clash royale hack gunpixel.com mobilelegendstool.us robloxtool.com clashroyaletool.info mrcoinsfifa.com besthomescapes.com
HomeAbout Billiards DigestContact UsArchiveAll About PoolEquipmentOur AdvertisersLinks
From the Publisher
By Mike Panozzo
Mike became editor of Billiards Digest in 1980 and liked it so much that he bought the company. He has served on the Billiard Congress of America board of directors and as president of the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America.


Archives
• October 2021
• September 2021
• August 2021
• July 2021
• June 2021
• May 2021
• March 2021
• February 2021
• January 2021
• December 2020
• November 2020
• October 2020
• September 2020
• August 2020
• July 2020
• June 2020
• May 2020
• April 2020
• March 2020
• February 2020
• January 2020
• December 2019
• November 2019
• October 2019
• September 2019
• August 2019
• July 2019
• June 2019
• May 2019
• April 2019
• March 2019
• February 2019
• January 2019
• December 2018
• November 2018
• October 2018
• September 2018
• August 2018
• July 2018
• June 2018
• May 2018
• April 2018
• March 2018
• February 2018
• January 2018
• November 2017
• October 2017
• September 2017
• August 2017
• July 2017
• June 2017
• May 2017
• April 2017
• March 2017
• February 2017
• January 2017
• December 2016
• November 2016
• October 2016
• September 2016
• August 2016
• July 2016
• June 2016
• May 2016
• Apr 2016
• Mar 2016
• Feb 2016
• Jan 2016
• Dec 2015
• Nov 2015
• Oct 2015
• Sept 2015
• August 2015
• July 2015
• June 2015
• May 2015
• April 2015
• March 2015
• February 2015
• January 2015
• October 2014
• August 2014
• May 2014
• March 2014
• February 2014
• September 2013
• June 2013
• May 2013
• April 2013
• March 2013
• February 2013
• January 2013
• December 2012
• November 2012
• October 2012
• September 2012
• August 2012
• July 2012
• June 2012
• May 2012
• April 2012
• March 2012
• February 2012
• January 2012
• December 2011
• November 2011
• October 2011
• September 2011
• August 2011
• July 2011
• June 2011
• May 2011
• April 2011
• March 2011
• February 2011
• January 2011
• December 2010
• November 2010
• October 2010
• September 2010
• August 2010
• July 2010
• June 2010
• May 2010
• April 2010
• March 2010
• February 2010
• January 2010
• December 2009
• November 2009
• October 2009
• September 2009
• August 2009
• July 2009
• June 2009
• May 2009
• April 2009
• March 2009
• February 2009
• January 2009
• October 2008
• September 2008
• August 2008
• July 2008
• June 2008
• May 2008
• April 2008
• March 2008
• February 2008
• January 2008
 
April: Stuck In The Middle With You
April 2021

Surprisingly, a lot of interesting things came out of pool during the yearlong shutdown around the globe. Players found new ways to compete in a virtual reality. The Ghost became the No.1 player in the world. Fans got to spend countless hours watching players practice “live” in their basements. Records were set in cue raffle sales. (“Razzles” being the term used in social media to skirt Facebook’s rules on gambling.)

Of course, not every trend that developed during the year was a winner. Hands down, the most annoying thing to come out of pool last year was the interminable use of the phrase “in the middle.”

Now, I get it. Every year words and phrases find their way into popular culture. And, without fail, they become annoying over time. The Zoom app catapulted so rapidly into the public consciousness that by the end of the year it became a verb: Zooming.

“Flatten the curve” became the new “Think outside the box.” “We’re in this together” became the new “It is what it is.” We all learned that masks may well become “the new normal.”

Some new terms in 2020 were actually quite useful. “Social distancing” became a convenient excuse for avoiding people you really didn’t want to see in the first place (“herd immunity” also works), and “You’re on mute!” became a battle cry in and of itself.

So, what exactly does “in the middle” mean? And why does it annoy me so?

In truth, it’s nothing more than a cute little phrase that allows players, stakehorses and railbirds to make gambling matches sound bigger than they really are.

“Shane and Dennis are playing a race to 100, $100,000 in the middle!” was the phrase bandied about by everyone in pool earlier this year. Translation, two stakehorses (or two syndicates of numerous sponsors) put $50,000 apiece into a pot. The winner (which could be several “investors” splitting up the money) still only wins $50,000. The match was for $50,000. Period.

How, why and when this phrase became “the new normal” in pool is uncertain. Action king Oscar Dominguez says, “It’s a Filipino thing for sure.”

Doesn’t really matter. It is now used in virtually every social media post that announces or discusses an action match. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that one-on-one matches became the most talked-about pool topic in the past year, since head-to-head matches was pretty much all a pool player could engage in. So, something like this was bound to happen. But still.

The bigger the number, I guess, the more importance people assume the match has. In truth, most players don’t put up a nickel, yet stand to make 40 percent of the winnings. I’m not discounting the pressure that comes with matches of this nature, but few players walk home broke.

Over the course of time, however, the phrase, employed to generate added excitement, wore out its welcome with me. The term is used today in virtually every match that someone insists on posting in social media. But trying to make a race-to-nine match between a pair of players with 350 FargoRate ratings compelling by boldly announcing that the “live streaming” match has $300 in the middle is a stretch, don’t you think?

All that said, despite its overuse in pool circles, I do find the phrase intriguingly catchy. In fact, I’ve actually started injecting it into my own lexicon.

“Did you hear Phil is getting remarried?” I recently said to a friend. “He’s marrying his new girl Gladys this Sunday, three kids in the middle.”

“I’m going to Morton’s for dinner tomorrow with Pete,” I told another. “$400 in the middle.”

“How about a game of cribbage?” I asked my wife. “Dirty dishes from dinner in the middle.”

I guess I’ll just have to be more open-minded when all these new phrases pop up. I can adapt. Lord knows, we’ve all had to do plenty of adapting in the past year.

And I’ll try to look at things more philosophically than literally.

So, going forward, remember we’re in this together. And to avoid having masks become the new normal, we’ll have to flatten the curve and eventually get to herd immunity…mankind in the middle.

MORE VIDEO...