View Full Version : Speaking of Earl...

Chris Cass
07-22-2004, 03:55 PM
Hi Everyone,

Some of you have had the pleasure of meeting my son Spike and some had not. Spike will be turning 12 in Aug this year and he loves to shoot pool. Something I started him on at 1 mth shy of 3 yrs old. I set up a chair next to a Valley bar box and gave him a warped old shaft.

Spike shot for 2 hrs straight, impressing me and others of his attention span at that age. I quickly entered him in a 3 day Karate course to see if he liked it. He stayed with it for 4 yrs and won many events and placed second in a few.

Now, Spike turned back to pool and shot in the CCB tourney in Va. last yr. Spike continued to play pool and met many players at the pool hall. He played with Larry Nevel at the Midwest Expo, Jon Kucharo, Jesse Bowman, Jamie Bowman, Jamie Baracks, and a list of fantastic players. He makes friends and games so easily that it amazes me.

Unfortuanatly his friends are all much older. He's really streetwise and knows more moves than Bekins Van Lines. My fault but he's still a kid and he still is my boy. If Jamie Baracks likes playing with him that means a ton. Believe me.

He loves to play. He won a spot at the Junior Nationals this yr but I'm not ready to let him out till he's 13 for those events. He played at the Hopkins Expo in VF, Pa. Barbara, loves him. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif He stayed with me at the gambling tables for like 10 hrs. He beat up an APA team and they loved him and gave him a break and run patch after doing so. I don't let him gamble BTW.

I often check his emails because parents like to keep tabs just in case. Today, to my surprize I saw this one to Allison Fisher.

I Allison I am an 11 year old boy that shoots like a master.AnywayI was hoping that you have some advice for me.See I get mad when things do not go my way.So can you give me some advice I could use some. Your friend Christ Aiardo [ QUOTE ]

Now, how's that for owning up to a problem? I've always coached him and others because they all want the best, including Scotty. He hasn't recieved the reply yet and hope he does. Now, you see where Earl' coming from? When a player learns how to shoot so early in life, it's tough to control the emotions. Some don't try to get help to understand why they get so mad. Some don't know how to express how they feel and some don't face it at all.

Earl isn't against fans nor does he hate people. His fight is and has always been within himself. Sure, he's grown but many grown ups have the same problems. Some different that others but compation for others should start somewhere. Hopefully, Allison will reply and just hopefully, Earl will understand it when I send him a copy of Spikes email with it.


C.C.~~he does still play with some kids his own age and brings lil race cars to the hall in his pool case to play with. God, he's the light in my life.

07-22-2004, 04:09 PM
Hi Chris! Great post, and I know you are very proud of your son!! When your very livelihood is on the line, I can understand where Earl is coming from as well. I am greatful that I do not have to depend on this... You can take any sport and it is kill or be killed. Good luck with your son and I hope he does well!

Chris Cass
07-22-2004, 04:27 PM
Hi Trailboss,

Man, you'd love this kid. He makes nothing but friends. Even people I don't care for he'll stick up for and tell me, hey, he's my friend. He's 100% stand up and that's what I've been trying to teach him.

I just hope Allison replies. He'll be hurt if she doesn't, I'm sure. On the flip side if she doesn't and I dog her about it to him. Well, he'll be taking her back too. LOL


C.C.~~thanks dawg

07-22-2004, 04:44 PM
Hi Chris,

That's so sweet. I sure hope Allison answers him. I emailed Karen Corr once, and she answered me.

You know, all your grown-up friends love your son (not just Barbara /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif ). He is a wonderful boy. I'm very impressed at how obviously well he's been raised.

You and karatemom done good.

07-22-2004, 05:12 PM
He's an awfully great kid. Uncle R.J. says so.


07-22-2004, 05:39 PM
C.C. - I think Allison will answer. I had been trading e-mails with Ewa a couple years ago. I don't think Allison will snub him off. We must hook up for a longer period of time next year at VF.


07-22-2004, 05:46 PM
Hi CC,
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.


07-22-2004, 06:56 PM

Spike needs a coach about *playing the game* and not just about pool, but about how you can win but still lose the game and how you can lose but still win a personal victory. Humility is an important aspect in one's demeanor - when not to fight and when to fight.

And having him compete in other sports is very, very good. Choices are always good.

Barbara~~~"Always be humble"... now whom did I learn that from...

07-22-2004, 07:02 PM
Enjoyed your post, Chris. I think you're right about Earl--you have to feel some sympathy for the guy. An angry man is an unhappy man.

It's great that Spike sees the need to develop self-control. I wonder whether he's ever talked to his karate teacher about that. He sounds like a great kid--and if I ever meet him, I get the six and out!

Take care, C-Man...


07-22-2004, 08:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr> God, he's the light in my life. <hr /></blockquote>

As it should be! You should be proud. I'm proud of him and he's not even my son. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

07-22-2004, 09:20 PM
Chris, that was a great post. I really enjoy hearing about your son (mine turned 12 today) and I think you are hitting the nail on the head as far as Earl is concerned.

Its funny, I usually control my emotions very well, but I was really struggling tonight while practicing and getting very frustrated. Your post reminds me to keep my emotions in check. Thanks /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Chris Cass
07-22-2004, 11:29 PM
Hi SPetty,

Thank you for saying that. You know it's times like this that the pros really are needed. Not just some signature that someone can sell down the road or a feeling of making a great collection. I believe in Allison and her and Karen are tops in my book. I'm just happy as all get up that he was mature enough to realize that he had a problem. I was also tickled he said he was a master. LOL That tells you where his goals are going. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif BTW, he's talked about you too.



Chris Cass
07-22-2004, 11:33 PM
Aww thanks business partner and best road dawg and backyard chef. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Great hearing from you RIP. Sure do miss ya. Spike loves you to death. He just thinks your a great guy and cool.


C.C.~~soon soon I'll be there. Just give me about 3-4 yrs. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Chris Cass
07-22-2004, 11:36 PM
Hi Duane,

You mean past our 3 minutes togather? LOL Sure, I'd like that. We never really got to talk with me so consummed in Spikes session. I was also not in very tip top shape. I'm still not but much better, I think. Still don't gain a pound and lok very old but I got tired of dieing and told Heide it was time I started living so, off the VF I went. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif



Chris Cass
07-22-2004, 11:46 PM
OOOO pick me, I know, I know, BARRY. He's so humble and you can tell by the way he smiles and talks with that funny accent you guys got out there. I just love the way youse talk. hahaha Catching on.

I've been a coach but Dad' word never counts. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif I've alway told him if losing was easy? Then winning wouldn't mean as much. Learn from your losses. They're the most valuable lessons a pool player can get. It teaches you about yourself.

Oh, Auntie Barbara,


Chris Cass
07-22-2004, 11:52 PM
Hi Woody,

You took the words right, out of my mouth. If you keep them in check then, you'll always stay in the match. When you don't it consummes your thoughts and you can only focus on one thing 100%. Despite what anyone says. The mind can only completely focus on one thing at a time.



07-23-2004, 07:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rip:</font><hr> Hi CC,
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Rip <hr /></blockquote>

Oh God...And I have 2 daughters /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif


07-23-2004, 07:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote MosconiJr:</font><hr> ... I have 2 daughters /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Mike <hr /></blockquote>


Let me guess. They are named BalukasJr and FisherJr?


07-23-2004, 09:22 AM

That was an interresting post and I enjoyed it. I'm sad I won't get to meet Spike this year. But I sure hope there will be other chances.

While reading Spike's story, I remembered a great one. During the peak of the MacEnroe - Borg battles, Bjon Borg was asked how he could keep his cool so much against the always raging MacEnroe and never get angry at the ref or his opponent.

Borg explained that when he was young, he got mad at a shot he missed and threw his racket in the net. Right now and then, he's mother took him off the court and put away his tennis gear for like a month (maybe more I can't remember). Borg explained that this was the longest time of his life and that he realised he couldn't live without tennis.

Starting for that point, he decided to never get angry on the court again...

This story was reported to me when I was young, I never witnessed or read anything about it, but even if some details aren't accurate, I believe it holds some lesson. In any case, I found a lesson in it and will always remember it.

One other thing, I went to a cathotlic high school where we had the chance to play pool and ping pong. If we ever got caught banging a cue or a paddle, the brothers there were making us give ourself the same hit on our fingers.

Imagine that, they were telling us, "You can't give the equipement punishement that you wouldn't endure yourself, and next time hit yourself first, if it hurts too much then you probably shouldn't do it with the equipement !!!"

I hope that translate alright tho, I was obviously educated in french !

07-23-2004, 11:11 AM
My brother and two of his boys (10 &amp; 12?) were visiting and playing pool when one of the boys slammed his (my house) cue on the side of the table due to the frustration of missing a shot.

My brother reprimanded him "Hey! Don't do that! This isn't the rec center!"


9 Ball Girl
07-23-2004, 11:50 AM
Sometimes I have the urge to snap my cue in two! How I resist it, I don't know. Other times I've flung my cue where it lands on the next table (lengthwise) and other times I've thrown it on the floor. I'm not a temper tantrum person but when it comes to pool, ay yi yi.../ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

07-23-2004, 12:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 9 Ball Girl:</font><hr> Sometimes I have the urge to snap my cue in two! <hr /></blockquote>
that happens to me too. damn, i need to do some hypnosis more often to clear my mind.

Cueless Joey
07-23-2004, 12:25 PM
When I'm on that mood, I find a nice cushion and hit it with the bottom of my cue.
Joe~Broke one butt-plate too many~

Chris Cass
07-23-2004, 01:59 PM
Hi RedHell,

I know you don't know me but I'm the craziest person my son will ever meet. When he was 5 he didn't want to leave the ph. He wanted to keep on shooting. I took him and picked him up and told him were going now. Heide and I both walked out. He was kicking and screaming to the top of his lungs. I then drove to a dumpster behind the McDonalds next store and took his warped shaft and tossed it in the garbage. He really went off then and Heide thought that was a bit mean. I told him and her both, I'm not standing for that for one minute and I will never.

I gave him another I found about a week later and he was fine. Then, once he slammed his cue down in a tourney and went off in front of everyone. He was going into the semi final matches and I took his cue away and he cried. I handed him a cue off the wall and told him, here, you want to play or go? Do it again and I'll forfiet you. He took off the event and won the next 3 or so matches with that house cue.

Then, I bought him this $700. SL-10 Schon. He bangs that thing on everything and it drives me balistic. I couldn't take it one day and as he slammed it down on the table and started to rack, I walked up and picked the butt end up about 3 feet in the air and while the shaft was still touching the cloth I dropped it. Man was he mad. I said, well, you did it and I thought it was ok for me too.

I've been in tourneys with him and had to stop my matches to go over and yell at him. He's distracted my matches many times. It just doesn't stop. Thank God, he's starting to get the pic. I've told him many times when you get that mad you need to calm down. You can't focus when your that mad and everything will bother you from there. You'll end up losing.

Believe me, I'm all over him and so much I can't even tell others not to correct my sons actions. I don't like that big time but what can I say? There right. Finally, something has clicked and yes, I've been to the karate teacher about it too.

I told him before we went to VF that, if he does one thing to embarrass me or himself, he's dione and I don't care if he's playing the winner bracket final match. He was good. He did get upset but he heads to the bathroom and cools down. Many times to cry. It's tough being a kid and it's tough being a parent too.


C.C.~~good points but I had to let you know what I've done myself. He's now to the point he lets out a loud grown type yell and it releases his pressure. Can't tell you how many times I've told Heide that I can't wait till he snaps that shaft. I'll send it in for refinishing, wrap and shaft and he'll pay.

Chris Cass
07-23-2004, 02:02 PM
When I get pi$$ed I'll take and pick up my opponents cue and slam it against the wall and shatter it. I feel much better and my cue stays in excellent condition. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


Cueless Joey
07-23-2004, 03:06 PM
If I had a Meucci, I'd thank you. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

07-23-2004, 04:58 PM
Good for you CC, I don't have kids but I've been around enough of my nephews and nieces who've shown tempers and gone into damage control, and I'll be honest,,,way too many times my brothers have given in to the mom's "Oh let the boy go play" routine. You are making a man out of Spike.

Y'all, I've gotten a temper at a stubborn bolt on a car engine and whacked it with a hammer, but I will honestly say that in all of my years of playing pool, I've never whacked a cue on the floor, much less toss or break one out of frustration. I guess I've seen too many so-called adults do it, and it startled me, "What did damaging that piece of wood do for you? Made you look rediculous is all." I have never understood anyone causing intentional harm to their own cues, never! sid

07-23-2004, 05:34 PM
I personally think that there is two different kinds of anger when playing pool. There is [censored]-type anger, as exhibited by sore losers. And then there's what I call passion anger. When someone is as passionate about something as an athlete is about there particular sport, and they don't excel at it in some instance or another, then that is what I call passion anger. I am passionate about playing pool. I love the game. period. And if I don't shoot up to my own personal standard, I get PISSED OFF. Not because I'm mad at my opponent for being better than me or whatever, but because I am not performing up to my own standards. It helps me to actually play better, because when I'm pissed off I'm focused like a laser, and the building being onfire wouldn't break my focus. I've actually had my wife (unbeknownst to me at the time) piss me off so I would play better, and it worked. Funny, huh? I think Earl has SOOOO much passion anger because he sometimes doesn't play up to his own expectations that it comes through. I don't, however, like the fact that it is misdirected at his fans or other bystanders. He should be pissed at himself, and USE that energy. Just my humble opinion.

Doug Talbot
"the White Elephant"

07-24-2004, 11:54 AM
"I've actually had my wife (unbeknownst to me at the time) piss me off so I would play better"

So thats what my wife's problem has been the last 25 yrs. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Scott Lee
07-24-2004, 12:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr> Now, how's that for owning up to a problem? I've always coached him and others because they all want the best, including Scotty

C.C.~~he does still play with some kids his own age and brings lil race cars to the hall in his pool case to play with. God, he's the light in my life. <hr /></blockquote>

CC...I wasn't sure if you meant ME (Scotty???? If so, I'll have to kick your A** for that! LOL), but you KNOW how much I care for, and love your son too! He and I have already had some conversations about his temper, and we'll have more in the future! He is a great little kid, and a future champion, IF he can keep emotion and attitude out of his game! You also know I'll always be there for him, to help out any way I can! BTW, it is likely that I'll be coming back through, on my way to Chicago and the Southeast in about 3 weeks! Hope to at least stop in and shoot a few with all three of you...like we did last month (only I didn't get to play any with Spike!).


Chris Cass
07-24-2004, 07:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr> Now, how's that for owning up to a problem? I've always coached him and others because they all want the best, including Scotty

C.C.~~he does still play with some kids his own age and brings lil race cars to the hall in his pool case to play with. God, he's the light in my life. <hr /></blockquote>

And others have too. Is what I meant to say but looks like I forgot a few words. LOL Yes, Scotty is you because I really didn't want to call you what I do when your not around. That wouldn't be nice. LOL

I appreciate what you say to him. He's coming around and as far as you coming around? I'll be waiting and hope you do get a chance to stop by.

Thanks Scott,

C.C.~~trying to line up a few sessions for ya. min two hrs and I only wish more would get a lesson. they really need to take advantage of when your around. Even if it means less time for us to shoot and meet. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif BTW, Ralph, paid me to say that.

07-25-2004, 06:03 AM
How do you play when you are angry?

Wouldn't it be very much harder to be able to get down and focus on the ball?

If I am not wrong, (maybe I am), but I always thought that anger trigered off an adrenalin release in your body, because of that, you are more likely to tense up and hit harder than usual? Also, my playing partner is freaky when it comes to getting upset over pool... once he gets upset, 'he can't seem to think straight, hit well let alone play well...

I guess, I have always believed that ideally when you play pool, you are never upset when you take your shot. You may be upset after your last visit, but on your next, you should be unemotional?

Just my thoughts.

Chris Cass
07-25-2004, 09:43 AM
Hi adc,

Your exactly right. You can only focus 100% on one thing. Anger doesn't make you neccessary shoot hard but it does make you shoot fast. You almost can't wait for your next miss. Then, you can justify your anger and get even more mad. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

C.C.~~good point...

Chris Cass
07-25-2004, 09:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dg-in-centralpa:</font><hr> C.C. - I think Allison will answer. I had been trading e-mails with Ewa a couple years ago. I don't think Allison will snub him off. We must hook up for a longer period of time next year at VF.

DG <hr /></blockquote>

Someone from Allisons camp emailed him back yesterday. They told him that Allison has so many emails that she couldn't get back to him for 6 to 8 weeks. Needless to say he was bummed. Can you imagine how many that would have to be? I told him she probably has thousands with being one of the top females in the country and all. He understood.

When Jon Kucharo was listed as having a website. I relayed a message to him from Mike over at AZ. I asked Jon about it and he told me they set one up for him and he never had to reply to anything but just give the results of his tour stops or plans. He never owned a computer and wasn't all that interested in puters. It could be the same deal?
Just something they set up for the pros and they have their staff do it all.



07-25-2004, 10:45 AM
I've told this story before but it fits again, so here it is. Once several years ago I went to a league match and some of the other team was late, much like some of my players did to me at times when I was a captain. Well the rules stated that you had a thirty minute late window before starting, and if your player showed up once play was begun, and the first round was still in progress, he/she could be added last in the rotation, no penalty. Well, I mentioned that ahead of the 30 minute bell and got a huffy "OK, I don't care, let's play NOW." My mindset kicked into bitter with that attitude exhibited in the other captain,(my team was nearly always pressed w/o any gratuity under the same situation in the past) and I went into "mad mode" and for me and my game even today, shot the best league match I can remember, sweeping all of my games, glaring at the balls, not yucking it up with anybody, just mad, all because I was intent on "shoving it to the other team." The night ended, I signed the sheet, and then when I was shaking the captain's hand it dawned on me, "Sid, was that worth it? Wasn't their captain in the same place as you in the past with dizzy, late players?" My answer, which has stuck with me, was this: It was successful for personal winning percentages, but I had a bad taste left in me for the reason why,,,,being angry for 2 hours. Latter the next day I typed out a long apology to their captain(actually the LD) and I've always remembered it, like one of those Kung Fu flashbacks. I didn't do it for any other reason than to personally release it from my conscience. I will admit that I have since that time gotten pissed at a particular guy, and especially at myself and slipped into the same hatred zone, and played very well. That doesn't happen today, I've worked it out of me. If I can't call it having fun, I don't care to win at the expense of changing my nature with a negative wrench. Maybe I'll never be good in head-to-head play because of it, but I'd rather quit the sport before I allow myself alter who I really feel I am, a friendly, fun loving guy, in exchange for no other reason than gaining a win and shove it to another person.

I am not trying to run down anyone's reasons, I understand part of where you are coming from with the phylosophy of getting internally tempermental to focus. I'd rather hope for myself that I become "an Efren" type winner rather than the other Earl-ish type. Probably won't happen at my age, but I bet I'll still be one of the players by friends talk about, "He's a fun guy to play, he even buys you a beer once in a while, but never shows his a$$." They may say other things too, but I'm hoping they do see me for who I feel I really am...sid

Chris Cass
07-25-2004, 01:24 PM
Great story Sid,

It took that angry attitude to tap into your focus. There's many alternatives to do that but some find it neccessary. I think it's great that you feel the way you do about playing.

Getting angry for some might do the trick but I feel the majority of the players get angry with themselves more than anything. In Earls case I believe this to be true too. I will add though that the problem that most have about Earl is that he shows it. He also makes it very well known and doesn't care, what anyone thinks. Also, willing to take it out on anyone near that approaches him, in any way. Once he calms down a bit he's able to talk about it. Even then it's burning inside.

Good reason the type A person shouldn't shoot pool. LOL I understand where Earl' coming from in some cases. Here's a guy that's grown up playing pool. Admired by many at a young age. Talked about as a celeb while watching him playing so young. He felt like he was always in the lime light.

Then, finding out people were out to outshine him and beat him on the table. Taking his experience and trying to play his best game. Trying all along and practicing long hrs and then, you miss what feels to him like a easy shot and through the roof he goes.

He listens as someone says, ohhhh. Then he hears the guy with the look at me attitude that makes a wise crack so everyone looks at him. Then to Earl for the reply. Then Earl who's already upset he missed an easy shot and he lets you get some.

I really don't think Earls tapping into his focus but more or less letting out a deep frustration. But, what do I know? I'm not Earl.


C.C.~~ /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

07-25-2004, 01:45 PM
Whatever the reason Earl acts like Earl the problem I have with him is the fact that he does not care what others think of him...or at least that is the impression he gives. As a "professional" representative of this sport, or for that matter as a human being, there is a minimum standard of civility that should be demonstrated towards others. He does not have it, does not care that he does not have it and never shows any remorse for screwing up. That is the crux of the matter. There is no excuse for that...he epidomizes the word "loser".

07-26-2004, 11:17 AM
Hey Cass,

You know we all love Spike, he's a great kid. I enjoyed seeing him at Valley Forge. I hate to put a damper on things, but how does Earl fit into this thread?

Eric &gt;always with the dumb question