In the 1950s people really loved bowling; they flocked to the local bowling alleys, joined leagues, and in 1962 began to watch the Professional Bowler's Association tournaments on ABC Television. As a lead in to the Wide World of Sports, Chris Schenkel's Saturday afternoon bowling telecast was for many years one of the top-rated sports programs. But gradually over the years, bowling was shoved aside by other competitive sports and ABC dropped coverage in 1997.

Then in 2000, three former Microsoft executives bought the PBA and hired Steve Miller, a former Nike executive, as the organization's CEO. Documentary director Chris Browne follows this savvy entrepreneur and four of the top professional bowlers on a 20-week PBA season in 2003 that is capped off with a champion being given a check for $120,000. A League of Ordinary Gentleman is an entertaining documentary that vividly conveys the subservience of sports to the dominance of business, media, and delivering an enthusiastic audience via television. At one point, with blunt honesty, Miller admits that neither the sport nor the bowlers are what counts.

Sadly enough, the main competitors in the PBA tournaments seem to be aware of this perspective. The top bowlers are Walter Ray Williams, an accomplished athlete who is also a champion horse-shoe thrower, but he has no flair. Pete Weber comes across much better on television; he's a flamboyant and fiery competitor whose "crotch chop" hand gesture thrills crowds familiar with the antics of wrestlers. Much less colorful is new father Chris Barnes, a young man whose priority is to make a secure life for his twin sons. Then there is Wayne Webb, a 20-time champ who has lost his touch and is quite cynical about the future direction of the sport. This lonely man admits to sadness over three divorces; all he has left to fall back upon is a Karaoke business.

Although all of these bowlers may have started out in the sport with a deep love of the game, that is long gone. It is this underlying sadness that makes this documentary such an unusual brew. That along with a feeling that bowling will never regain its prominent place in the lives of Americans it once had.

Special features include deleted scenes, Skills Challenge highlights, Dexter Approach: Tips and Techniques, PBA Event Clips, PBA TV Spots.