If you're going to lose, lose well. And have fun either way. The team we played tonight was a fun group of guys with a pair of brothers that have some of the smoothest releases you'll ever see. They're one of the teams that plays poker with us, a side game we play for bragging rights. Each time you get a mark (a spare or a strike) you get a card. Best hand wins.
We lost total pin count by 7 pins because well, no one was counting and you figure when they put together 230+ games by two different people, well, you're just getting your @$$ handed to you. But we did win one game and what a fabulous win that was!
The first game we lost by 8 pins. The first game was plagued by broken down lanes so we're lucky we kept it close. But I managed to find the lane at the end of the first game. There's an invisible coat of oil on the lanes, but not on the whole lane, just on the edges. So, depending on the kind of ball you have and the kind of stroke you put it on, you spend most of practice and much of the first game finding that magic oil/dry line that, in my curve stroke, will turn the ball and bring it through the pins. You're looking for the turn and how it enters, then how it powers through.
The interesting thing about the curve ball is that you have to dare the gutter. You have to throw your ball a couple of 1" boards away from the edge trusting that it will turn back. Which means you have to swing your arm straight and risk the gutter. You can't be afraid to get zero. Playing with the edge, pushing the boundaries is the only way to measure the thickness of your blade in one sense. How close can you come and do you know how close you are.
I managed to find my marks, where I start and the line the ball rolls at the end of the first game. Into the second game, I stuck to it. And I built it frame by frame by frame by frame. I hit a 5 bagger, 5 strikes in a row, and watched my score jump 30 pins, 30 pins. I knew by the 5th frame that if I kept this up I had a 200 game on hand but I didn't want to jinx myself. What was going for me, was that all this month, I had been feeling like I have a 200 game in me, I just need to put it together. I can do this. My book average is 136, but I'm really bowling 150. I hit 9 pins in the 9th frame, leaving a 10 pin. Often when some bowlers get into a strike groove and then they miss, then they forget how to roll the spare shot. I didn't want to blow it, relaxed and picked up the 10. whew! What I didn't realize was that the 9 already put me over the 200 mark!
I had never rolled a 200 in league, ever! 207 in the 9th with a spare. In the 10th I almost goofed it up with a 4, but brought it back to close with a 222! I didn't hit 200, I blew past it! High fives all around!
Last week in the league in the lanes across from us, we had watched a guy roll a 300 game. It was really amazing. Watching the crowd build for the last three strikes. By the last strike, he was biting on his shirt, the crowd cheers after the last strikes getting louder and louder, the silence between balls with greater stillness. He thought he had left a pin, but one straggler kept spinning and took it down late. The building erupted in cheers and for a moment we were all perfect bowlers.
The guy I chase each week in bowling scores was clear across the other side. It's just a bunch of bragging rights. Some light competition to spur us on. Usually I take one and he takes one, then he blows me away on the third. His average is higher than mine. Last week he blew me away with a 195, so when I hit the 222, I had to walk over to his lane and let him know. I shook his hand and said, "222". He didn't believe me and walked all the way back to check the scoreboard. I don't need to beat him all three games, just once a week, is all I ask.
The best part about rolling the 222 was how easy it felt. I didn't fight for it. I just systematically put it together, one ball at a time. Which means, I can do it again. This score places me 2nd place for the Women's high game scratch and boosts me higher on the women's high series and game which I have 2nd place in those too. I was 20 pins off the high series top spot. Two seems to be my number right now.
The night before I had just sewed on my 160 and 180 game patches and placed my 500 series pin on my bowling shirt. This game should get me the 200 game patch and the 75 points over average. I was 17 pins off from getting the 140 pins over series average patch.
Funny part is that I wasn't going to bowl tonight because I had this other thing scheduled, but that thing fell through and good thing it did. I thought last week was the week for me to bowl the 200. All this month I kept thinking the 200 will come before Europe. And indeed it did.
Oh, and it means that I get to buy a Ninento Wii, provided I can find one. When I first tried it out, I wanted to get one, but I also wanted to tie it to a goal. Since the Wii had bowling on it, I tied it to bowling a 200 in league. I had rolled a 200 in practice, but that's practice. I wanted a 200 when it counted. And so I told myself and hubby, when I roll a 200 in league, I'm going to get a Wii. Even set aside the money for it already. Now I just have to go find one!
I wouldn't mind losing like this every week! lol!