Now before Roger Goodell and his army of briefcase-wielding legal goons descend upon Casa de Cannon with the fury of a wild boar in estrus, let us be crystal clear: when we say “Super” and ‘Bowl” in concert, we are in no way referring to the professional football game being played this weekend. No, we are instead obviously referring to the best game Duke Cannon, an extremely solid bowler, ever bowled. So holster your ink-dipped quills, counselors, and take a stroll with us down the well-oiled lanes of yesteryear, as we relive the Super game we once Bowled.

The year was 2006. Pluto began the year as a planet, but was unceremoniously demoted to a dwarf planet by some guys in lab coats. The Crocodile Hunter met an untimely demise (but not, oddly enough, due to a crocodile). And a mobile phone app that people used to publicly gripe about things called “Twitter” was launched. The point is, the world was different in those days. Mainly in that we had fewer responsibilities then, and we used that surplus of free time wisely to go bowling a lot.

Our Tuesday night league convened at a local establishment known as Bowl Lotta Love. They served attractively priced pitchers of macro beer ($4!), maintained even lanes that reduced ball drift, and curated a very solid jukebox that kept one’s adrenaline at the high level this arduous sport demands. And at this point in time, we threw a 15 lb ebony metal flake Brunswick, boasted a robust 196 average, and anchored the squad by bowling last (much to the chagrin of Randy, who still nurses a grudge about this).

Things started off a bit rocky. There were two strikes, but also a tough break (the dreaded “Leon Spinks” as we called it; a 4,6-7,10 split we failed to completely pick up) that caused us to think that this would be just another game.

We began to heat up, not unlike a cast-iron skillet at dinnertime, or a Weber grill where the briquettes have been soaked in way too much lighter fluid; take your pick. We believe this is because at that point some kindred spirit played the entire first side of Boston’s self-titled debut album on the jukebox, and that sent us soaring to greater heights (not unlike the guitar-shaped spaceship roaring through the cosmos on the cover).

A crowd had begun to gather, sensing a great moment they didn’t dare miss. Or maybe it was because our lane was located by the cart that dispensed free popcorn. Who can say, really? Regardless, the two strikes and spare we picked up further ensured that this would be a night their grandchildren would someday be forced to hear about.

10th FRAME
A haze hung in the air (you could smoke indoors back then). The room got as quiet as a 32-lane bowling alley that served alcohol could possibly get. And we swear that even though we were indoors, we heard the piercing cry of a hawk off in the distance.

The first roll was a strike, greeted by rapturous cheers as it guaranteed us two more shots. The second was another strike, but the 10-pin teetered for a couple agonizing moments before eventually toppling. On the crucial third roll we shifted a hair to our left. We approached; our right elbow practically fused to our ribcage as we drew the ball back. An audible pop was heard as our thumb came loose from the largest hole. The ball spun hypnotically as it hurled towards its target like a thunderbolt hurled by Zeus himself. Then, a loud crack echoed throughout the great hall as the ebony globe found its way perfectly into the pocket, creating a cathartic explosion of pins that recalled Chief Brody blowing up that pesky shark at the end of JAWS. A chorus of gobbling sounds rose up from the crowd to celebrate the turkey, and we were hoisted aloft by a squad of stout men.

The final tally stood at a whopping 246—a personal best for yours truly that stands to this day. And rest assured that in the aftermath that ensued, Bowl Lotta Love wished their pitchers hadn't been priced so affordably.