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View Full Version : Drama: Help or Hurt Pool?


PhoenixVA
01-15-2014, 07:27 AM
"Does drama MAKE or BREAK pool?" What I mean is, we've all seen how boring pool can be if there is no emotion, no personality, no drama whatsoever, so does a touch of drama and emotion make pool more interesting?

Me personally, I've always thought that pool should have an element of "pro wrestling" to it. Make it more about showmanship and entertainment. We need promoters. Have smoke machines and lasers and fireworks when introducing the players during a major tournament. Let the players talk trash before and after the match, or even between games, like "rasslin'". DURING the match, it's all about business, quiet, respectful, serious business; but before and after is the chance to make it pop, to promote it, to make it more like entertainment. I don't even watch pro wrestling like I did when I was a kid, but you can't beat a winning formula.

I can watch some of the best players in the world on the internet. I can go to YouTube and watch three hour long matches. BUT, after about the first hour and a half to two hours, I'm asleep in my recliner, snoring loud enough to wake myself up. It becomes tedious and boring to everyone but the players themselves.

I would consider myself a traditionalist - I like that pool and billiards should be a respectable game played by gentleman; however, we've seen FOR YEARS that trying to force the game to be respectable and convince everyone else that it's respectable is hurting more than it's helping. I work as a producer at a television station, and from my experience (well over a decade), people want to be entertained so that they can forget their own miserable lives for a brief amount of time. If pool is not entertaining, then the small minority of the billiard world who has the stamina to watch pool for hours on end is simply not enough to sustain and maintain the sport we so dearly love. It's sad. It really is.

In my opinion, and this is my opinion only, we need MORE Earls, not less. Not in the aspect that we need more crying, whining, and complaining, but we need more personalities. I'm not promoting Earl, or his antics. We need LESS Johnny Archers. I'm a huge fan of Johnny Archer, I think he's a cool dude, I like his attitude. BUT, watching him playing and circle the table seven times and pick lint from the table repeatedly is an entertainment-killer. I can only watch so much of his matches anymore before I am going on to something else. We need faster play, a shot clock, during ALL matches except the obvious 14.1 and One Pocket matches. That's the main reason why basketball developed a shot clock - teams holding the ball forever, low-scoring games, and bored audiences, which equaled NO FANS AND NO MONEY!

So to wrap up my rant: faster play, more personalities, and more showmanship, in my opinion, would help us grow the game we love. MORE EARLS!

krupa
01-15-2014, 07:51 AM
I don't think you need more drama, especially if you're not going to get it during the match. If people talk smack before/after the match, but then sit quietly and respect their opponent DURING the match, then you haven't gained anything, in my opinion. The one thing the smack talk does, though, is create rivalries and adds a "grudge match" feel to the competition.

I love watching pool but I only usually do it in 30 minute or 1 hour intervals; which is why I love accustats and the old TAR matches on VoD. I think the thing that would make pool more watchable for the "common man" is to present it like golf. When you watch golf, the cameras don't follow one group around the course. There are cameras everywhere and they're constantly cutting around to any player that is about to play a shot or just played a shot.

I realize that the overhead for this is prohibitive, but if you could set up cameras on multiple tables and cut back and forth, I think that would make pool much more watchable.

I do think that the general viewing public wants to see semi-scripted, contrived (i.e., FAKE) drama more than a well-written show with strong characters and an interesting plot line. I think the first rule of making TV shows these days is:
For God's sake, whatever you do don't make the TV viewer think.

Bella Don't Cry
01-15-2014, 09:30 AM
Interesting thread.

Drama puts bums on seats and sell. Controversy even more so...
With all the recent threads regarding Mosconi Cup 2013 and its conclusion, none were really looking at the lack of publicity that was generated from the Pool Media Machine regarding certain player participation or the lack of... There was A STORY but none jumped on it.. :eek: Which is just proof that Pool is going nowhere whilst its concern is TV, TV, TV... Won't work.

This is another key area that pool is very weak. No media teams to boost world news awareness.

To follow this;
I was watching Ten Pin Bowling today. Great game to play with friends! :)
I switched off after about 3 minutes and thought, what's the point. No interaction, no reaction, no engagement, just 10 Pins falling. It was boring.

Just because a sport / game is on TV does not mean that the paying public will take to it. Pool needs to be clever in its approach in order to succeed. :thumbup:

FairladyZ
01-15-2014, 09:38 AM
If a pool match would end up like an episode of Jerry Springer or a hockey match, rest assured, I would not be watching it.....and I'd certainly be ashamed of my sport. I've always considered pool a 'sport of gentlemen'. If the pros were to ruin the status of the game in that nature in order to promote it or make money, I'm not ashamed to say I would gladly disown that facet of the game.....and keep my love for pool in my own pool room.

jburkm002
01-15-2014, 09:49 AM
Nothing wrong with drama before or after a match. Just not during. Players might get a fan base or the opposite if we knew some behind the scene drama. I personally like having someone to root for when I am watching. Can viewers enjoy just watching the game or do we need someone to root for. In an era where most don't know players names. How do you choose? Some love Earl and some dont. Either side your on. Bet you still want to watch. So yes drama is good for the game.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

PhoenixVA
01-15-2014, 10:05 AM
If a pool match would end up like an episode of Jerry Springer or a hockey match, rest assured, I would not be watching it.....and I'd certainly be ashamed of my sport. I've always considered pool a 'sport of gentlemen'. If the pros were to ruin the status of the game in that nature in order to promote it or make money, I'm not ashamed to say I would gladly disown that facet of the game.....and keep my love for pool in my own pool room.

I agree. I like that pool is a respectable sport also, but will pool continue to struggle or die on the vine because we fear letting our respectable game "get out of hand" or become Springer-esque? I don't think anyone who loves the game wants it to turn into full-blown WWE, with scripted matches and all that, but to promote the game, we have to be creative. What thoroughly sucks is that most people who are rich promote pool to make money, more than the love of the game. Not that making a buck is a bad thing, but to put that above the game itself is a travesty. I'm sure no millionaire wants to throw away all their money on pool, but to make a significant investment, and make it smartly and creatively would show some returns over time. I know personally, should I hit the lottery and get out of Poorsville, I'd work to make pool better by promoting it. Until then, I will pay my share and then some to the local (only) pool room in town, and pray that it doesn't shut the doors. Or else I'd have to travel an hour in any direction to find the nearest one.

By the way, I'm a commercial producer and graphics design artist at a television station, and I own my own software and equipment in my own business, One Squared Media, LLC, so if anyone on here needs any work done, I'd be more than happy to donate my time and effort to the cause for FREE, or VERY, VERY CHEAPLY.

jhanso18
01-15-2014, 10:19 AM
Yes............................................... .