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Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Dragonfly

I have been an avid snooker watcher for almost 4 decades. Now I will probably get roasted for this, but someone has to say it. Alex Higgins was overrated. True, winning world title in 72 at very young age was a fine achievement. But you can hardly say he had a glittering career after that. He was a gritty competitor, good tactician and wasn't short of bottle. But overall his results are poor. You could say he would have won more only for Davis. So would White, Thorburn and Griffiths. Too often he just wasn't good enough and while capable of some good results on his day, was just as capable of losing to anyone (bob chaperon). I know he was edgy and made for exciting viewing at times, but I just don't think he is up there with the all time greats. Ultimately he just didn't win enough

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby mick745

I think Higgins best years were prior to snooker becoming a mainstream TV sport in the late 70s/early 80s.

He was a flair player, and a showman, but was usually easily outwitted tactically on the table by Davis and others. I know he is a lot of people's hero but let's also not forget he was a thoroughly unpleasant individual at times who descended into alcoholism later in his career. He was washed up by the late 80s.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby SnookerFan

You've got to take into account a few things.

Firstly, The Davis Factor. Like you say, he was the man in the 1980s so beating him at all was tough. Snooker is more developed a game now, so it's a lot harder to dominate. It's not realistic to judge the players from the 1980s by today's standards. Bear in mind, as well, Steve Davis was still in the top-16 when he was in his 50s. With all the super oldies we have now, that might not seem much. But it was a big deal when Davis did it. He very much was a special talent in an era where the game wasn't as organised at it was now.

Secondly, Higgins style was revolutionary at the time. He pretty much invented the style. Literally nobody played that way when he was doing it. If you watch videos of him now whilst familiar with the modern game, you'd perhaps not see what the big fuss was. Everybody plays like him now, but that's because of him. If we accept that a player who is outstanding at snooker can be a genius, what does that make the guy who pioneered the game in that way? When he came along, people had never seen a style like that.

His style was very much death or glory. He'd play attacking shots whenever possible. When they came off he looked awesome, but the opposite end of that is, when they didn't come off he could sometimes leave himself open. Could he have moderated that style a bit, and learned to play the percentage shots more? Sure. Would he have had more success? Possibly. But he was never going to do that. He chose to live and die by that style, and that was his decision to make.

There's certainly the argument to make that the game wouldn't have been what it was now if it wasn't for Alex. Hendry took the attacking style, and popularised it through his success. Ronnie excelled at it. But Alex was the first one who came along and did it. Would we have Judd's naughty snooker if Alex hadn't lead the way?
Last edited by SnookerFan on 03 Jul 2020, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby SnookerFan

Holden Chinaski wrote:Good post, SnookerFan. :hatoff:


You caught me editing it for spelling, damn you. :grrr:

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Dragonfly

I accept all that Higgins done for the sport. No doubt he was talented and exciting especially for the era. But where Trump,Hendry and O'Sullivan became winning machines while still playing a flair game Higgins never could. I also accept some of the reasons for this were probably lifestyle choices. His title wins even in the 70s was still poor and when Davis arrived he just could not compete. He also was way too inconsistent and lacked positional finese even by the standards of the day. For sure his style of play must have been groundbreaking at the time but his game was far too flawed to be a serial winner

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Pink Ball

I’ve never hated a snooker player, but Higgins brought me closer to that point that anyone else. A pig of a person.

Also a superb snooker player. 12 triple crown finals, winning five. World Champion twice. Masters Champion twice. UK Champion in 1983. Twice an Irish Masters Champion. Won four of the game’s seven biggest titles, was a runner-up in the other three.

bullocks to suggest he was overrated. Top ten of all time, all day long.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Dan-cat

His impact on the modern game is underrated. It's doubtful but for him and his antics we would have had the snooker boom in the 80s. He spearheaded it. As Hendry once said, he owes Higgins his fortune.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby SnookerFan

Yeah, let's not sugar coat this. Higgins wasn't a nice bloke. He was as likely to nut you as he was to be polite. Not attempting to speak ill of the dead though.

You're right in terms of him being called overrated, it is a bit daft.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby SnookerFan

Dan-cat wrote:Welcome Dragonfly :-)


Yes.

Don't think my disagreeing with you means that I don't welcome you to the forum. :hatoff:

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby SnookerEd25

SnookerFan wrote:Yeah, let's not sugar coat this. Higgins wasn't a nice bloke. He was as likely to nut you as he was to be polite. Not attempting to speak ill of the dead though.

You're right in terms of him being called overrated, it is a bit daft.


Apparently he was alright until he'd had a drink. The couple of hours a day he was sober, he was delightful company...

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby acesinc

I have nothing to add to what has already has been said except that personally, I would probably not be playing snooker today if there had been no Alex Higgins. As to Dragonfly's original comment, you may as well state that Albert Einstein wasn't really all that clever of a fella; he never even learned how to drive a car.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby HustleKing

Yo Dragonfly, you ever play Spyro: Enter The Dragonfly? :chuckle:

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Iranu

Dan-cat wrote:His impact on the modern game is underrated.


It’s really, really not.

It’s the first thing people talk about when they discuss his greatness.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Dragonfly

Hi everyone and thank you so much for kind welcomes. I am already enjoying the forum and it's great to hear people's opinions.

I'm not having a go at Higgins or anything like that. I enjoyed watching many of his matches. I do feel his tournament wins in a lengthy career is way too low, especially for a player rated so highly in the all time greats list. Yes he's a triple crown winner. But some players have achieved that in one season, let alone over decades.

Again thanks to everyone and I am looking forward to the chat and interesting debates here.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby HustleKing

I'm gonna assume you dodged a bullet and didn't play Spyro: Enter The DragonFly then?

One of the worst video games of all time, watch some gameplay/reviews on Youtube if you're ever in need of a laugh <laugh>

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Dragonfly

Hi Hustle. Can't say I did. Video games not really my thing. Dragonfly was a techno/trance mix from some time back. Still sounds good must have a listen again

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby HappyCamper

first spyro game was well good. don't think i ever played the sequals.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby KrazeeEyezKilla

Higgins reputation isn't really based on how many titles he won but that he was Snooker's first rock star. It was often said that both him and Davis half envied each other. Higgins would have liked more titles and Davis wanted a more "interesting" persona.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Ck147

Steve Davis? Welcome to the forum Dragonfly :)

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Johnny Bravo

Dragonfly wrote:I have been an avid snooker watcher for almost 4 decades. Now I will probably get roasted for this, but someone has to say it. Alex Higgins was overrated. True, winning world title in 72 at very young age was a fine achievement. But you can hardly say he had a glittering career after that. He was a gritty competitor, good tactician and wasn't short of bottle. But overall his results are poor. You could say he would have won more only for Davis. So would White, Thorburn and Griffiths. Too often he just wasn't good enough and while capable of some good results on his day, was just as capable of losing to anyone (bob chaperon). I know he was edgy and made for exciting viewing at times, but I just don't think he is up there with the all time greats. Ultimately he just didn't win enough


Greatness is the result of adding 3 major factors: achievements+peak form+ impact on the sport.

1. His achievements are pretty good. After all, the man was a 2 time world champion. Plus he also won the Uk and the Masters and played a few more finals of these 3 majors.

2. His peak form is weak by modern standards, but more than good enough for his era, and that's what he should be judged upon.

3. His impact on the sport is probably greater than any other player in history. He put snooker on the map, he took it out of the shady pubs to the TV audiences and large masses. For that alone, he is a top 10 player.

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Badsnookerplayer

Johnny Bravo wrote:
Dragonfly wrote:I have been an avid snooker watcher for almost 4 decades. Now I will probably get roasted for this, but someone has to say it. Alex Higgins was overrated. True, winning world title in 72 at very young age was a fine achievement. But you can hardly say he had a glittering career after that. He was a gritty competitor, good tactician and wasn't short of bottle. But overall his results are poor. You could say he would have won more only for Davis. So would White, Thorburn and Griffiths. Too often he just wasn't good enough and while capable of some good results on his day, was just as capable of losing to anyone (bob chaperon). I know he was edgy and made for exciting viewing at times, but I just don't think he is up there with the all time greats. Ultimately he just didn't win enough


Greatness is the result of adding 3 major factors: achievements+peak form+ impact on the sport.

1. His achievements are pretty good. After all, the man was a 2 time world champion. Plus he also won the Uk and the Masters and played a few more finals of these 3 majors.

2. His peak form is weak by modern standards, but more than good enough for his era, and that's what he should be judged upon.

3. His impact on the sport is probably greater than any other player in history. He put snooker on the map, he took it out of the shady pubs to the TV audiences and large masses. For that alone, he is a top 10 player.

:goodpost:

Re: Alex Higgins overrated

Postby Ck147

Johnny Bravo wrote:
Dragonfly wrote:I have been an avid snooker watcher for almost 4 decades. Now I will probably get roasted for this, but someone has to say it. Alex Higgins was overrated. True, winning world title in 72 at very young age was a fine achievement. But you can hardly say he had a glittering career after that. He was a gritty competitor, good tactician and wasn't short of bottle. But overall his results are poor. You could say he would have won more only for Davis. So would White, Thorburn and Griffiths. Too often he just wasn't good enough and while capable of some good results on his day, was just as capable of losing to anyone (bob chaperon). I know he was edgy and made for exciting viewing at times, but I just don't think he is up there with the all time greats. Ultimately he just didn't win enough


Greatness is the result of adding 3 major factors: achievements+peak form+ impact on the sport.

1. His achievements are pretty good. After all, the man was a 2 time world champion. Plus he also won the Uk and the Masters and played a few more finals of these 3 majors.

2. His peak form is weak by modern standards, but more than good enough for his era, and that's what he should be judged upon.

3. His impact on the sport is probably greater than any other player in history. He put snooker on the map, he took it out of the shady pubs to the TV audiences and large masses. For that alone, he is a top 10 player.

Nice one JB, totally agree.