3 Long Weeks in the Middle East

[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”]bill-oneill[/custom_frame_left] With the limited time Professional Bowlers are competing in the US nowadays we are forced to do a lot of travel overseas. The bad part about bowling these events is in order to make trips cost effective you have to try and bowl as many tournaments as you can while you are there. The good part about doing this is you get to spend a lot of time with your friends and also get to know guys you may not have before. The best part of it all is the things that happen along the way that make the trip something you never forget.

We started our trip right after the conclusion of the USBC Masters. And by right after I mean rushing Jason Belmonte out of the bowling center and into my car so we could make our flight to Qatar. Normally, in a circumstance like this, it wouldn’t be a big deal to miss a flight because we could just grab the next one but this is almost impossible when you are making connections halfway around the world. When we arrived at the airport in Newark we met up with Tommy Jones, Tom Daugherty, John Sczerbinski, Craig Nidiffer and Brad Angelo. Craig started the trip off with a bang by buying a brand new laptop and somehow forgetting the power cord in his car. If any of you have done any traveling overseas you would know that your laptop is the only saving grace because of the awkward jet lag hours you must kill. Needless to say we all piled on to make fun of him because there is nothing better than a cheap laugh at someone else’s expense.

[custom_frame_right shadow=”on”]qatar_gratteciels[/custom_frame_right]After 24 hours of traveling we finally made it to the hotel without much of an issue. My roommate for the trip was Jason Belmonte. Over the past couple of years we have become great friends but sharing a room with someone for 21 nights is enough to drive anyone crazy. Jason’s most famous lines are “Aww mate I forgot the room key can you please be the responsible one again.” “Mate I forgot all my toiletries, I’ll need to use yours.” “Mate I don’t have any more local money you’ll need to get this meal.” And my personnel favorite “Mate can you believe I rolled the 2-8-10 for a triple again?” Ok he might not have said the last one but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. The toughest part about sharing a room overseas is that people handle jet lag in all different ways. I usually don’t have much of problem getting on a good schedule but I am one of the lucky ones. Jason, however, likes to go to bed at 5am and wake up at noon. So when he decides he needs to make a phone call at 4am he just goes right ahead and does it. The sequence usually goes something like this…


And then I throw the remote at his face because it’s 4am and he’s screaming into the phone. That’s just a little piece of our relationship, I’m sure Jason has a slightly different take on it.

Since Jason and I get bored with each other we hangout with the other boys that are on the trip as well. When you get that many guys in rooms together the differences in personality make for great entertainment. TJ and Nidifer playing online poker for 15 hours a day, Daugherty staring out the window counting down the minutes until we go home, Barnes sneaking oreos and pretending nobody saw and John Sczerbinski watching episodes of Chicago Fire giving everyone play by play. While we are on the subject of John Sczerbinski I have to pick on him a little bit. John has been bowling pretty well over the past year (Excluding the Summer Swing. Yikes.) He finished second in the Bahrain Open, coming up just short of his first PBA Title. He did, however, take home $10,000 for his efforts. John then proceeded to take every waking moment for the next week counting his money and making sure it was still in sequential order. John also did something that I didn’t even know was an option. I’m going to preface this by saying that I have done and seen some really fat things in my life but this is tops. We were sitting in his room, after we had dinner, and the doorbell rang. The dialogue went like this.

John: That’s my delivery.

Me: For what we just ate?

John: I Had Dairy Queen delivered.

Me: Are you serious? It’s a 10 min walk you fat (expletive)

There are a million of these stories but John is the only guy ok with being made fun of in this blog. Even though it is extremely tough to be away from home this long it is great to get to hangout with such a wide range of characters and make new friends around the world. Being on a plane that long isn’t for everyone but it doesn’t really bother me because I love what I do for a living and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

One thought on “3 Long Weeks in the Middle East

  1. Artie Leandro says:

    I love on the road war stories. I worked for a bands that played the Tri-state area here near NJ. When you come down to see the Sayreville Bomber Boys Bowling team, I’ll share a few with you. I’m sure we are not that different in that respect. I’m a huge fan Bill Thanks for being a great guy and friend to my main man Mike W… See ya in NJ when you get here. Thanks again !!

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