Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Junking find (bowling related)

We won't say who specifically, but rumor has it that one of the esteemed members of Team Third Rail has a spouse particularly gifted at the art of junking. But did she find one of these? Or, better put, five of these? For $2? We think not. So what if they're from a rival alley. They have been washed and readied for our Sunday gathering. Because what could be better than a green, bowling mug full of Stella?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 16: Overcoming Inertia

Sunday night, we at Third Rail faced an interesting phenomenon: Bowling inertia. Okay, I can remember Mr. Stern, my 9th grade physics teacher, stressing that “inertia is not a force.” That may be true. But inertia could not be denied Sunday night.

At least the Hoff admitted it. She didn’t totally feel like bowling. Heresy! I felt the same way. For me, it was the Patriots game. I don’t watch a ton of football, but playoff time, with the Jets at the stadium, you’ve got to watch. And early in the week, as I considered the schedule, it became abundantly clear that I’d be facing at least the second half on that teensy, alley screen, sandwiched by bowling score monitors.

Okay, fair enough. I’d taken a few weeks off and needed to be part of the team. But when the Pats game went south, that first round became even more aggravating.

Of course, as the great John Lydon once howled, anger is an energy. My strategy is  always to throw the ball hard. With Brady tanking, I ended up with a 178 on the first game, beaten only by a single point by Varsity and his shiny, new ball.

So what do we do when we don’t totally want to engage in the sport? Let’s quote a football coach for relevance. And to make this more confusing, let’s quote a football coach about another athletic activity.

“There are days when you don’t feel like running,” Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher told Runner’s World in a 2006 interview. “Those are the days you have to do it. Discipline is doing what you don’t want to do so you can do what you really want to do. Got it?”

There’s no quitting in bowling. Didn’t somebody once say that? And we didn’t quit. We actually had a pretty solid Sunday. My scores were my best. Varsity seemed to get a handle on his ball. And Hoff and Flo were steady on their averages. At the end, we seemed to have won every game, despite one of our opponents scoring the quietest 256 in the history of the sport. Bless you, bowling handicap.

A funny thing happened on our way to the second game. The Patriots were toast and I realized I was free. Free to chat. Free to devote the next few Sundays to whatever I might desire. Free to consume the amazing cookies one of the other league members had baked.

I realized that Mr. Stern was right. Inertia was not a force. The Third Rail’s mojo was back.