Like so much else in bowling, the Petersen Classic isn't what it once was, with entries down greatly from its best days deep in the heart of Chicago at 35th and Archer.
But it retains much of its charm — if that's the correct word for the Pete! — and remains a can't miss tournament on my schedule.
Where else can you fry and laugh until you cry in the same eight games as your emotions range from exasperation to exhilaration?
And where else can you see Bigun crawl through a trapdoor or John Weber throw a ball through a picture (it stuck to his thumb)?
The 102nd Petersen Classic runs through Labor Day at AMF Hoffman Lanes in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, with about 5,000 bowlers expected to take aim at the first prize of $20,000.
I'll again be on Lennie Boresch Jr.'s squad, aiming to win a title I want more than almost any other after so many near misses — I've been in the top 10 six times without winning.
Sandy Patterson, the long-time guru of all things Petersen, said in an email that "everything is the same" for 2012.