by Fred Eisenhammer
WINNETKA – “You say ‘Mike’ and all the heads turn.”
So said Mike Easley about the plethora of bowlers named “Mike” in the Guys and Dolls league at Winnetka Bowl.
The Tuesday night league, in fact, sports eight “Mikes” scattered among its 20 teams. That comes out to about one “Mike” per six male bowlers.
“There’s a lot of us,” said Mike Hahn, smiling. “It was a pretty common name back in the day.”
Two teams boast two “Mikes” on its four-player squad. That’s “Me and the Boys” with Mike Rice and Mike Johnson. And the “Trailblazers” have Mike Taniguchi and Mike Easley. Mike Cohen, Mike Robinson and Mike Antin round out the list. Incidentally, this group is no ordinary bunch of bowlers. It’s not an overstatement to say they’re quite the mighty “Mikes.”
The composite average of the eight is a heady 177.
Johnson, a lights-out bowler with two perfect games in his resume, leads the list with a powerful 211 average. Johnson flexed his muscles last week by smoking a 299.
Cohen (203 average) and Hahn (196) also have earned a 300 ring and Robinson (289 high game) and Rice (288) are knocking at the door. Other bowlers certainly should aspire to be “like Mike.”
For good measure, Winnetka Bowl General Manager Mike Willis was coaxed into having his photo taken with the other “Mikes.” And Willis definitely is no slouch as a bowler. He averages 206 in Winnetka Bowl’s Mixed Handicap League and has cracked the 300 circle multiple times. Said Robinson: “[Willis] didn’t realize how many ‘Mikes’ we have here.”
Said Willis: “That’s a lot of ‘Mikes.’ ’’