The Perfect Game
I have been bowling since I was nine years old…65 years (boy am I tired!). My pops used to take me to the lanes after church every Sunday.
I am a good
bowler, but definitely not a great bowler.
In our league of mostly seniors there are at least 15 members with a
higher average. Several of the ladies easily
out score me.
about bowling is, even an average bowler on any given game, can bowl as well as
in bowling is to bowl a perfect game, twelve strikes in a row, a 300 score. Monday night I achieved that ultimate.
Mrs. C says
I have been almost impossible to live with since Monday. I say give me a week, it is for me a once in
a lifetime event.
Some of my
friends have asked me how it felt to bowl a perfect game.
I don’t know
what it is like to win the Super Bowl, the World Series, make it to CEO of a
major corporation or win a Pulitzer prize, bowling a perfect game is as close
as I will ever come to such an achievement.
So, not as a way of boasting, though I am not above that, I am posting on
my one great event.
things in perspective, a top professional averages around 220 a game on lane
conditions made more challenging than for regular bowlers (different oil patterns and stuff, difficult to explain and
also boring). My average is around 175, good, but no great
not a complicated game, and like many sports there is an element of luck
involved. Sometimes you can get a strike
(all ten pins in one
throw) with a horrible
shot. Sometimes what seems to be a
perfect throw, leaves one pin standing.
Bad luck…good luck. To bowl a
perfect game you do need some good luck.
I have in
the past bowled 11 strikes in a row, but in overlapping games. Just this year I threw 10 in a row, then left
one pin on what I thought was a perfect throw and then struck again, so I knew
I could potentially throw 12 in a row. Doing
it in the same game is a different story.
Monday in my
first game I threw three shots where I left one pin on what I thought were certain
strikes. It was a bit frustrating. I was using a brand new ball and considered
using my old ball for the next game, but decided to give it just a few more
frame was a good shot. The six pin
flipped from the gutter to just trip the ten pin for the first strike. That is not uncommon on a slightly off hit,
maybe fifty-fifty the ten pin gets tripped.
The second frame the ball was buried in the pocket a perfect strike… “ten
in the pit” it is sometimes called. The
third frame was another fifty-fifty ten pin trip.
through the eighth every shot was as they say “buried in the pocket,” perfect
strikes. After the seventh, I was not
thinking about a perfect game. The other
team was bowling well and I was just thinking of our team winning the
game. After eight in a row it dawned on
me that a perfect game was possible.
I have been
asked about how nervous I was on the twelfth strike. It was the ninth strike where I was the most
nervous. When a player gets perfect to
the tenth frame, everyone in the league takes notice and the tenth frame stirs
a lot of attention. I really wanted to
be part of that experience just once, even without getting the perfect game.
shot in the tenth was a perfect ten in the pit.
I think someone fist bumped me after that one, something akin to telling
a baseball pitcher he was throwing a no-hitter, definitely not proper protocol, but it did
somehow relax me.
was dead silent. It is eerie having dead
silence while bowling. The eleventh shot
was also ten in the pit.
For the last
shot I was feeling the nerves. I thought
of my brother who passed away years ago, and others close to me who were no longer
with us, (there may have
been prayer involved) it
put one last stupid bowling strike into perspective and helped control my heart
rate and concentration.
I had only
forty people, most just casual bowling acquaintances, rooting for you in
complete silence was a great feeling. I
threw the last ball in a semi-trance. It
was a perfect ten in the pit. The forty
other league bowlers yelled, they were as happy for me as I was thrilled. It was fist bumps all around, a very special
for the next and last game with a double scotch to calm down. The first frame was one more strike…13 in a
From there I
went back to an average once a week bowler.
minutes of fame was over, Mrs. C claims
I am still trying to milk it…at least she hasn’t called me a jerk about it.