Full-contact bowling could get more men to yell at their TVs

(Around here, Sundays are for more than just sleeping in — and my kids make sure of that. It’s also the day I reach way, wayyyy back into the archives, arching my back like an Olympic gymnast in order to retrieve a post from a time when my total followers matched the number of people in my immediate family. On an unrelated note, I could use the name of a good chiropractor…)

Full-contact bowling could add a whole new meaning to the agony of defeat.
Full-contact bowling could add a whole new meaning to the agony of defeat.
Like millions of other red-blooded, unathletic men across America, I will spend a good portion of New Year’s Day sitting on the couch, eating handfuls of assorted snack foods, and whining every time a player from my team makes even the teeniest mistake.

It doesn’t matter that these men are performing feats of athletic skill I can only achieve in my dreams (after which I usually wake up with a pulled groin muscle.) And it doesn’t matter that each of these men possesses more muscle mass than my entire body weight plus a mid-sized SUV.

The reason these things don’t matter to us men is because we knew THOSE men can’t actually hear us. If they could, then football parties as we know them would cease to exist:

“Did you see number 42?! That idiot completely missed the tackle!”

“Hey, Bill — I think he’s looking at you.”


“Try moving over by the cheese dip — oh yeah, he’s definitely looking right at you.”

“What’s he holding up?”

“I think it’s some kind of fancy GPS device.”

“Why’s he smiling like that?”

“Quick, Bill! Change the channel!”

This obvious exaggeration was done to make a point, which is that, aside from leaving for work one morning and being tackled through the screen door by a 310-pound linebacker, nothing can keep a man from shouting at the TV during a sporting event.

I should clarify that not all sporting events fuel a man’s primal need to yell at the TV.

One example is bowling.

The reason is simple: There’s no element of physical danger involved. True, there’s always the underlying risk of someone’s fingers getting pinched between two bowling balls, but it just doesn’t evoke the same level of danger as it would if bowlers had to actually compete for the ball in a tip-off before each frame:

“…The ball goes UP-and-now-down, off the head of Czechoslovakia’s Sirius Kunkussion, and onto the foot of Floppy Sesamoid, who is now gasping for air from the hand blower…”

It’s pretty much the same thing for golf and tennis; no real danger involved. And even though golf does use exciting terms like Water Hazard! Sand Trap! and Sudden Death!, we all know the only real danger is if someone forgets to pack a sweater for the senior tour.

However, in both sports, a few well-placed scorpions could make all the difference:

“What a beautiful shot by Tiger, eh Tom?”

“Yes, it was, Frank, but he seems a little hesitant to get his ball.”

“Well, Tom, Tiger’s a smart golfer. He knows there’s a good chance that one of the three remaining scorpion hazards is probably in that cup.”

“That’s a good point. But remember: He does still have one last caddy-option left. The question, of course, is whether to use him here, or save him for the sand trap…”

Or tennis:

“In case you’re just tuning in, it’s advantage Federer, which means Nadal must win this next point if he wants to stay alive — no easy feat, I must say.”

“That’s right, Tom. As you can see, they have just released the scorpions on Nadal’s side of the court. One wrong step, and he could — WHOA! I think we’ve just lost another ball boy…”

Now, before I get a bunch of angry letters from bowlers, tennis players, golfers and scorpions, I just want to say I have nothing but the utmost respect for those sports (and for scorpions in general). The last thing I want to do is offend anyone with a racket, golf club or good enough aim with a bowling ball to drop a 7-10 split.

Especially since we just had the screen door fixed.

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications.)

Published by

Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

38 thoughts on “Full-contact bowling could get more men to yell at their TVs”

  1. Scorpions are a nice touch, but, to make it more interesting, you’ll need less static dangers. Maybe zombies. A couple of zombies running around the tennis court will make the game much more watchable.

    1. That’s a great idea, X. Come to think of it, zombies could even make curling watchable. But honestly, nothing can save bowling. Unless it’s bowling for zombies.

  2. Loved it! How about adding baracudas to synchronized swimming?

    How ironic is it that I’m in the middle of play-off Sunday as I read your blog? My KSU wildcats won their bowl game last night and I’m knee-deep in NFL play-off scenarios.
    Mark my word…I’ll not be yelling for the KC Chiefs though. At the risk of self-promotion, I’m including the link from one of my first blog posts.
    I’m also hoping that sending this to you counts as a post since I’m still opening the door with caution in that Fr. Robert will show up on my door with more fruitcake.
    Happy Yelling!

    1. Loved your post, Michelle! And thank you for finding the time to read mine while knee-deep in play-off scenarios. After reading your piece, I realize what a compliment that is 😉

      Have wonderful New Years Day! I believe Fr. Robert is a Saints fan, so you should be safe…

    1. Great, now I want to go to the casino and have guacamole and chips. I’ve never cut open a bowling ball, but my guess is that it’s packed full of tryptophan, which is why watching bowling always put me to sleep.

      (By the way, that was very cool — Thanks, Adam!)

  3. Man, you brought back some memories with this…

    When I was a kid and it would be raining on a Sunday afternoon, there was nothing to watch but the American Bowling Championship followed by Roller Derby.

    Reading this post, I now realize that the two could or should have been combined to produce something completely new and exciting, not to mention, very competitive.

    However, reading this, I realize that full contact bowling would cause serious bodily harm and there would most likely be no long term stars of the sport. But with the miracle technology of video recording, we’d get to enjoy it over and over again, even if only one game were ever allowed. Thinking of the agony of defeat…

    1. Considering shows “Wipe-Out,” I don’t think full-contact bowling is much of a stretch. However, I like your idea of combing bowling and roller derby. The track is already like a bowling alley. Instead of knocking each other around, the “enforcers” roll bowling balls to create openings in the defense. I think we’re on to something big — at least in terms of lawsuits…

  4. Only real danger is if someone forgets to pack a sweater for the senior tour – bahahaha! I love it – excellence post. Sports are weird. Boys who watch them and shout at the tv are weird too. But it’s fun because you get to eat nachos hooray!

    1. I have to confess, I’m not much a sports nut. I watch the big stuff — Super Bowl, some of the World Series, World Curling Championships — but my wife and I do watch The Belcher… I mean Bachelor… and yell at the TV 😉

No one is watching, I swear...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s