When you get down to televising college bowling on a one-month tape delay, I believe we can call this a bottom-of-the-barrel sporting experience. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you can watch Bottom of the Barrel thrills in the comfort of your own motel room. Get the beer cold and have chips at the ready, because this Friday, CBS Sports Network will present the 2012 United States Bowling Congress (USBC), Men’s Intercollegiate Team Championships. Yes, indeed, at 7 p.m. tune to Cox channel 321 or 1321, DirectTV channel 613, or DISH Network channel 158, and immerse yourself in the experience of championship college bowling.
The actual games were played four weeks ago at the Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Nebraska. One can only suppose aforementioned CBS Sports Network needed time to absorb the enormity of what they had in their possession. For those of you who never heard of the CBS Sports Network, a big hole in your television sports experience is about to be filled. Follows is the CBS Sports Network TV schedule for May 25, the very day USBC Men’s Intercollegiate Team Championships will be broadcast for the first time.
CBS Sports Network kicks off with a 6 a.m. (EST) rebroadcast of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Round 1. Followed by a rebroadcast of Inside the PBR (Professional Bull Riders), followed by a rebroadcast of the USBC Men’s Intercollegiate Singles Championship, followed by a rebroadcast of USBC Women’s Intercollegiate Team Championship, followed by the Tim Brando Show, followed by a rebroadcast of the Tim Brando Show, followed by a re-rebroadcast of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Round 1, followed by a re-rebroadcast of USBC Women’s Intercollegiate Team Championship, followed by ROME (Jim Rome’s new show), followed by...well, in the next 11 hours ROME will be re-rebroadcast 11 times, plus one more re-re-rebroadcast of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing, one more re-re-rebroadcast of the USBC Men’s Intercollegiate Singles Championship, two more re-re-rebroadcasts of the USBC Women’s Intercollegiate Team Championship, plus, wait...for...it, coming at you in prime time, 7 p.m. on the West Coast, the first broadcast of the USBC Men’s Intercollegiate Team Championship, initially taped four weeks ago.
Too much goodness.
So, what’s all this excitement about? And what’s this thing called United States Bowling Congress?
Well, USBC is the governing body for ten-pin bowling in this country. Came into being in 2005 by way of a merger of the American Bowling Congress, Women’s International Bowling Congress, Young American Bowling Alliance, and USA Bowling. I usually see these kinds of massive industry mergers as a sign of profound industry shrinkage, but the USBC might disagree.
The story continues. Three years after Bowling Mega Merger I, the USBC moved from Wisconsin to Arlington, Texas, there to join forces with the wonderfully named Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America.
In order to better serve you.
USBC responsibilities are immense, too much to absorb in one sitting. Hey, you try certifying tournaments. You try overseeing bowling-lane research. Keep in mind, the USBC says they have two million members and 3000 local associations. So, we better keep to our small corner of the cupboard, stay with USBC and college bowling.
According to collegescholarships.org, there are 43 NCAA Division I or Division II schools that offer women’s bowling and 2 that offer men’s bowling. Since there are 628 Division I and II schools, 43 does not seem to be an overwhelming number.
Things are a little better on the USBC Collegiate web page. They list the aforementioned NCAA colleges, plus 21 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) colleges that bestow bowling scholarships. When thinking of NAIA, think 290 small colleges, 270 of which you’ve never heard of. The USBC page also lists seven colleges with bowling scholarships provided by associated bowling clubs and two junior colleges.
It is not my place to tell you the results of the USBC Men’s Intercollegiate Team Championship. You’ll have to hook up with the CBS Sports Network to find out, and I’m sure you will. But, I will give you two hints. The winner is not Campbellsville University or Pikeville College.
Finishing on a humanitarian note: “USBC offers millions of dollars in scholarship money to help young bowlers get a jump start on their dreams. More than $6 million in scholarship money is offered each season by bowling associations and councils, certified tournaments and proprietors throughout the United States.”
I’d like to read the fine print on that. But, if true, and one hopes it is, I hereby petition USBC to withhold their scholarships for one year and buy the CBS Sports Network.
Do it for the rest of us.