Sunday, March 7, 2010

The History of Pool Cue Abuse

Earl Strickland's emotional outbursts have earned him a lot of criticism over the years. But judging from internet traffic, they also have brought a lot of attention to the sport. As of March 7, 2010, the image of Earl smashing his pool cue in frustration during a Mosconi Cup event has been viewed 181,233 times (181,238 if you count the five times I watched it that day). I've included the video, above, for your amusement.

But know that Earl is not alone for engaging in such over-the-top antics. Some of the very greatest players in our sport have been known to snap a cue -- or worse -- in a fit of pique. Check out, for instance, the article at right. It describes the great Ralph Greenleaf breaking his cue during a match-up with Mosconi. This occurred in 1945, during what would turn out to be Greenleaf's last world championship competition with Mosconi. At the time, Greenleaf was clearly in decline while Willie was on the way up.

There's also a story in The Hustler and The Champ that describes an angry Mosconi brandishing his cue like a spear during a 1965 tournament.

-- R.A. Dyer

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