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9 Ball Girl
02-18-2004, 12:34 AM
Straight ouf of www.psmagonline.com (http://www.psmagonline.com):

According to the National Sporting Goods Association, more than 35 million people now play pool. That's a jump of about 20% from 10 years ago--thanks to an entirely modern take on the game. Visiting a pool hall nowadays is a five-sense experience. The rhythms of Beyonce and U2 have replaced the quiet stick shuffle of yore. Overstuffed velvet couches sit in lieu of wooden-slat benches. Microbrews trump foamy swill on the tongue. But it's the sights that prove most stunning. As I gaze across the packed house at one of my favorite parlors, the crowd sticks out for three reasons: hip, stylish--and half-female.

"Women now think it's a cool thing to do,' says Martyne Bachmen, a player on the women's pro tour during the 1990s who now runs a pool equipment website, www.chalkers.com. (http://www.chalkers.com.) "It's a sport where men and women can conceivably compete on an even playing field." Rather than serve merely as men's clubs, pool halls have evolved into pool parties.

For decades, pool was hopelessly saddled with the image of your grandpa moping around a seedy joint your grandma would not have approved of. Those places largely closed during the 1980s and earlly 1990s, as swiftly as men's hat stores. But like most things that your grandpa probably liked, from cigars to poker, pool is undeniably cool again.

Perhaps the best reason to love this game is its social graces. Pool allows people to talk, whether taking tips or swapping stories. There's no clock, no artificial rush. Plus, it's the only activity that can push for Olympic inclusion for the expertise of its greatest players at the same time thousands (myself included) claim performance improvements after a few drinks.

Every part of the pool experience involves tactile ritual. It starts with the cue, either removed from a case with all the solemn ceremony of a diamond peddler unveiling his wares, or else chosen from among dozens of loaners, each handweighed to the ounce and meticulously rolled across the felt to check straightness. Chalk is applied to the cues amid alternate cloud of green, blue and red chalk dust. And wooden racks, either triangles or diamonds depending on the type of game, corral fields of balls in carefully arranged packs designed to produce the perfect, crisp break.

"The crack of the balls at the break is such a unique sound," says Stephen Ducoff, the executive director of the Billiard Congress of America and the closest thing pool has to the NFL's Paul Tagliabue and the NBA's David Stern. "No other sport has that kind of noise, and it's been there forever."

"I call it sublime misery," says Buddy "The Rifleman" Hall, a member of the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame, and the professional Player of the Year in 1982, 1991 and 1998. "The sublime is the intense fun and pleasure. The misery is the total commitment."

You don't meet mere people playing pool, either. Instead you meet characters.

It was at a party five years ago that I met perhaps the biggest pool character in the game today. Jeanette "The Black Widow" Lee. Minnesota Fats, she ain't. This siren in stilettos gets her nickname partially from her fashion--black from head to toe--but more from the way she devours her opponents. Sure, she looks sweet, even signing her name with a little heart above the "J," but she's all business at the table. A pro three-and-a-half years after first picking up a stick, and the top women's player in the world less than two years after that, she'll drop 30 balls in straight pool before you can even rise to buy her a drink.

So don't let the new veneer fool you. Even if reborn, pool remains an American classic.

stickman
02-18-2004, 01:43 AM
Nice post Wendy. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif I agree, pool is cool.

Jim

Billy
02-18-2004, 04:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 9 Ball Girl:</font><hr> Straight ouf of www.psmagonline.com (http://www.psmagonline.com):

According to the National Sporting Goods Association, more than 35 million people now play pool. That's a jump of about 20% from 10 years ago--thanks to an entirely modern take on the game. Visiting a pool hall nowadays is a five-sense experience. The rhythms of Beyonce and U2 have replaced the quiet stick shuffle of yore. Overstuffed velvet couches sit in lieu of wooden-slat benches. Microbrews trump foamy swill on the tongue. But it's the sights that prove most stunning. As I gaze across the packed house at one of my favorite parlors, the crowd sticks out for three reasons: hip, stylish--and half-female.

"Women now think it's a cool thing to do,' says Martyne Bachmen, a player on the women's pro tour during the 1990s who now runs a pool equipment website, www.chalkers.com. (http://www.chalkers.com.) "It's a sport where men and women can conceivably compete on an even playing field." Rather than serve merely as men's clubs, pool halls have evolved into pool parties.

For decades, pool was hopelessly saddled with the image of your grandpa moping around a seedy joint your grandma would not have approved of. Those places largely closed during the 1980s and earlly 1990s, as swiftly as men's hat stores. But like most things that your grandpa probably liked, from cigars to poker, pool is undeniably cool again.

Perhaps the best reason to love this game is its social graces. Pool allows people to talk, whether taking tips or swapping stories. There's no clock, no artificial rush. Plus, it's the only activity that can push for Olympic inclusion for the expertise of its greatest players at the same time thousands (myself included) claim performance improvements after a few drinks.

Every part of the pool experience involves tactile ritual. It starts with the cue, either removed from a case with all the solemn ceremony of a diamond peddler unveiling his wares, or else chosen from among dozens of loaners, each handweighed to the ounce and meticulously rolled across the felt to check straightness. Chalk is applied to the cues amid alternate cloud of green, blue and red chalk dust. And wooden racks, either triangles or diamonds depending on the type of game, corral fields of balls in carefully arranged packs designed to produce the perfect, crisp break.

"The crack of the balls at the break is such a unique sound," says Stephen Ducoff, the executive director of the Billiard Congress of America and the closest thing pool has to the NFL's Paul Tagliabue and the NBA's David Stern. "No other sport has that kind of noise, and it's been there forever."

"I call it sublime misery," says Buddy "The Rifleman" Hall, a member of the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame, and the professional Player of the Year in 1982, 1991 and 1998. "The sublime is the intense fun and pleasure. The misery is the total commitment."

You don't meet mere people playing pool, either. Instead you meet characters.

It was at a party five years ago that I met perhaps the biggest pool character in the game today. Jeanette "The Black Widow" Lee. Minnesota Fats, she ain't. This siren in stilettos gets her nickname partially from her fashion--black from head to toe--but more from the way she devours her opponents. Sure, she looks sweet, even signing her name with a little heart above the "J," but she's all business at the table. A pro three-and-a-half years after first picking up a stick, and the top women's player in the world less than two years after that, she'll drop 30 balls in straight pool before you can even rise to buy her a drink.

So don't let the new veneer fool you. Even if reborn, pool remains an American classic. <hr /></blockquote>

thanks for sharing /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Rich R.
02-18-2004, 05:07 AM
If pool is cool, and I play pool, then I must be cool. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

NOT!!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Very nice Wendy. Thanks.

Wendy is cool. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Dagwood
02-18-2004, 06:38 AM
Good read and good post Wendy.

If more people would realize that this is the pool world that we live in now, instead of the "seedy, dark, smokefilled" poolhall, (well...unless you're in NY or Cali, and a couple of others I'm not sure of, they're still smoke filled), of yester-year, then maybe we wouldn't be complaining about not having a men's pro tour widely available. More articles need to be written like this, and published in large publications.

Dags

woody_968
02-18-2004, 10:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 9 Ball Girl:</font><hr>
"I call it sublime misery," "The sublime is the intense fun and pleasure. The misery is the total commitment."

You don't meet mere people playing pool, either. Instead you meet characters.

<hr /></blockquote>

Tap Tap Tap

bluey2king
02-18-2004, 11:18 AM
First Thanks for the Great post. Excellent observations!
For me Its a mind Game...that can not be played untill mastry of the phycical is obtained. You might know what you want to do....but can you do it?? Next is the learning of what can be done. Here I mean options that you never thought of are there..in a kick or maybe carom shot. Those are the TWO elements that I Love. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Keith Talent
02-18-2004, 12:08 PM
Nice to see people care. Curious site you found that on, pleasure scene ... what goes on behind that forbidding home page?

9 Ball Girl
02-18-2004, 02:48 PM
Actually, my sisters and I were visiting my parents last night and every now and then we get junk mail still delivered to their address. The little mag that had the article that I posted actually came to my sister. On the cover of it was a rack of 15 balls with the heading "Why Is Pool So Cool". She laughed and said to me this must be for you.

That is their website and I had no idea that you needed to post a "code" to be able to read the rest of the article. That there that I posted is just an excerpt. When I get home tonight, I'll post the code so that you and I can read the rest of it.

Ralph S.
02-18-2004, 03:25 PM
My cousin received that same magazine recently. Great post Wendy.

dg-in-centralpa
02-18-2004, 04:12 PM
Great article. Maybe we can send it to ESPN, so they will show live matches instead of reruns.

DG - can't wait to read the rest of the article

Detroitgirl
02-19-2004, 12:01 AM
What a nice post...

I think another reason why it is so 'cool' is that it is the only subculture where just about EVERY walk of life is involved.... the diversity of players and "regulars" in the poolroom is amazing. In my main hang, there are the unemployed, drug dealers, lawyers, construction workers, etc. of all different ages and races. And there are women too....

9 Ball Girl
02-20-2004, 09:43 AM
Sorry I took so long but here's the whole story:

Why Is Pool So Cool? (http://www.psmagonline.com/hanging/default.aspx)

SPetty
02-20-2004, 10:35 AM
I'd love to read the story, but it's asking for a customer ID number... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

9 Ball Girl
02-20-2004, 04:33 PM
I thought my last post would take you to the story. In any case, this is the code to get the full story:

112256201

Harold Acosta
02-20-2004, 04:54 PM
Hew Wendy, thanks for the link to the Pool is Cool article. I also found info about one of my favorite groups; Earth, Wind and Fire, and have saved their website on my PC. There is also info about Smokey Robinson. I guess I found a new site to browse from now on.

Pool is Cool, and so are you Wendy!

Sid_Vicious
02-21-2004, 10:01 AM
"Pool is Cool, and so are you Wendy!"

Harold, Harold, Harold,,,if you're gonna start "sniffing up" Wendy, then the line ends way back there behind me ;-) sid~~~alway holding out for that special blend of a player and a GF, even though I know that the odds of finding one that isn't a problem is slim to none