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Some help needed for this New Year's bowling resolution!

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Mike Weekley gave it a great shot. So did Dwayne Walker. Same for Troy Gibson, Alfonso Alvarez, Rick Auerbach, Bob Englehart, Jim Nitz, Bryan Alpert and others.

All these bowling whizzes seriously flirted with a perfect game and then faltered down the stretch as I watched disconsolately from behind.

These bowlers are among the best in the Los Angeles area and all have a distinguished resume for blasting magical 300 games.

But it was no surprise to me that each one fell short with me in attendance. After all, I am "The Cooler" in bowling, which means that I mysteriously cool off hot bowlers by my sheer presence.

It's a horrible existence. Here's an example: Even Carol Tucker, one of my best friends, starts running the other way when she sees me at bowling centers, yelling, "It's the Cooler!"

That brings me to my New Year's resolution: I don't want to be the only bowling reporter in the world never to have witnessed a perfect game. I haven't seen a certified perfect game, an uncertified one, or even a 3-year-old rolling a bumper-bowling 300.

My stigma may sound eerily familiar to some people who watched the 10-year-old movie "The Cooler." William H. 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 presence as an unlucky individual.

But there's a big difference between Macy's role and mine. I don't try to cool off anyone. It just comes naturally, or perhaps unnaturally.

I'm actually rooting so hard for these bowlers to hit that 300 mark so I can write about them and preserve their memorable accomplishment. But it's now been more than two years chasing outstanding bowlers around the area and having to hear so-and-so just bowled a perfect game on a day I wasn't even around.

There have been so many close calls -- almost too many to recount. Weekley actually came the closest, blowing down the pins on his first 11 shots at AMF Woodlake Lanes in Woodland Hills before leaving four pins on his final attempt.

I guess I should take heart in Weekley's near-miss.

I'm getting awfully close -- and I think one day soon I'll be able to achieve my resolution.

This "Cooler" is ready to resign from his unfortunate role.



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