Friday, February 10th, 2017, was a dark and rainy night in Burbank, California, making it a perfect night to be inside bowling at the local good time, Pickwick Bowl. The opening night of the inaugural “The Big Lebongski” tournament (or “TBL”), Pickwick was the first of four stops in California, which includes Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Diego. The stoner tribute bowling tournament stops in all eight recreationally legal cannabis states of California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Alaska, and Nevada, and two medical marijuana states, Michigan and Arizona.
An homage to “The Dude” and all that’s cool about the 1998 Coen Bros. cult-classic film, the tournament was founded by TBL commissioner Gary “Spacey” Lane, who loves “The Big Lebowski” movie because of, “the irreverent, cavalier, ultimate-I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude of Jeffrey Lebowski.” According to Spacey, the movie is “absolutely priceless–what all us achievers-in-training aspire to.”
Christain Ackerman reacts to a throw during The Big Lebongski Bowling Tournament. (Justin L. Stewart for Leafly)
“Gary Spacey” Lane, The Big Lebongski commissioner
Like many ideas, the Big Lebongski bowling tournament was borne over a meal with friends. “The TBL concept evolved over a dinner conversation I had many moons ago with Alex Brauer, President of Cannapack Solutions,” explained Spacey. “[It] focused on answering the question, ‘What kind of fun event could be developed for the cannabis industry, as well as potheads everywhere, that could combine ‘imbibement’ with good times?’ When Alex threw out ‘bowling,’ it immediately made me think of the movie. Somehow, the pot dots instantly connected and I suggested that the championship trophy could be a bowling pin-shaped bong. And that’s when it hit me: The Big Lebongski!”