Should the government subsidize bowling? E-mail
Written by Chalupa   
Monday, 11 January 2010 22:54


Bowling is a fad that has waxed and waned over the years in the U.S.  While the sport is certainly not in its "Golden Age" any more, it's definitely making a come back.  Bowling is a sport that I've heard was brought to the New World by European immigrants.  I read on Wikipedia the game of nine pins was outlawed at some point so some ingenious dudes created the modern game of 10 pin bowling.  I'd always heard of those alternate forms of bowling, candlepin and fivepin, but never encountered them until we moved to New Hampshire.  It's weird man, but that's cool - different strokes for different folks.

In the past couple years of Lebowski Fests some fancy, posh bowling alleys have come to our attention through pictures and stories or firsthand experiences.  I've mostly heard about these expensive alleys popping up in bigger cities like New York City, Boston, and Chicago.  They probably exist in other places too, but is it really worth it?  Bowling has always been a sport the common man can enjoy.  And I'm talking about real common men, not those of Barton Fink's imagination.  I've heard bowling is enjoyed by so many because you don't have to have any special skills to participate.  Even the physically disabled, like Mr. Lebowski, can play the sport with the assistance of special equipment.  With the rise of expensive bowling alleys and the decline of the neighborhood lanes will the common man be able to continue to roll their way into the semis?

I guess we really shouldn't be surprised by this change in development.  Back in the 1950s and 1960s huge, elaborate complexes were designed and constructed for the sport.  Some included five acre parking lots, boxing arenas, cocktail bars, billiards, child care and what-have-you.  They also attracted big name stars and acts to entertain people that probably weren't working on rolling that perfect strike or picking up spares.  In a Gothamist article last week John Del Signore writes about annoying nightclubs, the likes of which Jersey Shore stars would probably frequent, masquerading as bowling alleys these days.  Are dress codes, VIP lounges, dim lights, over-compensating DJs and blaring music what you think of when bowling comes to mind?  Not really for me.  I don't think I could concentrate in that kind of environment.  Disco bowling and blacklight bowling already makes me cringe so I can only imagine what the extra sensory overload would do to my game.

The only good thing is that these new "hang outs" are making money and stimulating the economy.  I just wish the smaller, quieter and more traditional venues could continue to stay open at the same time.  I can't afford $50 for a couple games and luckily I do have $1/game options close to where I live.

Will Douchey, Overpriced Bowling Alleys Save the Economy? -
Bowling: Treehorn Style -


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