Now that the Professional Bowlers Assn. League season is over, preparations are being made for the 2015 season.
This would be the third season for the fledgling eight-team league. The Silver Lake (Calif.) Atom Splitters, behind franchise player Chris Barnes, earned the 2014 crown by defeating the Los Angeles X in an all-L.A. Elias Cup finals.
The past season proved to be good theater as the league made several rules revisions in an effort to enhance the competition. Furthermore, each team revamped its lineup for 2014 and all the teams are likely to undergo more personnel changes for Season No. 3.
So what changes would in the best interests of the league, whose competition received good exposure Sundays on ESPN?
This column has raised several suggestions and here’s another proposal:
For the first week of preliminary competition, schedule a match between the two L.A. teams in a rematch of the Elias Cup battle. Additionally, schedule the match in L.A., so the fans in the City of Angels have the opportunity to identify with the players.
The past two seasons, all the players from the L.A. teams hailed from parts outside this area. And because the bowling matches took place in Michigan, Indiana and New Jersey, the league generally did not resonate with L.A. bowlers and fans.
In fact, the authoritative Los Angeles Times barely acknowledged the league in its first two seasons – content to recognize the two L.A. teams only in its small-print television listings.
Also disappointing was the ESPN coverage of the Elias Cup when the announcers never mentioned that this was an all-L.A. affair. Did they know that the Silver Lake community was part of L.A.? Apparently not.
So a head-to-head meeting of L.A. teams in L.A. could be something special – as long as it’s promoted properly.
And if the league really wants to go all out, then it should arrange for the two L.A. teams to play an exhibition match against two “Dream Teams” of top L.A. bowlers. This could take place after the X-Atom Splitters match.
What better way to promote the league and bowling in L.A. than to pit the top PBA League pros against L.A.’s bowling aces – both men and women.
This would have the potential to be a blockbuster day of bowling and could put L.A. on the bowling map for a day. And when was the last time that happened?
The PBA League should go for it – and try to bowl over L.A.!