Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sadly, the TOC is over...

Another year, and another great tournament. Many memorable points, and to my mind the semifinals night had two of the best matches I've ever seen, one after the other. I wasn't there live, so, lacking tickets, hurried home to watch the games on Squash TV, which I must say again is a marvelous accomplishment by the PSA.For about $100 you get very clear visuals in a broadcast of the highest standard for a full year. It is worth the money, by far. 

The final was also terrific, with Ramy demonstrating once again his tendency for slow starts, and Gaultier displaying the reverse. Ramy came within a hair's breadth of losing the match ignominiously in a shutout, but then the Egyptian superstar emerged, and Gaultier, who had some tough matches earlier in the TOC, suddenly found his tank empty, and Ramy pretty much cruised to a win. The best point, which you've no doubt seen before, is here at the 5:10 mark. But the best moment is Ramy's stare at the wildly appreciative crowd, and his air guitar, which is at the 5:25 mark. 

The great thing about this is the fact that Ramy is clearly having a little fun, but Gaultier is too -- watch his reaction as he lightly pushes Ramy away. I for one think it is great that these top athletes can occasionally pull out of competition mode and have some fun. By so doing, they're also celebrating the sport.

I also had the opportunity to talk to Peter Nicol and Jethro Binns at the booth. They asked me how I liked it and I spent a couple of minutes telling them how transformative I thought the site has been. Its appearance on the scene has shown everyone what a well-executed squash site can accomplish, and personally I love it. Indeed, I told Jethro that the site may in fact have too much information on it. I told him that more than once I have gotten on the court, trying to put in practice some of the advice I had seen on the site, only to have so much information going through my head that brain freeze developed and I became more or less paralyzed. I told him that they might want to start a special thread for idiots like myself who can't handle all the information.

Jethro very politely said he would take that suggestion under advisement.

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