The Making of a Billiards Champion (Series II of V)Written by Jackie "The Angel" Broadhurst
The Making of a Billiards Champion (Series II of V) Fundamentals Learning proper fundamentals is most critical aspect of a player’s pool game. Mechanics will affect every shot executed. By learning proper techniques first, you will be able to build upon them easier and be best that you can be in shortest amount of time. There is much to learn about having proper mechanics, this article is about three most critical.
Bridges A bridge is used to hold cue stick in place while your shooting. The purpose of a bridge is to allow for a smooth and stable place for your cue stick, so that you can make your intended contact with cue ball. If it is not stable and smooth, you will hit cue ball inconsistently, and therefore, will get random results of aim, english and “deflection”. An “Open Bridge” is easiest to learn and has its advantages and disadvantages. It allows you to see shot better because your index finger is not covering top of stick. And, by bending your knuckles, you can get more height with this bridge for a high/follow stroke. At Boys and Girls Club, this is first bridge I teach. Once they see how easy it is to form that “little V” between their thumb and knuckle, they can quickly make more shots on table. A disadvantage of an open bridge is that there is a chance that stick can move upwards because your index finger is not covering it. A “Closed Bridge” takes time for muscles in your finger to wrap around shaft of cue in a way that is tight enough that it doesn’t move around, but loose enough that it does not inhibit your stroke. In school, I used to practice this with my pen, until my muscles were trained to do it without thinking about it. Stroking Arm The purpose is to move cue stick through ball while keeping it straight and level. Therefore, your arm should be at 90 degrees before contact. If you hold it closer to ball (less than 90 degrees), you won’t be able to follow through enough. If you hold it farther away from ball (more than 90 degrees), it is extremely hard to keep it level. To test to see if you have a consistent, straight and level cue. Place an empty pop or beer bottle on its side on table. As if bottle opening was cue ball, do some practice strokes into bottleneck without touching sides of bottle. You should be able to follow through all way to bottom of bottle without touching it.
Huddlegeeks.com Fantasy Football: Silver and Black MakeoverWritten by Jason Clarke
Have you ever watched one of those home makeover shows where ‘crew’ from whatever show it is, takes a seemingly ordinary house or room and makes it into some fantastic dream room that owner usually is ecstatic about? Al Davis must have watched a few of these shows while his team was sitting home for playoffs and decided he could do same for his offense. He followed same basic premise but spent a little more than usual show and their ‘crew’ does.
The Raiders offense in 2004 had enough talent to be average, but never really made fantasy owner think, “I’m drafting some Raiders this year!” They finished ranked 18th in league in total scoring offense, scoring an average of 20.0 point per game. They had an offense that could win some games if they played above average defense. Problem was, Oakland finished ranked 30th in total defense so more offense was needed in Raiderland and in a hurry.
The Raiders had some building blocks for a good offense like a strong-armed quarterback in Kerry Collins, a stud of a LT prospect in Robert Gallery, some athletic tight ends in Doug Jolley and Teyo Johnson and a playmaking WR in Jerry Porter. The biggest problem was fact that Raiders did not have a guy in backfield that they could hand ball to 25 times a game and make a difference. They also needed another receiver to take pressure and coverage off of Porter. Defenses could concentrate on shutting down talented receiver and not worry about getting burned by any of other Raiders receivers. At times, defenses would drop seven defensive backs into coverage to stop Porter because they had no fear of Raiders ground game.
What a difference and off-season makes!
The Raiders head into 2005 season as, on paper, one of most improved teams in NFL and possibly one of most explosive offenses in league as well. Their biggest acquisition, by far, was trade of LB Napolean Harris and a first round draft pick for Minnesota WR Randy Moss. Moss is biggest playmaker at wide receiver position in game today. He is kind of player that is tailor made for traditional Raiders downfield attack. Opposing defenses are no-longer going to be able to concentrate on shutting Porter down when they have to worry about big play ability of Moss.