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Vanderbilt Bowling: Now Inventing Schedules from Thin Air

This is the most fever dream-sounding event I’ve ever heard of.

Hail Pinman.
Blessed be his inexplicable pinly ways.
Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Professional Bowlers Association

COVID-19 is still raging, as we all know. While I’m certainly not going to make light of that, occasionally it generates a story so weird you have to stop and point. This is one of those times.

Vanderbilt bowling will begin their winter season this weekend. And as it turns out, they’re debuting in (checks notes)...uh, in Savannah, Tennessee. As was noted in an Anchor Drop last month, Vanderbilt bowling signed a recruit from Savannah, and Hardin County HS has won 7 straight state titles. I’m not sure how the fine folk down there have spawned a bowling powerhouse, but here we are.

Where this particular event goes off the rails is that it’s called the Lady Techsters Invite, because it’s being hosted by Louisiana Tech University. Seriously. Nothing says “suburbs of Ruston, Louisiana” quite like Shiloh Battlefield. (Nothing says “a town that definitely has suburbs” quite like Ruston, Louisiana either.)

Besides Vanderbilt and the 11th-ranked hosts (?) from Louisiana Tech, the field will also include #2 Sam Houston State, #5 Arkansas State, possibly #7 Stephen F. Austin, and, I am not making this up, the Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters.

Nobody actually knows if SFA can compete yet, because a Texas snowstorm (which was also a real thing, much this like entire event) kept them from getting COVID-19 tests done. If the team’s negative, they’ll show up at some point. No, seriously, that’s what the article says: “If that program does not get their results back quicker than normal they may not reach the tournament site until the second day of competition.”

So to recap: Louisiana Tech is hosting a bowling tournament in rural southwest Tennessee, so that we can have a pretend in-state rivalry against the Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters and their axe-wielding Abraham Lincoln mascot.

I don’t even know what anyone can possibly add to this outstanding piece of news.

Tune into the Vanderbilt bowling YouTube channel or Twitter feed at 9:00 AM CST on Friday morning for all the updates and action.