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What Happened to Professional Bowling's Glory Days?

The best bowling YouTubes "ever" on Page Two.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The other morning I noticed a brace on the wrist/forearm of one of my daughter's friends. I asked her if she was going bowling. Her blank stare led to my daydream and this article.

A big part of my life in the 1980s was bowling. I was in a Saturday league. I wasn't very good, but it was fun. I didn't have to take my clothes off in a locker room to play. And, more importantly, I didn't have to worry about getting my block knocked off. I'm five feet, six inches tall now. I can't recall my 5th grade stats, but I was easily the shortest kid in my class, including the girls.

It was so bad, Martine Palermo wouldn't "date" me because I was short. True story. I had to settle for kissing Tricia Patton in the coat closet. And, to make matters worse, Martine Palermo remains hot to this day. I don't even have the "luxury" of saying, Well, at least she turned out fat and ugly.

Anyhow, bowling -- sort of like Internet message boards and the comments' sections of financial media articles today -- had a way of making the "small" feel "tall." Sadly, children of the modern age no longer have this psychologically reassuring outlet. Or maybe they do and I just don't know it.

TheStreet's Carlton Wilkinson has a son who won a big bowling tournament the other weekend. He (Carlton) was beaming about it on Facebook (FB). And rightfully so. So, from independent sources, bowling is seeping back into my consciousness. Maybe it's just an East Coast thing where the weather lends itself to indoor, wintertime sports.

Though, we have bowling alleys in California. I go to one in Santa Monica on occasion for birthday parties and, let's call it, thrice a year family fun. But it costs an arm and a leg out here to bowl just two games.

Back in the day, the PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) was all over television. I could be wrong, but I recall watching it on NBC as well as Disney's (DIS) ABC network and ESPN. My arduous research informs me that it's still on major networks, particularly ESPN, but I had no idea. That's probably some sort of glimpse into what's wrong with today's PBA.

I recall pro bowling on TV as nothing sort of damn entertaining.

That might be an overstatement. It wasn't the WWF. It wasn't Sunday afternoon football. But there was a certain allure to nationally televised bowling until something came along and tore it all apart.

I don't know the history well enough to add to that worthy observation from my friend Craig Scott, but I do know that it feels like professional bowling just fell off of the face of Earth. That's at least how this 38-year old feels trying to recollect something that was a part of his life some 30 years ago.

The Marshall Holman celebrations and outbursts. The great Mark Roth listening to New York Rangers' hockey games on the radio while he bowled in big tournaments on national television. That's at least how I recall it going down.

For the record, I am compelled to type "blowing" instead of bowling throughout this process, which is probably a worthy piece of information if we're looking to pin down (no pun) the "sport's" apparent demise. Thank goodness for auto-correct.

Maybe bowling is like tennis? Void of engaging personalities.

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