Our 3rd place team rolled in a bowling position round (the final week of the league where you play the team closest to you in the standings to make it more likely you move up or down) last Tuesday night. We had won our 1st game, and were crushing again in the second, when an oddity happened on the lane next to us where a member of the 1st place team threw two gutter balls in the 10th, and their team lost by 2 pins. What happened? These games are relatively meaningful as money gets paid among where you place in the league. Throwing the game, which I’ll write on later, is not encouraged, meaningless to the team or not.
I didn’t see the rolls happen but to have a team that managed to be ahead in your league by 9 games have a 160 bowler roll two gutters is unheard of. After the game I asked who JS was on the screen and they pointed to a guy and I asked him what happened? He was dumbfounded and didn’t know what to say. We stood there for a bit where I was saying, “how does that happen?”, and then the captain of their team didn’t like my tone and started saying I was threatening them. He got extremely defensive and it escalated into a weird back and forth with him saying “I don’t give a shit about this league” and “it’s our strategy”. The night ended in no better shape and I told the league officials about what happened. Sam had a final word with the guy where he admitted they sandbag and it went nowhere as he refused to talk to me.
Fast forward to this week’s bowling night and the team got kicked out of the league. This team’s goal was to win the league by bowling below average when they could and win games with their lower averages. Nevertheless, I was one of the main reasons they got kicked out. If I didn’t say anything that night, there wouldn’t have been a blow up, and they’d undoubtedly still be in the league. It was never my intention to have them removed from the league but I felt an obligation to say that what they were doing was unfair to the league and against the rules of league competition. Was what I did right? Do I regret doing it?
To use Adam’s favorite TC phrase, it’s hard to say. I know what I saw and I don’t regret asking how double gutters in the position round happened. For them to get that defensive makes me think they were guilty of sandbagging. Why am I the person who felt the need to do it? It doesn’t make me feel good knowing I ruined 4 bros fun, but you want to play dirty, guys like me (and thankfully the league officials had the balls to make the right move) will call you out. Play by the rules or get kicked out.