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PBA Responds to Smoot

Photos by Ned Dishman via the Redskins.

Yesterday, I wrote about Fred Smoot's ambition to become a pro bowler and bring his unique flair to the PBA after he retires from football. Redskins blogger Matt Terl did me one better, with a first-hand account of Smoot's bowling skills and a video of said skills. Meanwhile, longtime Bog reader Bob Moss wrote in, pointing out that Smoot would fit in much better with his new peers were he named Smootski.

Anyhow, the PBA has responded to Smoot's dreams, with a statement from Deputy Commissioner Tom Clark:

The PBA will give Fred Smoot entry into a PBA event and he can see where he stacks up against the best bowlers in the world. We think he might be in for a rude awakening because our pros are to bowling pins what he is to wide receivers.

Smoot would learn a lot about his game and get some tips from the best. We are sure he has a long way to go to get to the pro level but his enthusiasm for the sport can carry him far.

Anyhow, a PBA spokesman sent me some follow-up information to help us judge Smoot's chances for success. PBA exempt pros, he explained, "average 220-230 on PBA lane conditions, which are much tougher than what you see in a local bowling center (picture a U.S. Open golf layout when the rough is up and the greens are fast) Non-exempt pros are a notch lower and generally average 210 and up. Our amateur fields average 190-210 depending on how much experience they have."

But if he puts in the work, who knows. Regardless, the spokesman said the PBA could offer Smoot entry into an actual event this season, which would undoubtedly be the highlight of my year. More to come, clearly.

Fred Smoot Wants to Be a Pro Bowler [Bog]
Fred Smoot Bowls With Tremendous Enthusiasm [Redskins Blog]
Fred Smoot Bowling: the video [Redskins Blog]

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 10, 2009; 10:29 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins , Weirdness  
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I think it would be fun to see and it would finally justify why ESPN puts bowling on TV.

Posted by: alex35332 | June 10, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Dan, make sure to ask Wilbon for a firsthand experience. He was on ESPN the other day bowling against one of the PBA champs

Posted by: JDP_ | June 10, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Fair warning, Smoot goes to the PBA, Boy Wonder will probably try to buy the PBA and ruin that too!

Posted by: rvanags | June 10, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"...our pros are to bowling pins what he is to wide receivers."

you mean sieves?

Posted by: donknutts | June 10, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

espn justifies it by getting better ratings for PBA then MLS and NHL.... probably didn't think that but they do

Posted by: cjs58 | June 10, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain how the PBA lane conditions are "much tougher than what you'd see in your local bowling center"?

Posted by: Barno1 | June 10, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Barno--here's a couple of links if you'd like to see the long and fairly jargon-heavy explanation:

Now, here's the (sort of) short version: in your local bowling center, you'll find lane conditions (more precisely, oil patterns) that enable a bowler who has a basic idea of what he's doing to average 230 simply by (assuming he's right-handed) standing toward the left, throwing it toward the right, revving the living ?!@#? out of the ball and having a HUGE margin for error. Imagine a golf course where the fairways resembled half-pipes, the greens resembled funnels, the pin placements never changed, and all the holes are par 3's; yes, I'm talking THAT kind of easy! A "typical house pattern" is a lot of oil in the middle of the lane and very very little on the outsides near the gutters. If you throw any kind of hook and you miss your target to the right, the ball hits the dry and hooks right back; if you miss left, the ball skates through the oil and doesn't hook very much at all. You don't have to be too accurate to score well on these conditions; most "230-average bowlers" who are actually telling the truth do it in this sort of environment. PBA Tour conditions are another story altogether, as you'll see when you click those two links; in particular, check out the US Open oil pattern, and you'll see just why this year's 51-game leader only averaged 215 for the week--suffice it to say, THERE's your Bethpage Black, baby!

Posted by: robtr3 | June 11, 2009 3:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh, by the way...when Tom Clark says Smoot would likely be in for a rude awakening when he bowls his first PBA event, he speaks from first-hand experience--when he was writing for USA Today, he bowled a PBA Tour event on Long Island, himself; that experience was documented on a piece that ran on that week's Pro Bowlers' Tour telecast on ABC.

Posted by: robtr3 | June 11, 2009 3:37 AM | Report abuse

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