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Do the Atom Splitters have an identity crisis?

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So where the heck is Silver Lake?

That’s the question of the day after the Silver Lake Atom Splitters reached the Professional Bowlers Assn. League Elias Cup finals.

The Atom Splitters swept the Philadelphia Hitmen in a match shown Sunday on ESPN to earn a berth in the league championship. Silver Lake will face the L.A. X at 11 a.m. Sunday on ESPN.

But which area does Silver Lake represent?

The L.A. Times cited the Atom Splitters’ upcoming match against the Hitmen in its TV-radio listings on Sunday. Silver Lake was identified with a Pa. abbreviation, signifying it was located in Pennsylvania.

But the Times, my former newspaper, erred and the mistake is understandable.

There exists a Silver Lake Township in north-central Pennsylvania, 10 miles south of Bighampton, N.Y., thus creating confusion.

Unfortunately, the Atom Splitters’ bowling team represents the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake, which is east of Hollywood and has a population of about 31,000.

So with Silver Lake winning its semifinal-round match, it created an all-L.A. matchup in the finals with the X.

But that all-L.A. final somehow seemed to escape the notice of ESPN’s broadcasters of the Atom Splitters-Hitmen match.

Once again, that’s understandable if you’re not up on your L.A. geography.

The residences of the five bowlers on the Atom Splitters really offer few clues as to the mysterious Silver Lake:

-- Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Tex.

-- Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Tex.

-- Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.

-- Dom Barrett, England

-- Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore.

That’s a talented contingent, but the group shows no connection to L.A. (Barnes, to his credit, has performed bowling clinics in L.A.)

The Atom Splitters also competed last year in the league’s inaugural season so it’s not an unknown entry.

But it might as well be in the eyes of some.

Kudos to PBA writer Bill Vint for getting it right in his article on the Atom Splitters-Hitmen contest.

He wrote that “the all-Los Angeles area battle for the Elias Cup . . . ’’

See, it’s not that difficult.

Still, it makes one wonder if Atom Splitters owner Chris Hardwick (shown in photo) might consider changing the name of the team.



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