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View Full Version : A Flaw in the System?



DSAPOLIS
12-21-2002, 12:11 PM
Perhaps I am not alone in this opinion, perhaps I am. Nonetheless, I was wondering why the Mosconi Cup is out of reach for teams from Asia (China, Phillipnes). 10 years ago the Phillipino players won the World Team Billiards competition quite handily. Is this a matter of economics, logistics, lack of agreement amongst sponsors, or is it outright exclusion? Are we once again trying to mimic another sport by copying one of "their" traditions, instead of being creative and coming up with traditions of our own? I am reminded of the days when pool was vastly expanding throughout the rest of the world back in the late 1980's and early 1990's. A young man named Oliver Ortmann won the BCA 14.1 US Open. Many players were quoted in BD as saying "He was lucky and emerged from the weakest of brackets" or "just goes to show you that anything can happen in pool regardless of skill" - truth was that Oliver played better than everybody else and won the tournament. He played extremely well and plays even better now. I began seeing a display of nationalistic arrogance that sent the nessage that "The American players play far better than any other players from anywhere else around the world" - this simply was not true then, nor do I believe it is true now. Playing well, even at the highest level has nothing to do with a player's nationality, race, creed, or national origin. It has to do with the way he handles himself during competition, and whether he can take advantage of his opportunities. I also thought that it was ironic when the US lost to Team Puerto Rico 10 years ago. MOre of the same came from players saying that "they got lucky" or that the match winning shot was merely a "stab in the dark that rolled in Puerto Rico's favor". I watched Robles line up the 2-9 combo - he shot it - he meant to shoot it - and he did it on purpose - quite sadistically I might add. Team USA was booted out yet still held the Fast Eddie Felson attitude of "Even if you beat me, I'm still the best". The truth was that the American players were embarrassed. Bob Meucci, who put together and sponsored the event, had banked on the American players drawing TV ratings and overpowering the rest of the world, and that this was the format to display our pool superiority over the rst of the world. Nonetheless the tournament went on and Phillipnes won the event and the US was never a factor. I believe that the current format is to ensure that never happens again. The current format is the way to ensure that Team America will always have a chance to win the Mosconi Cup. Is their any way to make this a pure international competition that rewards the best of the best without excluding teams from the rest of the world? The Mosconi Cup has now turned into pool's version of golf's Ryder Cup or tennis' Davis Cup, but what exactly is the significance of either when most of the world's best players are not participating? There are many great players from Taiwan, Japan, China, Mexico, Phillipines, Canada, and the rest of the world. Until the Mosconi Cup is opened up to teams from the rest of the world, I see very little use of its existence, or its effectiveness in promoting the sport worldwide. This takes nothing away from the accomplishments of the players that compete in the event. I realize that the players work hard to earn their spots on the teams. I would much rather watch Team USA VS Team Phillipines - or Team Germany in an international tournament like Soccer's World Cup. The amalgum of European players creates very talented teams, but I see this system as being flawed somehow. What bragging rights are the European players playing for? For their continent, or their countries? Will Team Phillipines ever have another shot at winning the Mosconi Cup or is it more important to create an opportunity where the American players have a 50/50 chance at winning every year? This is just my view of the warped world of pocket billiards. Your opinion may differ from mine, but I believe that if pool wants to present itself as an Olympic sport to the international community, it needs to appeal to the entire international community.

Blackjack David Sapolis

Luke Riches
12-21-2002, 12:29 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by 'a flaw in the system' but the Mosconi Cup is what it is - America v Europe. It was devised as that and has been pretty successful as that. The event was devised and is owned by a private company and we are very happy with it. Other organisations are perfectly at liberty to devise any pool event they want involving any combination of players and countries. That is down to them. Other countries will never play in the Mosconi Cup simply because it is 'America v Europe'.

Luke Riches
Matchroom Sport

Wally_in_Cincy
12-21-2002, 12:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DSAPOLIS:</font><hr>
.....Until the Mosconi Cup is opened up to teams from the rest of the world, I see very little use of its existence, or its effectiveness in promoting the sport worldwide......
<hr /></blockquote>

David,

The Mosconi Cup exists to make money for Matchroom Sports, pure and simple. And there is absolutely, positively nothing wrong with that. A happy side-effect is money for the players and excitement for the fans.

I think it is effective at promoting the sport, if not worldwide at least in Europe and the USA.

Maybe Matchroom will put together a true World Team Championship. I'm sure they have considered it. They seem to be the only promoters right now who have the reputation, the clout, the connections, and the capital.

Let the Mosconi Cup remain what is.

Harold Acosta
12-21-2002, 02:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Luke Riches:</font><hr> I'm not sure what you mean by 'a flaw in the system' but the Mosconi Cup is what it is - America v Europe. It was devised as that and has been pretty successful as that. The event was devised and is owned by a private company and we are very happy with it. Other organisations are perfectly at liberty to devise any pool event they want involving any combination of players and countries. That is down to them. Other countries will never play in the Mosconi Cup simply because it is 'America v Europe'.

Luke Riches
Matchroom Sport <hr /></blockquote>

Luke, you probably meant to say "North America" vs Europe since the America's is comprised of North (including Canada), Central, and South America. The mere fact that "North America" is a "Powerfull Nation" doesn't mean they are the only "Americans" in this continent.

Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and many other nations are "Americans"; they are just not "North Americans."

Puerto Rico? Well, we are a US possession; however, were are a "sovereign nation" for Olympic and Sports purposes. Politically speaking, we are part of North America but we never get invited to participate with North America. We always have to compete "separately" from the U.S., which I am definitely not complaining about. We have proven ourselves, as well as many other nations, that the "Americans" can be beaten at any game, call it Basketball, Baseball, Volley Ball, Boxing, Pool/Billiards, etc.

Ahhh! Enough said, you most definitely get the point!

Harold Acosta - Puerto Rico
[b]<font color="blue">Billiards is a passionate sport for the mind and soul!</font color>
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