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Steve "Sparky" Fifer

Posts from January 2013

Hey Gomer Pyle!
I decided this weekend to go see some good high school basketball, as I normally don’t have a chance to, with the Bucks schedule the way it is. The game I chose to go to was packed, so I was forced to stand in a corner of the gym packed in with others, with everybody trying to see the game action. It was a great atmosphere to see a game to say the very least.

Then during the first half of the game, a fan standing in front of me said to his buddy something along the lines of “They need to quit giving the ball to that Gomer Pyle”. To which there was no reaction from anybody around him until a school staffer turned around and told him he couldn’t be calling students “Gomer Pyle”. I thought the staffer had to be joking, but apparently not, as the fan questioned what was wrong with using the term and acknowledging that he was talking to his friend not yelling it out to the player on the court. The school staffer then asked for security to escort him out of the building, the fan as you could well imagine then really became upset as did the people around us. I couldn’t believe it happened and decided to write this blog.

I’m not the most politically correct person in the world, but at what point do fans get tossed out of games for talking to other fans? Is “Gomer Pyle” some super offensive term that I’m uneducated about? If it means a player that’s not very good, then that fan used the term correctly. If it means something else, please let me know.
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PBA Needs YOUR Help Wisconsin!
You may or may not be aware that the PBA announced a while back that they will be returning to Southeastern Wisconsin for their Summer Series. Now if you haven’t heard, then you haven’t listened to the Spare/Time Bowling Show on Sunday mornings at 9am or you missed the one day it was in the Journal Sentinel newspaper. Let’s be honest if this is going to be a successful event coming up in May and June then more will need to be done.

Attention to bowling alley owners in town (especially you AMF owners) their needs to be a partnership in helping to promote this event coming back to Wisconsin. I understand that many of you probably think since you aren’t hosting the qualifying tournaments or the TV finals that it does you no good to promote it. Well, you’re WRONG!
The PBA tour is free marketing for what you do, regardless if you like the current product or not, use it to your advantage. I get that many of you want the good old days of Marhsall Holman and Mark Roth back, well those days are behind us and have been replaced by a pretty good rivalry in Sean Rash versus Jason Belmonte.  TV ratings on ESPN are up 15% this year for the PBA and you haven’t done a thing to help this process. How many Sunday’s go by without the PBA event being on a single TV set in your building? I understand in the beginning of the year the NFL is king. However, that’s over now, so you don’t have an excuse. 

What’s the solution? It’s pretty simple, let’s first start with each center in town making announcements at their centers during each league.  How long does it take to write a liner card for your staff to read once or twice during league play? I don’t want to hear more stories like I heard on Sunday morning from my co-host Van McNeil about going to Waukesha AMF and the staff there not knowing details about the PBA coming to THEIR center in May.

As far as you Pro Shop owners go, I’m trying to figure out why when you are selling bowling balls to people, especially kids, why aren’t  you saying “This is one of the balls that Sean Rash throws or this is what Jason Belmonte uses”? What’s the worst case scenario? the person says “Who is that?” Then you can explain to them to watch a PBA show to see how the ball works for them and how it can work for you.

The commissioner of the PBA, Tom Clark, can only do so much.  At some point, the people in towns across this country that run bowling centers and pro shops need to step to the plate and do their part. If people don’t want to help, then don’t cry when you are filing for bankruptcy because nobody is coming to your center because bowling isn’t popular enough. 

Be selfish owners and promote the PBA!
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