The Legend of Tony Morrison
We lost one of the best pool players
to grace the felt in Central North Carolina recently. His name was Tony "Tyson" Morrison. I had the privilege of competing with him over the last few years, as did many others who follow and play pool in this region. His passing will leave a void in a tight nit community of men and women who revere the game of pool.
For those of you who never had the opportunity to see him in action, his marksmanship was a thing of beauty to watch. "Tyson's" ball pocketing ability was as good as any man on earth when his confidence was up and he could make the cue ball dance in ways that have left a number of guys standing around scratching their heads. Not only did he have skill, he had the heart of a lion. Some guys melt under pressure, he wasn't one of them. He was much like a moth to a flame when he smelled blood in the water, drawn to it without reservation.
I must be honest
when I met him, Mr Morrison and I were not friends. As a matter of fact, we despised each other. He was from the school of do anything to win, and that is not usually being sportsmanlike, which didn't go over well with me. Our first several matches against each other were heated grudge matches. We were very different types of people.
However, in the heat of our battles we forged a mutual respect for each other. Over time I came to understand the man. He was a die hard pool player. He was also a warrior, a fierce competitor, and one of the more honest of the men you'll find in a pool room. His big attitude was nothing more that a shield for a huge heart that loved the game a pool. You would constantly find him teaching an underclassman the ropes of the game, or sharing his insights on the who's who in the world of 9-ball. His knowledge went much deeper than you would expect at first glance. Tony didn't come across as one of the most intelligent pool players you ever met at first glance. You had to sit down with him and listen to what he had to say in order to begin to understand the depths of the man. His knowledge of the game of pool was second to none.
They held a memorial 9 ball tournament for Tony
at Gate City Billiards in Greensboro, NC to raise money for his funeral expenses. More than 80 pool players and their ilk gathered and donated a total of nearly $5,000. I missed the tourny, but stopped by in the evening to make my own donation and remember the man who had become my friend. While I was there, I had the pleasure of hearing a story about Tony that summed him up as a person.
He once traveled to New York to gamble with a backer who was to stake him against the opponents in the venue the two had gone to. After carefully instructing Tony on who to approach and how to approach them, the backer heads to the rest room to relieve himself. 5 minutes later he returns from the bathroom to find Tony on the front table doing tricks shots for a crowd. He loved people. His honesty messed up all the action he may have gotten in that room, but that is just the type of guy he was.
You want to see him in action?
RIP Tony "Tyson" Morrison
Your legacy will live on in the pool rooms across North Carolina and beyond. I wrote this hub to make sure of it. You will be missed by many my friend. May God bless your soul.