American Pool … A Tale of Two Tables?

sunnyone

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Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
376
(Part One of Three. Yes, Three. Please Stop Moaning. Jaspers!)

Dear Gentle Readers,

As absolutely no one has requested, I’m reporting for duty to ponder:

1) The state of professional pool, American edition.

2) A possibly enhanced relationship between professionals and amateurs. (See Part Two.)

3) A fresh (so far as I know!) way of thinking about the promotion of our favorite sport. (See Part … well, you can figure it out!)

The spark?

At first I thought it was amusing, or at least droll, when a stream commentator at a major event (Derby City) remarked, “Want to become a world-class pool player? Divorce your wife and live in your car.”

Or words to that effect. Affect? Effect.

However, once you unpack that toss-away statement, it takes but a heartbeat of reflection to grasp the American sadness that those comments convey about our own American Dream.

You know that dream. That unique longing, that optimistic yearning, that so-positive visualization of talent, hard work, reward. Yep, that dream, the reward one.

So, can it be true -- divorce, car naps, possibly even fast food consumption -- are these factors really the reality facing some of our top-level pool professionals these days?

Sigh.

On the obverse side, my understanding is that within the amateur arena -- leagues, beer bets, friends, family -- the scenario is rather robust. Woo woo!

Good for them. Great for them!

Unfortunately, professional pool seems to be cratering. At least here in America.

Amateurs 1, Professionals 0.

Accurate?

My very uninformed overview is …

It’s terrific that hordes of pool enthusiasts go out on a regular basis to bang the balls around. As I would love to do, if I had the time.

But.

It’s not so terrific that there’s so little American awareness of -- nor appreciation for -- the breathtaking talent of our country’s elite pool players.

Solutions from the pool forums?

Here are some of the recent suggestions I’ve lamped:

> The next ‘Hustler’ turns everything around. Or, perhaps, ‘Color’ does.

> A Powerball winner turns everything around.

> Bonus Ball turns everything around.

> A television executive turns everything around.

(Here, I do think that a highly-placed corporate honcho -- such as a Disney exec who is comfortable with multi-platform media venues -- could weave a cohesive and creative marketing strategy for pool into something. Actually, into something pretty swell!)

> What else? What am I missing?

Plaintive inquiry is my life,

Sunny
 

vapros

Verified Member
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
3,669
Well, Sunny, let's see,

First you would need money.

Then you would need pool players.

Then you would need . . . . never mind, turn the light off on your way out.

Move along folks, nothing to see here. Keep moving.
 

Island Drive

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May 1, 2011
Messages
4,148
A Tale of Two Tables?

A Tale of Two Tables?

Nope....it's just a case of the tail chasing the dog.
 

tylerdurden

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Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
1,959
Pool is just like anything else. Take for example a market stock.... it may be over or under valued for a time, but the market pretty much pegs it on the dot in the long run. Pool has gotten exactly what it has deserved in my opinion, no more, no less.

Yet, I will say, there are things working against us. There is a beauty that lies in our game that goes unseen by most. In baseball, the fans can know nothing and get excited when they see the ball fly over that wall, with a crisp crack of the bat, or an outfielder diving to make a great catch. Analogous situations in pool revolve around a little white ball stopping in a certain spot, a spot which the average viewer had no idea how difficult it was to get to.

Pool has haplessly been bestowed with a faded, dull apple in the in the garden of Eden. We'd need a hell of a lot of charisma to brighten it up, and there the ugly tail of coincidental misfortune rears its head again - pool is played well by people with calm, and very level (and thus usually boring to watch) heads. There is no end-zone dancing here.

If I may sum up, pool has been unlucky, but it has also fumbled the ball. In a world where you need to be blessed with good luck AND talent, pool has failed in both. There is, reluctantly yet realistically, no hope.
 

SJDinPHX

Suspended
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
9,226
Pool is just like anything else. Take for example a market stock.... it may be over or under valued for a time, but the market pretty much pegs it on the dot in the long run. Pool has gotten exactly what it has deserved in my opinion, no more, no less.

Yet, I will say, there are things working against us. There is a beauty that lies in our game that goes unseen by most. In baseball, the fans can know nothing and get excited when they see the ball fly over that wall, with a crisp crack of the bat, or an outfielder diving to make a great catch. Analogous situations in pool revolve around a little white ball stopping in a certain spot, a spot which the average viewer had no idea how difficult it was to get to.

Pool has haplessly been bestowed with a faded, dull apple in the in the garden of Eden. We'd need a hell of a lot of charisma to brighten it up, and there the ugly tail of coincidental misfortune rears its head again - pool is played well by people with calm, and very level (and thus usually boring to watch) heads. There is no end-zone dancing here.

If I may sum up, pool has been unlucky, but it has also fumbled the ball. In a world where you need to be blessed with good luck AND talent, pool has failed in both. There is, reluctantly yet realistically, no hope.
Congratulations Tyler, you have made some very profound, and spot on observations. The only thing I can comment on, is the "calm, level headed" statement !..Pool has many colorful "John MacEnroe" types. (think Earl for instance) But, as you said, most casual observers, will never be able to discern what is a very skilled maneuver, and what is pure luck !

I don't see any way to fix that, so pool will probably never enjoy the acceptance (and mass appeal) most sports take for granted !..CJ Wiley, seems to think he can overcome that "fly in the ointment", that has plagued our sport/game from day one !..Despite our semi-friendly jangling, I can, and do, wish him only the best !
 

Pelican

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Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
703
Folks simply do not understand the skill involved in professional level pool. I had one of the ladies matches on TV in the store once and a customer commented, "I don't see why everybody thinks those women are so good, they never have a hard shot". I simply smiled and replied, "That's right, they don't." Didn't want to get involved in explaining cue ball control since I sensed he had an attitude anyway.

Pel
 
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