Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do You Know What A Brooklyn Hit Is?

I shall tell you.

In this life, you will meet people who do activities because they enjoy doing them, and people who do activities because the activities like them back. You might also meet people with horrific handicaps who are incapable of activity. If I hadn’t already adapted my drafting compass for use as a sophisticated heroin injector, I would Venn-D this shit because there’s some obvious overlap between the various camps—like if you’re born with the natural physique and testosterone stores that make one innately good at crushing nerds into garbage cans there’s a good chance you’ll probably learn to like crushing nerds into garbage cans.

The real important point of this exposition is that I’m part of the latter group— I power walk because my body does good at a bouncy 4 mph. I put the hamburger in my mouth because that cow specifically requested to be there. And now I bowl, because I recently scored a 111, which I’ve been told is great score for a lady without a mullet.

There are many terms batted about the universe of bowling—“Strike,” “Spare,” “Where’s the fucking money Lebowski?”—but today we’re going to concern ourselves with a shot called the Brooklyn.

A Brooklyn is a roll that hits at the opposite side of the pocket from where it was thrown. If you’re a rightie, that means the ball impacts at the 1 & 2 pins; for the left-handed among us it’s a shot to the 1 & 3. It’s a fairly ugly ball that rarely yields any marks (but when it does it’s called a Brooklyn Strike). Contrary to many Internet rumors out there theorizing that the Brooklyn hit is a geographical metaphor—the logic being the denizens of Manhattan are DOIN’ IT RONG when they “cross over” to Brooklyn, the true derivation is from another, smaller-balled sport: baseball. Specifically, a baseball team, The Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1956, after a stunning season in which the Dodgers finished in first place with 93 wins, they went on to face the New York Yankees in the World Series. There they were humiliated like shaved Chihuahuas before a pack of wolves. The Yankees won all seven Series matches, one of which was a perfect game thrown by Yankees’ pitcher Don Larsen. Thus the sloppy form of the Brooklyn Dodgers during their disasterous ’56 World Series showing became immortalized as a term for a typically ill-fated bowl to the opposite pin side. And this is what we talk about when we talk about Brooklyn Hits at dirty bowling alleys.

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