Thread: Is Fats a fit?
View Single Post
Old 11-01-2009, 02:34 PM
fred bentivegna's Avatar
fred bentivegna fred bentivegna is offline
Verified Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: chicago illinois
Posts: 6,690
Default What! Are you nuts!

Originally Posted by SJDinPHX
I certainly agree with most of Doc's opinions on the Fat man. I was only around him enough to absorb (not necessarily appreciate) his inccessant con and braggadacio.

I never resented him, but he was only tolerable (to me) in very small doses. He could easily give our top two horn blower's on this forum...8 to 4 and the break, in the self engrandisement department.

That being said, he could be a very unique and entertaining individual. He had the bufoonery of W.C. Fields, crossed with the caustic wit of Groucho Marx or Don Rickles.

I know he was instrumental in getting the Jansco's to include one pocket in their first tournament, but so was Squirrel, Beanie, RA, both Red's, and all the other top one holer's of that era. It was allready an established action game. He just had George's ear a little better than the rest.

To say that he was "responsible" for bringing 1P out of the closet, is in IMHO, a bit of a stretch.
Fat's was all about "Fat's", and I don't think he ever even thought much beyond HIS agenda, as far as promoting ANYTHING.
That doesn't make him a bad guy, its just the way he was.

Thanks to Tevis, he gained a level of notariety he almost certainly, would NEVER have enjoyed... if it had not been for the success of the book and the movie. He should have kissed him, instead of suing him.
But I guess that was a necessary step to gaining that notariety.

He is definately worthy of a "lifetime award" of some sort...maybe even a "special" award of some kind, due to the colorful character that he always was.

But there is simply too long a list, of other's who did more for the game (Tevis, Newman, Gleason, Cruise ???)...and a whole bunch of guy's who played it better, than Fat's ever did, even in his prime. Just my 2 cents.

Newman, Gleason and the fag, over Fats?!! Tevis is full of shit saying, "work of fiction, no real people." Bull shit! He told me that same bag of puce in Dayton OH. In the book he describes a rat joint that I played in on Congress and State, to a tee, a real place; hamburger joint up front, pool tables in the back. He has a guy in there that is supposedly fictional. He is the first guy that Eddie plays after his thumbs heal. The old slavic guy that took up hustling after he came to America in his 50s. That was Tom Smith, my good friend. There aint no coincidence like that. Two slavs that took up pool in their 50s? And if you knew Tom, like I did, Tevis's description of him is dead on. Tom hustled pool up until he was a 100 years old! He was a gigolo when he was in his eighties. Big, strong, bull of a man. Faught off a stick up guy when he was 90. Refused to give up the money to a man with a .45. Took a pistol whipping instead. I'd walk thru a long puddle of Figeroa's bullsh*t, in my bare feet, to spend some time around Fats.
At Johnston City, any broke, young pool player could get an automatic hot $20 bill from Fatty, no questions asked. A $20 bite back then was a weeks rent and 3 or 4 meals. That I know from personal experience. A guy named Lindy who used to live down there, when he found out I was empty, he said, c'mon with me, Fatty will put you in action. Lindy intro'd me to Fats as a young, broke pool player, and Fatty hit his roll and peeled off a tough 20, no problem. There was a line of guys that went on the books. I watched him play Ronnie, nobody can tell me he couldnt play.

the Beard

I know Fat's speed in his prime, from people who knew, like Marcel Camp, Chicago Pony, Gene Skinner and others.
New stuff on my site. 100s of pgs. of pool goodness
Reply With Quote