How To: Hurl A Hundo
[ESPN The Magazine, 22 February 2010]
By Richard Morgan
The BROTY isn't exactly the Heisman. But the Best Roller of the Year award, given to the top skee-baller by the Brewskee-Ball league, offers its own cachet. Andrew Jackson Litz has three of them. What he doesn't have is a U.S. Skee-Ball Championship — because the inaugural event is only now upon us (Feb. 12-14, New York City). The March Madnessy showdown features the land's 64 top rollers. Here, Litz flashes the form that could earn the title.
1. LEGS: The left-handed Litz, who rolls as "William Ocean," presses his right shin against the right side of the lane and aligns his left leg a couple of feet back from the center. Knees bent, he leans 12 inches over the lane. It's a stance honed over three and a half years of competitive rolling. With his league's 10-week seasons running throughout the year, Litz, who daylights as a corporate events planner, plays 12 days a month and makes five road trips annually. For the championships, he's on home turf: NYC's Full Circle Bar.
2. HANDS: Ball in left hand, Litz brings his arm back six inches behind his butt. Then, with elbow locked, he swings it forward, gently releasing the orb a couple of feet over the lane. He points his fingertips toward the targeted cup, typically the 40-pointer because it allows the widest margin for error: toss too soft, and you still tally 30; overthrow, and it's a 50. A solid nine-roll round gets 360, or as it's known around the arcade, a "full circle."
3. EYES: When rolling for 40s, Litz aims at the center of the ramp. When he rolls for the 100-point ("hundo") cup at the right, he aims four inches right of center. He takes the first three shots of every round at the hundos. If any miss, he refocuses on 40s. If he makes all three, he sticks with 100s for the rest of the round. Litz's high score is 810. A similar roll in the post-skeeson will almost surely earn him the inaugural national title—plus a bar tab of $100 and an iPod Touch.
back to home page