Gone are the days, at least temporarily, that I can spend a week at a tournament soaking up the ambiance thanks to the kids being in water polo, violin, and a host of other activities. But thanks to relatively clear freeways Friday afternoon, we spent the last squad of matchplay at Fountain Bowl.
First, thank goodness the PBA keeps Orange County "retro" with a 24-bowler round robin and a five-person telecast. There is nothing more exciting than watching the matches just right of the 1st v. 2nd match to see who can still fight their way into the show.
It's always amazing how much local talent shows up to root the guys on. We always see people there from SoCal we don't see any other time.
Thoughts on the show: While my daughter has been attending the Orange County tournament since her infancy, this was the first time we took her to the telecast. I'm not much of a morning person, but we were on the road by 7 and standing in an already impressive line by 8 am. We were seated in the second row, and
next time I'll bring a few telephone books just so I don't have to try to keep her in my lap to see over the shoulders of grown men. Of course, Carmen Salvino needs face time, but I actually appreciate having some feeling in my legs.
Mike Scroggins earned my respect this morning. While he's not the most exciting guy on tour, he gradually earned the support of most of the crowd and I felt the air get sucked out of the room when he doubled to shut out Weber
. The smart alecs that were yelling "Denied!" every time he let go of the ball were surprisingly silenced there, and after the telecast, Scroggins related his own [censored] Weber
memory after winning the Baby Ruth Open. Through tears, he related how he got to the next stop and there was [censored] with all the newspaper clippings he could find. The crowd patiently waited for Mike to finish, because once he got emotional, it was pretty hard for him to finish, but it was a very classy way to finish his thanks to the tournament's namesake after he'd thanked the hosts and the crowd.
Kirk Von Kruger told the crowd to stick around and the bowlers from the telecast would sign autographs--pretty nice since they all had to head out to Vegas for the doubles event ASAP as their practice started at 4pm.
We said goodbye to the guys and I've been emailing friends since I got home. If there were a way to get to Vegas this week...sigh. The good news is that at least one of my son's preferred colleges doesn't start until the week after this event, so if they don't change the dates and that's where he attends, we'll spend the entire week down there next year like the old days.