It’s Not How You Bowl…It’s How You Roll!

Glasgow Rocks Supporters Club End of Season Bowling Night (And A Couple of Other Unrelated Points!)

Hollywood Bowl, Springfield Quay

2nd May 2015

 The team headed to the “Zorthgate” on Sunday 26th April to play our second leg playoff quarter final game against Cheshire, having lost the first leg by 13 points. I understand a number of fans made the trip and certainly made their voices (and drum) heard. For the first time this season we managed to beat Cheshire, but it wasn’t enough to secure us a place in the next round. This brings up the question of – should playoff games be played as an aggregate score over two legs? Would a (possibly 3) game series not be better? However a separate blog could probably be written about that subject, and that’s not what I’m meant to be writing about.

"Zorthgate" - home of the Cheshire Phoenix

“Zorthgate” – home of the Cheshire Phoenix

The reason I refer to the above game was because it was a more pleasant opening to a blog compared to starting it with…So we got knocked out the playoffs. For us Rocks fans the season had once again come to an end and so began the long off season.

One of the aims Andy and I had when we started the Supporters Club was to build stronger links between the supporters through the use of social events. Throughout the season we had the screening of the cup final as well as a couple of pub visits before games. However we didn’t want to limit these events to being held during the season. We wanted to continue organising events to allow fans to meet other fans during the off season as well.

Following this, we decided to organise a bowling night at Hollywood Bowl, Springfield Quay to “celebrate” the end of another season. As a side note, I must point out how good their customer service was whenever I was on the phone to them. In saying that, they wouldn’t allow any student bookings because we were coming at peak time. Fair enough if that is what the rules are, but when you are making a large booking I thought there might be some room for negotiation. Nevertheless it was all booked without any hassle.

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Our chilli reward wheel. Only one more chilli to get before we get a whole chicken for free!

When Rob and I have evening plans, whether it is the cinema, bowling etc, we usually like to go for some food beforehand. You are a bit limited at the Quay compared to say the city centre, but as soon as Rob saw the Nandos sign I knew where I would have to eat my dinner. Now, before I ever tried Nandos I was very much against it. Not for any reason. Probably because it was so popular and I didn’t want to become one of the sheep. However we received a gift card for Nandos once and now its one of our regular places to eat. I think Rob likes it so much because he can order a whole chicken and get unlimited refills on his soft drink while all the time earning “chillies” on his Nandos card that he can eventually put towards…free chicken.

Anyway, we walked in to Nandos and as usual the place was busy. Generally when you go to Nandos you expect some sort of wait before getting your table. We usually go to the Braehead one and they always quote their waiting time as longer than what it actually is. Therefore we usually wait no more than 15 minutes (but really it’s 10 minutes). So the waitress told us we would have a 15 minute wait which was fine so we took a seat in the waiting area and there we sat. 5 minutes. 7 minutes. 13 minutes (I know this because Rob gives me a running commentary when we have to wait for food). At this point I thought to myself that the waiting times must be more realistic in this branch so an extra couple of minutes won’t make too much difference. Rob on the other hand was pretty much eyeing up every plate that went past him and I’m sure I saw him drool at one point.

It got to 20 minutes and there were still another 3 tables ahead of us to be seated. I wasn’t willing to wait. Despite the sad looks Rob was giving me. I had to remind him we had somewhere to be for a certain time! So we cancelled our table and left. Other restaurants in the Quay include Chiquitos and the Ashoka. I assumed we would go to one of them. No. What’s almost as good as Nandos chicken? A Chinese buffet. Apparently. He really knows how to treat me right. I got dragged into the Panda and we were quickly seated, given drinks and told “help yourself”. The food was just the standard Chinese buffet food you come to expect. I couldn’t really complain, and at least I did still get free refills on my soft drink.

Because it was a buffet, we finished our meal quicker than we would have had we been in a restaurant. I’m certain when we were walking out the Panda we’d probably still be waiting for our tables in Nandos. We still had around 30 minutes to waste before we were meeting everyone for the bowling. However Hollywood Bowl has a number of arcade games to waste your money on play. Most games cost £1 to play and some give out tickets which you can collect and then swap for prizes. We had a go at the air hockey (we drew 6 – 6 after I had an epic comeback in the last 30 seconds), we had a go at the basketball (Rob won 89 – 64 and beat the high score. However the next time we played it didn’t even register his score) and finally we wasted about £6 on Mario Kart (Rob won all three races but it was still good fun. Don’t go Yoshi, he was a bit rubbish). Not all the machines give out tickets like they used to though which wasn’t so good. I was looking forward to exchanging my tickets for some sweets!

By the time we had spent what felt like a month’s wage people began to arrive. Once everyone had appeared I booked us all in at the front desk with no hassle. At this point I realised we had lost Andy and Kirsty. Not to worry. They were at the bar. Priorities, right? We were told as long as we had flat shoes with no open toes then we could wear them to bowl rather than wear the standard bowling shoes. I was particularly glad about this. Bowling shoes are not the comfiest and the number of people that have worn the shoes before you does not bear thinking about.

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Pose of a champion. Unfortunately can’t see the scoreboard.

So we began to play. I’m usually not great at bowling, despite using bumpers, but I seemed to play pretty well in the first game. I thought I might have a chance at winning. But no. I appeared to be in the team with the “professionals”. I maybe should have worked this out earlier, particularly as some team members gave themselves special names. Fingers Findlay had a lot to live up to, and live up to it he did as he ran away with the first game. At this point I’ll mention you are allowed to eat and drink at your lanes which is good. I’m not sure on the prices of the drink as I just kept sending Rob to get mine. I was too “in the zone” to even consider moving from my lane.

All members of our team got over 100 points in the first game. I don’t think that happened to any other team! I also had Rob in my team. He’s a very competitive person and I was secretly pleased he didn’t win! Mark won the first game in the second team and Callum won the game in the third team, by quite a lot I’m led to believe.

We got given our three lanes and split up into teams. We were told a member of staff would come along to help us set up, but we managed to do it ourselves. It was fairly straight forward. Everyone entered their names and then nobody said anything. Nobody wanted to be the first to ask the question. So I took it upon myself and said “can we get bumper lanes?”. I genuinely cannot bowl without bumpers. So myself and some others (don’t worry I won’t embarrass you) got set up with bumper lanes as well. The layout of Hollywood Bowl was quite good. It was dark with neon lights everywhere and glow in the dark skittles. Exciting!So we began to play. I’m usually not great at bowling, despite using bumpers, but I seemed to play pretty well in the first game. I thought I might have a chance at winning. But no. I appeared to be in the team with the “professionals”. I maybe should have worked this out earlier, particularly as some team members gave themselves special names. Fingers Findlay had a lot to live up to, and live up to it he did as he ran away with the first game. At this point I’ll mention you are allowed to eat and drink at your lanes which is good. I’m not sure on the prices of the drink as I just kept sending Rob to get mine. I was too “in the zone” to even consider moving from my lane.

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No contest!

So we moved on to the second game, and after my two pints I was wondering if I’d be able to keep up my impressive (by my standards) form. I had nothing to worry about. I managed to get my best ever bowling score, including three strikes. I think Strongbow has special powers in it. However what was more exciting was the battle between Andy (not SC cochair Andy, I don’t imagine he would have been very good at bowling…) and Fingers Findlay. Nine shots down and Andy was in the lead. He was careful not to boast though, because you just never know what can happen in sport. It was just as well. Stephen Fingers Findlay won on the last shot of the game. Cue victorious cheers from him and a collection of boos (fuelled by what was now 4 pints) from the rest of our team. Both Mark and Callum won their respective games again as well. Apparently if you get over 220 points you win a jacket, but none of us did sadly.

We all thought Andy had won. Fingers never doubted himself

– We all thought Andy had won. Fingers never doubted himself

With the bowling over we went into the bar and all sat and ordered more drinks. Some people ordered food including nachos and sweet potato fries. Again I’m not sure on prices but going by what I stole from others the food was quite good. It was nice to be able to have a chat with some fans who I hadn’t really spoken to much before.

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Some of the fans who attended. A few didn’t listen to me when I said I wanted to take a picture!

Some time later we decided to call it a night. It had been an enjoyable evening and hopefully those who attended thought the same. We hope to have a couple more events during the off season.

I got home, went to bed and woke on Sunday morning with the news that Sterling Davis has officially retired from basketball but will be our coach for next season. I know people will have different opinions on this but I am happy with this decision. I think he deserves the chance to show what he can do when focussing on a coaching role.

Who am I kidding, I’m actually just thrilled I’ll get to see him in a suit every game.

– JM –