Last week we found ourselves just outside of the Windy City in Vernon Hills, IL., what was once the house that Barbara and Bill Spigner built is now known as Brunswick Zone Hawthorn, home of this year’s CLR Carmen Salvino Scorpion Championship. Say that three times really fast, whew. Anyway even though Bill and Barb are not in sole control, they still helped with the event throughout the week making us feel at home, just like in past years. The Spigner family is synonymous with bowling. Both Bill and their eldest son Robbie bowled the TQR. Robbie faired a little better than Bill, in fact, Robbie tied for the 4th and final TQR qualifying spot and had to roll off. He went onto finish 22nd. Pretty good for a kid that was considering bowling retirement 5 months ago, but with the help of few Storm balls and some inspiration from old Schlem, he has found his desire to bowl again. You know, it’s amazing what good ball reaction will do to a bowler.

Speaking of bowlers, I would be out of line for not sharing a few words about the man in which this tournament was dedicated. Along side the likes of the late Dick Weber and the late Earl Anthony, Carmen Salvino has dedicated his life, body and soul to the game we have all come to know and love. Carmen is better known as the “Original Showman of bowling” but he is also credited with being one of the founding fathers of the PBA. But truth be told, all of us out here on tour have come to know him as “dad, pops or grandpa”. He has shared many stories over the years, from his triumphant wins to his unglamorous defeats, he still tears up sharing those stories as well as sharing his undying love for the game. It has evolved right before his eyes. Every time we are blessed by the presence of the Salvino’s, its hard not to stop and wonder about everything they have seen throughout bowling history. They both have experienced more than I will ever be fortunate enough to see in my lifetime that is for sure. All the memories both Carmen and Ginny have shared with me and the guys on tour truly are words of blessing, that is for sure. But I think the best memory of all from last week was after the show had finished. Carmen had the microphone and shared how honored he was to have a tournament named after him and how privileged he was to still be alive to attend it. That my friend’s is the classic Carmen Salvino we will always remember.

What can I share about Team Storm and last week? Hmmmm, let’s see, I know Pete Weber led the way and finished 14th. He just could not strike once he made the top 16. It didn’t matter which ball he tossed, Pete could not manage more than a 3 bagger. Some days they go down and some days they don’t. Roto staffer Wes Malott averaged close to 260 his last 9 games and brought home another win for the Storm and Roto Grip family! (For more on Wes and Roto Grip be sure to log onto…I am Chris Schlemer and I approved this message. Anyway, like I mentioned earlier, it was just one of those weeks for Pete, and several other Storm staffers. Ryan Shafer, Jeff Carter and the commissioner’s pick, International Storm staffer Jason Belmonte, who by the way, has also been granted the exemption this next week in Buffalo. It didn’t matter what ball they used it was good for 200+. Unfortunately that isn’t enough when the leaders are averaging 240+ and winning matches. I’m sure many of you were wondering why last week wasn’t referred to as the “Ultimate Scoring Championship”. Well for one, it was named after Hall of Famer Carmen Salvino and sponsor CLR. For two, it wasn’t the pattern that caused the high scores, the lane surface was the key to this equation. Built in surface friction along with the 42’ Score-pion lane pattern, the guys and of course I can’t forget the girls, were able to move in and toss it out, using the track area as a bumper of sorts. It all just depended on your rev rate and tilt as to where you bumped the track area for friction. But as you may have witnessed on TV, the left side didn’t play the same way. In fact, it played much closer to the gutter with a lot more ball speed. Plus the fact that the pattern was 42’ which is only 2’ shorter than last year’s Shark pattern. The Shark produced a high scoring affair in the building as well. The built in friction coupled with the built in hold from the pattern allows some of the best bowler’s on the planet to miss their targets either way. I will say is look back at the averages last year on the Score-pion pattern as well as the archives from Hawthorn Lanes. No matter what pattern is used in that building, the scores will be high for those who carry the corners, that is for sure.

Well faithfully followers of the Storm Nation.. Be sure to log on next week in hopes of yet another Storm victory. That or another Roto Grip victory will be just as sweet if you ask me. Season to date; Utah has 4 wins in 6 weeks. Last time I checked that was a pretty good average. Well unless you were playing horseshoes or hand grenades, than that stat wouldn’t sound so awesome no would it? Anyway, hope everyone out there is gearing up for the Virtual in Vegas tournament. Be sure to log onto and register your newly purchased Virtual Gravity if you haven’t already done so. The start of that event is drawing near, don’t hesitate and miss it, that would be down right uncivilized!