I may not care too much for the 2-handed technique, but I do think Belmo has been good for the sport. I tried not to like him because of the whole 2-handed "non-pure" technique, but the guy comes off as a likable person and it makes me want to root for him. Also, he's really good, which brings some excitement.
I was at the USBC Masters yesterday and Belmo brought much more excitement than the other guys did. Although, I did think Ryan Ciminelli was fun, too. Tom Smallwood looked angry (although, I just think he looks like that naturally), Haugen is boring to watch, and EJ Tackett looked like a scared little kid (which may be kind of accurate). But, Belmo really brought the crowd to life and he seems like a nice guy.
In fact, when I watch bowling, I'm always more excited when I see that either Weber
or Belmo is on there. And to a certain extent, Sean Rash. Mainly because I know it's going to be more entertaining to watch. That doesn't mean that everyone in the PBA has to act like that. If it comes off as fake, that will turn people off. But, we need more personality in the people competing.
Actually, I think the TV
shows have been pretty good the past few years (that's as long as I've been watching). I remember attempting to watch bowling back in the 90's and I was pretty bored. So, I think the show has actually gotten more entertaining. I think the PBA is still inheriting a problem from the past. When I told a friend the other day that I was going to the Masters, he said, "why? watching bowling is so boring." I asked him if he had watched bowling in the near past and he said "no." And to be honest, I felt the same way before I started watching. Once I started watching it, I kept thinking, "why didn't I start watching this sooner?" It wasn't that I was anti-bowling. It's just that the thought of actually watching it on TV
, just didn't cross my mind. And I didn't know any of the stars.
Sure, there are a various list of issues that the PBA will have to deal
with, but I think the marketing part is the biggest challenge. They need to somehow get the word out that this is not the same bowling that your parents watched on TV
when they were younger. They need to find a way to market the great players they have and the excitement of watching competitive bowling. Now, how to market that? Not, sure, but they have a built-in potential market at the bowling alleys across the U.S. If you can get the casual bowlers interested in the PBA, I think that would be a start. And the more people watching the PBA, the more they may want to go to their local bowling alley to bowl. I know it makes me want to bowl and get better. Anyway, just some thoughts.