Cyber Report #1082

E-dition No. 1,082 • Friday, October 25, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (

The Cyber Report will be taking a rare — but absolutely well deserved — vacation next week. The next Report will be a double edition on Friday, Nov. 8. In the interim, please continue to send business-related news and information to Now, to the news of this week…

Here’s How to Buy the New ‘EARL’ Book

There’s already quite a buzz around bowling’s newest book, “EARL: The Greatest Bowler of All Time.”

Barry Sparks, a regular contributor to Luby Publishing Inc.’s family of magazines, took three years to write “EARL,” interviewing 110 individuals, scouring all the bowling magazines that were published during Anthony’s career, sourcing dozens of newspapers, and tapping countless YouTube videos.

Anthony’s story is presented chronologically, offering a season-by-season review of his dominant career, and readers also will be treated to an array of stories and comments shared by his peers.

The book includes vintage photos that date back to Anthony’s baseball days. It’s printed in a 6-inch by 9-inch format and totals 293 pages.

“EARL: The Greatest Bowler of All Time” can be purchased online at It is priced at $21.95 (plus $6.95 for shipping and handling).

The book also is available through Ace Mitchell Bowlers Mart (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) and Bowlers Supply, Inc. (York, Pa.).

Ten percent of the profits generated from the book will be donated to the Earl Anthony Scholarship fund.

New ‘PBA Pro Bowling’ Video Game Launches

PBA Pro Bowling, the first officially licensed video game designed for gaming consoles and PCs in more than 30 years, has made its debut.

The new game for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Steam owners allows gamers to interactively “bowl” against more than 15 PBA stars — including Jason Belmonte, Jakob Butturff, EJ Tackett and Norm Duke — with commentary provided by PBA announcers Rob Stone and Randy Pedersen.

“It’s been our dream to create an official PBA video game with the real pros since a lot of us watched the PBA Tour growing up,” FarSight Studios Vice President, Bobby King, said. “We’re proud of the game that we’ve created and can’t wait for people to check out just how easy and fun it is to play, while still being difficult to master.”

To preview the game, view the trailer released by FarSight Studios:

The extensive career mode includes more than 100 virtual tournaments and dozens of venues. PBA players are depicted in accurate motion-captured animations featuring authentic bowling physics. The action is further enhanced by the use of PBA lane patterns and approved equipment from 10 PBA product-registered companies.

Among the additional features are quickplay and local multi-player modes, online leaderboards, Esports-style online tournaments, and optional power-ups and special balls.

The easy-to-use “Arcade” controls are patterned after the PBA Bowling Challenge for mobile devices from Concrete Software, which has been downloaded more than 27.6 million times, including almost 2.5 million times in 2019 alone.

In addition to the current roster of PBA stars, FarSight anticipates adding “Simulation” controls, additional PBA stars, venues, bowling equipment and other challenges in the future.

The game is selling for $19.99 at launch. To place online orders, visit For more information about the numerous features included in the game, visit

IBM/HF Fundraiser Offers VIP Experience

The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame has teamed with the PBA to offer bowling fans the opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the PBA Hall of Fame Classic in January.

The tournament will take place at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, home to the IBM/HF, and is part of the festivities to celebrate the 2020 PBA Hall of Fame Class. The induction ceremony will take on place Saturday, Jan. 18, and the tournament’s stepladder final, which will be televised live on FOX Sports, is set for Sunday, Jan. 19.

The IBM/HF is holding a special auction with one fan receiving a Hall of Fame VIP Experience to the weekend’s activities on Jan. 18-19. The auction already is underway and fans can make their bids at

The winner will be announced on Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. (Central) on the IBM/HF Facebook page and will receive:

* Round-trip travel (domestic travel only) and select meal expenses for two to the International Bowling Campus for the 2020 PBA Hall of Fame Classic.

* Weekend events hosted by IBM/HF President and Chairman Mike Aulby, a PBA Hall of Fame member.

* A private, behind-the-scenes guided tour of the IBM/HF and the International Bowling Campus.

* Tickets to a PBA pre-banquet cocktail party, and VIP seating at the PBA Hall of Fame Awards Banquet.

* Meet-and-greet with PBA Hall of Fame bowlers.

* Special PBA production tour.

* VIP seating at PBA Hall of Fame Classic stepladder finals, to be aired live on FS1.

*A bowling jersey to be autographed by the PBA Hall of Fame Classic champion.

* An autographed PBA Hall of Fame Class of 2020 bowling pin.

* Photo in a national bowling magazine.

* Tons of photo and autograph opportunities.

All proceeds from the auction will benefit the IBM/HF’s Frame4Frame Film Restoration Initiative.

Go to to learn more about the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. Also visit for the Bowling Virtual Vault, featuring online collections of the museum.

Des Moines-Area Residents Now Have a Great Escape

The modernization of a long-operating bowling center in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, has been completed, and the facility has been re-branded Great Escape — The Ultimate Experience.

While Great Escape continues to feature bowling as its anchor attraction — complete with open play, club, Cosmic, youth, tournament and school programs — the venue now also includes a massive redemption arcade, laser tag and virtual reality.

Another highlight of the modernization project is the upgraded and re-branded Social Eats & Crafts restaurant. Signature dishes on the “modern American cuisine” menu include the Three-Cheese Mac (made with Alfredo sauce and oven-baked with a Parmesan bread crumb crust), Italian Sausage Cavatelli (tossed in sweet marinara sauce, oven-baked and covered in melted, toasty mozzarella cheese), and the Social Burger (n a brioche bun, and topped with melted Gouda cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and house-made Sriracha ranch dressing).

The extensive menu of starters, salads, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, “dishes” and sides is complemented by 30 draft beers, including 26 craft selections.

Great Escape is owned and operated by Randy Thompson and his family. Thompson is the current President of the BPAA. Learn more about the center here:

Business Briefs…

* A building that once served as a warehouse for Gibson Guitars has been transformed into a massive entertainment center. Located in the upscale Nashville, Tenn., neighborhood known as The Gulch, 16-Bit Bar + Arcade and Pins Mechanical Company have combined their brands under one roof so guests may wander easily from one venue to the other. Classic arcade games that are throwbacks to the 1980s and ’90s, cocktails named after celebrities (the Hulk Hogan is the most popular), duckpin bowling, bocce and ping-pong are just some of the offerings. Read more here:

* It’s “Best of…” time for city publications around the country, and earning Best Bowling Alley honors from Tucson Weekly in Arizona was Lucky Strike Bowl, which earned this blurb in the paper: “The Tucson Weekly editorial crew has some fantastic memories of that one time everyone’s schedule matched up enough for us to all go bowling together. The stylish shoes. The huge number of lanes. The incredible little animations on the screen anytime someone knocks down pins. The fact that it’s smoke-free. If you’ve never felt beckoned by its big, bright sign along Speedway, take this as your sign: It’s time to go to Lucky Strike.” Runners-up in the voting were the recently closed Golden Pin Lanes and Bedroxx Bowling.

* A severe thunderstorm that hit Springfield, Mo., earlier this week did extensive damage on the city’s east side. At Chez Ami Lanes, part of the roof was peeled off. Report:

* The struggle to save Pali Lanes in Kailua, Hawaii, continues. At present, the operating lease runs out on Jan. 3, and plans call for management to continue to operate the facility on a month-to-month basis thereafter. However, that would not make it feasible for the operators to reinvest in the business. Meanwhile, there is talk of the building’s owners bringing in others to handle the bowling business — something that would seemingly meet with resistance from locals. For more, go to:

Other News You Can Use…

* Speaking of Hawaii, there now is reason to believe that Herman Melville, the author of “Moby Dick,” was a pinboy as a child at a bowling alley in Honolulu. The details are here:

* Bowling’s U.S. Open, the final major championship of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season, gets underway on Friday, and will conclude with the stepladder finals airing live on Wednesday, (Oct. 30) at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS Sports Network. All preliminary rounds of the tournament will be live-streamed simultaneously by and All three days of qualifying, the cashers round and three rounds of match play will be contested on different lane patterns. England’s Dom Barrett is the defending champion.

* Andy Varipapa was the undisputed king of bowling trick shots, and others have followed in his footsteps, including Norm Duke. More recently, Jason Belmonte accomplished “the world’s fastest strike” by hurling a bowling ball out of a racecar traveling at 140-mph. Then on Monday, Lang’s Bowlerama in Cranston, R.I., was the scene of a shot that Varipapa may have dreamed up — had there been automatic pinsetters during the prime of his career. Check it out here:

* “Hi and Lois” is an American comic strip about the suburban Flagstone family. Created by Mort Walker and illustrated by Dik Browne, it debuted on Oct. 18, 1954, and is distributed to newspapers across America by King Features Syndicate. With those family-oriented ties, it only makes sense that — 65 years later — the family comic strip would acknowledge its bowling roots. Now produced by the sons of the original creative team, the strip is written by Brian and Greg Walker and drawn by Robert “Chance” Browne and Eric Reaves, and appears in 1,000 newspapers across the country. Here’s a link to the strip featuring the Flagstone’s teenage son, Chip, which ran last week:

* According to local prosecutors, Demetrius Easton allegedly slammed a bowling ball into another man’s head during an argument last month in the Chicago suburb of Cicero, fracturing his skull. The attack reportedly took place at Town Hall Bowl, and Easton is charged with attempted murder. Read more here:

* The Trivia Contest continues on Phantom Radio with Joe Baca stepping into the contestant’s chair. To see how Baca does, and to test your own knowledge of tenpin trivia, go to:

* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at For breaking business news, visit or, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at Please remember that the Cyber Report is a B-to-B publication and not intended for consumers.

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