Rockin’ through rehab, and toward a new season – PBA Diary
NOW THAT EVERYONE IS GETTING geared up for the new league season, let me fill you in on my summer.
In the last issue I updated you on my foot and the surgery I had on my toe. I flew out to Los Angeles for an appointment with Dr. Robert Mohr on June 13. He checked everything out and said it looked great. There are times when the toe bothers me–especially when the weather changes–and I still have arthritis in the toe, but, wow, what a difference the surgery made in reducing my pain. It’s virtually nonexistent.
I’ve finally gotten back into bowling now that my toe has healed enough. Dr. Mohr was still advising me to take it easy. He asked me how much I had been bowling, and I told him three to five games, three times a week. He looked at me strangely, like that was too much. Then I told him I normally would practice 10 to 15 games per day, especially when I’m close to going back out on tour. I was in line to step up to about five to eight games per day three times a week by July, and by the time you read this, I should almost be up to the workload I need to carry to regain my form.
My first tournament back was a regional in Baltimore. I made a ton of mistakes, but I knew going in it would be tough. What happens, happens. I missed the top 16 by 30 pins–so be it. The best news was that I made it through the eight games of qualifying with my toe intact.
I really wasn’t ready to bowl, but figured I’d give this regional a whirl because the center is only 10 minutes from my house. I didn’t feel comfortable, and, yes, I did put pressure on myself to perform. I wish I would have been sharper, but when you practice only a few games per week and have to take off three months, I guess mistakes are expected.
I wasn’t exactly sure how many more regionals I would bowl before the PBA’s Japan Cup in September, but I did know I definitely would be practicing more.
While out on the West Coast for my checkup with Dr. Mohr, I went to Bowl Expo in Las Vegas. If you’ve never gone, make plans to–anyone and everyone in the bowling industry attends. I made the rounds with my DWGEAR partner, Stevie Lange, soliciting our bowling shirts.
I met Stevie and his wife Diane at a tour stop in Albany about two years ago. I asked them about their tattoos, and they told me they were tattoo artists at a studio called Wildwood Tattoo. They said that if I ever wanted to get work done, I should come see them. So far, I’ve gotten a tribal tattoo for my left arm and a bowling pin with flames and barbed wire for my right. They do fantastic work. They’ve won awards and have been featured in magazines.
The three of us became very good friends. I help them with their bowling when I can. From the beginning, we thought that the bowling world needed some spicing up, and what better way than to approach the manufacturers directly about us customizing shirts with whatever designs or ideas they had? With Stevie’s tattooing expertise, he comes up with some awesome ideas and designs.
I started wearing time button-up “retro” shirts in 2000, and Stevie and I had a thought: Since you can get these shirts at malls and department stores, let’s utilize his artistic skills to come up with designs for the bowling world that are only available on my Web site. We now have two designs, with more coming in the future.
The Storm Products booth was sporting DWGEAR shirts during both days of the Expo and they looked awesome. As always, Storm likes to stay in the forefront of the bowling world, and Stevie and I look forward to working with them on new designs.
We got some hits and sales, and hopefully my shirts will change the world’s impression of bowling. I’m still working on it, but I did start a trend by wearing bowling shirts sporting some true flair. Just as Norm Duke branded “versatility,” I hope that “style” becomes synonymous with me.
In my last column, I talked about working with Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis before his second annual Ray Lewis Foundation celebrity bowling event in May. When Ray’s charity event arrived, I had the pleasure of meeting Evander Holyfield, the heavyweight boxer. I thought he would be much bigger–but, then, TV does make you look larger. (I should know, right?) Evander was awesome to all the fans who came to Ray’s charity event. He can bowl a little, too. I think Evander shot 193 and 220 in the two games he played against the other special guests. He has a pair of lanes in his house and practices when time permits. Of course, I told him to look me up if he ever needed lessons.
For all my talk about attending the Carlisle All-Ford Nationals in May, I chickened out taking my cat there. It rained on Saturday, and my baby doesn’t see rain–so hopefully we’ll be there next year. I have to get to a few “judged” shows, and eventually, I will. I hope that over the winter I can get equipped with a killer stereo and have either a turbo or supercharger engine installed. Yes, I work on my car to occupy my time while on tour–but as good as it is to have something to occupy my time and mind off the lanes, it’s a time-consuming hobby. There are tons of phone calls I have to make to hook things up.
There are some things to update on the music front, as well. On my Web site, in the friends section, I’ve included a bunch of local musicians in Baltimore. I listen to music to pass the time while driving on tour and have learned to sing a little. Being that I am not afraid to “perform,” thanks to bowling, I’ve jumped up on stage to sing the song “bodies” by Drowning Pool with ICU, Silvertung, JJRodd, Burn, and Redbone. I like the aggressiveness of hard rock. It’s fun as heck to get people going in the crowd and singing along to that song.
Not bad for a guy whose only music credentials are as an established “car singer,” huh? I have even been asked to join bands, but I have to tell them that I bowl for a living. They look at me funny and try to change my mind, but I tell them, “Thanks for the compliment, but I really can’t. Plus, I don’t memorize words very well.
Eventually, I would like to do a few more songs with some of these bands. In the upcoming tour swing, I’ll work on new songs for next summer. But no matter what, I’ll never sing as a professional, only for fun. I look at it as karaoke with live musicians.
At the end of July, I went on vacation before my real work began, so I’ll be filling you in on my trip to Portugal in the next diary. But I can tell you now, you won’t see me on TV running with the bulls … sorry.
Danny Wiseman finished the 2002-03 season as the PBA’s eighth-ranked bowler. To learn more about Danny and his fan club, log on to www.dannywisemanbowling.com.
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