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Fred Smoot's Pro Bowling Ambitions

I think he should fit right in, no?

The Redskins canceled OTAs today, and instead held a team bowling trip. Chase Daniel already tweeted about his team, which included Cody Glenn and Rocky McIntosh. That has forced me to use this item now, instead of holding it for a rainy day. Oh well. At least we know that Smoot bowled a 212, one of three Redskins to break 200. Thanks, Cooley.

"I'm gonna attempt to go to the PBA," Fred Smoot told me the other day. I started laughing.

"You're laughing," he observed. "See, people did this years ago when I said I was going to go to the NFL, so it don't make me mad. I'm serious. I'm dead serious. I want to cross over to bowling after football."

The thing is, he sounded really serious. I asked him around 16 times if he was joking, and every time he said he was not.

"He's serious, but he's not serious," fellow cornerback and bowling partner Carlos Rogers said. I asked Rogers whether Smoot could really do this; "hell no," he said. "They would kill Smoot."

I only knew to ask Smoot about his bowling career because Rogers had talked extensively about their bowling habits earlier during OTAs. Rogers--who also sometimes bowls with the rapper Fabulous Fabolous--said that he has 10 bowling balls (which he varies based on oil patterns), real bowling shoes and a personal high of 289. And Smoot?

"That boy's crazy," Rogers said. "He bowls, and he might just lay on the ground kicking his feet, do some of everything, while he's bowling. From the time he let that ball go he might just lay on the ground, looking at his ball, rolled-up, kicking. That boy crazy. He do some of everything."

"It's not semi-planned, it's off the emotions of competition," Smoot said. "See, that's what I'm gonna bring to the PBA. I'm very intense, just like football, very animated. I'm gonna be the one selling tickets for the PBA."

I don't doubt that part of it. As for the bowling, what's his average? "I always tell people my average is one point better than theirs," Smoot said. "Whatever you bowl, I'm gonna be one point better."

How old will he be when he starts this career? "However old I am," Smoot said. "I didn't know bowlers had a prime, you know, I didn't think I was outgrowing it or something.

What's his high? A 291, he said. What's his home alley? A Bowl America in Northern Virginia, where he's a regular and employees "know I'm gonna be there." What are his feelings about "straight bowlers" like Jason Campbell? "No respect," Smoot said, "no respect." (He said great NFL bowlers include Santana Moss and Rod Gardner, who can "REALLY bowl.")

What's his fashion sense? "I'm the best," Smoot said. "I [wear] my football glove, I cut the fingers out of them, stuff like that. I've got this shirt, man, it's a shirt my momma gave me, just an old t-shirt I got, an 'It's a Good Day' t shirt with a smiley face on it. Sometimes I wear that bowling."

Does he really think he can do it? "I will be a professional," he said. "Ain't no do I think I can. Once it becomes something I do, like, every every day, I'm gonna get better and better."

Lauren Houlon from ESPN 980 was with me, listening to all this, and pointed out to Smoot that he has also profession a passion for bass fishing. "I love it, but that's more of a hobby, and I don't want to bring the world into that," Smoot said. "I like to separate myself from the world when I'm fishing."

She asked him whether he might take up skate-boarding; "I ain't gonna do skateboarding, that's too dangerous," he said.

He said he hasn't yet talked to PBA officials about his dreams, but he trusted they would see this item, which they will. At the least, I'm counting on them to invite him to roll out the first ball at an upcoming tourney. I also asked him about his Great Falls neighbor, Gilbert Arenas, who has already found his way onto United States Bowling Congress promotional materials.

"Gilbert can bowl, and I'm challenging him now," Smoot said. "If he ever wants to meet me we can give all the winnings to a foundation of his choice, but I challenge him to a bowl-off. Really, I challenge him to get him a team of Wizards and I'm gonna get my team of Redskins, and we'll meet them anywhere....Tell him I challenge him to a du-al, to a DU-AL!" Smoot screamed.

"Five people, you bring your five, we'll bring our five," Smoot said to Andray Blatche.

"We're gonna bring it to y'all," Blatche promised.

"He ain't gonna tote the team," Smoot said of Blatche. "I'm gonna tote my team."

More on this tomorrow, obviously, when the Skins return from their bowl-a-thon.

You, sir, have been challenged. (By Ned Dishman - NBAE via Getty)

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 9, 2009; 1:37 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins , Wizards  
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Next: Chris Cooley is Honest About OTAs


I got a positive story for you about the Nats. One that is all too obvious but I think should lead to something. The playing of the John Adams Theme at the beginning of every game, is probably the best song they could start with out there. I am gonna even suggest that we fans name the park, John Adams Stadium, since they still have yet to find naming rights for it. Think about it we could do a whole revolutionary thing for the team. Tri-corner hats over baseball caps, the works.

Posted by: alex35332 | June 9, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather he just have Pro Bowl ambitions, that's probably just as unlikely.

Posted by: ThisGuy | June 9, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"Rogers--who also sometimes bowls with the rapper Fabulous--"

I think you mean Fabolous Dan, but you're forgiven in advance.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | June 9, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

This was worth the chat hype, Steinbog.

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 9, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Bass fishing involves watercraft.

I don't think the world wants in on anything that requires Fred Smoot to be on a boat. Just smells a little fishy...

Posted by: mabkhar | June 9, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I've bowled with one of Fred Smoot's cousins who, to put it one way, has enough game to be a legitimate threat for a check at any PBA regional event he enters; suffice it to say that he has no delusions about what he's talking about getting into once his football days are over. I have no doubt that Smoot is DEAD SERIOUS about developing some serious game with a bowling ball and making a run at the PBA Tour. Should be interesting.

Posted by: robtr3 | June 10, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Fred, to answer your question about when a bowler hits his prime, heres some tidbits that might help:
--The top five finishers at the U.S. Open a few months ago were Mike Scroggins (45), Norm Duke (45 and the defending champion), Chris Barnes (39), Richie Wolfe (turned 42 the day of the TV show--also from northern Virginia), and Amleto Monacelli (47)
--The winners of the PBA Tour's four major championships this past season: Norm Duke (then 44), John Nolen (27), Patrick Allen (38), and Mike Scroggins (45); fortysomethings also accounted for three of the previous season's four majors
--Of the top ten bowlers on this past season's PBA Tour point list, eight are over 30 and five are over 40.

Posted by: robtr3 | June 10, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

I think the word is d-u-e-l unless he was talking about hooking up with some twins.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | June 10, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I think it is great that someone wants to follow their dreams and ambitions. However, how much is there here to really believe. His highest game is a 291?!?!?!?
Are you going to lead me to believe he threw 11 strikes in a row, only to get 1 pin on his final ball in the 10th?!?!? Give me a break!

A lot of people today with the reactive balls average 200 on a regular house pattern. The oil patterns that the pros bowl on are some of the toughest anyone can bowl on. Those guys averaging 210 on the tour easily would average 235 or better on a house pattern. I see good league bowlers every week go out on the regional tour, only to have their lunch handed to them. The guys on the National PBA tour are without a doubt the best bowlers in the world. To hear another person boast how they are going to come and sell tickets is ludicrous. I know of hundreds of bowlers who average over 220 in their league, and they will be the first to admit that they are not able to compete on a regular basis on the PBA Tour.

Again, it is great to have the ambition to want to be on the PBA, but please don't honor someone who basically seems to disrespect the sport with laying on the lanes, cannot give an average, claims a 291 as a high game.

I do agree Robtr3's post about players in their prime. Bowling is about experience and knowing how to play the lanes. THe most powerful players in the world usually are the ones watching someone else hoist the trophy every week.

Posted by: pbabowler | June 10, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

A 291 is almost impossible unless you threw 11 in row and knock down 1 pin on the last ball. Sounds a little fishy to me. I don't buy it either!!!

Posted by: gggman123 | June 11, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

A 291? Really? You (Smoot) expect us bowlers to believe that you threw 11 in a row then caught a 7 or a 10 pin on your last ball? Come one man, just claim the 290 and be happy.
And a house shot it butter compared to a PBA shot. Talk about something that will humble a good league bowler.
If Fred is serious, have him come down to Richmond on the 14th to bowl with James Farrior and a bunch of the Steelers. I will be bowling and plan on taking some cash from the Superbowl Champs.

Posted by: VaBowler | June 11, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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