By Michael Cousins
These Are The Top 5 Guys I Enjoy Watching Bowl The Most
I wanted to do a personal piece. But then I want to hear all of your opinions.
I don’t want to go over the five best bowlers ever. And I don’t want to go over the five most talented. Instead, I want to take a subjective approach and look at my five favorite bowlers to watch bowl.
When you name your favorites below, the reasons for the five bowlers can vary. They can be your five favorites to watch because they were the most influential on you and your bowling career. They can be your five favorites because you have the most fun watching them. Or they can be your five favorites because you think they’re the five best bowlers. Regardless, though, I want to hear why.
But, anyway, without further delay, let’s begin.
Chris Barnes — My number one is pretty easy. Barnes has been my favorite player since I was a kid. No player influenced my bowling game and passion more than Barnes. Everything about his game — physically and mentally — intrigued me. To this day, I could watch him bowl all day every day.
Mike Machuga — If it weren’t for Barnes, it’d be this guy. Physically, my favorite bowler of all-time. Machuga was fundamentally as sound as anyone I have ever seen. Growing up, I wanted to throw it just like him — but I didn’t. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop me from finding joy in watching him bowl.
Brad Angelo — I know this guy isn’t the flashiest player, but when I first started bowling — early-to-mid 2000s — this guy was on virtually every TV show, so I literally grew up watching him bowl. He had a simple game and an unorthodox approach that I found both interesting and methodical. There were many facets of his game — the open hand and deliberate footwork — that I implemented into my game.
Richie (Dick) Allen — When I first started watching Dick bowl, he was the artist formerly known as Richie. Unlike some of the others on this list, Allen did not have a textbook approach and delivery, which I think is what I enjoyed most — he just looked different. In many ways, Allen was the first player that opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone has to throw it perfect. If you were great at what you did, you could make it.
Patrick Allen — Like many of the bowlers on this list, PA was deliberate and methodical (two traits I tried to always incorporate into my own game). And, like many of these players, he too was in his prime in the 2000s — the era I grew up bowling. While there are many bowlers from before this time and after this time that I enjoy — Pete and Belmo, to name a few — nothing can compare to the guys I watched bowling on TV every Sunday as a young boy.
So, as you can see, my list varies. And it certainly isn’t stereotypical, in any way. Most will probably strongly disagree with my list. And I don’t really blame them. I think you’ll also see that many of your lists are generational, as well. In many ways, these guys were our adolescent heroes. Growing up, we all wanted to be them. We wanted to live their lives and travel the world bowling. And while, sure, there are many “better” bowlers probably far more “worthy” of being on this list, we are a product of our times, and that was quite clearly the biggest factor on my personal list.
So who are your five favorite bowlers to watch? Does your list mirror mine, in that it is filled with the bowlers you grew up watching? Or are they more current players? Let me know down below!