed at Superior Lanes. The 193-average McIntire shot 720 with a 279 finale.

There were two one-pin races. First was Mary Grobar edging Jessica Walker, plus-126 to plus-125, for the women last week.

Grobar bowled an amazing 276 game as the cornerstone of a 579 in the Thursday Coors Light at Country. That big game by itself was 125 over her 151 average.

Walker, with a 142 average, rolled 551 in the Tuesday Night Mixed at Superior with 189, 193 and 169.

Another one-pin race was by the men two weeks ago. Bill Belanger was 146 over his 180 average with 686 (224-257-205) in the Tuesday Miller Genuine Draft Major at Country, while Mathew Adams shot 145 over his 186 mean in the Tuesday Night Mixed at Superior with 703 (245 high).

For the ladies, Heather Sandberg went 135 over her 191 average with the 708 I wrote about last week in the Wednesday Country Trio, while Katie Salminen was 129 over her 164 average with 621 (218 high) in the Friday 800 Mixed League that she's secretary of at Superior Lanes.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.



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