some may consider this post to be heresy. please remember that a nobody is writing his worthless opinion on a subject that doesn’t have clear answers. feel free to disregard the message if you disagree with me.
i’m sure many of you have heard of the abp (association of billiards professionals) is boycotting the u.s. open event because the event producer, barry behrman, cannot guarantee the prize fund. (it’s all over azb, and omg has written an insightful analysis on it. to hear the interview of rodney morris and barry behrman on runout radio, download it using this link.) now, who in the deuce is the abp? i’ve no idea, except that they sound like a new pool players’ organization, ala mpba, pbt, wpa, wpba, upa, and a myriad of alphabet soup groups. as far as the future of abp, we’ll see what happens; that’s a topic for another day. i will say that oscar dominguez is part of the group, and in my opinion, oscar is a straight player, so that’s a good sign. moving on.
according to the u.s. open’s website, the tournament has been around since 1976. also according to the website, mr. behrman has been running the event the entire time independently. (wikipedia essentially lists the same info, but since i’ve no idea who wrote the wikipedia entry, i can’t verify the information.) the first tournament was quite small, but over the years it grew in size and prestige. now, the u.s. open is one of the must-play events in pool.
no doubt that many will call me a gigantic f~*head a~* s~*face after this.
i do not dispute the prestige of the tournament. it is many players’ dreams to win the u.s. open 9-ball; to some, that is the holy grail of pool, or at least 9-ball. but the disorganized situation situation is just nothing new. if you take a gander, you’ll notice that here hasn’t been a fully recognized group for players in a long f~*ing time. the women have a wholly recognized group–wpba. even though things are rocky right now, the women actually have a de facto organization to turn to, which is more than what the men can show for. anyway, i’m going off a tangent. back to the point.
if you look at golf and tennis, the u.s. open is fully endorsed by the respective ruling body of the sport–namely, the pga and the atp. in both sports, the u.s. open is fully supported by the ruling body and player-members, and is considered one of the most prestigious events in the world. on top of a shot at the prize money & glory, attending players also get points toward ranking. the recurring theme here is that there is a ruling body for the sport, because you need a ruling body to have a ranking system that you can apply the points to, read a unified group of professionals that recognize the authority of a ruling body. right now, we have a newbie organization boycotting a prestigious event, and an event producer crying wolf about not have enough cash to guarantee a prize fund. whose fault is it? is little billy or little timmy that started the fight? who knows?
yeah, i realize that it’s a pretty big deal to boycott the u.s. open, and that both sides have gripes they’re putting out in the open. in the grand scheme of things, however, the men still don’t have a de facto organization to turn to, and one doesn’t have to listen to the other. we remain loose sand on the beach, being washed around by every fly-by-night “association” that comes along. the u.s. open 9-ball continues to be an event run by a one-man-show that has no real backing by the pros or any sort of steady corporate sponsorship. boycott? it’s one event. in the long-range view, so what. looks the same to me.