In my study of bowling, here are the 10 things I found most interesting:
1) Nobody really knows who invented bowling, though it almost surely wasn't Abner Doubleday.
2) People involved with bowling have a wonderful sense of humor except when they are talking about bowling. Then they are grim.
3) A study funded by the sporting goods industry shows that the average bowler is wealthier and better educated than the average golfer.
4) Despite the fact that most bowling leagues go for 30 to 35 weeks a year and that a pair of bowling shoes sells for only around $20 to $40, an inordinately high number of bowlers spend a buck or so every time they visit the lanes to rent those funny shoes that look like part of a jester's outfit. This happily amazes bowling proprietors but is one of the many reasons nobody with any sense believes that No. 3 above is correct.
5) The Bowling Hall of Fame, in St. Louis, is only three years old, but it is one neat Hall of Fame, really dandy. Its centerpiece is a swell bowling shirt display.
6) Bowling clobbers almost every other sport thrown up against it on television: college basketball, tennis, skiing, the Masters golf tournament.
7) The dumbest thing in all of bowling is the authorities' decree that everybody has to say "channel" instead of "gutter." First of all, it didn't work. Everybody still says gutter. I even heard Earl Anthony say it on television. (If you don't know who Earl Anthony is, that proves what President Nixon was saying about how the press isn't doing its job, bowling-wise.) Second, what's the matter with gutter? Like alley, it's a good, honest word.
8) By far the biggest issue in bowling is oil. On the alleys. How much? Spread evenly? All the way down? And so forth. Talk about boring big issues.
9) Nowadays more women bowl than men, and the balance is tilting more toward the females all the lime. Better than two thirds of all U.S. leagues are now coed. Dr. George R. Allen says bowling had better watch it or real men are going to start thinking it's a sissy game.