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2002 ESPY awards trip

On Monday, July 8th, I flew to LAX from Dayton, OH after competing in a horseshoe tournament in Greenville over the weekend. My father was to meet me at the airport and we were scheduled to take a limo to the hotel together.

Upon arriving at the airport in Dayton, I learned that the United flight I was scheduled on going to Chicago was going to be 45 minutes late. This meant that I would only have about 5 minutes to make my connection to LAX. Since there was an American flight leaving before the United flight, I asked about getting on that flight. Both United and American thought that was a good idea since there weren't any more seats on the later United flights. The United people told me they would put my bags on the American flight. I arrived in Los Angeles on American with no problem. However, only one of my bags finally arrived. (I had two, my golf bag was not there.) My dad arrived and I filled out the appropriate forms for the missing golf bag.

The next morning Pete Weber told me he had seen my golf bag in the American baggage carousel because somebody thought it might be his due to the PBA logo on it and he had checked it out. However, after contacting the United baggage, they still didn't have my golf bag, nor did American.

A golf tournament was scheduled for Tuesday. This is a new golf course that Fred Couples helped design with Pete Dye, Lost Canyon in Simi Valley, CA. It was hot but we had a lot of fun. My playing partners were celebrity Jason Sehorn of the New York Giants, Larry Stewart, Sean Jeffers and Mark Frey. Thanks to Jason's length we were able to get some nice shots. Unfortunately for our group, Jason was working with ESPN and he only played about 9 holes. We still did very well, but just missed out on the prizes.

Tuesday afternoon there were some boxing matches at the Playboy mansion, which were also televised live on ESPN2. However, we were late returning from the golf tournament and missed the event. But I understand that Jason Couch and the Ballards attended that event. That evening was a pre-event party at the hotel that quite a few celebrities attended.

Wednesday didn't have much scheduled, so my brother Jonathan and his family and my sister Cindy and her girls met my father and myself for lunch and a get together for a few hours before my dad and I went to the ESPY awards. We had a good time together and we even visited the LaBrea tar pits.

Pete and Tracy Weber, Parker and Leslie Bohn, Del and Carolyn Dorin Ballard, Jason Couch with guest Beth Marshall, and myself with my dad were all in attendance. I saw Steve Miller, the PBA president, and Mike Slade, one of the owners of the PBA, also at the ESPY awards.

Congratulations are in order for Pete Weber for winning the ESPY for bowling. Some people may feel that Pete had not earned the award, because for some reason the voters of the ESPY's were under the impression that Pete had won 8 titles. It is my understanding that Pete's stats should have been 3 titles and 8 games won on TV. Based on the stats from 2001 I felt that Carolyn Dorin Ballard should have been given an award, but I also feel that she should have been among her piers, the lady bowlers. Among the men I would have voted for Parker Bohn as I did for PBA Player of the Year. Unfortunately, a similar thing happened last year when I was given the award over 2000 PBA Player of the Year, Norm Duke. I understand that last year one of the things in my favor was that I was the number one ranked player based on the computer rankings.

There were a couple of parties after the awards that I attended. My father, who was still on Florida time and goes to bed early, retired early and missed the parties, but I think he had a good time. You can check out some of the pictures I was able to have taken at the different parties.

Oh, by the way, my golf bag was never located. I figure that somebody else needed it more than I did.

Walter Ray

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