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Giants Candidates Part II

Posted By: Bill Riles
Date: Sunday, 22 November 2009, at 6:05 p.m.

In Response To: Giants Candidates Part II (ed olaughlin)

At the risk of possible offense and probable bruised toes among some, I'll take the bait. You all know I love to stir the pot -- and nothing is more invigorating than a bit of controversial debate.

My tentative top ten -- not necessarily in final order, and subject to review with the final ABT tourney and any other data that may come to my attention -- is Kazaross, me (only because I have to put myself #2 on the ballot -- lolol), Lyllhof, Falafel, Tardieu, Mochy, Trabolt, O'Hagan, Michi, and Fogerlund.

As is obvious, I don't regard Lyllhof and Tardieu inactive over a significant enough period of time (as others have been) to disregard their obvious talents. I also highly regard results; and, certainly, consistent results.

In the mid-range of the 32 I'm contemplating Corbett, Wachtel, Holm, Woolsey, Gronbech, O'Laughlin, Orlowski, Jacobowitz, Davis, Sax.

Somewhere on the ballot I'll likely include Ballard, Sconyers, Senkiewicz, Kostadinov, Munitz, Nazarian, Stick, MCG, Spillum, Humke, Bredahl, Sonnabend, Hickey.

I think that is 33 total so someone has to bite the dust. Plus, I may add others at the expense of some of the currently listed.

I'm a little taken aback by Ray's job vs. miscreant criteria -- I've always regarded one man's job as another man's hobby, and vice versa. As long as someone is not totally sucking on the public teat for their livelihood I don't have a whole lot of concern for vocation, avocation, or shiftlessness -- it's a free world. I have absolutely no problem with anyone that can support themselves, in whatever lifestyle, playing poker and/or backgammon. I have no problem with someone who's 'job' requires his/her attention an hour or two a day; or someone else who's 'job' only requires them to be available and allows their complete freedom otherwise. Who am I to judge?

Despite my stated preference for both great play and documented results, I have chosen not to include anyone of whom I've repeatedly heard reports/suggestions of unethical behavior/play. In my mind, it is not part of the game, and should not be allowed or sustained. Practitioners should be banned and ostracized.

I think to be included in the Giants of the game one must demonstrate the desired qualities over a reasonably substantial period of time -- as there are few very young players in our game, this has limited effect.

Conduct, contributions to the game, participation in the backgammon community, sharing/teaching, etc. in addition to basic desirable human traits of decency, compassion, honor, responsibility, etc. should be considered to some extent. As examples, I don't think users of performance enhancing drugs should be enshrined by the various physical sports; I would eliminate those guilty of certain criminal acts (certainly violent acts); I would eliminate those compromising the integrity of games and sports -- I love Pete Rose as a player but can understand the ban, though there are others, in my opinion, who have done far worse; and, as an aside, I'll continue my campaign that Dave Winfield shouldn't be in the Baseball Hall of Hame because of his violent attack on OSU basketball players on the court while he played for Minnesota.

Another thing I find distasteful regarding the Giants is what I perceive as 'campaigning'. I think play and performance should speak for themselves. If someone wants to improve their chances get better, play in a lot of tournaments, play in various venues -- USA, Europe, Japan, etc. and on-line. Become known by presence and performance. I think campaigning should be left to politics -- it's disgusting enough there.

There, I've put on my target sweater. Go for it.

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