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Trick Shots - Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?

Coming up on Sunday, October 25, the PBA will kick off it’s season with the Trick Shot Challenge, a special exhibition event featuring a number of the PBA’s top stars dueling it out for the title of best trick shot artist.

I was personally on hand for the event, so I can vouch for the fact that it was incredibly entertaining to watch. And it’s also a perfect way to kick off the PBA Tour season because A) the amazing-ness of the tricks should generate a lot of buzz to get viewers to watch the “real” season and B) the Chris Paul event, which was an effective lead-off for last season has been moved to Super Bowl Sunday, when the ratings are usually much higher and more viewers will be exposed to the fact that lots of cool people (besides Jason Belmonte, Michael Fagan and Bill O’Neill) bowl.

Buuuuuuut. I know a lot of fans out there aren’t fans when it comes to trick shots? Why? Some of you are bowling proprietors or friends and family of proprietors who cringe when they see Osku Palermaa lofting his ball 40-feet down the lane and are just hoping the ball doesn’t hang up on his fingers a little so he doesn’t toss it through the roof (see this week’s episode of The Bowling Show for more on that). Other detractors are bowling purists who believe that anything other than hard-core, serious bowling on TV is bad for the perception of the sport.

Personally, I think in moderation, trick shots can offer a phenomenal boost to the sport. Having a single event like this one can showcase not just how talented the pros are, but also what fantastic entertainers they are as well. And the collective perception of pro bowlers as not being entertaining is just what I believe is missing from the equation right now that is preventing the world from seeing pro bowlers as larger-than-life athletes.

At any rate, we’ll all get a chance to see it here on October 25 (only about 2 weeks away!) And then we can all resume the debate on whether trick shots deserve our love or our scorn.
*Jason Thomas -

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