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Thread: Season Ending Thoughts and Report Card

  1. #1

    Default Season Ending Thoughts and Report Card

    Now that the PBA 2008-09 season has concluded here's my season ending grades and comment:

    Stone, I give him a C-. He is not very knowledgeable about the sport, but it's clear he is learning. His catch phrases are irrelevant to what's going on, but perhaps the ESPN/PBA bosses like that sort of thing. I still think Stone lacks credibility as it relates to bowling.

    Pederson, I give him a B+. Pederson, obviously is knowlegeable,
    but I still think me misses a few things that he can be telling/teaching the views what is going on, or perhaps what has happened.

    I give the ESPN production a low C-. It's a very low budget production. I won't even get into high definition. I cannot count how many times a bowler would make his shot, and the camera was stuck on the bowler, missing the action. How about in the USBC Masters, where the bowler on the right lane was blocking the view of the pins! It's unforgivable that you couldn't see the result of Wiseman's shot vs. Nolen to see if he won or not, because Wiseman was in the way! I also don't like when the graphics pop up, they they play that sound.

    Time Slot, I give that a D-. Been through this a million times. Going up against NFL football just shows you where ESPN/PBA's priority is. If you want viewers, you don't put your show against the NFL. You lose all the causual bowlers who are also NFL fans.

    Different Innovations: A-. I liked some of the new formats this year, like the Don Johnson eliminator tournament, Plastic Ball, and the Marathon formats. This kept things interesting, and provided some new twists, rather than the same old boring "final 64" bracket tournament.

    PBA Extra Frame Coverage: A-. I thought this was a great feature to have, and was well worth the money. There were some very exciting moments, if you caught them, leading up to final games to determine who made the TV finals. It was refreshing to see a variety of bowlers, than the sames ones you see every week. The announcers were refreshing as well. There were some glitches, but it's the internet, and that can be expected from time to time.

    Next season's first 7 shows on a tape delay basis: F! No further commment.

    More observations:

    For quite sometime now, they've used a professional broadcaster as the "play by play" guy, and of course a pro as the "color" commentator. We've been over this a million times, but the way I see it, the only room for improvement for the broadcast team is to get two pros in there commentating.

    Anyway, I don't know if people caught this, but in the Long Island event, Pederson said the famous quote "hit 'em thin and watch 'em spin". Stone, who obviously never heard the quote before, was impressed with Pederson, thinking that Pederson made it up right then and there. I believe Pederson played on with Stone to make him believe that too. Gave me a bit of a chuckle.

    Now that Stone's 2nd season is over, do you think he will, or deserves to be back for a 3rd season? How do you think Pederson is doing? Do they bring him back, too?

    There are certain things they are missing, I think. For example, when things like when Barnes left the 1-2-4-7, they could tell the average person that doesn't know any better, something about lane condition, and how difficult the shot really is. These guys make it look so easy, but it's not. I don't think they educate the person who is not knowledgeable about bowling that much. Perhaps they assume their viewership understands a thing or two about bowling, and maybe they think they don't need to go into great detail?

    So what are your grades and thoughts about how this season went? Do you think the tour is around for the long term? Or are we seeing something that is slowly becoming extinct?
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  2. #2
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    My opinion is that the tour and ESPN are trying to rediscover themselves and (from the PBA's standpoint) make the show more interesting to the masses.

    Rob Stone - C. I don't mind him myself, but I know he's aware of where he stands with the pro's on tour as far as his catchphrases are concerned, and the comments about having another catchphrase to irritate the masses shows me he's aware of what he's doing. He's improved from last year, but there's not the polish and professionalism that the broadcasters had when the tour was on national television. But then again, you could argue the lack of polish and professionalism is what made ESPN what it is today -- but I'm not gonna be the one to do it.

    Randy P. - B+/A-. He could do more, but he's hampered by Stone and his motormouth. I do think it would be interesting to see perhaps Brian Voss and Randy P being the two commentators for the shows. I'd like to see more segments where if he makes a statement like he's done all season of 'playing the inside of the ball', he goes out say the next week and literally shows/disects the release on the lanes where we get to see what he's talking about. Even if they gave him 'MaddenCam' where he could write on a whiteboard over the screen so as to point out the difference between one release vs. another.

    ESPN Production: D. The telecast looks like it's rookies on parade when it comes to the camera work. Granted they 'might' not be able to pull out every camera angle we'd want to see, and Big Wes or Robert Smith might block a camera angle or two when they bowl, but when Norm does it - there's something wrong. Plus it appears that a couple of the cameras are specifically placed for upskirt pics when the ladies are bowling. I won't provide an opinion on that - just pointing it out.

    Time Slot: it's fine for me, but I don't watch football, and that's the time the kids are down for naps on Sunday.

    Different innovations: I thought it might be a B at best when they announced it, but it turned out to be a solid A in my book.

    Xtra Frame -- has potential, but I didn't buy it so I can't grade what I didn't see.

    Next Seasons first 7 shows in one city on tape delay? they must be hurting for money. But on the bright side, perhaps they can work something out for the camera people to get practice during this time.

    Next thing I'd love to see is the Women's tournament expanded -- even if they only bowl one game on tv like they did this season -- they should have an opportunity at every tour stop. Ditto for the Seniors.

    Also they need to broadcast the college bowling championships - men's and women's.
    Last edited by Graaille; 04-19-2009 at 01:13 AM. Reason: more ranting needing to happen.

  3. #3

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    I have to admit that the time slot of Sunday up against the NFL is awful for ratings. I remember the old tour telecast on ABC on Saturday afternoons, but now that won't work either because of college football. However from December on, college football is not a competitor, so maybe a switch to Saturdays would be better
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  4. #4
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    I have to agree with most of the points made.

    Stone is a C. But compared to "60 feet to success" he's an A+. And some of his inadvertent comments are priceless. Like the one about knowing when to pull out. I almost wet myself when he said that. I think he's trying to put his own stamp on what was a fairly boring show. His enthusiasm, even if a little odd at times, is funny to listen to also. I don't like "hambone" but I got a kick out of "yahtzee."

    The camera angles could be better, especially when there are left handed bowlers on. Watching their back doesn't do anything for me. And in addition to the bowlers blocking the pins, occasionally they focus on the wrong lane and you just hear the ball hit.

    The slot is bad for anyone but hardcore bowlers. I rarely watch football or basketball down here, so it doesn't conflict with my viewing, but I'm sure it takes a beating with the general public. I'm interested in seeing what's going to happen with the King of the Hill telecasts.

    I'd like to see expanded women's coverage, and the occasional senior tour as well. Get a tour stop from any of them down here and we'll attend and bowl the pro ams.

    I enjoyed the "extreme swing" except for that's what they decided to call it. It sounds like they're going to feature tackle bowling.

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    If you are an avid bowler and don't get Xtraframe - get it. What they do with the pro's to have them comment on what they saw all week and why they did not make the show is what bowling is about. Personally I would like to see more rounds but it is worth the cost. If Rob Stone was replaced by a different pro each week e.g. Del Ballard, Brian Voss, Norm Duke, Sean Rash, Joe Ciccone or my personal favorite THB there would be plenty of color on the ESPN broadcast and the public would actually learn something. I'm sure there would be plenty of takers from then non-TV players to collect what Stone is payed.

    As far as grading the PBA and ESPN, it's great to have the exposure for the sport so I give them an A for their efforts.
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