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mrbowling300

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For those who were around when the Pro Bowlers Tour was at its height of popularity in the 1970s, we've all discussed when we were in kids leagues how we couldn't wait to get back to watch the pro bowlers tour on TV.

In a discussion with friends, about how technology is now, with smart phones, internet, etc, I got to thinking of another dynamic that I sort of miss.  These days, you can get instant, real time results of all the qualifying rounds in the PBA tournaments.  But back then, there was none of that.  I used to be so excited to wake up Saturday morning, rushing to grab the newspaper at the front door, turn to the sports section to see who the top 5 bowlers were that would be bowling on TV later on.  Was it going to be Earl Anthony?  Mark Roth?  Marshall Holman?  Then with that knowledge, I would get super excited to get to bowling to bowl in my youth leagues.  I would get home just after lunch, and the 2 hours sitting and waiting for 3:30pm to watch bowling were excruciating.  I was always extremely bored, and there was nothing else on TV. 

Sports in general, you didn't know what was going on.  During NFL broadcasts, I would wait with great anticipation for the out of town scores to be flashed, to see what was going on in other games.  They did not have the bottom crawl like they have now.  In fact, I believe that concept of the bottom crawn with news scrolling by did not really come into wide spread use until the coverage of the Sept 11 attacks.  

Later on, sports line was invented, you would call a phone number to get updated sports scores.  I didn't realize there was a per call charge, it was a 976 prefix, and when my parents got the phone bill with all the charges, oh boy, did they yell at me!

As a 15 year old, I was all excited for the Tommy Hearns / Sugar Ray Leonard fight.  There was zero coverage of the fight, unless you had closed circuit tv, which no one had access to then, it was probably like a pay per view.  While the fight was going on, I was desperately trying to get any kind of updates.  We didn't have cable, and on radio, there was no stations talking about it.  At around midnight, news finally started to break that Sugar Ray defeated Hearns.  Up until then, no one had any clue as to what was going on, unless you were there in person.

I absolutely embrace current technology, and all that you can do, and information that it provides.  But a part of me does miss the simplicity of the times back then.

It is funny, my father always used to say, what goes around comes around.  In the 1980s, he would say I'm sure glad I grew up in the 1940s/1950s, it was a lot simpler time than now.  Here it is, 2019, and now I'm saying, I'm sure glad I grew up in the 1970s/1980, it was a lot simpler time than now.  What goes around comes around, LOL.




themrfreeze

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Reply with quote  #2 
Same here.  Saturday morning I'd check page 2D of the morning paper (the sports section) to see who the 5 bowlers were going to be on that day's finals.  Always got excited when I saw Earl Anthony on the list!  I bowled junior traveling league Saturday afternoons though, so I'd set the VCR to record the show and would watch it when I got home.

As someone who's been into technology since I was a 10 year old brat in 1980 (and pulling a paycheck in the IT world since I was 17), I find that modern technology is a double-edged sword.  In the earlier days when technology was simpler I found it more enjoyable and overall had a more beneficial impact on our lives.  These days I'm not so sure...it's become too invasive into every aspect of our lives and I think that's wrong.  We're really in the "wild west" era of technology...it's all around us but the laws necessary to properly regulate its use don't exist yet so everything is a horrible insecure free-for-all.  Makes working in IT miserable, to be perfectly honest. 

I guess you get to a point in your life when you wish you could go back in time when things were simpler/better...I certainly wish I could go back to the 1980s!  It's probably been that way for the last few generations though...my mother used to wax poetic about how great it was to grow up in the 1950s.  Ah well...at least I have my gold Angle and Parkview and can relive the past, even if it's only for 3 hours every Thursday night.  😉





Dare

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Reply with quote  #3 
I remember[unfortunately for me] when it started in the early 60's.  Those were the days.
Mike_S

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Reply with quote  #4 
When i was in youth leagues, i bowled the 12::00 pm shift. When it was 3:00, i went right home and watched it.... Awesome times
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Celtic586

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Reply with quote  #5 
Questions on the older PBA tour.  Were the lanes oiled differently for the pros back then?  What years did they start to implement different conditions or oil patterns for pros?  If there's one peeve I have with today's PBA it's the different conditions the pros bowl on that the average bowler doesn't see.  To me it leaves a big disconnect and that's a problem in watching these new tournaments.  Who really cares if it's a scorpion, cheetah or Dick Webber pattern?  Maybe if leagues get oiled with the scorpion or Earl Anthony patterns I would care about the PBA.  Ahhh but then 10 bowlers a night wouldn't be able to shoot 300.

Don't even get me started on the contrived cheers during the bowlers delivery during these telecasts.  [crazy][crazy][crazy][crazy][crazy]
CObowler

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Reply with quote  #6 
Media coverage of PBA tour events was infinitely better in the 1960s and 1970s.
 
The daily newspaper in my city would print on Saturdays a complete box summary of the weekly PBA event, showing for each of the 24 bowlers not just their total pins for 42 games, but also their match play records, bonus pins and prize money.  Each match was worth 30 bonus pins and split 15-15 for a tie.  There also usually was a tournament summary article focusing on how the players in the stepladder finals advanced. 
               
In my case, however, the newspaper back then was published in the afternoon, with an 11:30 AM content deadline and delivery sometime after 4:00 PM.  That meant I would not see the results from Friday night until after the Saturday telecast.  I knew from the Friday paper who had qualified for the 24-man match play and where they stood after the first 8 games of match play on Thursday, but the intro to the telecast was always brand new information.  Some of the local TV stations even showed bowling highlights in their evening sportscasts.     
 
These days, newspapers rarely even print the winner of a tournament.  If they do, it is only the score of the final match and no mention of how the rest of the field finished.
DoctorA

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Reply with quote  #7 
Good old days!  I started junior league at 12 years of age in 1962-long time ago!  Owner of family owned 12 lane center in South Pasadena, CA was gentleman named Tom Furco and whole family worked there.  He was a cousin of Andy Varipapa and he had a real passion for the game.  Miss the lanes!  Loved watching the PBA.  In SoCal there was a local bowling show and traveled to local centers.  I remember watching a young Barry Asher bowling when he was 18 years old!
themrfreeze

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic586
Questions on the older PBA tour.  Were the lanes oiled differently for the pros back then?  What years did they start to implement different conditions or oil patterns for pros?


So my understanding is that up until around 1970, there was no official PBA oiling program...the pros bowled on whatever shot the center they were at decided to use.  Around 1970 there was a tournament (I forget which one) where 23 of the top 24 seeds were all left-handed...the shot had been set up by the center to greatly favor the usually lower scoring lefties.  After that the PBA officially took over oiling responsibilities for the tour. 

As far as I know the whole oiling pattern thing didn't begin until maybe the late 90s or early 2000s and I know it didn't start with the animal-themed patterns.  Back when the lanes were wood and finishes could either be lacquer or polyurethane, I suspect the people in charge of oiling for the PBA took the center's conditions into account and used their skill to figure out a reasonably fair pattern for that week.   You still saw variety in the week-to-week conditions though...just the nature of the game back then.

Once lane conditions started to homogenize with widespread use of oiling machines and synthetic lanes, something had to be done to create some week-to-week variety with the shot, thus the patterns were born.


mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #9 
Forgot about that, but yes, our paper had the games, pins, match play record as well.  In Detroit, we had two newspapers, Free Press was delivered early in the morning.  The Detroit News was delivered in the afternoon.

Also, once a week, they would have a small columns, on the page with the box scores from other sports with high games / series of local bowlers for the week.  In Detroit, maybe there was 15-20 names always listed.  It was always a thrill have your honor score in there.  I bet these days, each week, there would be 100+ in Detroit, if they still did it.  They did away with that reporting years ago!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CObowler
Media coverage of PBA tour events was infinitely better in the 1960s and 1970s.
 
The daily newspaper in my city would print on Saturdays a complete box summary of the weekly PBA event, showing for each of the 24 bowlers not just their total pins for 42 games, but also their match play records, bonus pins and prize money.  Each match was worth 30 bonus pins and split 15-15 for a tie.  There also usually was a tournament summary article focusing on how the players in the stepladder finals advanced. 
               
In my case, however, the newspaper back then was published in the afternoon, with an 11:30 AM content deadline and delivery sometime after 4:00 PM.  That meant I would not see the results from Friday night until after the Saturday telecast.  I knew from the Friday paper who had qualified for the 24-man match play and where they stood after the first 8 games of match play on Thursday, but the intro to the telecast was always brand new information.  Some of the local TV stations even showed bowling highlights in their evening sportscasts.     
 
These days, newspapers rarely even print the winner of a tournament.  If they do, it is only the score of the final match and no mention of how the rest of the field finished.
mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #10 
Regarding the PBA Lane Maintenance program back in the 1970s, there is a new book on sale about Earl Anthony, and from what I understand, they talk about the lane patterns back then.  http://www.earlanthonybook.com/
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