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Bowlers rejoice! It’s time to rack up those 300s!

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Did you notice the huge bowling news on Monday?

It was easy to miss, but it carries huge implications for many of the top San Fernando Valley area bowlers on the cusp of blasting their first perfect games.

We’re talking about bowlers like:

– Mike Hahn

– Joe Curry

– Dave Carroll

– Teresa Lauer

– Charles Mandel

– Scott Englehart

– Martin Torres

– Kristen Carroll

– Richie Gardner

– Deanna Peters

– Tim Wiese

All these bowlers and so many other marksmen will no longer have to look over their shoulders and shudder in trepidation as they attempt to put the finishing touches on a perfect game.

The reason?

I'm no longer “The Cooler.”

Strong-armed Mike Olson of Tarzana emphatically laid waste to my reputation as bowling’s “Cooler” on Monday night by blistering a 300 game in front of my disbelieving eyes.

It meant that I had viewed my first perfect game in 2 years 1 month and 27 days as a bowling writer for

But who’s counting?

My reign as bowling’s “Cooler” was a horrible existence knowing that my fellow bowlers fretted that my sheer presence would jinx their determined bids for a perfecto. It was absolutely miserable knowing that even my closest friends such as Carol Tucker would run away from me at bowling centers, screaming, “It’s The Cooler!”

As I’ve written previously, my predicament was eerily familiar to that of William H. Macy, who starred in the gambling movie “The Cooler.” Macy (shown in photo) played the movie’s lead role of Bernie Lootz, whose job was to stand by big winners at casino tables and cool them off by his unlucky nature.

But unlike Macy, cooling off players was not something I tried to do. It just came naturally, or perhaps, unnaturally.

So it was with utter delight when I watched Olson crush his perfect game at Canoga Park Bowl. It had been years since he had blasted a 300 so he was heartily celebrating when it was over. And I was just as happy.

I have to give special thanks to superstar bowler Johnnie Englehart of Canoga Park, who was bowling near Olson. Englehart, aware of my “Cooler” reputation, pointed out that Olson was on the verge of a 300 and steered me in his direction.

Olson didn’t make it easy for me.

On Olson’s 11th shot, his right-handed missile didn’t hit the pocket solidly and it appeared he might leave a couple of pins. But a swarm of pins obligingly toppled over together and Olson then smoked a no-doubt-about it strike to complete his sixth perfect game.

Interestingly, I came to the bowling center to watch Johnnie Englehart for the first time. He was averaging a heady 246 in the “River Maniacs’ league at Canoga Park Bowl and had rolled a stunning 52 300s and 60 800 series in his career.

On Monday night, Englehart didn’t add to his honor scores, although he did generate another one of his collection of “Andy Varipapa 300s” – or 12 straight strikes over two games.

But the big show on this night was Mike Olson.

He became the “Cooler-buster.”



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