PreBowl 2: Laughlonian Boogaloo
For 12 rotations of the planet, Johnebob has dreamed of his column on the box score drenched with yellow paint. On Friday night, with the blood pumping through his veins stinking of the pale stench of Bud Light, he rolled. He rolled with passion and precision. His spare ball had the arc of a Larry Bird jumper. It was true. He averaged 172 pins, leaving only six frames open, and he single-handedly rewrote the record book. The Movements, as a team, put up quite a performance riding the hot hand of Johnebob. We smashed our previous team high series of 1,706 pins by nearly breaching the 1,800 mark with a 1,788. We set new team records for marks (71), mark percentage (57.7%), spares (38), pickup percentage (42.2%), and fewest open frames (52). We bowled remarkably consistently putting up handicapped scores of 882, 887, and 877. While it is conceivable that we lose one or even two games in this series, it is hard to imagine us doing worse than 2-2. Going 4-0 is not out of the question. We have done our part, but the final outcome is no longer ours to determine.
Two patterns over the last four rounds are worth exploring a bit further. We'll call them the Jose Slump and Rookie Jitters. It is no secret that Giuseppe has struggled over the last few weeks. Prior to the 1st of December, he led the team with a 150 average. Over the last four rounds, he has dropped a full 16.5 pins per game. This difference is highly significant (One sample t-test, t=3.27, df=11, p=0.008). Over this time period, he has bowled as high as 168 and as low as 105. It's not clear where exactly the problem lies in the interface between the man and the Qubica Bowland Buster House Ball, but it must be remedied soon. It is evident that drastic slump busting techniques must be employed. Following the guidance of Crash Davis, JD will be wearing garters to the Lanes on Monday night.
Perhaps even more striking is the Rookie Jitters phenomenon. El Jefe is having a predictably slow start, as it is his first season on the Bernaski tour. One clear pattern is his discrepancy in performance on League nights (Mondays) vs. PreBowl sessions. For the four nights on record, two of each type, the Canadian has averaged only 116 pins on League nights, while throwing down a whopping 150 average on PreBowl nights. This difference is also highly significant (Independent-sample t-test, t=3.14, df=10, p=0.01). While he would like to blame this juxtaposition on his on and off again relationship with his bowling ball, El Capitan, it is clear that he struggles with the intensity, competition, and pressure of league night while rubbing elbows with Laramie's finest bowlers. The jitters will wear off, Jefe. They always do.
There is nothing bad that can be said about U.J.'s performance this week. Not only did he lead the team in blood alcohol content, but he also led the team in every statistical category but one, Game 2 pin count. He topped out with a 192 in Game 3 and put up a low score of 171 in the 1st. His most remarkable stats concern spares, of which he slashed 15 frames, including one dash-slash frame (gutter ball-spare). He shattered the old record of 10 by 5 and overall converted 15 of 21 opportunities. For the three game set, he left only six frames open, a record that could stand for months.
Although U.T. put up a solid average of 156.7 pins, there was something off with his game. He had a stellar 2nd, recording his best game of the season with a 189. During the 2nd, he was easily on a 200 pace sitting on a 166 with a spare in the eighth, but T-Diddy seriously choked in the last two frames, ending with a 189. He rode the turkey to a decent final of 149 in the 3rd, a remarkably good score considering he only marked four frames in the this game. He struggled to collect spares all night, converting only 8 of 22 opportunities. While early consumption of bowling juice seemed to fuel the lead off man, for #2, it probably had a detrimental effect.
In the Hole
We should not allow our three hitter to roll on Monday nights. He had another solid prebowl performance. He started the set with a tight 169 in the first and ended the night with a 140.3 mean, 16 pins over his average. He was 2nd on the team in marks (17) and pickup percentage (39.1%). He recorded eight strikes, and led the charged in the 9th frame with a 15.7 average. In the 10th frame of the 2nd game, he reached his low by rolling two consecutive into the left side gutter.
Jody's slump continues. To put further perspective on how bad this has been, although Jose led the team in average for many months, as of Friday night, he has been completely erased from the record books by Johnebob. We have seen the man bowl well, like he has made a deal with the devil, sort of like the rock star guy in Oh God, You Devil. To end with a positive spin on an off night, he was 2nd on the team in single pin conversion rate at 42.9%.
December 12, 2008 Box Score
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