When I arrived at the bowling alley this week I took a peek at the standings sheet. Our opponents for the evening were tied with another team for the top spot in the league. My team was tied with three others just a scant point behind the duo that was in first place.
It has been a struggle this season, but I was determined to turn things around. I decided it was time to put on my game face and show everyone just how serious I could be. Hey, athletes have been known to focus to the point where they are in their own little world. Nothing can break their concentration and they frequently go out and perform at optimum levels.
Do you think quarterbacks were intimidated when they looked across the line of scrimmage and saw Mike Singletary? That wild look with the wide open eyes of the Chicago Bears' middle linebacker had to shake the confidence of his opponents.
Likewise you can bet hitters were a little uneasy when Bob Gibson glared in at them from the mound. When Michael Jordan took to the court with that steely confidence on his face, defenders had to wonder if they could ever stop him. Nobody in golf had a better game face than Raymond Floyd. When he got it going, his look let you know that second place was the best you could possibly hope for in the tournament.
So my thoughts turned to a game face. After we finished our shadow balls, I mentioned to one of our opponents that since we were bowling the league leaders it was time to put on my game face. He responded with "what's that?" So I showed him.
Do you ever have trouble smiling for a picture? I scrunched my face up into what I assumed was a menacing look. Yes, I do know what it means to assume, but this was bowling and I was serious. The look had two immediate effects.
First, my opponent started convulsing in laughter. Secondly, I think I hurt my face!
Whatever my mug looked like, it was anything but intimidating. The only positive effect that it might have had was the fact that my opponent may have trouble bowling if he can't stop laughing. As for my face, it eventually went back into a "normal" state. I wasn't sure that was going to happen though and I decided it might be better to leave the game face to professional athletes.
We lost the first game, but came back to win the second. During the third game I decided my team needed a spark. For obvious reasons I opted against the game face. Instead, after one of my teammates threw a strike, I loudly shouted my approval and clapped my hands together very hard. All that accomplished was to give me sore hands and a bruised larynx.
I think next week I am going to throw my opponents off by being extra nice. That may not have an intimidating effect and may not help my team win, but at least I won't hurt myself.
Let's start this week with the "veteran" bowlers from the 55 Plus League at the K of C Lanes. Dan Coppes had a 248 game on his way to a 613 series which led the league. Paul Gosche shot 562, Bob Reinhart 537, Rick Hanna 530, Bob West 520, Bill Mizen 486, Jim Ruess 467, Steve Schafer 463, Jim Ferstler 451, Dave Murray 449, Jim Donaldson 439, Dave Everhart 387 and Paul Fey 359. In the Lady Knights League Marilyn Gangluff had 434, Madonna Gase 423, Nerita Streaker 417, Carol Burmeister 412 and Theresa Carp 400. Doug Snyder rolled a 640 to lead the Tuesday Night League. Ken Gaietto shot 580, Jim Lord 579, Bill Lord 571, Kevin Orians 564, Gary Gaietto 556, Matt Distel 553 and Chris Johnson 552. Action from the Senior League included Carl Wilson with 563, Herb Sendelbach 558, Doug Snyder 534, Ken Ritzler 527, Tim Gassner 513, Bret Flechtner 506, Andy Ritzler 506, Joe Zirger 504 and Lee Iannantuono 501.
Jan Houk topped the Alley Cats League with a 540. Robin Dickman shot 529, Pat Cook 519, Heather Butler 519, Dianne Hoover 496, Kim Weaver 495 and Donna Schriner 494. In the Big 8 League, Robert Terris Jr. fired a 733, while Chris King shot 705, Matt Hoover 686, Rich Yates Jr. 681, Bob Wilson 678, Dave Ross 654, Dave Sauber 644, Tom Tiell 642, Scott Washburn 640, Aaron Sherman 637, Ben Hoyda 634, Mark Bowen 623, Jack Book 620, Yaz Wilson 615, Greg Tiell 614, Dick Houk 604, Rich Yates Sr. 603, Ken Bauman 602 and Mark Ratliff 602. Scores from the Rock N Roll League included Tony Reidlinger 676, Mark Phillips 637, Dirk Nimocks 602, Greg Kiser 601, Marie Meyer 465 and Dottie Funk 458. In the Sportsman League Greg Tiell shot 636, Scott Hartsel 635, Rich Yates, Jr. 622, Kevin Fitch 603, Chris Rhodes 585 and Lance Davis 575.
In the Wednesday Morning League, Tim Sturgill led the way with 617. Greg Elchert shot 599, Tyson Shope 597, Steve Norman 587, Ken Lofton 584, Mark Huffman 581, Brett Elchert 576, Pat McCarthy 568 and Cheryl Radin-Norman 386. Tom Tiell shot 680, Kevin Fitch 648, Rhonda Fitch 634, Ed Conrad 629 and Robin Brownell 431 in the Twilight League. In the Rocket League Shawn Coppus shot 638, John Funk 616, Dave Jones 588, Tim Sturgill 583, Paul Landers 565, Dottie Funk 458 and Sue Coppus 403. Steve Steinmetz Jr. shot 669, Ben Hoyda 657, Kevin Young 597, Dodi Gaietto 524, Phyllis Riley 516 and Rhonda Fitch 513 in the Imperial-Majorette League.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
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