For this week’s blog, I had originally intended to dig through some old Bowling News and use one, but I thought better of it with a televised tournament coming up this weekend. I wanted to turn my attention to this event, which will be aired on CBC this Saturday, September 17th, from 2:30pm - 4:00pm as part of “Sports day in Canada”. The event will be bowled in Calgary AB and features a 4 on 4 team event, East vs. West match up.
I’ve heard a lot of rumblings about this event right from the moment it was announced, mostly about how the criteria should have come about for picking the members on each team. I think it is important to understand that regardless how the tournament has come about, where it will take place or who was on the teams, we need to step back and realize that this is exposure for our sport. Bringing this event into the fold on national television can really help restore some of the profile our game has lost in the past with losing our televised events due to funding cutbacks. The important thing to remember is that this is a step in the right direction, leading us to more exposure and possible future opportunities down the road for similar events, and possibly bigger events.
Now with all that being said, I do offer a challenge to those who are competing. Make it exciting and worth watching. I recently had a discussion with some top notch bowlers after our first night of our pro league and we all seemed to agree on this premise. In the past, the competitors have generally played without much emotion or moxy. I challenge the competitors to give those who may flip to the channel to watch something to keep their attention. I’m not saying go out there and tarnish the game with attitude but there’s always been that lack of excitement. The PBA has really excelled in the way that they’ve created characters in the game; people to root for or against. They took the game and found a way to keep people’s attention. In the past, I’ve flipped on TSN to briefly watch the 5pin Championships, mostly to see if I know anyone who’s playing. I’ve found that even if I did know the people and were rooting for them, it felt mostly like any time I might see them on the lanes in league or in a tournament. I lacked the excitement needed to continue watching once the person I knew personally had lost. This is where we can change the look and image of our game.
I hope that during the televised event held this weekend, someone steps up to the plate, and delivers some excitement. I know regardless the event will be a great success and a great aide to our game, but let’s push things a little further and make the most of our air time. Let’s give the audience something worth watching, some entertainment, and most importantly, something to remember 5pin by.