Yes, the powers that be in the PBA should also be blamed too, but, ESPN is also part of not only the ownership of it, but also they are a HUGE part of the problem for why the PBA is failing almost to the point where even THIS hardened bowler and bowling fan of over 30 years just might jump the ship and just actually let it (the Tour) sink into extinction.
Guys (and gals), the pieces of the puzzle are almost in place.
1) We already have replica PBA player jerseys available from not only High 5 Gear but also from most of the bowling ball manufacturers themselves such as Storm/RotoGrip (my guys) and also the Ebonite Group and even Brunswick too for that matter.
2) We also have the PBA League and its 8 teams and team format already in place as well as replica PBA League Jerseys (from High 5 Gear) and also fan T-Shirts of all 8 teams so we can BOLDLY show our support for OUR favorite clubs (mine is the defending Elias Cup Champions, the Silver Lake Atom Splitters owned by Chris Hardwick and managed by Mark Baker
3) The PBA Tour has proven in the past why the lane conditions and the shots they have to make as the lanes go through transition are so tough (such as oil breakdown/carrydown and viscosity changes due to center temperature and equipment thrown) Believe me, the PBA players HAVE TO play almost 5th/6th or even 7th arrow lofting the gutter cap just to be able to control the shot and keep it from going wild on the lane, but, we fans and viewers here at home, have been mislead for the last several years into believing that WE need to do the same thing in our home house when in actuality and technically we don't have either the physical strength or don't bowl on the same oil patterns in out typical beer leagues that they do on Tour. Some on our players in my league at All-Star Lanes (my home bowling center) in Silverdale, WA, or any other center are sliding left just to shoot the 10-pin or most other right-side spares excluding double-wood spares where we need to hook it more to cover the back 9-pin. Not all of us are graced with the talent to be able to hook it covering 20-25 boards at 18-20 mph while creating a 400+ rpm rate like guys like Belmo or Sean Rash can do.
4) We currently have the graces of PBA Xtra Frame online and also have the web notoriety provided by the viewers and members on YouTube (like me, mine is www.YouTube.com/BIGHMWOfficial
) give the PBA and its history who upload and record old telecasts on tape from their home archives and even the PBA itself is providing content as well, but, most of us DO NOT want to wait for the show to be uploaded to YouTube to see it, especially our worldwide fan base that the Tour has, in other words, the PBA needs to make Xtra Fame available to PBA fans WORLDWIDE and not just the U.S.
5) It's time for the PBA ownership (or at least ESPN and their part of it) to put itself on the block for sale like a cheap streetwalker for anyone who wants it, but, the client should be one WITH BRAINS and new ideas to not only keep the Tour afloat but to also become self-sufficient for years/decades to come.
Perhaps, Steve Miller and Chris Peters should think of the mold that the NBCUniversal Sports Group (owned by Comcast) has previously/currently (and successfully) done with the NHL, the Barclay's Premier League and also with Major League Soccer, treating them as coveted possessions in their lineup, and I believe that NBCSN (and NBC for goth the TOC and the U.S. Open) can weave the same magic with the PBA that they did to the previously-mentioned entities, imagine "PBA LIVE", an entire LIVE 30-minute preshow on there featuring a Stamford, CT-based studio show featuring a head host like Rebecca Lowe or Jay Randolph (I'd welcome him back as he has done the PBA in the past) with expert analysis from PBA Hall Of Famers like Marshall Holman and David Ozio or even Brian Voss, as well as Mike Jakubowski and Randy Pedersen at the event site.
And most importantly, start treating both our sport and our players we watch like TRUE ATHLETES and in the short future START PAYING THEM LIKE IT!!! NBCSN has plenty of ideas already in place in its other telecasts, such as it does in its NHL, MLS and Premier League coverage, custom graphics featuring the players and perhaps bring back a couple of things from years past, like a "Tip Of The Week" segment and perhaps either "Up Close and Personal" or even "10 Frames" (10 Questions-like Q & A segment) with a PBA player in them every week, so these guys (and gals) CAN FINALLY GET NOTICED!!!
As for Sponsors, they will come, but they won't as long as ESPN is pulling the strings, they have failed to do almost ANYTHING these players needed and that both hurts the ratings and does not draw sponsors, in other words, STOP PRE-RECORDING the shows and show them LIVE again!!! Nobody will watch the shows if they are taped in advance because there are too many spoiler sites who will reveal the results with just a simple point-and-click.
These ideas will all work if we execute them to perfection, and speaking of perfection, they should start rewarding ther plaers for a 300 game on TV
like the rarity it once was, how about getting someone to cough up a minimum $100,000 for a perfecto on LIVE TV
, Like ABC Television did when True Value Hardware Stores did it, 300 games on LIVE TV
meant MORE back then because of the $100k at stake for it.
I think we can do this!!! How about YOU???