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Post by EdWoodjr on Sat 27 Apr - 18:55

The biggest stinkbomb Crucible Finals :
1) Steve Davis vs Cliff Thorburn (1983).  Davis was out to atone for the Knowles fiasco 12 months earlier and cruised to the final, winning his quarter and semi final matches with a session to spare. Thorburn, on the other hand, had a 3.51am finish with Terry Griffiths before being involved in 2 more final frame deciders. Anyone expecting a close, competitive final needed to go for a lie down.
2) Graeme Dott vs Peter Ebdon (2006). The only thing memorable about this turgid encounter was Barry Hearn saying afterwards that he was delighted to hear that Peter Ebdon went for a one mile swim every day as that would mean, a year from now, he'd be 365 miles away. That says it all.
3) Stephen Hendry vs Jimmy White (1993). 24 year old Hendry was odds on to win the tournament before a ball was struck and fully justified those odds by winning it whilst dropping a record low number of frames along the way. The Whirlwind must have felt like he was trying to stop a runaway train with a fishing rod.
4) Ronnie O'Sullivan vs Ali Carter (2008). Phil Yates might want to correct me but I don't think The Pilot has yet to beat The Rocket in a ranking event and not for one nanosecond during this encounter did that record look like changing.
5) Ray Reardon vs Perrie Mans (1978). Reardon's 6th, and final, title win came at the expense of one-trick pony Perrie 'the single-ball potter' Mans in a predictable stroll for the great man only made memorable for the fact that it was the first time I had watched snooker in colour (sad but true).

The worst commentators :
1) Mark Wildman : Dithering, clueless Mark used to ply his trade covering The Premier League on Eurosport. Constantly correcting his own mistakes, it was hard to tell if he had any notes in front of him. It didn't seem like it.
2) David Taylor : Merits a mention here based on his memorable co-commentary (with John Pulman) on The Nugget's historic 147 against John Spencer in 1982 which gave the impression that Taylor's jeans had shrunk in the wash the day before.
3) Mike Hallett : Has taken the art of stating the blinding obvious to new levels. Mike, it's not enough for you to tell us it was 'a good shot' or 'a great pot'. We can SEE it was a good shot.  Kindly explain to the viewers WHY it was a good shot as that's surely part of a commentator's role. Another of his favourites is "He doesn't want the cue ball to go in !"    No s**t, Mike.
4) Ted Lowe : Unquestionably any summarisation of the game's history would be incomplete without paying homage to Ted but, for me, his commentary on a match added little to proceedings.
5) Dennis Taylor : Good-guy Dennis would sooner sink his teeth into an anthrax toastie before saying anything derogatory about the players on show. Then again he's too busy enlightening us with his Peter Alliss-style reminiscences of 'the good old days' (oh my ribs). Just don't forget to tell the viewers about what happened in '85, Dennis. Oh you haven't.  

The biggest gigglers :
1) Martin Gould : He looks like a trainspotting, straight 'A' student who moonlights as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman but it wouldn't surprise me if he was building a cult following. Incidentally, top kudos to him 3 years ago for staying to the bitter end of the WC after blowing a massive lead against Robbo as many a player would have traipsed home ASAP feeling sorry for themselves.
2) Stephen Maguire : Of course he's bad-tempered, grumpy-looking, sour-faced, constantly looks as though the spectator sitting behind him has just broken wind and seldom, if ever, smiles. He's Scottish.
PS Before I'm accused of racial stereotyping, I'm Scottish as well and have been accused of being most of the above at one time or another.
3) Ding Junhui : Oh come on, Ding. You've won some of the game's biggest honours, earned yourself a shedload of dosh and your grasp of English is rapidly improving so let's have a wee smile. A grimace even ?
4) Dave Harold : Perhaps he's too scared to smile in case the plaster falls off ?
5) Alfie Burden : Who remembers the days when Alfie's 1000 watt smile used to light up venues the length and breadth of the country ? No, me neither. One of the 'new breed' from a decade or so ago who, along with David Gray, seems to have disappeared off the radar.

Specialists in 'Wars Of Attrition' (Just being polite)
1) Peter Ebdon. This is a bloke who grabbed our attention in 1992 by handing The Nugget his biggest Crucible hiding since Knowles a decade earlier. His aggressive style of play and 'flamboyant' ponytail certainly got him noticed. A Grand Prix win followed before the wheels started to come off in '95 after raising his cue above his head, celebrating a Masters 'win' over Stephen Hendry before the match was actually won. Entertainment value since then from Mr Ebdon has been hit-or-miss to say the least ( ask Barry Hearn) and his break of 12 that took 5 and a half minutes against The Rocket was surely the low-point in The Crucible's 36 year history.
2) Eddie Charlton. Old school 'legend' and possibly the only pro in history with an aversion to putting side on the cue ball. I remember Eddie once at a press conference desperately trying to justify his style of play to the masses and failing to convince anyone. His mind-numbing Crucible semi-final showdown with Terry Griffiths in 1979 remains the 'Dott-Ebdon' showdown of it's day.
3) Mark Selby. Whilst it's fair to assume very few snooker-haters out there will be converted by a highlight reel of Mr Marmite in action it's easy to forget that 'The Jester From Leicester' holds the record for more centuries in a season than anyone else. My only criticism of him? Having snooker's 2nd worst nickname. Beaten into first place by Alan Hughes' take on Anthony Hamilton ie 'The Robin Hood Of Snooker'. What does that actually mean ?
4) Rory McLeod : I'm convinced the mere mention of the word 'shot-clock' would be enough to cause poor Rory to break into a cold sweat. I'd love to see his exhibition diary.
5) Cliff Thorburn : This category couldn't possibly be completed without paying homage to Cliff. Even his 147 was heavy-going. Cliff's old school grinding was only going to get him so far in the modern era of lightning-fast cloths and fearless, pimply potting machines and when he blew a 9-2 first round Crucible lead against Nigel Bond he must have known the writing was on the wall.

The biggest cry babies.
1) Mark Allen. This is someone who's had plenty to say over the past few years. Does he have a chip on his shoulder ? Is he keen on the attention that his comments bring him ? Does he want to forge an identity for himself as the game's numero uno bad boy ? To be honest I don't really know. More importantly I don't really care.
2) Mark Williams: One of the game's most popular players, he did himself few favours not so long ago when millionaire Mark started whinging about players' conditions at The Crucible. I don't know about you, Mark, but if I was lucky enough to play in a tournament where I was guaranteed to trouser a minimum of approx £10k before a ball was struck then I'd play ankle deep in cow dung if the sponsors asked me to do so.
3) Quinten Hann : Was at front row at The Scottish Open to watch The Smug One do battle with Crafty Ken and, by the 4th frame, had lost count of the number of times Hann had thumped the cushion with his knuckles after missing a supposedly 'easy' shot. A lovable, charismatic character whose grace, humility and good sportsmanship has been a heartbreaking loss to the world of professional snooker.
PS The above paragraph contains a deliberate lie. Can you spot what it is ?
4) Shaun Murphy : There was a lengthy spell when Shaun, at least on these pages, wasn't flavour of the month. Insisting that giggler Maguire be docked a frame for retrieving his chalk certainly didn't help his cause.
5) Tony Meo. There's no question that Tony had an abundence of talent ( he was, at one time, the youngest player to do a 147) but mental strength perhaps wasn't his strong suit. A point no better illustrated than the moment when he had to wipe away a tear when big, nasty John Williams gave him a warning for slow play.

The most famous 'I'm a Snooker Player, Get Me Out Of Here' moments.
1) Willie Thorne. 1986 UK Final.    His failure to pot a seemingly unmissable blue to go 14-8 up against The Nugget has went into snooker folklore. Bad contact, bottle job or, as seems likeliest, lack of concentration ? ( perhaps he was deciding, whilst playing the blue, on which nag to 'invest' his first prize in).
2) Stuart Bingham. 2002 WC. Only 2 pots away from £147k, Stuart has a rush of blood and launches his cue in a 'hit-and-hope' effort, almost sending the cueball into the green pocket. Stuart's 'Doug Sanders' moment. There'll be days when he doesn't think about that shot but I bet there aren't many.
3) Mike Hallett. 1991 Masters Final.  6 up with 7 to play against The Wonderbairn, Mike had his fingertips on the trophy. 7 frames (and at least 10 match-winning chances) later the dream was over before Mike went home to discover he'd been burgled. Jean Rafferty once wrote a book on snooker called 'The Cruel Game'. Sounds about right.
4) Jimmy White. 1994 WC Final. After his 18-5 hiding the previous year Jimmy showed plenty of character by pushing Stephen Hendry all the way but knows it was there to be won. A 30-odd point lead and faced with a routine black, it then all went horribly wrong. 19 years on, he's trying his best to convince us he can still win it but it seemed inevitable back in 1994 that he had missed his best, and final, opportunity to do so.
5) John Higgins. 2010. A comfy sofa in Kiev.     'nuff said.  

Memorable ventures by snooker into TV & Film  
1) A Frame With Davis : Parkinson meets Pot Black in this late night snoozefest that saw Romford Slim chat to various c-list nonenities whilst potting the occasional red. Need proof as to why LWT never commissioned An Audience With Steve Davis ? Look no further.
2) Pot The Question : Half-baked mid-80s forerunner to Big Break that saw guffawing buffoon Stuart Hall presiding over a crowd of 'desperate-for-the-pay-cheque' players. Before you could say 'What does Stuart Hall actually do for a living ?' this mishmash was vapourised from the TV schedules.
3) Number One : Bob Geldof was certainly a busy man in 1985. As well as inviting a few chums along for a singsong he also headed along to The Crucible to compete in the WC, playing the part of Harry 'Flash' Gordon in this sleazy, hackneyed, cliche-ridden 'drama' in which Bob proved that his 'acting' skills were on a par with his snooker credentials.
4) Give Us a Break : An early-80s drama seeking to cash in on the game's soaring popularity. One of the McGann brothers was the hustler being managed by the bloke that played Citizen Smith and, shock, gasp, horror, it was watchable if I remember correctly.  
5) Big Break : Despite the cheesiness, the typically naff BBC prizes and the presence of Jim Davidson, this enjoyed a well-deserved 12 year run before we all got sick of it.

Finally, the 5 most useless pieces of snooker trivia that I can think of ( apart from the last one which might prove useful to someone looking to make an 'easy' tenner).  
1) Former World Champion Terry Griffiths never defeated Stephen Hendry in a pro tournament and never made a 147, not even in practise.
2) Joe Johnson's comfortable 18-12 win in 1986 over a 'peak' Steve Davis contained a modest high break of 75.
3) Tony Drago once won a competitive frame (including the break-off) in less time than it once took for Dean Reynolds to play a safety shot.
4) Stephen Hendry once beat a bloke called Robert Gibson 6-0 in an exhibition match in Glasgow. He did so with breaks of 85, 87, 93, 120,128 &147. Not too shabby for a 15 year old.
5) It's actually not that difficult to place a snooker ball in your mouth. Removing it is the tricky bit.

That's it, enjoy the rest of the WC. I certainly will ( despite the lack of Scotsmen).

Last edited by EdWoodjr on Thu 25 Apr - 23:28; edited 4 times in total


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Post by The Special Juan on Sun 28 Apr - 19:44

Nice post Very Happy You have some memory, I can't even remember anything about yesterday's play!!
The Special Juan
The Special Juan

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Post by ryan86 on Wed 1 May - 21:19

The most famous 'I'm a Snooker Player, Get Me Out Of Here' moments.

Surely in the Top 5 should be the time Peter Ebdon found himself in a recording studio.


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