A few things stood out to me watching today's telecast-
1- EJ Tackett throws it great, and can go as far in this game as he would like. The future of the game is in good hands, with EJ and the other younsters coming up. Let's just hope there's a tour for them to bowl.
2- The Japanese game has evolved quite a bit. The two JPBA bowlers who bowled in the finals put more revolutions on the ball than any other Japanese pro I've ever seen. And more importantly, they didn't look even a little intimidated by the magnitude of their accomplishments. No Japanese bowler had won the Japan Cup in 25 years, and with the exception of one mental lapse on a spare late in the finals, both finalists kept their cool.
3- The pattern quickly turned into a house shot. Shots that missed inside of target hit light, and shots that missed outside still came back. There were 7 matches bowled on the pair, though, and everyone threw the ball with the same hand, so there was a lot of carving going on.
4- And most importantly, professional bowling in Japan must get much bigger TV
ratings than it does in the US. I know the JPBA stars are closer to being celebrities than American bowlers, but if Coca Cola can sponsor the JPBA, it must be because of the exposure that the tour gets there. Why else would a company based in Atlanta GA send sponsorship money to Japan? It's not because of some animosity towards the tour here. It's because they see a return on investment for their sponsorship money there. If more people watched bowling here, sponsors would notice. Sega and Konami, two former video game giants, still have enough money to sponsor the Japanese tour. They recognize the need to market their brands, even if they are not as profitable as they were 25 years ago.
It looks like we could learn a few things from the Japanese in a lot of areas, and bowling is no exception.