Saturday, 26 April 2008

The Ball Is Round

Went for the Project Bonalai vaccinations yesterday, and then headed down to the printer to attempt to seal the deal. Things on the design end have been a bitch. When shit happens, it happens in streaks.

But looking on the brighter side of things, I eventually ended up at the Athirah prata place for dinner and they were showing the Mosconi Cup for 2007 in Vegas. Briefly, the Mosconi cup is an annual America Vs Europe pool tournament and, prior to 2007, Europe had only ever won once in a 13 year-old competition dominated by the US.

Over nasi goreng ikan bilis and kambing soup, I watched a couple of rounds of the usual stuff - unadulterated precision and immaculate placement - elements of the professional pool game. But just as I was done with my dinner, the singles game came on between Shane "the king of safety" van Boening of Team US and Tony "blink and you'll miss" Drago of Team Europe. Of course, being the noob I am, I never knew who they were until I was deep in the throes of the match which turned out to be sensational.

So I ended up staying another half an hour or more as I watched the two players bring 9-ball pool waaay up another notch. Tony Drago is nicknamed 'The Tornado' for the incredible speed and accuracy with which he wastes his opponents, and Shane van Boening is the master of intelligent play and safety shots (a safety is when you hide the cue ball so that the opponent doesn't have a clear shot). I later learnt from the commentary that the biggest criticism of young van Boening's game is his lack of aggression in play. Which made sense - if your strength is in defence, you can only be a reactive player. And Tony Drago tore him apart especially in 2 of the rounds, where he cleared the table in only a little over a minute. And they'd replay his entire round in quick motion just to show how fast he plays.

Drago won the game 6-2 in spectacular fashion, and that singles match was the turning point, as Team Europe caught up to eventually win the 2007 Mosconi Cup for only the 2nd time in 13 years.

American commentators are also really different from British commentators. As always, people talk about the subtle, dry wit of the British, which can be evidenced from EPL match commentaries, and compare that to the slapstick and more direct wit of the Americans, as can especially be observed in WWE matches. During the van Boening-Drago game, one commentator said, "he looks happier than Paris Hilton in a room full of cameras," when the camera caught a pleased Tony Drago after drawing first blood in the opening round. When there was fantastic placement of the cue ball after a rather tight shot, another remarked, "he couldn't have put it there any better with his hand!"

Played soccer today back at the good ol' Hougang street soccer courts, and this time around there was a malay team present. They were quite decent, but after awhile things got overheated as Sanchin and one of the guys from the malay team threatened to come to blows. It was really unnecessary on their part, as they kept accusing us of rough play when it was really obvious they were much dirtier in their play, and when Sanchin pointed it out to them they were incensed. Furthermore, in one particular round, we'd knocked them out already; in petulance, they wanted to form another team (with their excess players) and immediately re-enter to play again. Sanchin stood his ground because we'd earlier criticised another team for fielding 2 teams when the rest of us had equally many players but only fielded 1 team. But because of his valiance, the malay team was most displeased and later sought to seek revenge by playing in the most fucked up manner ever (complete with dives and taunts - unbelievable stuff), and gave him quite a bit of shit whenever he got the ball or challenged for it.

But we kept our cool, didn't retaliate and eventually knocked them out again anyway. Kids.

Now that everyone's done with their papers we can bring on the soccer matches again - both in playing and watching. Heading down to Leon's later to catch the early EPL telecast. Woot, sweet summer.

Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.

Audio Candy:
The Color Fred - If I Surrender

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