Richard E. Duncan

Richard E. Duncan ()

Name: Richard E. Duncan

Age: 53

Hometown: San Antonio

Title: Telecommunications specialist, Defense Information Systems Agency, Stuttgart, Germany

Previous title: Air Force master sergeant

Duncan recently bowled an 822 series at Dream Bowl in Boeblingen, with games of 277, 245 and a perfect 300.

How could you tell that you were in the zone that night?

“You’re releasing the ball the same way, doing the same thing over and over. Of course, you’ve still got to deal with not being nervous at the end.”

You mentioned a lapse in the second game, the 245.

“I had a couple of lower first-ball counts. One was a six-count, the other a seven. But I picked up the spares. I had no open frames that night, which was a feat in itself.”

But all strikes in the third game.

“All were in the pocket. I had one in the fourth frame where there was a slow pin-falling. I think it was a four-pin. It was a touch high. Usually a touch high I leave the four-pin, a touch light and I leave the 10-pin.”

Did you know what you needed for an 800?

“I actually needed the first strike in the 10th to get an 800. Somebody else figured that out. I try not to calculate.”

Tell me about your nerves in the 10th frame.

“At that point, everybody was watching. I didn’t notice anybody screaming or hollering after nine frames. But in the 10th I heard people talking so I knew they had to be watching.”

How did you know? Didn’t you look up?

“No, I did not. I was just concentrating on repeating the exact same shot. You don’t want any external interference.”

Like a pitcher in the middle of a no-hitter.

“One guy I know walked up to me and said ‘hello,’ then he noticed all the strikes and stopped talking to me. That’s what I would do. You don’t want to interfere with what’s going on in their brain.”

Were your knees weak?


Breathing hard?

“No, I think I was pretty relaxed. But then you have to throw that last one. It was perfect, by the way. A lot of people choke on the last one. Well, I probably shouldn’t say ‘choke.’ My friends might read this and think I’m calling them ‘chokers.’ Even if you throw it right, that doesn’t mean you’re going to get a strike.”

What about the ball?

“Ebonite. Orange. Killer Instinct is the model.”

You’re not one to carry around two or three balls?

“Actually I have three balls. One I use only for spares. (The orange ball) isn’t my favorite ball, but now I’ve thrown two 300s with it, so maybe it should be.”

How are German bowlers different than American bowlers?

“Pretty much the same. The good bowlers are still serious.”

Any misconceptions you’d like to clear up about bowlers?

“Not really.”

What about the shoes?

“You could probably still make fun of the shoes, though they make some nice-looking ones now. They even sell some shoes downtown that we’d call bowling shoes. The Germans probably wouldn’t call them bowling shoes, though.”

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