Oo, Wii: A competitor is shamed by Warrior Challenge
Stars and Stripes April 10, 2008
MANNHEIM, Germany — Bowling isn’t my game. At least it isn’t when I lose. If I win, different story. Winners don’t need excuses, just well-rehearsed victory speeches.
But after a pitiful performance Tuesday in the first round of the Wii Warrior Challenge, excuses are all I have left.
I’m not even good enough to win at fake bowling. But I have a deeper shame to admit.
Journalistic integrity obliges me to disclose that I own the game. My first opponent — my only opponent — didn’t. She’d played before, though. Her reputation preceded her.
“I hear your average is over 200,” I said when we met on stage at Mannheim’s Top Hat Club.
“That’s what they say,” she said.
I wish I could say she sneered, that her name was the kind given to hardened criminals and that hearing it turned my throwing arm to jelly. But she really didn’t care what her average was. And her name was Daisy. Spc. Daisy Gonzalez.
She hadn’t even come to play, but grudgingly joined in and beat me with a trifling 134. I didn’t do as badly as Barack Obama did (37). Let’s leave it at that.
Relegated to the role of spectator, I awaited Gonzalez’s comeuppance.
Spc. Charles Tate had bowled against her innumerable times in the past. They’re friends. He’d never beaten her. Not once. But in the semifinal round, with a new wristwatch on the line, he redeemed himself.
“This is the first time I’ve ever beaten her,” Tate said, adding he wasn’t exactly sure how it happened. “I did the same thing I always do.”
I think what he meant to say was that I’d tired her out, shaken her nerves and left her for dead. All he’d had to do was dispose of the body.
In the other semifinal, Spc. Nathan Klinger blew a two-pin lead going into the 10th frame against Sgt. Brian Prowell, falling 184 to 203.
But Klinger had other problems. In his first match, he faced off against Matt Acome, a Mannheim High School senior whose father is a sergeant major in Klinger’s unit.
“I can’t beat the sergeant major’s kid,” Klinger said. But he did.
Tate, who bowled six consecutive strikes in an earlier round, choked in the final.
We sorry losers will try to redeem ourselves.
The Wii Warrior Challenge was to carry into the second round Wednesday night with baseball, and continues Thursday with golf. Next week, competitors face off in boxing and tennis before the finals April 20.
Other bases in Europe, Pacific and the States are taking part in the challenge as well. Check with the local MWR office for more details.
All U.S. identification cardholders over the age of 18 are urged to join in. First prize in the final is a Wii console, and there are prizes for first place in every sport.
For more information, go to www.mwrpromotions.com or call your local Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation office.