Ruth McAvinia describes herself as journalist and snooker broadcaster – she
covered snooker on Irish radio, did commentary for TG4, and wrote for 110sport –
but more importantly she is a “snooker person”. Today she published this very interesting, and well written, article about Ronnie on Medium. Thank you Ruth for allowing me to share it.
My trouble with Ronnie O’Sullivan
It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with this, but Ronnie O’Sullivan is the greatest snooker player ever. He’s not the greatest professional, at times he’s a pretty awful ambassador, but he’s the best player by an ever-increasing distance. …
Read the full article on her Medium blog
I totally agree with Ruth about the necessity for snooker, and snooker fans, to look beyond Ronnie for the future of the sport, whilst enjoying him while he’s still playing and competing. He’s a one-off, a fantastic player, but as she writes he will not be around forever.
One statement I don’t agree with is that, at times, he’s an awful ambassador. Is he really? I know that he has his moments, that sometimes he says and does the wrong things. But is it really that important? Over the years he’s probably attracted more fans to snooker than anybody else. Is that not what an ambassador does? Sure, he’s not perfect, far from it, but I wonder to what extend it’s not precisely that “imperfect nature” combined with his genius at the table that attracts – or repels – so many. After all, none of us, humans, is perfect and personally I find it hard to relate to “perfect” people who always say and do the right things. “Are they real, genuine?” is the question that inevitably comes to my mind. I can’t warm to them.
Nothing is worse than indifference and Ronnie certainly doesn’t leave people cold: he triggers emotions, divides opinions. Come to think of it, was Alex Higgins a great ambassador? Probably not by today’s criteria and still nobody can ignore how important he was for the development of snooker.
Other than that, Ruth invites readers to look around and point at the young players they perceive as serious prospects. Please, feel free to give your opinion and name your prospects in comments.