Editor Beats Publisher in Company Bowling Outing

Related: Magazine people are terrible bowlers

STRIKE CITY, N.C. – In one of the greatest displays of insubordination in recent memory, Charlotte magazine executive editor Michael Graff thoroughly waxed publisher Richard Thurmond in the company bowling outing Thursday afternoon. Graff calmly and disrespectfully fired a 160 while Thurmond stood one lane over, holding a scowl on his face and a 131 on his scorecard.

In the ninth frame, Graff ripped a 6-10 spare with a powerful stroke, and as the pins cracked and his coworkers cheered, Thurmond turned his head downward and said, “That’s it.”

But it wasn’t. Graff, playing with a 12-pound green bowling ball with large finger holes, fired a strike on his opening toss of the 10th frame, then narrowly missed another on the second toss, leaving only the five-pin.

“I didn’t want him to think it was close,” Graff said afterward. “But before we get into how great I am, I really want to thank Strike City and the Epicentre for having us today. And the whole Brunswick bowling ball, Goofy bowling shoe, Birdsong Brewing Company Higher Ground team just deserves a lot of credit.”

It became apparent that this would be a showdown early in the afternoon, when, after an hour of Morris Media Network-Charlotte team-building and mingling—and a catered lunch of pizza and chicken and salad in Strike City’s reserved section—the four team captains were chosen by pulling names out of a hat. Graff’s name was pulled first, and Thurmond’s was pulled second. “Whoa,” group publisher Sharon Havranek said.

Being captains gave Thurmond and Graff control of who’d be on their teams, to the extent that they got to pick the next names out of the hat. Both wound up with squads full of magazine people who, when their names were pulled, laughed and said, “I’m so sorry; I’m terrible at this.”

Throughout the match, Thurmond and Graff repeatedly found themselves at the top of the lane at the same time. Thurmond, a graduate of tiny Davidson College, regularly heckled Graff, a graduate of beautiful and brilliant High Point University. At one point, Thurmond’s psych-out attempts included whispering during Graff’s stride that the editor should “throw it harder.” But Graff, who was just followed by Yoda this week on twitter, never broke. He recorded marks in eight of the 10 frames, crushing the spirit of the man who hired him.

Thurmond, a nearly 20-year veteran of Charlotte magazine, declined to be interviewed afterward, saying only, “Hope he liked getting a paycheck.”

Notes: Thurmond’s team won the team title, barely edging Graff’s 447-446. The team captained by Charlotte Parent editorial assistant Mikala Young shot a low score of 308 and now has to arrange a lunch for the office. Digital Marketing Specialist and aspiring alternative rock singer Abigail Price’s team finished third with a 404, but seemed to have the most fun of any group. And in a bonus round because Thurmond simply couldn’t let it go, the publisher recorded another 131 while Graff limped to a 98. But that didn’t really matter either because left-handed photographer Logan Cyrus hung around and scored a 133. 

Categories: The Buzz, Trade & Tryon