July 12th, 2013

LCSN and the Afternoon Underdogs bowl for Blessings

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Conor Revell

Staff Writer

LCSN and the Afternoon Underdogs bowl for Blessings
Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti organized the event with Billy Reed / photo from the Louisville Voice-Tribune

Several of Louisville’s finest media personalities gathered for something of a grudge match when the Louisville Catholic Sports Network Holy Rollers battled the Afternoon Gutterdogs at Fern Valley Strike and Spare on Thursday

Some were superb bowlers and others were not so good, but everybody had a great time. And while the competitors considered it critical to win bragging rights, it was really about collecting money for Blessings in a Backpack.

“It’s for the kids,” Afternoon Underdogs radio show co-host Dave Jennings said. “Blessings in a Backpack help feed children on the weekend during the school year. We take a lot of that for granted. But there are a lot of kids out there in tough circumstances that the school feeds them Monday through Friday and then when they go home on the weekend they’re pretty much left to fend for themselves. It helps them get through the weekend with a little nourishment, and they come back to school Monday well rested and not hungry. Imagine being hungry at school on Monday and trying to learn. It’s not very easy to do.”

Billy Reed headed the Holy Rollers and recruited Bellarmine University head basketball coach Scotty Davenport, Bellarmine freshman shooting guard Rusty Troutman, the Voice Tribune’s Angie Fenton, top high school bowler Chris Ellison, Leon Middleton of WHAS, Shelby Thomson and myself.

Meanwhile Jennings decided to make the Afternoon Gutterdogs a semi-pro team. He recruited Tony Vanetti, his sidekick and co-host of the Afternoon Underdogs; Bill Powers, a member of the Louisville Bowling Hall of Fame; Mike Wolfe, a four-time winner on the PBA Tour and owner of the pro shop at Fern Valley Strike and Spare; Cindi Sullivan, the garden goddess of WHAS-840; and WAVE-3 meteorologist Andy Weingarten.

“It’s a good cause,” Wolfe said about hosting the event. “It’s good to do things for kids in need. And it was a lot of fun. I’m glad I was able to help out. I just wish that Vanetti was a little bit better and we would’ve been able to keep him around a bit longer.”

Weingarten showed up late, but when he did arrive he made a grand entrance, rolling suitcase with his own bowling ball and shoes. He admitted later that he and Jennings bowl in a Wednesday night league.

“I bowl with Dave pretty much every Wednesday during the season,” Weingarten said. “So I’m used to Dave. Tony has to be experienced. Anything you do with Vanetti is an experience. He doesn’t make anything easy. He may be a great guy, but he sure makes things difficult.”

Life was not easy for the Holy Rollers with two experienced bowlers and two recreational bowlers on the other side. Thomson and Ellison had to carry the Holy Rollers most of the way.

And as one might expect, the Afternoon Gutterdogs won both games with ease. Reed finished with the low score in game one while I nudged past Sullivan on the final frame to avoid finishing in last place in the second game.

“We had a great bunch of guys on my team,” Jennings said. “We had two professional bowlers on our team. Andy Weingarten, the bowling weatherman. Tony Vanetti didn’t mind embarrassing himself, and Cindi Sullivan didn’t care either; she was here for Blessings in a Backpack. It was fun.”

Vanetti and Davenport decided to take jabs at each other the whole event. One might have thought that they were more concerned about a one-on-one matchup rather than the team competition. Davenport wasn’t pleased when Vanetti beat him.

“I’ve seen Scotty Davenport upset before,” Vanetti said. “But after the crushing defeat I gave him in the very first round, by double-digit pins, I don’t think he’ll talk to me for a while. But I’ll use Billy Reed as a buffer and everything will be fine.”

While the Afternoon Underdogs walked away with a win, Vanetti and Sullivan struggled compared to the rest of their team. Weingarten, Jennings, Powers and Wolfe rolled strike after strike while Vanetti and Sullivan had their fair share of mistakes.

“It was against my better judgment to team up with the Afternoon Underdogs,” Sullivan said. “My mother warned me and said do not hang around Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti. But it was for a great cause and we raised a good chunk of money today. And one last thing, I need to practice.”


To help Blessings in a Backpack, you can access their website here.


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