Discussing athletic thrill and entertainment since May 18, 2015
[PBA] A Strike Only Rohn Morton Can Throw
written by Kris Caballero (January 29, 2019)
Gone are the days when people went out and participated in healthy activities like bowling. Nowadays, people are on their smart devices wondering why Roger Goodell wouldn't give the Saints a "play again" because of the missed Pass Interference call that costed them the game—all while yelling and starting arguments against fans who support the Rams. Hoping to fire back the popularity of bowling again, we shall go back to January 2001 taking place at the "Biggest Little City in the World," Reno, Nevada.
Being a diehard basketball fan, I became a big PBA Bowling fan since 1998 after participating and becoming serious about the sport myself. The event I always looked forward to finally came through: Reno National/Senior Doubles at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada on ESPN. This tournament was commentated by Jim Kelly and Marshall Holman, and the pro bowlers competing on the televised tournament featured some big names—Mika Koivuniemi, Johnny Petraglia, Brian Voss, Robert Smith and Parker Bohn III. Sounded like a Sunday morning treat, wasn't it? (ESPN repeatedly commercialized the PBA as "Sundays are for Bowling.")
In the championship match, Parker Bohn III and his senior teammate by the name of Rohn Morton held through during their game. Since winner claims the trophy, the tournament and the money, Morton already threw 3 strikes and 1 spare. When he was up next to bowl, this happened:
I can hear you already: "Wow, Kris, you said all that just to show us this?" It's rare seeing a bowler throw a shot that hangs at the edge of the lane, and making its way back to "hit the pocket"—curving ("hooking" as it's often called) back to knock all ten pins. Being a league-experienced amateur bowler myself, it's not easy throwing a strike like that, especially knowing that you're centimeters away from a gutter ball. And yes, many other amateurs and professionals can throw a strike like this, depending on lane conditions, the ball—be it reactive or urethane—the revolutions on the ball and the bowler themselves. The point was to celebrate and recall back a miraculous moment during the heat of a championship match, during the doubles tournament in Reno. Feels like a rare treat!
With respect to Physics, shots like this fascinate me. I mean, a 16-pound bowling ball with enough traction on a well-oiled lane to come back and knock down all ten pieces of wood for a strike? It's dramatic, yet almost artistic.
The other best part was Marshall Holman's reaction as the shot was thrown. That was possibly the best "OH MY GOSH" I've ever heard from Mr. Holman—a personal favorite bowling analyst on the PBA broadcasts (though I've adapted to Mr. Pedersen's calls on the tournament broadcasts just as well).
This article isn't a plea, informational or a persuasive speech. The goal of this article is to remember and bring back the excitement in bowling, and the attention it garnered during the 2000 decade. With PBA back on FOX Sports, filled with new broadcast graphics and a fresh breed of professional bowlers competing with the seasoned ones, such as Jason Belmonte and Sean Rash, it couldn't be a better time to go bowling again. (Last time I went bowling seriously was 2008.)
Given the status of how our society is going today, we suggest everyone unwind and go bowling. May this article, and that amazing strike by Rohn Morton, encourage you to try and throw a similar strike of your own.