Friday, January 24, 2014

A perfect effort - Fairleigh Dickinson Women's Team bowls 300

These days, to see a 300 in bowling happens a lot more than it did in years past. But for a team of 5 bowling 10 frames, it's even more difficult and not done often. Tonight was different.

Fairleigh Dickinson University, a perennial college women's bowling powerhouse and Danielle McEwan's alma mater, bowled a perfect 300 game. Above is a video recap featuring each frame bowled by the team.

Please refer to my November 12, 2012 blog entry on Baker style rules.

Congratulations FDU Knights! Best wishes for a great season.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30: The Price of Gold

source: ESPN
Nancy Kerrigan (top), Tonya Harding (bottom)

The above photo is a sneak peek at ESPN's "30 for 30" latest feature, "The Price of Gold", a documentary that examined the infamous women's figure skating scandal of January 1994. The top billed stars: Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.

It all began when Olympic hopeful Nancy Kerrigan's right knee was clubbed during practice at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly (now Jeff Stone) and co-conspirator Shawn Eckhardt, planned the attack. Eckhardt hired Shane Stant to carry out the dastardly deed.

Harding, former CBS anchor Connie Chung, former Olympic skaters Scott Hamilton and Paul Wylie, Kerrigan's coaches Evy and Mary Scotvold are among those interviewed in the documentary. Kerrigan declined. She will, however, have her own story to tell on NBC during the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

I scrutinized the documentary this past weekend. Watched it twice. Paid close attention to Harding's difficult upbringing and allowed me to understand, but not excuse the events that led to her permanent ban from figure skating. Therefore, it came as no surprise to me when the documentary did nothing to change my opinion of Harding.

In the preview clip, "The Noose Tightens", Harding says in her interview, "...everything hit all at once...and you just want to crawl into a closet and you just want to say 'go away, leave me alone', because you don't know what's going on.".

To me, the remark sounds cryptic and odd. Why? Let's break down her statement:
  • "Everything hit all at once...". Interesting word choice when she says "hit". 
  • It isn't Tonya's modus operandi to crawl into any closets. Ever.
  • If the media goes away, then she's no longer the center of attention. Which is what she wants.
  • "Because you don't know what's going on."  This isn't possible. Tonya had to know what was going on. Without Harding, Jeff Gillooly has no connection or motive to injure Kerrigan.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Torn ACL - anniversary of surgery

image source:
Yesterday in 1991, I underwent major surgery my first and only time to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in my right knee.

The accident happened 5 days earlier (January 6, 1991). I drove up with my friend Alice's father and sister-in-law to Lake Tahoe. Up until the trip, I skied a few times, mostly at Sierra. On this trip at Kirkwood, I was just starting to get comfortable on the slopes. When we stopped to have lunch, Alice's husband Ryan told me I was ready for the intermediate slope.

After lunch, I got on the lift with 2 family friends of Alice's for my first try on the intermediate slope. As we were coming off the lift, my skis hit an icy patch (there wasn't much rain that season) and was going faster than I liked. There was a group of skiers in front of me that were going slow and having trouble maintaining their balance.

To avoid crashing into them, I tried to turn in the skis and snowplow to slow down. Instead, I lost my balance, legs out from under me, fell down, and then heard a distinct snap. I initially thought it was only a sprain and felt no pain. The guys stood between me, asked if I was OK and helped me stand up. When they let go, I couldn't support myself and fell down again. Ski patrol arrived shortly afterwards.

I got put into a sled and ski patrol brought me immediately to the first aid center at the lodge. The doctor on duty took X-rays and confirmed I tore ligaments. He gave me the X-rays to take back to San Francisco. It ended my short-lived love of skiing.

It wasn't until evening I began to feel the pain. Everyone at the cabin went out of their way to help me. Alice, Ryan and their son Kyle gave up their first floor room. The 2 family friends that were with me on the slope drove my car home. I got to the primary care physician's office the next afternoon. He immediately referred me to an orthopedic specialist. An MRI exam was done and my surgery date set up within a few hours.

After my MRI, the orthopedic specialist told me I also tore my medial collateral ligament (MCL) and meniscus, and fractured my tibial plateau. What was originally scheduled for same day surgery ended up being an overnight stay. I barely slept due to the non-stop pain. Nurses gave me 2 shots of morphine which helped numb the pain and tingling.

For the first 2 months, I couldn't put weight on the right leg. I was on crutches and a brace (similar to the above picture) for 4 months. I couldn't work and was put on disability for 3 months. I spent 6 months in physical therapy. I didn't play softball for a year. Other than my physical therapy visits, I had painful at-home exercises I had to do to regain mobility and range of motion.

The ACL injury became one of the hardest, yet most rewarding experiences I ever had. At my first dining outing after the surgery, a woman who was waiting for a table at the same I was spoke to me for about 20 minutes about her ACL tear and post-op recovery. So amazed a total stranger correctly advised me physical therapy would be hard but I'd make it. Over time, others like her would approach and tell me the same things, all encouraging and positive. To this day, I find myself holding the same talks with other people I see with knee braces, with or without crutches.

After 23 years, the right knee now is probably stronger than the left knee. I do my best to remain active in one way or another which has kept the knee mobile and mostly injury-free. Sports is and always will be a big part of my life.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The Bowling Center

For bowling fans too glued to watch anything but the NFL on Sundays, the PBA began this season a weekly YouTube show (about 25-26 minutes in length) that provides a humorous, rollicking summary of the most recent match you may have missed on ESPN.

Hosts are Xtra Frame's The Internet Bowling Personality, Jef Goodger and The Bowling Guy, Jason Thomas. A few of my favorite weekly features include:

  • Troll Bowling - commentary and response by Jef or Jason on those who troll about the demise of pro bowling.
and my favorite, 
  • Bowling Wars - Jason drills for himself and Jef the winning bowler's ball used in the previous day's match. Let's just say the bowler with the higher average isn't a shoo-in to win.

You can find previous shows on the PBAProBowlersAssn YouTube channel. Below is yesterday's show.

If you want to see the stepladder matches (no TV ads!), go to the bowlingvideos4all channel.