It’s an exclusive underground fraternity that convenes late at night just once a week. Upon arriving, your only friends are your teammates, and when you enter, leave your personal problems at the door. The only things that matter are your balls.
Of course, I am talking about Tuesday night bowling league at the Union Sports Annex.
For three semesters now, three of my closest friends and I have been stepping up with the best bowlers around campus and competing for the most prestigious trophy on campus.
This trophy, which takes the form of a T-shirt, has eluded my team for over a year now.
Last semester, in what turned out to be a championship game defeat that can be attributed to a technicality, was one of the most difficult days of my life.
We were stripped of our crown despite taking two out of three games in the championship match because we failed to get a greater cumulative total of pins (called the cum tot) than our opponents.
After months of practice and hundreds of two-for-one beers, the “Chicago Bowls” unlaced our shoes in defeat. But we did not hang our heads for long.
Just two short months later we were back in the lanes. Our team was in shape, our balls were polished and we were ready to get our hands dirty.
This is what Tuesday night bowling does to you. It’s Marquette’s most underrated intramural sport, and I have made and lost friends since my initiation.
Bowling league isn’t a fun, lively night of the week where you’re going to toss a few games and sip a few beers.
During bowling night, I hate my opponents. I give subtle fist pumps when my opponent fails to pick up a spare, steal morsels of their food when they’re not looking and perform my patented leg kick when I bowl a strike, sometimes accidentally striking innocent bystanders.
My focus becomes sharper as I drink more, an ability deeply rooted in my Irish blood.
Much like the greatest leaders in history, I don’t shy away from getting in my teammate’s face, nor do I run from responsibility.
Individually, our styles are more different than the Jolie-Pitt children, but together we are a perfectly structured machine, like Optimus Prime and Toyotas.
In all seriousness, bowling night at Marquette is mind-blowing. It combines cheap bowling with a competitive atmosphere.
I didn’t do it before I was 21 because I had read too many stories in The Marquette Tribune police blotter about kids getting underage drinking tickets at the Annex.
And unlike other intramural sports, you don’t exert a lot of energy while bowling unless you are just pathetically out of shape.
The only thing you need to scrub afterward are your fingers because God knows what kind of booger-picking fingers have held those bowling balls.
You don’t even have to be good. Week after week your scores are adjusted with a handicap, meaning even the least athletically-inclined can actively compete.
Bowling night is also the birthplace of many great nicknames that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
I have seen several nicknames conceived this very semester.
Kevin “Sick at nines,” Morrissey, Colin “Bowls” Bowe, and much like Roy Munson’s last name in the movie “Kingpin,” Zaid “Karim’s himself under pressure” Karim has developed a nickname that has become synonymous with failure under a load of pressure.
So next semester, when you are looking for something to fill up a weekday night, give a few of your best buds a call and sign up for bowling night.
And remember: Have a bowl.