When I let it go, I knew it was good.
The blue and yellow swirled ball rumbled down the lane, hit the pocket, and sent all 10 pins exploding in different directions. So excited, I yelled and gave a fist pump. I turned around to see my dad, mom, brother and grandma screaming, yelling and applauding. I hugged them each, one by one . . . we were all teary-eyed at what had transpired.
A moment I will never forget.
In September 2012, Welborn Media sponsored the Welborn Media bowling team in the Fast & Furious Bowling League at Chaparral Lanes in Chino Hills, CA. The Welborn Media bowling team consisted of myself; my dad, Larry; my mom, Annie; my brother Rocky; and our honorary team coach . . . my grandma, Lenore.
My parents had bowled in leagues when I was extremely young and my brother and I had played for just a few months in the previous season . . . For all intents and purposes we were new to the game.
We somehow managed to stay atop the leader board for the entire season, but many teams were within striking distance going into the final week. We had just a 2.5 game advantage over two very talented teams.
During the season we managed to rack up some incredible performances.
- My brother, Rocky bowled a 705 series with my Uncle Steve and Aunt Brenda looking on in amazement.
- My mom, Annie scored a 728 handicap series while bowling in front of her sister, Cathy and her husband, Robert as witnesses.
- My dad, Larry always came through in the clutch. In one memorable outing, the pressure was on, we needed him to get three straight strikes in order to win, so he did.
As for me, I saved my clutch performance for the last match of the season.
In bowling, the last week of the season is called position week, where the teams closest to each other compete against one another to determine their final placement in the league standings. We had to set up a pre-bowl because my brother, Rocky, was going to be out of town for a wedding. To win the league we needed to beat the Ball Busters while also securing enough points to make sure that One Time Split didn’t sneak in and steal the title from us. Our season was on the line.
I prepared more diligently than I had before, trying to figure out the lanes during our practice bowling, the right amount of curve on the lane. I got dialed in.
My 1st game started off with 3 straight strikes, all perfectly placed in the pocket. In the 4th, I let the ball go a little too late and it hit the back side of the headpin . . . a “brooklyn” as they call it, but the pins still fell. Frames 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 went by like a blur as I continued to pile up the strikes.
In the 10th and final frame I let my first ball go . . . another perfect ball. It hit, the pins exploded but one pin was left standing . . . the 10 pin. Slowly one spinning pin began making its way from the left side of the lane to the right – headed towards the 10 pin . . . My family and I were screaming for it to hit.
The wayward pin slid right by the 10 pin. I turned around, dejected, knowing I had missed my chance for a perfect game. As I was looking over to my family — they suddenly burst out, cheering uncontrollably . . . Somehow, the 10 pin had fallen. My perfect game was still intact.
Before I was able to remain fairly calm. To avoid jinxing the game or adding pressure my team had been containing their enthusiasm, but after such a close call they revealed their extreme excitement. Now, I was nervous. My hands and my body were shaking after the intense low and high of that previous ball. I continued on. I lined myself up for the next throw and fired it down the lane for my 11th strike in a row.
For the 12th and final ball, I stood for a moment, gathered myself. I walked to my spot and let go.
A moment I will never forget.
Two weeks later we headed to Laughlin for Sweepstakes, the big, end of the year tournament which took place this past Father’s Day weekend.
It was a great weekend spent with my brother, his girlfriend, my sister, her boyfriend, my parents, my grandma and my Aunt Holly & Aunt Lindra. My dad won a poker tournament, we all won some money, spent some great quality time together and had a fantastic time bowling with a spirited group of our loved ones cheering us on.
Walking into the awards ceremony, 4 trophies were positioned on the table at the front of the room – all 4 were for us: 1st Place – Welborn Social Media.
During the awards ceremony Rocky won the highest handicap series, my Mom tied for the highest handicap series for females, our team had won the highest team scratch game and I won the highest scratch game of the season with a 300 – a perfect game.
Looking back on my perfect game I can see the faces of my dad, my mom and my brother – sheer joy. I’ll never forget walking to the table behind the alley to give my grandma a hug – a tear streaming down her face. And I’ll always remember the love, excitement and support I felt that day – perfect.
Some may be able to say they’ve bowled a perfect game, but I think I’m alone when I say that I’ve bowled the perfect game.