SBJ/20090629/What I Like

Ewa Mataya Laurance, “The Striking Viking”, Hall of fame pool player, world champion trick shot artist and ESPN analyst


What I Like …

An insight: The tougher the climb, the more rewarding the view.

An influential person in my career: My daughter. She inspires me to work harder and is a constant reminder that I need to always be the role model.

An out-of-the-box idea: Women’s pool on ESPN.

A timeless idea: Always try to do the right thing, whatever that means to you at that time.

A sports facility: Wrigley Field, Boston Billiard Club.

An ad: American Express’ “Don’t leave home without it.”

A business decision: A sneaker company making golf clubs (Nike).

A TV ad campaign: The E-Trade talking babies.

A print ad campaign: PETA’s “Be comfortable in your own skin.”

A hire: The Chicago Bulls hiring Vinny Del Negro as head coach.

A brand: Brunswick.

A trend: Going green.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Liquid-resistant pool table cloth.

A fantasy job: Caddying for Tiger at Augusta (Can I use a pull cart?).

What I Like About …

My job: Everything! I get to compete, entertain and travel around the world while meeting and inspiring people from all walks of life.

My sport: The fact that there’s only me and the table; no excuses.

Sports: How it challenges and encourages you to improve and to reach higher.

Sports business: Opportunities to expand, grow and envision. The business of sports is limitless when it comes to creativity.

Sports media: The feel-good stories.

Sports technology: That it allows me to drive the ball 200 yards plus!

The future of sports business: Paying attention to the next generation.

Sports fans: Their loyalty.

What I Would Like To …

Change in my sport: More prize money.

See less in my sport: Preconceived notions about pool from people who don’t even know the sport.

See more of in sports business: Responsibility and awareness of impact on kids.

Reintroduce: Straight pool.

Eliminate: Speed pool.

What I Don’t Like …

Pet peeve: The fact that most people don’t understand and appreciate what an intelligent, beautiful, fascinating, yet difficult game billiards is.

In sports: Money having such a big role in school sports.

In my sport: Hustling.

In media: In-your-face television hosts.

In technology: When it compromises the game’s integrity.

In sports facilities: Dirty rest rooms.

In sports journalism: Being misquoted.

About sports fans: When they forget that, in the end, it’s just a game.


What I Like …

That would surprise those who know me: I’ve become a Facebooker.

Hero: Bono.

Players: Efren Reyes, Willie Mosconi, Annika Sorenstam, Tiger Woods.

Teams: Blue Devils, Yankees, Brynäs (the hockey team from Gävle, Sweden).

City: Stockholm, Chicago and Charleston, S.C.

Possession: My Brunswick Montebello table.

Memento: The gold medal from my first European Championship.

Time of year: Spring. The weather is perfect for golf during the day and for playing pool at night.

Authors: Jodi Picoult, Khaled Hosseini.

Magazines: Self, Newsweek, People, Vanity Fair.

Gadgets: My BlackBerry.

Trips: Anywhere! Partial to going home to Sweden for family visits.

Movies: “Forrest Gump,” “The Hustler,” “Spartacus,” “Slumdog Millionaire.”

TV: “American Idol,” “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” golf tournaments.

Artist: Leif Formgren.

Food: Sesame-seared tuna.

Dessert: Pear ice cream.

Drink: Water, coffee and wine. Not necessarily always in that order.

Scent: Flora by Gucci.

Vacation spots: Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, South Africa. Pretty much anywhere I can bring my clubs.

Cars: Volvo (and maybe a Porsche for the weekend).

Singer: Tom Petty, Duffy, Sade.

Quote: “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up” — Jimmy Valvano.

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