Local Event Sports Association

It’s Still the Greatest Bowling I’ve Ever Seen

By Steve Thompson On November - 2 - 2009

Over six months ago, I wrote an article listing my personal top ten sports events I'd like to see on DVD that have not been released yet.  All were hockey, baseball, and football games with the exception of the legendary April 4, 1970 final game of the Firestone Tournament of Champions Professional Bowling Tournament.

So imagine my surprise and delight to find that ESPN Classic channel was showing that tournament again yesterday and this afternoon.  It was the first time I had seen it since I saw it live as a teenager, 39 years ago, and I found it just as exciting as when I saw it back then.  The only quibble I had is that the original telecast was an hour and a half and ESPN had edited it down to one hour which dilutes some of the excitement and tension.  But even an hour is better than nothing.

The tournament was the climax of the PBA tour, offering its largest prize of $25,000 to the winner.  This may not seem like much by the sums offered today, but it was an enormous sum back in 1970, probably the equivalent of today's one million dollar first place golf tournament prizes.

To add to the tension, ABC offered an additional $10,000 and a new car to a...

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