ROB STONE RETURNS AS VOICE OF PBA

“Hambone!”

Get ready to hear that exclamation again as FOX Sports and the Professional Bowlers Association have confirmed the lead broadcasting team for the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour — including the return of Rob Stone as play-by-play announcer

Stone will be joined by analyst Randy Pedersen and reporter Kimberly Pressler. The trio will make its FOX debut on Sunday, Dec. 23, with the PBA Clash on FOX.

The announcement was made today by John Entz, President of Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports, and PBA CEO-Commissioner Tom Clark.

“Rob is a dynamic and versatile sports broadcaster who is passionate about bowling,” said Entz. “And he’s already a legend in the sport for inventing the term ‘hambone.’”

Stone’s return was welcome news for Clark.

“One of the most disappointing days in my 10 years at the PBA was the day Rob called my cell phone to say he was leaving ESPN for FOX Sports, meaning he wouldn’t be calling our action anymore,” Clark told BJI. “The news hit so hard that I’ll never forget where I was — fortunately, in a liquor store — because I had always envisioned Rob and his ascending star being a huge part of growing the PBA.

“So now, to have Rob back as we begin a new era for the PBA on FOX Sports, is very exciting,” Clark added. “He and I stayed in touch through the years, and throughout the negotiations with FOX would trade notes, both of us pumped for the chance to get the band back together.”

A veteran sports broadcaster, Stone was most recently the lead studio host for FOX Sports coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, live from Moscow. Since joining FOX Sports in 2012, he has served as the lead studio host for the network’s soccer, college football and college basketball programming.

Stone was PBA’s play-by-play announcer from 2008 until 2012. He endeared himself to the bowling public with his eagerness to learn the sport, his sense of humor, an enthusiastic personality and his immediate connection with Pedersen, a PBA Hall of Famer and veteran color analyst. Learning that three consecutive strikes is called a “turkey,” but there was no common term for four strikes in a row, Stone coined the expression “hambone.” It took on a life of its own and remains a part of bowling’s lexicon.

“Back in 2008, the PBA unexpectedly became a cherished part of my career,” said Stone. “The hope to be reunited with the world’s best bowlers has existed for years. I am honored to return and cannot wait to get back to the lanes with my old partners, Randy and Kimberly, and my many other co-workers and lifetime bowling friends.”

Pedersen also is looking forward to renewing his partnership with Stone.

“I’m personally very excited to have an opportunity to work with my old buddy… again,” he said. “We developed a great relationship and friendship, and we’ve maintained it ever since. And I’m looking forward to the PBA moving to FOX Sports over the coming years. It’s very thrilling for professional bowling.”

Pressler also has been a fixture on the tour, serving as PBA’s sideline reporter since 2010. The Miss USA 1999 has covered events for ABC, MTV, ESPN, FOX Sports, NBC and the SPEED Network, ranging from the ACIS Fitness National Championships, Traxxas TORC truck racing series, Red Bull X-Fighters series and the X-Games. Pressler once worked for the U.S. Department of Energy at a nuclear power plant.

“I’m honored to be joining the PBA telecasts on FOX and am thrilled to have Rob back on the PBA telecast team,” Pressler added. “I’m looking forward to the inaugural season with FOX Sports and working alongside both Rob and Randy again. This will be the best season yet.”

Clark added that what you see is what you get with Stone.

“His enthusiasm on bowling shows was never an act,” Clark told BJI. “Rob really loves the characters, the competition and the excitement of PBA action. He is as much producer behind the scenes as he is announcer, caring about every element of the show and the PBA, from the crowd to the event, from the history to the need to take things to another level.

“Rob and Randy have great chemistry and have maintained their friendship all these years. I really don’t think they will miss a beat, and the ‘Foxified’ shows will be entertaining and full of drama.”

Added Clark: “Rob has become a big star at FOX… so to have his call on the PBA as we fold into FOX Sports programming immediately elevates our profile.”

To hear BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione’s exclusive interview with Stone, check out the latest edition of the Bowlers Journal Podcast: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/rob-stone-set-to-return-to-pba-tour-play-by-play/.

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