Thursday, May 3, 2012

McManus and the PST are Good for Squash

I have nothing against the "bullies" of squash, US squash and PSA, well certainly nothing against the PSA whatsoever. But I am a sucker for the underdog. The PST is the underdog and they are being bullied by their larger, long standing counterparts, US Squash and PSA. I know about the lawsuits and the legal challenges, but what is really behind it. Both CEO's Kilipstein and Gough seem to not like the new kid on the block, he's not one of them, he didn't come up through the usual squash ranks, he has a vision, he's a bit of a maverick, he's definitely a marketing guy and knows what he's doing to promote the sport, Joe McManus, what exactly is he doing to threaten the "bullies". He must be different, that always pisses the "bullies" off and he must be "smaller" or seemingly so for them to just go after him.

I don't like the PST's no-let rule, I love the PSA, I don't really care much about US Squash, and I find McManus annoying at times because he tinkers with tradition. But the PST is most importantly great for squash in the US. Why? McManus has promoted professional squash at the grass roots level in the US, and I applaud anyone who can tackle an issue as vacuous as professional squash in the US, as in US born players having the opportunity to play professionally and compete professionally. The fact that US born squash players who would never ever have the opportunity to play some great players can compete against them is inspiring. McManus has brought this to US Squash. I have a son who plays on the PST, has been injured for most of the season, but the benefits of him playing in the PST against solid competition versus travelling and costs to PSA satellite tournaments, or playing in the US squash leagues, where at best you are lucky if team players even show up, and all the jostling and politics involved to play the best players, is immeasurable.

I like Joe McManus, he is the guy who doesn't back down from the "bullies" and in fact he goes right at them. He can't take them on head on, so he jabs at them, uses his intelligence to get under their skin. I like his behavior which says, he has just as much right to be on the "block" as the "bullies" do. He is good for US squash, no question about it, he isn't the answer to what ails US Squash, but he certainly isn't doing any harm. And what does it matter if Nick Mathew picks up some extra money and a trip to New York to play in a PST event; is that bad for squash? I don't think so, it is good for squash.

Whether David Palmer and other players are part owner or have stakes in the PST, who cares? If they help make the PST what it is and eventually even more, that is good for squash. And whether or not McManus is a "cry baby", or annoying, simply ask yourself, is he good for squash, especially US squash? I have no doubts he is; if he showed up on the squash scenes with two heads and was good for squash, who cares about his two heads -- actually, McManus would probably glib "two heads are better than one".


Pierre Bastien said...

Is the PST is good for squash? It depends on what you want for squash.

If you want more people playing squash, then the PST is a good thing because there are more high-quality squash matches played in the US as a result of the Pro Squash Tour's existence. More high-quality US squash means more and better US squash players. It also means more US Squash members and more US-based PSA fans.

If you want squash to remain a tightly-controlled sport, then maybe the PST is not good for squash. ("Tightly-controlled" isn't necessarily a bad thing -- think Apple products.)

Personally I want more people playing squash, so the PST is a force for good even if they do step on a few toes in the process.

Alfredo Ramirez, NYC said...

The PST is causing serious young players to have something big to focus on locally. It's about building opportunity for promise...feasibly.

That said...squash lovers want to see very high quality squash...any chance they get.

Squash from Delphi said...

@Pierre, you are so right. Getting people to play squash means more fans which means more exposure and perhaps even pro squash as a means to play and make a livlihood.
@Alfred, that is one major reason I am all for the PST, who wouldn't be, they are good for all those local 6.0 and 6.5 pros who have the opportunity to bring great squash at a club level and show the squash memebership their own skills especially mapped against other professionals. Again, these club pros or local standouts would never ever have the opportunity to play Palmer, White, El Hinde, Ball, and the likes, the PST makes that possible. And to be able to see those guys play at a club level on the courts that the game was made to be played on is something.

The Squashist said...

You mention 'crybaby' apparently in reference to my blog on the PST. My blog does not say anything negative about the product that PST is offering. Unlike you, I actually like the concept of no-let squash. The point of my blog was to point out the style in which a few of his comments have been delivered, which I think does nothing to further the squash scene in the US and may be deleterious to it. That's all.

Squash from Delphi said...

Joe McManus is the PST so if you are saying he is detrimental to US Squash based on his comments in reference to "Napoleonic" US Squash chairman and I'm certain over lawsuits, etc. then you are saying the PST is detrimental. US Squash has a lot more to worry about than the PST, they should be happy they have a brother organization promoting this sport. I've yet to read anyone saying anything about US squash that isn't true, may not be put in the most delicate terms, but truth is truth, that's good enough for me (BTW you also took exception to Wilstrop's remarks on US Squash, the truth hurts, I guess.)

Squash from Delphi said...

I applaud your optimism...I'd be happy to be wrong in my assessment, but I don't think I am.

Squash from Delphi said...

I applaud your optimism...I'd be happy to be wrong in my assessment, but I don't think I am.