Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Week in Bowling

Ever since graduating from high school, I've been much less exposed to local news coverage than I was in my first round of formative years, what with getting up early for school and the local news being on in the early evening until giving way to reruns of The Simpsons. But my friend Nick recently shared an article with me that reminded me of everything that can be heartwarming about local news. That's pretty serious. My primary musical alter ego, "Hank 300" (perhaps not coincidentally, creating not long after starting college (that is, not long after graduating from high school)), was so named because of this one time that he bowled a 300 game. But the Brawling Bowler of Brockton puts that to shame. All the chatter about bowling that ensued from the 900 series up in Brockton led to Nick pointing out perhaps an even better thing that exists about bowling. For those of you with Netflix, you can find it there. It's called A League of Ordinary Gentleman, and it's a documentary made in 2004 as it looks like a promotional gambit to capture the excitement of the rebirth of the Professional Bowling Association (PBA), in the wake of it's losing relevancy in 1997 and the devastating lampooning of bowling culture that happened in the (now a cult classic) movie Kingpin. It's deadly self-serious and comically misguided in trying to craft a human interest story about the dorky and/or assholish middle-aged white men behind the supposed resurgence of the PBA. I have a memory of going to see Kingpin with my mother and older brothers. I don't know if I have constructed this aspect after the fact, but I seem to recall thinking it was hilarious when the other three of them weren't so keen on it. I've watched it many times since. I was just looking for a video clip of it online, but it suprisingly wasn't available, but Kingpin contains my very favorite groin hit in any movie. Woody Harrelson's character, Roy Munson, gets hit in the groin by one of the bad guys. When Roy keels over from it, he hits the bad guy's henchman in the groin, and then the henchman, as he keels over, hits the bad guy in the groin. It's amazing. One time, in Austin, Texas, I went to go see a vapid neighbor act in a very shitty locally-produced play at a local independent playhouse. Afterwards, we were milling around with a bunch of other neighbors, who were milling around in the playhouse's bar, praising the vapid actress-neighbor for doing such a great job in such an incredible production. Kingpin was playing on the TVs in the bar (with the sound off), which was not helping my ability to be a good neighbor and participate in the social charade. Then, even worse, the groin hit scene came on, and I accidentally laughed out loud at it. That's how funny it is (and what a shitty socializer I am, I guess). So anyway, this documentary got made to try and help these guys get their mojo back, and even though it's never as laugh-out-loud funny as Kingpin, it's surprisingly engaging to watch and just wonder about the fact that it exists as you're watching it. One thumb and two fingers up!


Blogger Jack said...

My memory of Kingpin is that we watched it on VHS for family movie night without realizing how raunchy it would be. Awkward Family Video Night '97! Good times.

I think I'll have more fun celebrating feats of amateur bowling than mocking attempted feats of professional bowling. 900! That's a lot of bowling points.

3/04/2015 9:14 PM  
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