For a kid growing up in the '70s, when the weather was uncooperative on a Saturday afternoon, or you were burned out on swimming, or you were trying to kill time before dinner, you sat in front of your three or four choices on TV and looked for something to distract your attention for a little while. What you got was a bunch of guys in yellow sport coats broadcasting from a dingy alley and narrating round after round of professional bowling.

This was the beginning of the end of the heyday of bowling, when it was the most popular participatory sport in America. Christopher Browne picks up the story in 1997, as the Professional Bowling Association's deal with ABC is dissolved and it makes a tearful, final broadcast. With a TV deal, the PBA is on the rocks, and its future as a professional sport looks grim.

Continue reading: A League Of Ordinary Gentlemen Review