Now that the Mayan forecast of the final day on Earth has come and gone, it seems only natural that I should make some predictions of my own. I have no special knowledge concerning the end of the world as we know it. If I did, I don't believe I would report it. I've always thought making predictions that come true is cool. That's one that wouldn't be.
Instead I will limit my prognostications to the sport of bowling. What does 2013 have in store for the local bowling community? Let's take a look at what I think is going to take place.
1) John Funk's 820 series will not be topped. If I gave out an award for the top series of the season, this one would be handed out already. I mean, come on, 820! Do you realize how many strikes have to be thrown to shoot this kind of score? Nobody will top this total, of that I am sure. In fact I am so confident that this prediction will be correct that I can make this promise to John. If anyone beats your score I will guarantee you that I WILL write about it. So what did you expect, a cash prize? There isn't even an award
2) Several more perfect games will be bowled. Shooting 300 is a tough task that has, as yet, avoided my path. Throwing 12 straight balls in the pocket is difficult at best and utterly impossible to many of us. Then if you do somehow manage to throw a dozen great shots, you still have to hope they each carry. Yet there are an awful lot of good bowlers out there and more than one is going to pull off the feat. It just won't likely be me.
3) One of the aforementioned perfect games will not be thrown by a Soals. The family has reached its limit. Brian got his 13th, Dustin his first and Greg his initial one. Three perfectos by members of the same family in the same season is nuts. The odds suggest another is not in the offing and I see no more this season, but (imagine this) I could be wrong. These guys can bowl and again if it happens, I will write about it.
4) I will roll more turkeys than I will be called the same. Let me explain this one. As all of you bowling fanatics know, a turkey is three strikes in a row. Not that tough you say? Well you haven't seen me bowl lately. Throwing a double has been tough this year and that nod to Thanksgiving dinner has been almost nonexistent. However I am confident that my game will pick up in 2013. As for being called a turkey, I refer to my role as anchorman for my team. I live for the chance to close out a game. When my team gives me the lead heading into the 10th frame, I pride myself on being able to hold it. When I don't, the names come out. Although "turkey" is not the worst name that will be thrown my way, the choice comments about me, always come from me. My teammates would never call me a name when I blow a lead as we are a close-knit group. What they are thinking under their breath however
5) I will have fun at the city tournament. This is a no-brainer. Even though I will not likely be bowling in the tournament for the second consecutive year, I will be on hand. Renewing old acquaintances, watching someone bowl well over their average and seeing something strange happen - it is going to be a blast. Actually I do recall a local bowler offering to take me on as a doubles partner in this year's tourney. If that said someone is still interested, give me a call. Bowling might be fun for me. I'm sure it will be fun for those watching me struggle to try to master this wonderful game.
The only other prediction that I can make with absolute certainty is that I will not be bowling this week. With apologies to Pam, I am heading to Florida for a week of rest and relaxation. I'm pretty sure golfing will be on the agenda.
Unless for some reason I get stuck in the Sunshine State (one can hope can't they?), I will return soon to see how my predictions are going. Though I won't be here next Sunday, my column will be. No it won't be a rerun - though if there are royalties for something like that I would be willing to listen. Actually my story will have to do with Columbian's bowling team.
See you all in about eight days. To Angie, I'll see you in February.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
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