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Good at beer and bad at bowling?

Texas Star Lanes has a league for you

Just imagine a pitcher of brew resting on the table.

The first time I bowled I broke 100, and I haven’t done it since. My typical (meaning the two times I’ve hit the lanes in the last five years) score is between 40 and 70. Even with a 9-pound “wussy” ball, I turn my wrist at the crucial moment, resulting in a 7-pin-seeking missile. Basically, I suck.

“We have the league for you,” says Jerry Francomano, Texas Star Lanes bowling operations manager at Texas Station. He’s referring to Bad Bowlers and Beer, a league that started with one 16-week session three years ago. “This is the first year we’re going to have three consecutive sessions because people keep asking us about it,” Francomano says. “The biggest thing for us with this league has been word of mouth.”

Bad Bowlers appears to be the favorite amateur sports league of schoolteachers in the summer (which explains why there are already teams signed up for that session). Lucky for the rest of us, the next session runs January 11 to April 25, with three games and a pitcher of beer for every team every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $14 per person, per week, and there are some serious plaques and bragging rights on the line, not to mention a small cash prize for the best team and a championship pizza party for all.

A former professional bowler, Francomano admits Bad Bowlers can get competitive, but it’s way more about the fun, the suds and the socializing.

“This past league, we did have one team that came in early the first night and said: ‘We’re here to practice—where’s the bar?’” he says. “It’s kind of like slow-pitch softball. Everybody gets a chance to hit the ball, and if you miss, nobody really cares.”

Francomano compares the weekly promise of Bad Bowlers to movie night or date night, only with a community of like-minded folks. For those desperate to improve their game, he says another league called Lucky 13 (which starts in May) might be up their alley (puns, glorious puns). For $13 a week for 13 weeks, you get instruction and free practice games rather than “free beer to help you forget how bad you are.”

If you don’t care how bad you are, Bad Bowlers is the ticket. Signups are wide open for individuals and teams. You don’t have to be a drinker or a bad bowler, but for once, it doesn’t hurt.

Call 288-7728 for more information. To sign up online, visit

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Erin Ryan

Erin got her first newspaper job in 2002 thanks to a campfire story about Bigfoot. In her award-winning work for ...

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