OK RealBowlers...

I know, I know, it has been forever, but here is a subject I have to get your opinions on.  For those that may not be aware, there have been a couple of incidents on the PBA Tour.  I will post a few clips here to get your opinion of what you think.

 

All of the clips involve Jason Belmonte the two hand phenom that emerged on the PBA Tour a few years back.  There was an incident with him a couple of months ago with Brad Angelo and the water bottle as seen below:

Take a look:



 


I will admit the first time I saw this I thought it was a little petty and that bowlers are getting whiny like some of the golfers where they are always looking for something to blame when they throw a bad shot.

So, when I saw the clip of Sean Rash and Jason Belmonte last week, I was a little surprised that Belmonte was being accused of doing the same thing. After doing a little research I saw another clip where Belmonte made some noise with a chair in the middle of Rash approach at another tournament.
Take a look at this one about :44 secs in:

Which leads to the last incident where Sean Rash calls him a "bottle bitch" which has caused a little controversy.  Which may be a good or a bad thing for the PBA, but take a look and let me know what are your thoughts on all of the incidents.


So, RealBowlers what are your thoughts? Belmonte released a statement on the PBA website about the incidents and state that he really does not like being called a cheater, etc... here is the statement from the article:

http://news.pba.com/post/2011/6/19/Belmonte-Comments-on-Recent-Tele...

JASON BELMONTE STATEMENT

I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. The Orange Open was on and it saw many of Australia’s best bowlers come to town. For us small town locals, seeing these guys who could curve the ball and shoot well over 200 every game was a sight we all loved. I was so excited, bursting to just jump out of the car and see those I idolized.

The bowling centre was packed, finding my favourite player wasn’t easy, but a few games in I had found him. I remember trying to see his every shot, peering through the legs of those in front of me. After he struck one shot, I stuck my arm through the crowd to get to him and offered him a high 5 for the shot. He looked down at me and said “I don’t give 5, that’s for girls.”

People laughed and I remember feeling embarrassed and ashamed that I even admired someone like that. I go back to that story every time I am in a bowl, every time someone asks me for an autograph or a photo or a high 5. No matter who they are, they deserve the same respect they give me. They deserve a small portion of my time because they have given a small portion of theirs.

That lesson has also been taught to me by my family. My family has been in the bowling industry for all my 27 years and the most important part of their success, is friendly and honest customer service. They have taught me to treat those around me exactly how I want to be treated.

Over the last few months my credibility as a bowler, as a person and as a friend has been cast over a shadow of doubt.
I have been labeled a cheat, a child, and much worse things by fans, and other pros. Even worse, pros that I considered friends.

For what? Because I drink water out of a bottle? Don’t all athletes during pressure filled situations?
I said sorry to Angelo during and after our match at the Dick Weber Playoffs last season. I felt like the timing in which the bottle popped was extremely unfortunate. It caught him and even though I didn’t agree with how he reacted, I did the right thing and told him it was accidental, that I felt horrible about it and in no way did I intend to put him off. This incident was then blown out of the water by certain staff at the PBA, blasted all over Facebook and PBA.com, with poorly chosen headlines and edited YouTube clips to not only cause doubt over my intentions while bowling against Angelo but also to cause doubt over who I am as a person. To say after that incident I was upset was an understatement. I hate that it happened and I thought I made that clear by how apologetic I was on the day and in interviews there after that show.

Fast forward to June for the PBA Summer Series, one of the last matches of the summer series ended up with Sean Rash and I being the last bowlers left standing. Like I had for every single other frame of every other match I start my pre-shot routine by taking a drink from the water bottle given to me by the TV crew on the set.

On one of the closing shots of our match, while Rash was preparing, I had searched for my bottle that had fallen under my seat. I picked my bottle up off the floor. I held it by the bottle cap waiting for him to complete the shot. It popped in my hand, well before I was ever thinking about opening it. Not in his 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th step, but before he had even taken a single step on the approach. I didn’t hold the bottle on the sides, pressing it in, trying to pop it during his approach. I simply was waiting. He pulled back, set himself again and bowled a great shot. When it struck, the verbal abuse started and his language with children present and the fact that it was on TV was appalling.

He claimed in his rant, between the cursing, that what I do with the bottle I do to everyone else on tour and that he took it upon himself to express that for everyone.

If Rash or Angelo or any other of the pro’s out there believe that I need ‘an ace up my sleeve’ to beat them on tour, it’s not only disrespecting my talents as a bowler but it disrespects me as a person. I don’t care who you are, or where you are from or what you have accomplished in the sport, I fear no one. I only admire and respect them and their talents as a player and mostly as a person bowling for their living. It’s all I expect from them in return. At this point in this competition Brunswick and Sean were no threat to Storm or myself and previous to Rash’s outburst, we were still good friends. I had no motive and nothing to gain from putting Rash off.

I have spent my entire career labeled a cheat because of the technique I have developed. I have spent years proving that I only beat you on the lanes because I was better than you on the day, not because I am breaking rules or trying to put people off.

I work harder than almost anyone with the promotion of bowling and I try my absolute best to give bowling the positive image it deserves. I stand up for bowling when people of the public slam it or when news reporters try to make bowling into a joke story.

Why?

Because I respect the sport that has given me so much. I respect the sport I love. I would never do anything to put bowling and it’s fragile image at any more risk than what it is at right now. Further more, I’m not one of the depressed, negative bowlers who believe bowling is ruined for all eternity, I believe in the words of Thomas Fuller, “The Darkest hour is just before the dawn”. This is bowling’s darkest hour and we as a bowling community need to do what we can to make sure we see the dawn rise. I don’t believe that cursing, abusing or trying to imply that a professional bowler on the PBA tour is out there cheating his way to victories by putting people off by popping a water bottle is the best way to promote bowling. Look, if I wanted to put them off using the water bottle I would throw the bottle at their heads.


I am completely insulted and disappointed by Rash and his actions. I am embarrassed and feel so stupid that I once not only called him a friend but when Rash was away from his family and friends in foreign lands across the world it was I who was there for him.

The PBA tour is tough to be on. The money is low, the expenses are high and time away from home is horrible for each player. I understand that the pressures of succeeding on tour are high and we all need to win to support our families and ourselves. I understand that at times this pressure leads to frustration, which will then lead to outbursts either on the lanes or behind closed doors. Usually though, these outbursts are directed to ourselves because of the disappointment about our performance and the knowledge that we did something wrong for the entire event or on one special shot that caused our departure from the tournament, but never directed at another opponent.

This blatant verbal abuse and disrespect is not what the PBA deserves from one of it’s current and for sure future stars, nor do I deserve it as a player or as a human being.

I will say this loud and very clear and I say it to those who have bowled against me in the past, those I will play in the future and to the fans watching. I am a respectful, honourable and honest bowler and person. If you beat me, you did it because you were better than me on the day and the same goes if I beat you. Simple as that.

Jason Belmonte


Do you think Belmonte is sincere or he is just saying all of the right things.  Actions speak louder than words or should I say water bottles are louder.... :)


I know this is a lot to read and watch, but hey we are all bowlers and there is nothing like a little bowling drama....RealTalk

Share your thoughts...

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Personally Sean Rash is a very cocky guy.  Angelo may have had a point.  For rash to make the statement out loud with the cursing and name calling showed what a real ass he can be. 

 

Really A Plastic Bottle is bringing out all these ill feelings. HMMM!

Sean Rash needs to grow up. Sean is supposed to be a Professional Player WOW! Never would I show myself in that manner.

As for Angelo quit crying and play the game, OH! IT’S A BOTTLE CRUNCHING ATTACK (a noise) it’s not an explosion. Bowlers use to spit in the thumb holes and a lot worse things.

For God’s sake Jason change water containers or manufacturers. Where's the PBA on this water bottle issue ? if it bothers so many people change it.

This is like watching a youth bowler throw a tantrum when he did not strike and then has an excellent excuse BOTTLE CRUNCHING ATTCK!!!! is this the future of Professionals?

If it happens once, then okay his bad, if it happens again and again, ca-mon. maybe they need to give him a cup instead of a bottle

 

It's valid point but on their level? Makes you go huummm.  To some any little thing is a scape goat, but there is noise constantly in bowling centers.  Practice is not only for muscle memory, but mental toughness too.  The battle is between you and the 10 pieces of wood at the OTHER end of the lane.
I think Belmonte's statement is a load of crap. He's clearly trying to do little things to distract his opponent. In the Angelo incident he popped the bottle, Angelo stepped off. He sat the bottle down then when Angelo got up again he picked the bottle back up. I think Rash calling him out is a good thing. The only part i don't like was the language that Rash used.

If your concentration is so bad that any cough, scrape or ... yes... 'bottle crunch' is going to cause you to throw a bad shot then maybe you should be working on your mental game.   I was at the TOC in Jan and watched as a man in a scooter repeatedly drive in and out between the bleachers.  Every time he backed up it beeped like a dump truck.  It was very loud and annoying.  No one said anything.  GET OVER IT!  I find it beyond ridiculous that fans are shushed while a golfer is on the tee because the 'noise' of their clothes rustling in the wind might disturb the player (and yes I like golf).  Do we really want to go there?

Try this.  If you want to put some money into televised tournament prize funds - create some noise!  It IS about sponsorship (advertising) dollars.  So sell banner spots, include audio tracks from the sponsors outside of the commercial air time.  Sell ball return cover ads amd gutter cap ads and telescore ads, etc. 

Does baseball prohit talking to, even screaming at, the batter?   Don't they need to concentrate to hit a small ball coming at them at 90+ MPH?

If anything is done to limit noise it will be a HUGE step in exactly the WRONG direction.

Wow, nice post Joe, my brother and I just had the exact same discussion.  I am going to follow this post with another post dealing with some of the issues you addresed here.

Joe Beck said:

If your concentration is so bad that any cough, scrape or ... yes... 'bottle crunch' is going to cause you to throw a bad shot then maybe you should be working on your mental game.   I was at the TOC in Jan and watched as a man in a scooter repeatedly drive in and out between the bleachers.  Every time he backed up it beeped like a dump truck.  It was very loud and annoying.  No one said anything.  GET OVER IT!  I find it beyond ridiculous that fans are shushed while a golfer is on the tee because the 'noise' of their clothes rustling in the wind might disturb the player (and yes I like golf).  Do we really want to go there?

Try this.  If you want to put some money into televised tournament prize funds - create some noise!  It IS about sponsorship (advertising) dollars.  So sell banner spots, include audio tracks from the sponsors outside of the commercial air time.  Sell ball return cover ads amd gutter cap ads and telescore ads, etc. 

Does baseball prohit talking to, even screaming at, the batter?   Don't they need to concentrate to hit a small ball coming at them at 90+ MPH?

If anything is done to limit noise it will be a HUGE step in exactly the WRONG direction.

Joe, you hit the nail on the proverbial head.  Excuse me if i'm wrong but the very thing that we find compeling about other sports, the rivalries, the smack talking, the fan participation to boo and cheer for who they like or don't like is why other sports are thriving and bowling is not.(well at least its part of the reason) Bowling need some excitement!!! Why is it if I cough while a bowler is on the approach it throws off his focus?? We boo pitchers in baseball, boo batters, boo free throw shooters in basketball and make crazy noise on 4th down in football....but in bowling the slightest distractions are over whelming.  Thats why to your casual sports fan that watches bowling think it is easy and boring. And those are the fans that must be reached to get the TV ratings and sponsorships.  Bowling must evolve from what is was 2o years ago.....society has changed. People want excitement!! The PBA bowlers all act like buddies and not rivals, even in competition.  People want to see passion and little smack talking!! We cant act like we are at the library in a championship match!! Bowlers need to bring some emotions....the fans should be able to respectfully boo the bad guy and cheer for there favorite during a match....that would bring a different kind of pressure to the bowler and a exciting experience to the fan. Bowling could learn alot from baseball, football and basketball....get the fans involved in a unscripted way.  Bowling need a shot in the arm and hopeful the PBA is on to something........finally.

Yeah I think Jason is trying to get into the bowlers head. It's an old trick and sometimes it work but is it worth the embarrassment of the profession.

This exact same thing happen to Billy Oatman against Jason Couch in Vegas 2007 on ESPN...with someone in the audience .....SEVERAL times while Billy was in his arm-swing.....a gentleman's phone would ring, .......the announcers mentioned it several times, but nothing was ever done about it....everyone in the audience knew who it was....no blogs were written, no one was upset, there were no out cries........

 

http://youtu.be/R8hTSB0VafQ

Maybe we need another Marshal Holman? 

A lot of folks got upset about his temper displays on the lanes (especially the center managers whose foul lights were kicked to smithereens) :), but he was in the right place at the right time for the sport and televised bowling got a big boost from his fiery attitude.  Who is out there now getting the fans excited about watching? 

I love Walter Ray, but let's face it, he's about as exciting to watch as a robot.

Bowlers do not entice the crowd enough. There are right ways of winning the crowd to assist in your confidence as well as being professional and getting them involved along with creating the atmosphere of pure competition. Personal attacks will never win over the public just demonizes another perhaps good player. Good guy vs. Bad guy can do some good but let the viewers decide, bring them in and you’re a winner even if you lose. On one occasion I had the front 11 everybody got silent, REALLY too quiet for me and a large crowd developed behind my lanes. Before I shot my 12th ball I decided that I wanted the crowd involved with me and not just me alone. I got them all interested and had them make some noise, clapping, yelling, chanting lots of noise! I threw a great shot, and a 300 it was. The crowd went wild and most of them have already had this honor. Memorable absolutely!! For three weeks I was still being congratulated. Like many other sports there are times when you need to bring the fans in on the play and entertain them, this what’s lacking in bowling. Professionalism "the standards, views, and behavior of one who engages in an activity" Professionalism is the proper attitude and conduct of a person or organization. Professionalism is a valued quality that has friendly, polite, and business-like characteristics. It is a necessary trait for all levels of sports. Get Some :)

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