As sports fans we always have that bucket list of famous celebrity’s to whom we would like the chance to go to dinner or play a round of golf with, but most of the time it’s never achievable. Very few of us ever get a chance to live out a childhood dream. I was given the most humbling chance of a lifetime. Prior to going out to the USBC Convention in Reno where I am on the Board of Directors for the International Bowling Media Association (IBMA) I was offered the chance to bowl side by side with Glenn Allison and Jimmy Schroeder as their fifth team member. For those of you who may not be aware of these two gentlemen here are just a few facts… Allison and Schroeder are USBC Hall of Famers and now have combined for 129 Open Championships appearances (including 2014), five eagles and a combined pin fall of 228,120. They are two of the 15 members of the tournament’s 100,000-Pin Club and two of 17 bowlers who have logged 60 or more years on the championship lanes.
The morning of the Team event it really hit me what this opportunity means and I started getting really nervous walking down the street from the Silver Legacy to the National Bowling Stadium. I started thinking to myself that I am just a regular “Joe” bowler and that I did not want to make a fool of myself. At this point I am now in the stadium walking to the squad room to get my equipment checked feeling humbled. The monitor in the squad room helped me find and introduce me to the team. I have heard that sometimes you should never meet your hero because they can let you down but that could not be further from the truth with these guys. From the squad room till the last shot was thrown I was treated like a friend and teammate and those nerves went away even faster.
So here we go…Game one of Team event starts and of course Duane, Robert and Jimmy all strike in the 1st frame and Allison gets up in the 4th hole and hits the pocket and leaves a 9 pin and now I get up as the anchor and strike. As I am walking back I said to the team “that has got to be the most pressure shot I have felt to have to throw a strike to hang Glenn.” The team stayed tough and bowled well game one on the other hand I was only able to get to 175 with an open in the 4th and 9th frames. On to game two we started the same way game one did but this time my team all struck in the 1st frame leaving me with an even more of a pressure shot too not hang myself this time around. I hit the pocket a little lighter than I wanted and ended up tripping the 4 pin and as I got back to the team Glenn said “That was about as solid as they come.” I finished game two with a 187 and again I opened in the 4th and 9th frames for my only four opens during the Team event….Singles and Doubles would be a whole different story. Looking back at this experience and hearing their stories about what they have seen and accomplished over the years the one thing that really stood out to me was to go out there and have fun, without fun what do we have? That really showed itself in game three as we had our best team game of the night shooting 971. I finished with a clean game for a 214 and a 576 series, but Glenn did get me in series with 611.
There are a few people that I would like to thank as without them this once in a lifetime opportunity would not have been made possible. Keith Hamilton President of Bowlers Journal International, Matt Cannizzaro USBC Media, Bugsy Kelly Brand Manager Columbia 300, Bob Brust Hammer Booth and Rich Twyman and Keith Laing from the Ebonite/Columbia300/Track Booth’s