FanDuel - WFBC

February 27, 2002

If curling is in the Olympics, why not bowling? The International Bowling Federation wants bowling to be an Olympic medal event. The benefits, according to their FAQ, are: the objectivity of its scoring, its gender equity, and the appeal of an additional demographic not otherwise drawn to the Games. Sounds good to me.

posted by Prince Valium to other at 04:32 PM - 12 comments

In curling you interact with your opponents' play, correct? In bowling you do not. If the activity itself isn't that exciting to watch, you need that direct interaction to heighten interest. Croquet would be a more exciting spectator sport than bowling. And I used to be a regular bowler as a kid. Somehow I never started smoking, though...

posted by NortonDC at 05:09 PM on February 27

Yeah, sure, but can you drink in between frames? Or maybe to make it more interesting, should it be a requirement?

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:17 PM on February 27

NortonDC: If interaction with opponents is a prerequisite to legitimacy, then downhill skiing, most track and field events, gymnastics, and figure skating are out.

posted by Prince Valium at 05:44 PM on February 27

10 pin bowling, probably not. Crown green bowling, why not?

posted by salmacis at 05:51 PM on February 27

Will everybody please drop this insane curling-bashing? It's a great sport to watch on TV, winding down with your favorite beverage after a hard day at work, and it's my only realistic shot at one day being an Olympic athlete.</hissy fit>

posted by qbert72 at 12:14 AM on February 28

I like the idea, especially because bowling has that 'everyman' tag to it, probably the #1 participation sport, in the western world at least. Sure, it's not as real as synchronized swimming or as practical as the biathalon, but it is a world sport. If the lobbying effort is anything like the effort Salt Lake City put out, bring lots of money.

posted by Mack Twain at 12:31 AM on February 28

I love to bowl, but do you think it should really be a Olympic sport. You really don't need ant form of athleticism, just a ball and a funny looking pair of shoes.

posted by tipanimal12 at 08:38 AM on February 28

You really don't need ant form of athleticism, just a ball and a funny looking pair of shoes

As an avid bowler, I really have to say that's untrue. Form is absolutely everything in competitive bowling.

I admit that you don't have to have the body of a athlete to compete, but you definately have to practice longer and harder than many "athletes" do to become a champion at bowling.

My worry would be that there is already a hubbub about Americanization of Olympic events.

Though bowling isn't strictly American, wouldn't adding that to the Olympics just elevate that anti-US anxiety.

By the way, is darts an Olympic event?

posted by Wulfgar! at 12:09 PM on February 28

Maybe niether should be... IMHO there are too many 'sports' in the Olympics. We can lose all sports that need a judge for a start (Gymnastics, Ice dance, synchronised swimming)

posted by Brettski at 04:56 AM on March 01

Prince Valium - If interaction with opponents is a prerequisite to legitimacy, then downhill skiing, most track and field events, gymnastics, and figure skating are out.

Strawman.

Read what I wrote. It includes this important qualifier: "If the activity itself isn't that exciting to watch..."

That describes bowling. It does not describe downhill, gymnastics or figure skating, though it does describe ice dancing and much of track and field.

Much of track and field, however, is redeemed by it's head-to-head nature, highlighting the agon that was the foundation of ancient Greek Olympic competition (FYI - the Greeks never even tried to time events, it made no sense to them, it was purely about beating the other man right beside you).

Many Olympic competitions, even those non-interactive and non-head-to-head ones are exciting to watch.

Uneven bars still blows my mind every time.

Lifting f'ing scares me.

Ice skaters push the boundaries of human strength and coordination. Bowling, despite the enjoyment it brings to me to pursue, does not floor me like these things do, it does not push me to redefine my ideas of what humans can do.

Brettski - We can lose all sports that need a judge for a start (Gymnastics, Ice dance, synchronised swimming)

Start by naming a single Olympic sport that doesn't involve a judge. I dare you.

Second, should you find any, does their existence mean we should drop boxing? Wrestling?

posted by NortonDC at 01:26 PM on March 01

NortonDC: Strawman. Read what I wrote. It includes this important qualifier: "If the activity itself isn't that exciting to watch..." That describes bowling. It does not describe...

Now that's just plain subjective. Bowling is more interesting to me than figure skating, and I could find a small army that agrees with me.

Based on the fiasco that took place in SLC the past couple of weeks, you can't argue that we're actually trying to emulate the ancient Greeks. Hell, it's all about maintaining the interest of the casual fan (which of course translates into revenue and TV ratings.) You are right that part of the fan interest comes from seeing a record get broken by people who are uncommonly strong, fast, etc. But QBert and Mack also have it right - people want to see sports where they can identify with the participants and say "Hey, I can do that too." Both reasons for watching are legitimate. You watch your sports, I watch mine, and NBC is very happy.

posted by Prince Valium at 02:20 PM on March 01

Prince Valium - Bowling is more interesting to me than figure skating, and I could find a small army that agrees with me.

First--"Interesting" is not "exciting."

Nothing about watching the ball roll down the lane is anywhere near as exciting as any halfway competitive throw in pairs skating.

Second--"Interesting" is not the same as "interesting to watch." Third--Your "small army" would be much smaller than the large army watching skating any time it's up against bowling.

you can't argue that we're actually trying to emulate the ancient Greeks

Correct, nor am I saying we should. I am saying that the top Olympic priority of the Greeks, the agon, is what keeps running around an oval while never leaving your lane dramatic to watch: the head-to-head simultaneous struggle to beat that man straining to do the same thing one lane over.

posted by NortonDC at 11:50 PM on March 01

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