Monday, December 28, 2009

arbitrary rating: bowling on tv

Grade: B

I was staying at a hotel near New York City's Times Square last month. I saw James Spader across the street from my hotel and got trampled by crowds attending the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Rockefeller Center. After a near-death tourist experience, there is nothing more relaxing than watching a bowling match from the 1980s on ESPN Classic. I was transfixed by a bowling match that was at least 25 years old. The hair! The mustaches! The Trickle-Down Economics! Here is the problem with bowling on TV: the bowlers are too good. They are robots programmed to throw strikes and spares. There is no drinking or swearing. No having a nervous break down and chucking a ball down the wrong lane. No throwing the ball when the pin setter is down and the guy behind the shoe counter yells and gives you "a warning." Nobody gets a ball stuck on his fingers and whips it at the people behind him like you can do on Wii Bowling. But the good thing is you can't taunt your opponent, or make fun of her for scoring 80 because, god, you guys are mean. I told you on the car ride here, I suck at bowling.