On Valentine's Day, 1978, 20 million viewers watched hustler Minnesota Fats trash talk dapper champ Willie Mosconi in what was supposed to be an easy win for Mosconi. Fats gave him a run for his money in the most entertaining fashion. And Howard Cosell with the play-by-play!
An irrepressible showman with a flair for windbag stories, Fats was more of a trickster and entertainer than a great champion of the art. Always carrying wads of hundred dollar bills rolled in his chest pocket, Fats never won a major pool tournament. But his sideshow verbal antics nonetheless made him one of the most recognizable and colorful figures in the circuit.
Mosconi couldn't have been any more different. Dapperish and all-business, he was synonymous with the table sport itself. He won the World Straight Pool Championship 15 times, the most of any other player. At an exhibition game in Springfield, Illinois in 1954, Mosconi officially sunk 526 straight balls, a record that still holds today.
I remember watching this, and I love how crappy this recording is!
Image: YouTube / InsidePOOLmag