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Bowl-A-Rama

November 17th, 2005

For the past several months, I’ve been spending Wednesday nights with a new hobby: bowling.

My dad’s a championship bowler–he won Chicago’s Petersen Classic back in the early ’60s–and I spent most Friday nights during my formative years sitting in the snack bar of a bowling alley in Munster, Indiana listening to the clatter of falling pins. (To this day, I find that sound oddly soothing.) Dad still participates in several leagues, and threw another 300 game not too long ago, but his skill never rubbed off on me.

That didn’t stop me from signing up when WILL organized a team for the University of Illinois Faculty/Staff League. I suck–my current average is 127–but since it’s a 100% handicap league, that doesn’t matter. In handicap bowling, the goal is to beat one’s own average. One doesn’t bowl against the opposing team so much as against oneself.

Make no mistake, the WILL team is terrible. We have the lowest team average–and therefore the highest handicap–in the league. Last night, the opposing team was spotting us 280 pins, and it still wasn’t enough to win two out of the three games.

Funny thing is that despite this (or more likely because of it), we’ve just jumped into third place out of 16 teams! We’ve still got another whole semester to go until the finish line, but we’re already smelling a bowling trophy! And it smells sweet!

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