Imagine pitching a no-hitter, hitting a hole-in-one, booting a 60-yard game-winning field goal ... and all the time knowing that it wouldn't count.
If you can feel the frustration, then you what Rudy Graham was going through earlier this week when he bowled an 888 - including a pair of perfect games - at Brunswick Zone.
Unable to make his regular Tuesday shift with Cold Hard Cash league due to a prior commitment, Graham prebowled - meaning he bowled a day ahead by himself ... with his score counting toward his league tally.
It ended up being a series he will never forget. Bowling in the presence of lanes employees and using automatic scoring, the 45-year-old strung together 34 strikes. When the smoke cleared, he had tallied 300-300-288 and the 888 series - a score that would have tied him with Chaz Velasquez for the highest series in Elyria Bowling Association history.
That is, if it had counted.
Under a rule adopted in 2006, the United States Bowling Congress does not recognize an honor scored if it was prebowled. The EBA complies with USBC rules. Even though the scores did count toward league competition, they were also rejected by the local association.
"Any honor score (300, 298, 299 or 11 strikes in a row) will not be awarded if rolled during unopposed bowling sessions before or after regularly scheduled league times."
Thus, Graham walked away with only a fantastic memory instead of a ring or a place in EBA history.
But, being a 43-year lane veteran, Graham is familiar with USBC regulations and wasn't disappointed.
"I knew the rules, and I'm cool," he said. "I didn't let it bother me."
The two 300s upped his career total to 28. The 888 bettered his previous-best series of 847 rolled three years ago.
The former pro shop owner didn't think prebowling gave him an advantage, but he wasn't complaining.
"All the time I was thinking in my mind that, even though it wasn't going to count, I was still doing it," he said.
Contact Linda Cudlin at 329-7130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.