The Breakdown: Playin’ with the big boys |

The Breakdown: Playin’ with the big boys

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans

It’s pretty obvious (even though I’ll say it anyway) that this past week was a pretty exciting few days for the wide, wide world of sports. We had a pair of intensely played championship pro football games, the wrapping up of U.S. Olympic qualifyings, Kobe-LeBron and LeBron-D-Wade NBA games, and golfer Bill Haas won his first career PGA Tour event.

OK, so that last one wasn’t exciting – I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

In all seriousness, though, it’s been a week in sports that makes it very difficult to decide on a column topic.

I mean, we have Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings – a team that has one of the most tortured groups of fans – coughing up the ball (seemingly) every other play and ultimately choking away a chance to play in a Super Bowl. Then there’s the whole idea of a Peyton Manning-New Orleans Saints Super Bowl, which pins arguably one of the best signal callers of all time against one of the worst sports franchises of all time. There’s a number of Coloradans that made Olympic teams, and the NBA had a couple of games that forced star players to actually try during the regular season. (I watched the first of the two games, and, I swear, they were actually running!)

But none of those are really worthy: Favre gets talked about too much, the Super Bowl doesn’t take place for a couple of weeks, nothing out of the ordinary happened with Oly teams being announced and an NBA regular-season game is, well, still an NBA regular-season game.

So, what should we talk about? How about bowling.

And, no, that wasn’t a joke.

Lost a bit in the blur of mainstream media was a potentially significant sports moment that happened in one of the few professional sports where being overweight, unathletic or over-40 has no effect on your level of success.

On Sunday, 32-year-old Kelly Kulick won the Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas. In case her name is ambiguous – Yes, Kulick is a woman, and, yes, she is the first woman to ever win a PBA event.

Sure, this is still bowling, but it’s pretty significant nonetheless. As women’s rights activist and tennis legend Billie Jean King said (to a number of news outlets (and not me)) Kulick’s win “is not only historic, it serves as a motivational and inspirational event for girls and women competing at all levels around the world.”

I couldn’t have said it any better (which is why I used the quote).

Although, the more I thought about this story, one thought came to mind: Why hadn’t it happened sooner?

If I had to pick the three professional sports that a woman would win in first, the list would go like this: 1) darts; 2) billiards; and 3) bowling. So, when you really think about it, a woman beating a man in bowling shouldn’t be that surprising.

On the other hand, though, Kulick’s win shouldn’t be downplayed. After all, it’s a pretty substantial feat for her and will help to grow women’s bowling and even women’s sports.

I know, it’s not like we’re going to see women in the NBA because of this, or even winning on the PGA Tour, but, with Kulick taking home a $40,000 first-place check and getting a two-year exemption on the tour, she’s basically proved that a woman can make a living playing a professional sport against the big boys. And, in pro bowling, a lot of them are definitely big boys.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User