The Olympic Games have provided a welcome antidote to the moans and groans of the snooker world.
The Olympics have seen many sports with a lower media profile than snooker come to the fore with inspirational stories of those who have pushed themselves to the limits to achieve their dreams.
Instead of complaining about this, that and everything, these athletes have made sacrifices and worked hard to succeed.
Very soon the (UK) TV schedules will return to the staple mind-numbing cretiny of the likes of TOWIE and the X-Factor. But hopefully the Games will have inspired young kids to take up sport and aim for something higher in life than getting a retweet from a member of JLS.
Sport is genuine reality television which can deliver drama, excitement and magic in equal measure. It can also change lives for the better.
Some snooker players have made a career out of complaining about ‘the system’ but the truth is this: whatever ‘the system’, the best players always get to the top.
Why? Because they are the best players – and they all started at the bottom.
There has never been anyone in the television era quite like Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry.
Nothing was ever enough for these two titans of the baize: turning pro wasn’t enough; winning a tournament wasn’t enough; winning one world title wasn’t enough.
Hendry finally had enough of losing. Davis, who turns 55 later this month, has a new cue on board and is fully committed to continuing.
The Players Tour Championship throws all the pros in at the first round stage and it’s a fight to the finish.
Stephen Maguire edged Jack Lisowski 4-3 on the black to win PTC1 and kicks off the professional rounds of PTC2 against his pal Graeme Dott in Gloucester tomorrow.
Snooker does not require much physical effort but does demand stamina, particularly mental stamina.
It is one of the loneliest sports there is. You are out in the middle for long periods and, at the table, it is all down to you.
Perhaps that is the most frustrating part of the game: the fact that you will have a chance. Indeed, Lisowski had a very good one in the decider against Maguire and missed the yellow from its spot.
The good news these days is that there are many more opportunities and chances to bounce back from disappointment.
Liveworldsnooker.tv and affiliated betting sites have streaming coverage of the PTC.