Most of us have a team that we cheer on through thick and thin. Of course, it is much more common for that team to be in baseball, football, basketball or hockey. For many of us we follow a particular city and all of its professional teams. Not all of us though.
I knew a guy that was a Boston Celtics, Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees fan. That made little sense to me, though he pointed out that growing up these teams won all the time. That sounded a little fair weather to me, but each to his own.
The concept of PBA team bowling, once common years ago, has been brought back in the last couple of years. I admit that I had to do some research to even find the teams and players, but that is exactly what I did. Finding one to root for is even more difficult. I will try to explain my thought process (yes, I did say try as I don't even know how this mind works half the time) and you can try to follow it. If you want, you can pick your own favorite team as I am about to give you the list of possibilities.
Here, in no particular order, are the teams, the players, the owners and some hometowns. Since many of you support teams from the same city and yours may not be represented, a bowler's hometown might be the deciding factor.
The Dallas Strikers are owned by Terrell Owens. The roster includes Norm Duke, Rhino Page, Michael Machuga, Amleto Monacelli and Dave Wodka.
The New York City KingPins are owned by B.J. King. The roster includes Pete Weber, Scott Norton, Stuart Williams, John Szczerbinski, and Jake Peters.
The Philadelphia Hitmen are owned by Kevin Hart. The roster includes Bill O'Neill, Ryan Ciminelli, Dan MacLelland, Mike DeVaney and Josh Blanchard.
The LAX are owned by Chris Paul. The roster includes Jason Belmonte, Mika Koivuniemi, Parker Bohn III, Andres Gomez and E.J. Tackett.
The Motown Muscle are owned by Jerome Bettis. The roster includes Mike Fagan, Chris Loschetter, Ryan Schaffer, Mike Scroggins and Tom Daugherty.
The Brooklyn Styles are owned by Jesse Williams. The roster includes Sean Rash, Jason Sterner, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Tom Smallwood and Michael Haugen Jr.
The Silver Lake Atom Splitters are owned by Chris Hardwick. The roster includes Chris Barnes, Wes Malott, Tommy Jones, Dom Barrett and Byron Smith.
The Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits are owned by LaMarr Woodley. The roster includes Osku Palermaa, Ronnie Russell, Patrick Allen, Martin Larsen and Eugene McCune.
So let's take a look at how I chose my favorite team. We will go down the list.
The Strikers have a good name for a bowling team. They have one of my all-time favorite bowlers in Norm Duke, a little guy that competes with the crankers. Who wouldn't want a guy named Rhino on your team and the team drink of choice has to be wodka.
I do have one serious problem with the Dallas Strikers, though, and that's the owner. I couldn't stand him being a pompous behind in the NFL and I refuse to root for him in bowling even if he doesn't actually throw the ball. ?orry, T.O., but you are O.U.T.
The New York City KingPins have two strikes against it. First of all they are from the Big Apple and I'm not a big fan of the city. They also have Pete Weber, a great bowler and competitor, but a lot like T.O. If PDW was classier, like his father for example, this would be a possibility. One other minor problem how do you pronounce Szczerbinski anyway?
The Philadelphia Hitmen? Who wants to root for a team that sounds like it is sponsored by the Mafia? The only thing going for this team is Ciminelli's hometown. He is from Cheektowaga, N.Y. Say that several times. It's really cool to say, but not enough to make me pick them. Even the fact that my mother was born and raised outside of Philadelphia is not enough to make me call myself a Hitmen fan.
I like Chris Paul, but his team seems to be named for an airport, for crying out loud. They do have "Belmo" the two-handed bowling whiz. I like Mika and Parker, too. E.J. Tackett is from Huntington, Ind., but then so also is Dan Quayle. How does one spell potato?
Sorry, LAX, but I'm not willing to take a flyer on you.
The Motown Muscle has two bowlers whose hometowns are noteworthy. Mike Scroggins is from Amarillo, Texas, which is home to The Big Texan Steak Ranch. I have been there and got a look at the 72-ounce steak that is free if eaten - along with all the "fixins" - in one hour. If you can't pull it off, you have to mortgage your house to pay for the meal.
Schaffer is from Horseheads, N.Y. Seems like he should be bowling for the Hitmen! Not enough here for me.
The Brooklyn Styles? Who WANTS a Rash? Enough said.
Where is Silver Lake and what is an Atom Splitter? You have to like the top three guys on the roster, though. Barnes, the Big Nasty and Jones can throw the rock. Still, I think I'll pass.
Now who came up with the moniker Jack Rabbits for a team name? They have a decidedly foreign flavor as Palermaa is from Finland and Larsen is from Sweden. Russell and McCune are from Indiana and P.A. is from Wesley Chapel, Fla. Did you know that another one of the bowlers is from that same town? I would have better luck finding the foreign countries than Wesley Chapel on a map.
I guess I can't choose a team to root for. That's OK, though. I think I will just watch them all bowl and marvel at their abilities.
Here are the scores from around the leagues here at home.
Twilight: Kevin Fitch 751, Nick Bumb 658, Steve Barnes 649, Tom Tiell 622, Steve Steinmetz Sr. 618, Rhonda Fitch 564 and Michelle Wagner 512.
Imperial-Majorette: Ben Hoyda 762, Bob Eaton 635, Jeremy Haar 632, Deb Nominee 532, Robin Brownell 463 and Phyllis Hyde 459.
Alley Cats: Robin Dickman 558, Pat Cook 512, Carla Siebenaller 503, Robyn Wight 499, Lorrie Williams 499 and Vicki Noller 496.
Lady Knights: Deb Hoerig 495, Linda Kimmet 481, Carol Burmeister 451, Marilyn Gangluff 431, Nerita Streacker 398 and Linda Caseman 395.
Tuesday Night: Chris Johnson 607, James Lord 605, Tom Traunero 595, Jason Kohlenberg 559, Steve Barnes 559 and Mike Porter 552.
Senior: Doug Snyder 640, Herb Sendelbach 543, Kurt Smith 541, Mike Reser 531 and Tim Gassner 511.
55 Plus: Rick Hanna 609, Jim Ruess 600, Dan Coppes 553, Bill Mizen 538, Dick Gabel 499, Dave Everhart 496, Jim Ferstler 460, John Ferstler 439, Jim Donaldson 383 and Paul Fey 353.
Rocket: Tyson Shope 701, Steve Barnes 646, Dave Coppus 578, Tim Sturgill 562, Paul Landers 560 and Dottie Funk 531.
Sportsman: Rich Yates Jr. 657, Jim Mason 639, Alex Wagner 629, Scott Ferguson 615, Scott Hartsel 607, Mike Kimmet 596 and Jim Archer 583.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
Read his blog at: