"I was just in shock"

Doyle Irons on 1,146 for four at Laurel

Doyle Irons of Columbia, Md., earlier this year recorded two 800 series within a month in the Wednesday Scratch Trios league at AMF Laurel—an 816 on games of 279-258-279 on March 23, followed by 300-277-269/846 [and another 300 for a 1,146 total] on April 13. He kicked off the new "My Stuff" feature in the Summer 2005 issue of BOWL Magazine—a piece somewhat similar to the popular "Mini-Bio" but shorter, more brand-oriented, and certainly more personal.

Below, Irons reflects on his April 13 performance and other issues:

"After the first two games, I was trying to shoot 800. After the 269, I said to myself, 'Wow, I just shot 800 again; that's twice in three weeks! This is awesome! Well, let me just try to hang on and do something.' But when I had the first four, I started to go, 'Uh oh!' When I had six, I said, 'I can't believe this.' Then after eight or nine, I got really nervous, and it was funny because I went, 'Okay, all the times I get tapped, I don't have a 299 ring this year, you know? Well, maybe I can shoot 299—that way, I can have the 300, the 800 [ring].' … For the first time in my life, I said, 'Please leave a 10-pin!' Everybody standing there heard me say it. I threw it and I struck, and everybody's clapping, and I said, 'No!' My mind was thinking about 1,050, but 1,146? Whew! They said, 'Man, you only threw three spares!' Wow, I did. You mean I was three shots away from 1,200? And then it started hitting me what I did, you know? When I had the first four in the last game, I started to get a little nervous.

"The league is so competitive but so fun that you almost forget that you're competing. Even when you lose, you're having a good time. It's the best thing I've ever been in. I didn't really feel the pressure; the only pressure I felt was that we were in fifth place trying to get second, but we needed a bunch of things to go wrong with other teams. We kept pretty loose, so I wasn't really that nervous.

"I get more nervous before we start bowling, like no matter what the circumstance is, I'm a nervous wreck before I pick up the ball. I walk in the building and I'm nervous. As soon as I throw the first couple of shots, I'm not nervous anymore.

"I knew the house [and NCABA] record [of 874 in 2003] that [Joe] Tremper shot, but I wasn't really thinking about it. I'm just trying to win my point and hope we can win. Records, I don't really care. I was just trying to help my team.

"I was just in shock. I just went home and sat there and just thought about it for a while. I called a couple of my friends and that was basically it. I was actually afraid to pick up a bowling ball for about a week!

"Scorewise, it's pretty hard to beat that moment, but I would like to try to bowl in some PBA regionals and try to get to the tour—that's my goal. I plan to return to professional wrestling if my bowling goals aren't met."