View Full Version : For Charlie Williams
06-07-2002, 11:05 PM
Hi Charlie. I just read your post on what happened in your tournament in Fla. About the Pro players signing everything put in front of them. I agree somewhat with you about the players getting paid to sign items other than pictures or programs..ie...balls and such. But what about the Pro Players signing something that their Sponsor has already paid them to sponsor. Should we have to pay Earl to sign a Cuetec Cue. Cuetec already pays him for his name and signature. Let me give you an example....While at the US Open one year, not to long ago, i asked Steve Mizerak to autograph a CAMEL CUE with his name on it.Steve started making remarks about getting paid for his autograph. Another Pro player heard him and simply stated " Steve, just sign it for the guy, after all Camel (RJR) already paid you plenty for your name and signature." Steve apologized to me and signed the cue.... the moral of the story is... why should we pay a pro player to sign something that a large corporation is already paying them for. They should be happy to sign and put up with it for the publicity it will give their sponsors....i would never pay Earl to sign a cuetec cue or pay Johnny Archer for signing a Scorpion Cue.....what is your opinion on this matter...............mike
I don't have anything signed by anyone in any sports. I did ask for an autographed picture of Mika. I like what I've read about him and am curious to see what he looks like. So that will be my first. If I were at an event where I saw a pro refuse to sign something, I probably wouldn't want that pro's signature. And I probably wouldn't purchase any of his sponsor's products unless I was satisified that they didn't have anything to do with it or know about it. I believe I read that Predator was unaware of what went on. But they have received emails and now know about it. It this practice of not signing items continues at future tournaments where Predator is a major sponsor, I wouldn't purchase any of their products. They could always make their sponsorship contingent upon the pros signong items for fans. And if a pro refused to sign a Predator cue for me at that tournament I probably would have broken it over their head. Just kidding.
06-08-2002, 03:28 PM
Well, I won't give an official UPA vote on this yet till I consult my board and players, but my personal opinion is that players should be allowed to sign items that they endorse already such as cue sponsors.
Some players have told me at events(including my own events) that they had contracts or deals with certain companies to sign their merchandise exclusively and they get a royalty deal. But when other players are signing merchandise left and right, the players with deals don't want to look like jerks and be the only ones not signing thus they break their own rules sometimes and sign anyway. I cannot blame these players for trying to make some money with these autograph deals(i know how tough it is out there; making guaranteed money is not an everyday thing!).
So please understand that I am trying to please the fans but the players need protection,too. It is very hard to be professional player and make a viable living financially. There is a certain romanticism associated with being a pro player that the public has, but the reality is much more harsh than some realize. Even guys who make it to the top have a hard time staying there or even staying in the profession at all.
I know people will always scrutinize the men pros, but it takes a lot of heart to be out there. And I really respect the ones who are out here trying something 99% of the population can't while knowing only less than 10% of professionals will make a living.
So please try to be in our shoes sometimes & I promise to get us(pros) to be in yours.
06-09-2002, 09:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>There is a certain romanticism associated with being a pro player that the public has, but the reality is much more harsh than some realize. Even guys who make it to the top have a hard time staying there or even staying in the profession at all.
I know people will always scrutinize the men pros, but it takes a lot of heart to be out there. And I really respect the ones who are out here trying something 99% of the population can't while knowing only less than 10% of professionals will make a living. <hr></blockquote>
I believe you are the one that doesn't have a realistic perception of what fans feel.
"Romanticism" associated with Pro Pool Players is probably the very last thing the Public relates to for these players.
Haven't you ever seen the fans at a pool tournament? I mean really see them? Talk to them? Find out why they are there? Do you think its just to see the pros? Or did you know that most of them are just looking for some action or a small vacation that includes seeing some good pool being played?
Seems to me if you are going to start your own business (UPA) you ought to find out a little more about the PUBLIC and how they feel about what kind of product you are trying to sell.
At 25, I understand you are dealing with your own perceptions and guidance from otheres. This is very normal. But, please don't make the mistake thinking that the UPA will solve Pools problems. The UPA is just ¼ of Pools environment, You have the FANs, Promoters, Industry and then the UPA. Guess which of the 4 groups is the most powerful? What can the Promoters, Industry and the Pros do without the Fans?
Just my thoughts,
I have never been able to understand why fans of any sport seem to think that the pros OWE them (the fans) an autograph.
These guys work their butts off to get to the point where they can compete at the pro level and take huge financial risks every day to compete. Very few can make a living at it.
Anyone who has tried to raise their skill level knows from first-hand experience that this is an endeavor that takes thousands of hours, considerable investment in $$$$$$, and extreme dedication and then, when a guy makes it to the pro level fans get the idea that he OWES them something.
I think we, as fans, OWE THEM something. I think the question should be: how can I give them something back? What can I do to help put some money in their pockets to repay them for the enjoyment they have provided me?
The pros don't OWE me anything other than the respect we should all give to each other as a right of birth.
In all the other sports players sign stuff for the fans. I know for a fact that Michael Jordan signed some basketballs for free. My nephew has one. I know the White Sox players sign balls & bats for free. Every year they have games where you can go on the field and take pictures with the players. If you take polaroids the players sign them. Most of the best players of all time have signed stuff for fans for free. It seems like a limited number of people are trying to set a dollar amount on pool players autographs. The only way they will ever really be worth money is when the fans value them enough. And the way this has come about in all other sports is for the pro players to sign stuff for fans for free. Pool wants to make big money like the other sports but they don't seem to care about the fans. Without the support of the fans pool with never really get very big.
06-09-2002, 10:02 AM
What other reason does the pro have to exist other then for the fan? Without fans, their endeavors become a hobby, no matter how skilled they are. The reason other sports have become so big is the fans. There is no need for any pro sports for that matter, other then to provide entertainment for the fan. Many athletes think they actually have real importance. You can admire their skills, but respect must be earned beyond the ability to play a sport. Many sports players don't show a fraction of the respect for the fan, the fan shows them.
06-11-2002, 12:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Eddie G Chgo:</font><hr> In all the other sports players sign stuff for the fans. I know for a fact that Michael Jordan signed some basketballs for free. My nephew has one. I know the White Sox players sign balls & bats for free. Every year they have games where you can go on the field and take pictures with the players. If you take polaroids the players sign them. Most of the best players of all time have signed stuff for fans for free.<hr></blockquote>Hi Eddie,
This brings up a good point. I watched a guy at Valley Forge approach every professional pool player he got within 40 feet of in order to get an autograph and picture. I could never be so bold. If there existed a professional tournament where the players put themselves out there for the sole purpose of pictures and autographs, I believe people would make an effort to attend. It would be nice to have a few special pictures and signed cue balls for the home pool room.
If UPA would put the players out there for pictures and autographs like the baseball players, rather than hoard them up and keep them away from the fans, the UPA would very likely have the highest attended events ever. People would make it a point to attend the UPA events just to get close to the players, don'cha think? Have a big before the tourny "mixer" between the fans and the players.
06-11-2002, 05:41 PM
I just wanted to agree with JimS. That was a good point of the pro pool players position, and the respect, and courtesy that we owe them. Afterall, they are the ambassadors of the sport we all love.
In the 60s bowling would do that. Before tournaments they would have pro am tournaments. I still remember bowling 1 game with Dick Weber. And they would talk with us fans and autograph stuff. But I never did get any autographs. I still have fond memories over 30 years later. And I remember attending 1 pool tournament at the IL Billiard Club. Nick Varner played and won it. But he didn't sign any autographs at all. Afterwards he didn't seem to bother with the about 100 fans that were there watching. And I never considered attending another pool tournament after that. But now that feeling is changing. There will be a state 3 cushion tournament at Chris's in Chicago. I will try to go there and watch. I don't know how much room there will be for spectators. I hope we are permitted to go there and watch.
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