What an utter disaster for Europe. I mean we had it within our grasp. Two shots away from winning it back after four years (and it would only have been the third time in the entire thirteen years of the tournament). But no. Mikka Immonen potted the 8 ball ok, but in doing so nudged the 9 onto the rail, meaning he couldn’t clear up. Ok, so the end result was a draw at 12–12, but that meant USA retained the cup, which is as good as losing as far as I’m concerned.
Oh, what am I rambling on about? The Mosconi Cup is a 9 ball pool tournament that pits Europe against the USA, which was on TV last weekend. It’s kind of like the Ryder Cup of pool. It’s been a few years since I last watched it, since we’ve been Skyless for a while and it has changed quite a bit. They now have a 30 second shot clock which certainly spices things up and on a couple of occasions it did cause players to rush their shots and make mistakes. There are also doubles and triples games, the latter of which seemed a bit over the top. Having three players a side round the table made it look a bit cramped!
Of course some things haven’t changed, Earl “The Pearl” Strickland (on team USA) is still a pretenious prick. In his last match he decided to have a go at the audience because they were chanting “Europe, Europe, Europe!”… well ok, more like shouting Europe whilst banging on huge drums and using air horns. But they gave as good as they got and the end result was that he lost. Ha! (Have a read of this and his Wikipedia entry for previous examples of his asshattery).
But Strickland’s loss is scant consolation for actually losing the Cup given we practically had our hands on it and it’s especially galling since Europe were in the lead for the entire four days of the tournament until the final rack!
However I can see the funny side of it since at the point we looked like we were going to win, the entire European team were stood up waiting to rush on and cheer. The presenter, Andy Goldstein, was ready too, beaming smile, obviously not biased in the slightest. When poor Andy eventually had to come on to say congratulations to the USA he was nearly in tears and kept pointing out to them that they’d drawn and not won. Hilarious stuff, which almost made up for the bad result.