Comparing My Obsessions
[This is a video of me running the table]
Football is my one true love and therefore I tend to compare everything to football. I can’t help but see the world from a football perspective. Another passion of mine is shooting pool. Life on the pool table has many things in common with the game of football. Don’t believe me? Then lets compare my two obsessions.
A game of 8 ball is about taking advantage of your opportunities. The beautiful thing about shooting pool is that you are often in charge of making your own opportunities. With proper cue ball placement and a good plan you can keep earning your shots. In football you get four downs and you have to earn a new set of downs by moving the ball ten yards up the field. In 8 ball you have to make a shot to earn your next shot. When you have sunk your 7 balls you must sink the 8 ball. Being on the 8 ball is the billiards version of the red zone. You simply cannot waist red zone trips.
Football is such a strategic game. Coaches and players break down every little detail in their opponent’s game. They know the strengths and weaknesses of their competition. Pool is no different. When you get good at it you can plan several moves in advance.
My father is really good competition on the pool table. There was a time when the old man was unbeatable. This is one reason I practice the craft of shooting pool relentlessley. Now I win more than I lose despite being evenly matched. I like to think I know how my Dad approaches the game. I know for instance that he loves rail shots and would rather cut angles than bank shots. He struggles at times on lengthy shots, citing vision as the problem.
This is where the strategy and defense of pool comes into play. There is no man who will make every shot no matter what. I take pride in the fact that I am a damn sharp shooter but I know what I don’t do well. I hate playing a safety (pool’s version of a punt) but sometimes it is the only responsible decision. With a safety you shoot so that the cue ball is in the worst possible spot for your opponent. The intention is to block any possible shot or make your opponent take a shot he does not want to. Its like field position in football. A good safety is like a punt that puts your opponent on his own 1 yard line.
There are many similarities between my two addictions, football and pool. The mentality is the same, or at least it is how I approach it.