30.4.10

YOU CAN BE SERIOUS

Yesterday’s one frame ‘rematch’ between Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis to mark the 25th anniversary of their 1985 world final was an hilarious occasion which entertained a packed Crucible before the semi-finals got underway.

Taylor and Davis wore microphones and made gag after gag as they slugged their way through the frame.

At the end, they attempted to re-enact the shots on the black. Taylor inadvertently potted all the blacks he had missed 25 years ago before missing the one he so famously potted.

Davis potted the black he famously missed.

It was a fun exhibition but anyone who looks at it and then says ‘why can’t the modern players be more like that?’ needs to get real.

Go back and watch the deciding frame from 1985. There was no laughing and joking there.

Snooker at the highest level is a serious business. Careers, indeed whole lives, are made or broken by what happens on the Crucible floor.

Mark Selby has been landed with the ‘Jester from Leicester’ nickname but in reality this amounts to little more than the odd smile and occasional quip.

Quite rightly too. To play top level snooker you have to concentrate hard. This isn’t Friday night at Jongleurs, it’s the World Championship. For the same reason Roger Federer doesn’t drop pithy bon mots before launching down an ace at Wimbledon, the players need to focus on their game.

Of course, many people will claim that in the good old days EVERY SINGLE PLAYER peppered EVERY SINGLE MATCH with a litany of one liners that would have shown up Oscar Wilde.

Snooker was a serious business then, it’s a serious business now.

The best way the players can entertain is to play good snooker. They can leave the zingers for the exhibition circuit and shouldn't be criticised for approaching their sport with the same professionalism those in other sports do.

18 comments:

Alain (not Robidoux) said...

Hear, hear!

Anonymous said...

well said david

we need more players like selby and dott

good matchplayers make matches

watching someone run round the table to win in 5 minutes doesnt entertain me, after ive seen it once...and i seen it years ago with alex

its the snooker, the quality, the matchplay, the pitting of skills and wits that makes snooker interesting for most

RichP said...

I don't think we want snooker to move towards that frame yesterday, it was awful. It was only Dennis and Steve that found it funny. Very surprised that bookmakers were betting on the frame.

David Caulfield said...

well said

Anonymous said...

Great points very well put, Dave.

The sport doesn't need the so-called 'characters' that folks continually bleat on about. It's a game of intense concentration and let's not forget that.

If I wanted to have a belly-laugh I'd go to a comedy club.

Greg P said...

No-one ever suggested they were joking around during the 1985 final.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
How are you lad! I’m sorry I must disagree with you on “Entertaining Snooker”. Every pro player can play “Good Snooker” but few if any actually play “Entertaining Snooker”.
To us addicts all snooker is “Entertaining” but to the TV viewers the game is dull, repetitive and devoid of entertainment value, hence the absence of long term sponsors.

Snooker The Game will never die but it will not attract sponsors until the game admits its limitations. The Pro game has been dead for many years but kept alive by the remains of Tobacco money and now short term Gambling money.

The Matchroom pair Barry and Steve are the games shrewdest investors by demanding there money back first; before they invest Matchroom money.
There are not two pro players in the World that understands the term “Commercial Rights”. It is so ambiguous that it is beyond “Detailed Comprehension”. Mr hey you

PS When Barry’s gone, Does the new Chairman loose his “Bonus” for renegotiation of BBC and other existing contracts? DM

Anonymous said...

Nothing against Dott,honestly,but he`s so dull to watch,such a plodder.Also,he has all the personality of cardboard.Why cant todays players ever finish with a few flair shots like the great JW used to.I remember the Dott final against Ebdon,the worst advert for snooker ever.Ebdon grinds things to a halt.

Bring back the days off the Hurricane,the Whirlwind and Tony Drago etc etc...they made snooker great to watch.Them were the days

Anonymous said...

One thing that really pisses me off is when Virgo/Thorne/Taylor, etc, come out with a supposedly funny quip when the players are mid-break, or worse, about to get down on a shot, only for the crowd with ear-pieces to simultaneously burst out in laughter. That shows little or no consideration to the players.

They should also ban those ear-pieces from the auditorium as they are a distraction, especially if some old dear has it turned up full blast.

Anonymous said...

Leave Graham Dott alone!!

Anonymous said...

i know Jimmy White, Tony Drago and Graeme Dott.

if i only had one choice of who i had the chance to spend the day with, it would be Graeme.

Not because jw isnt interesting and good company, or that tony isnt great fun, but graeme is just like you and i, and that for me, him being the most down to earth, would make me interact even more...

CHRISK5 said...

Rich P - I know,what mug punter placed a wager on the Davis/Taylor
exhibition needs a reality check.
I don't blame the bookies,they're just exploiting plain naievety & stupidity on that score.

Those with any knowledge of snooker,knew that it would be preplanned & Taylor who potted the final black & ''won'' the frame!

That said,the 30 minute 'show' was awesomely funny & sure to get alot of downloads on YouTube!

The Davis wig & Taylor's mega specs
were great intro ideas & everything that followed was superbly scripted & executed.

It's great to have the blend of the nostalgic 1985 replay - coupled with the most intriguing World Championships for many years.

All four semi-finalists epitomise
hard matchplay snooker - the way it should be.

Anonymous said...

2:51pm - don't agree with you about dott.

he does get on with it in the balls. he has also shown he is one of the best tactical players this week - he kept selby right out of it so far - something ronnie couln't do. now i admire dott for that.

i have to say i'm not a fan of selby ,to me he is too smart for his own good. he calls himself a joker,the only time i see him smiling is when things are going his way - he is no dennis taylor!
if he spent less time brushing down the table after shots and stop making silly faces i might change my mind a little about him.

i think robbo will be good for the game in public's eye getting to final, i would like dott to win it again, his story from being down with depression and picking himself back up makes him a great example of a man in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

mark selby and mark king are among the two funnies players on the circuit, and both very friendly and not caught up in the "i am famous, listen to me" mindset.

its amazing the amount of people in the last couple of years who have turned on selby

its OBVIOUSLY got nothing to do with selby having an edge over ron and them not liking it, and so picking every small manerism he has as a fault. quite sad...

Anonymous said...

I do not agree. In the eighties, certain players used to joke even during the highest tension.
Also, Alex Higgins would attempt shots even in World Finals that noone would dream about.
Obviously, the fact that alcohol was permitted, made it easier for these players to joke and dare.

David Caulfield said...

In fairness to dott, he'll never be one of my favourite players but he's been a revelation this week and my respect for the guy has sky rocketed.

Anonymous said...

Great to see Davis and Taylor. These guys are true pros and great characters, something the players of today should learn from.

Anonymous said...

Mah finger hurts =(
Shaun Murphy bit it off! But because I have powers (like the ones they have in Heroes :D) it grew back :)
Thus why I don't like Shaun.