Tuesday, August 12, 2003


When I was in Chicago a few weeks ago, I was hanging out with one of my close friends. He grew up in NYC and was the jack of trades in certain vices and games when he was young... gambled in underground poker rooms, played pool with some of the world's best, went to Nike Five-Star camp for basketball during high school, and only God knows what else (what up, jason!). Anyway, we were watching a pool tournament on ESPN and he began talking about how much of a gap there was between the top men and women pool players in the world. One of his buddies was ranked around 100th in the world for pool and got regularly ousted during the first round of the major tournaments, but he said that he regularly beat Jeanette Lee, who is consistently in the top 3 among women.

Jason said that shot for shot woman are just as good in pool, but it's when you run the tables there is a difference. His friend could run about 150 balls while Jeanette Lee could run about 75 balls. This was when she was ranked 1st or 2nd in the world among women several years ago. He said the top men could run about 300+ balls straight. (damn, i miss amsterdam billiards club!)

Jason explained from his experience that it was about the mental aspect of the game and that the concentration levels were the difference between men and women. Honestly, this was news to me because I thought the primarily difference between men and women in sports were due to size, strength, and speed. I really didn't think about the mental differences in athletics. I knew that men could shoot more consecutive basketballs, but I thought it was more due to muscle endurance. Now I'm thinking it might also have to do with the mental aspect of shooting a basketball. Not being a golfer, Jason also informed me that a similar difference between men and women exists in the short game of golf and it's not just the long game.

Of course, my truly sexist friends are loving this, such as Chris (Asian American male in the recent American Air testimonial commericals in the U.S.), but I am not coming from that angle. I just found it interesting to hear that in a sport that doesn't rely on strength or speed that there was such a large difference between the top men and women players.

As a disclaimer, I will state that one of my women friends use to regularly kick my ass in pool... straight, 9-ball, or whatever. And I am far from a sexist, so please don't send me hate email, ladies, because the title was written just to grab attention.

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