FanDuel - WFBC

February 26, 2010

Strange that no one's talking about Kelly Kulick becoming the first woman to win a men's Professional Bowlers Association Tour title: Hello? America? This is the equivalent of "Man Gives Birth!" It's never happened in any ball sport in American history. Kulick, 32, should own Page 1...She beat 62 of the best male pros -- straight up -- in arguably the Tour's creamiest event, the Tournament of Champions. And she beat them like egg yolks. She beat Chris Barnes, the No. 1 bowler on the Tour, by 70 pins in the final!

posted by mediareport to other at 12:06 AM - 24 comments

Well, it was mentioned on SportsFilter on January 25th.

I think the main point is that no one really knows anything about professional bowling, except those that follow it closely.

Also, why did it take Rick Reilly over a month to talk about it himself?

posted by grum@work at 12:47 AM on February 26

Pro bowling gets next to nothing in terms of coverage, so I'm not too surprised it didn't merit more discussion.

It may also be due to the fact that anyone that's bowled in a mixed league knows that there are plenty of women bowlers that can hold their own with the men.

posted by dviking at 01:26 AM on February 26

This is the equivalent of "Man Gives Birth!"

Shit, we're going to need a new Hyperbole Meter. That writer just broke the current one.

Woman wins at bowling. Woop-dee-doo. Hardly up there with birthing is it unless they fire the bowling balls from some fairly unorthodox orifices.

posted by Drood at 03:03 AM on February 26

I'll assume you're talking about the nose, Drood.

Ha. I kid. I actually laughed when I read that line.

Also, good for her. If only I actually cared about the pro bowling circuit. That gets filed under "Things I Leave On My TV While I Nap On Sunday Afternoons".

posted by boredom_08 at 03:41 AM on February 26

Someone needs to alert Jeremy Roenick.

posted by NoMich at 06:16 AM on February 26

We're talking about bowling. I mean listen, we're sitting here talking about bowling, not football, not basketball, not baseball, but we're talking about bowling. Not the sports that we go out there and die for and played every game like it's the last but we're talking about bowling man. How silly is that?

posted by Demophon at 09:12 AM on February 26

Allen, is that you?

posted by NoMich at 09:13 AM on February 26

I still can't say "ball sport" without laughing, but hey, it is a ball sport, and a woman just destroyed the top men in it. Reilly's hyperbole is an overreaction, but the fact that almost no one's covered this seemed interesting. Oh, and grum@work, meant to link that brief "previously," thanks.

posted by mediareport at 09:23 AM on February 26

This is the equivalent of "Man Gives Birth!"

So it belongs on the front page of a supermarket tabloid?

After reading that synopsis, I perused the article expecting it to be a string of jokes, but it appears to be serious. Look this is a great accomplishment for her as a person (or at least I assume it is--I've never heard of this event before) and she certainly deserved to be proud of it, but to assert that this is "The greatest moment in women's sports" is absurd.

Bowling barely cracks the long list of mainstream sports, and I fail to see how men enjoy any significant advantage over women that a woman winning a major bowling event is significant on a gender level.

posted by bender at 09:24 AM on February 26

I fail to see how men enjoy any significant advantage over women

Huh. No assumed advantage from strength? In bowling? That's a reaction I didn't expect.

posted by mediareport at 09:46 AM on February 26

I fail to see how men enjoy any significant advantage over women that a woman winning a major bowling event is significant on a gender level.

If men don't enjoy a significant advantage winning major bowling events, why is this the first time a woman has won?

posted by dirigibleman at 10:27 AM on February 26

If men don't enjoy a significant advantage winning major bowling events, why is this the first time a woman has won?

I thought they said this was the first time they ever allowed a woman in the tournament.

posted by grum@work at 10:49 AM on February 26

I thought they said this was the first time they ever allowed a woman in the tournament.

It is.

The PBA's marketing department threw a gutter ball by not getting this achievement more attention. It definitely is a huge milestone in women's sports history.

We're talking about bowling. I mean listen, we're sitting here talking about bowling, not football, not basketball, not baseball, but we're talking about bowling. Not the sports that we go out there and die for and played every game like it's the last but we're talking about bowling man. How silly is that?

So the sports you care about are ones "we go out there and die for" but bowling's a joke? News flash: All sports are pointless timewasters to the unconverted. Even football, basketball and baseball. (My wife makes this observation at least 3-5 times a week. Only this year's Olympics escaped her withering gaze.)

Millions of people bowl.

posted by rcade at 11:08 AM on February 26

As a former par bowler (200 avg over a period of time) I can comprehend the significance of this. It is generally difficult for women to compete with men successfully in professional bowling because of the way they run their tournaments. For example, to win the tournament, she had to bowl more than 50 games in a 5 day period. Also, she uses a 15 pound bowling ball where the men generally use a 16 pound ball (which is the heaviest allowed by the rules). The extra pound does make a difference. In addition, the lanes are set up with their dressing (oil is a more familiar term) in ways that are not commonly set up in other tournaments.

The shame of this is that there are more people who bowl regularly in the U.S. than most of the other participation sports. Only a few sports like baseball/softball can boast the participation numbers. This should be a sport that can relate to the average person and therefore get them interested in watching. It is a shame that the following has gotten to be as bad as it has. Back in the 70's and 80's, bowling had such a following that ABC had it on every Sunday afternoon and had good ratings every week. Some of the bowlers of that era were household names.

She accomplished something that had never been done in bowling and nearly all forms of top level competition. That is a wonderful thing in itself. It is just a shame that it had to happen in a sport that has so small a loyal following. I can only hope that some day bowling will get back to the position it had in the past. That would be great.

posted by jjohn24680 at 11:16 AM on February 26

I agree with rcade ... my definition of sport is pretty stringent itself, but he is right about my favorites being the next guys curling.

Instead, she's gotten one free hair coloring. That's the highlight.

She beat Chris Barnes, the No. 1 bowler on the Tour, by 70 pins in the final! That's like beating Emeril by three hams!

Reason No. 1 Kelly Kulick Is Better Than Men: "I like drilling my own balls!"

Classic lines. Although the highlight one may have been unintentional.

One difference I see in the PBA and the NFL, for instance, is that so many little kids grow up here wanting to be in the NFL. The same cannot be said for bowling so this isn't exactly like a woman kicked the Super Bowl winning field goal, but is still a significant milestone for the fairer.

I thought they said this was the first time they ever allowed a woman in the tournament.

They said it was the first time a woman had qualified. Which hints that they have tried before but doesn't specifically say so.

Also, I gotta say the writers idea of the perfect woman is a far cry from mine.

posted by Ricardo at 11:24 AM on February 26

The whole column is wrong. The greatest moments in women's sports happen to be when a woman beats a man. No.

posted by bperk at 01:18 PM on February 26

Why not? If Annika Sorenstam had ended up in the leaderboard of a PGA event, it would have been an enormous boost for the LPGA.

posted by rcade at 01:35 PM on February 26

Just the opposite, I think. If women sports can only gain popularity or credibility by competing against men, it is bad for women's sports not good. It makes women's sports a minor league instead of a separate league with different competitors and a different style of play. Women's sports can stand on their own. The 1999 World Cup is an example. Making Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain known to the world and little girls everywhere want to play soccer.

posted by bperk at 01:49 PM on February 26

I didn't say it was the only way they could gain popularity. It's just good marketing when an athlete establishes crossover appeal by competing in a male-dominated sport.

posted by rcade at 02:10 PM on February 26

No doubt that it is good for the individual athlete. I just don't see how it helps women's sports.

posted by bperk at 02:12 PM on February 26

Thanks, bperk, I think you have carried along at least some of what I was trying to or wanted to say. I'm not a woman, but I think I would be offended if someone wanted to assert that the high water mark in women's athletics was a woman winning a bowling tournament. Great moment for her--sure, but greatest moment for women--not so much. I also wasn't sure which accomplishments to place at the top, but I think the 1999 World Cup is a solid example.

posted by bender at 06:50 PM on February 26

It is just a shame that it had to happen in a sport that has so small a loyal following.

And, that, I think, sums up why it isn't strange that no one's talking about it

Tour's creamiest event

What the hell does that mean? I don't know whether to be hungry or nauseous.

posted by cjets at 09:04 PM on February 26

Fuck it, Dude. Let's go roll.

Nihilists? Fuck me. Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, but at least it's an ethos.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:43 AM on February 27

Been awhile since you've seen the movie, Weedy? Your quotes are a bit off.

posted by DudeDykstra at 01:43 PM on February 27

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