The Rise and Fall of Professional Bowling

“He’s probably been whipped around a school yard by a bully sometime, but put a bowling ball in his hand and lookout, he’s Superman. If this doesn’t get your heart pumping, I doubt there’s much that will.”  -- Newscaster Nelson "Bo" Burton Jr. on bowler Bob Benoit (1988)

There was a bowling alley across the street from my grandmother's house in Ville St. Pierre when I was in elementary school. The boys I liked worked as pin boys and I whiled away many weekend afternoons bowling a set and lingering over a Coke, thinking I looked like the babes below. In reality I was a skinny little kid.

Image Source: Reminisce
In the heyday of the sport professional bowlers made twice as much money as NFL stars. Shows like ABC’s Make That Spare attracted scores of viewers and bowlers were celebrities. Today "pro bowlers supplement their careers with second jobs, like delivering sod, or working at a call center. They share Motel 6 rooms on tour to save on travel expenses, and thrive on the less-than-exciting dime of beef jerky sponsorships."

Do you miss the golden days of bowling? Take heart, my son and his friends have recently discovered the sport so there may be a bowling renaissance on the horizon.

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