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Forums Home / The Historical Documents / Nov 7, 1974 - It was pioneered by Brunswick ( View Older Thread | View Newer Thread)

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airhockeyjedi - 10 Apr 2010
Total Posts: 102
http://digitalnewspapers.libraries.psu.edu/Default/Skins/BasicArch/Client.asp?Skin=BasicArch&&AppName=2&enter=true&BaseHref=DCG/1974/11/07&EntityId=Ar00900

Interesting article of the early days of the North American Collegian tournament from Dickstein's point of view.

Also check out Pat Wolff newspaper clipping. Said he enrolled in college so that he could play in the airhockey tournament... he won! $5,000 scholarship! Tons of money for back then.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=i9IxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=HuUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1179,934384&dq=pat+wolff&hl=en

And Feb 11, 1977 news clip... "world champion Pat Spider Wolff".

http://digitalnewspapers.libraries.psu.edu/Default/Skins/BasicArch/Client.asp?Skin=BasicArch&&AppName=2&enter=true&BaseHref=DCG/1977/02/11&EntityId=Ar00400


Vince Schappell
2007-2009 USAA Treasurer
USAA Member since 1980
 
jsbritton - 26 Aug 2011
Total Posts: 421
good stuff ... keep it coming.
 
Earl - 30 Mar 2012
Total Posts: 1
An old friend of mine just reminded me about air hockey and "Spiderman" back from the mid 70's in Baltimore. We used to play him. He was the best AH guy in B'more at the time. We were pretty good.

I recall playing him a bunch of times. Once in a while and occasionally I would beat him at my home table, which was a couple of bars down the street from his home table. I could never beat him at his home table.

Didn't know his real name. Only knew him as spiderman. Since he was the best guy in Baltimore, maybe he never had the local competition to up his skills over time. Just a guess.

Damn...wish I knew he was that good nationally....cause I don't think he was that much better than me Woulda liked to compete more and go for the gold!!!! LOL!!!!
 
tableman - 30 Mar 2012
Total Posts: 690
airhockeyjedi said:
http://digitalnewspapers.libraries.psu.edu/Default/Skins/BasicArch/Client.asp?Skin=BasicArch&&AppName=2&enter=true&BaseHref=DCG/1974/11/07&EntityId=Ar00900

Interesting article of the early days of the North American Collegian tournament from Dickstein's point of view.

Also check out Pat Wolff newspaper clipping. Said he enrolled in college so that he could play in the airhockey tournament... he won! $5,000 scholarship! Tons of money for back then.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=i9IxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=HuUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1179,934384&dq=pat+wolff&hl=en

And Feb 11, 1977 news clip... "world champion Pat Spider Wolff".

http://digitalnewspapers.libraries.psu.edu/Default/Skins/BasicArch/Client.asp?Skin=BasicArch&&AppName=2&enter=true&BaseHref=DCG/1977/02/11&EntityId=Ar00400


Couldn't see the last one at all... just some cartoons.

 
tableman - 30 Mar 2012
Total Posts: 690
Earl said:
An old friend of mine just reminded me about air hockey and "Spiderman" back from the mid 70's in Baltimore. We used to play him. He was the best AH guy in B'more at the time. We were pretty good.

I recall playing him a bunch of times. Once in a while and occasionally I would beat him at my home table, which was a couple of bars down the street from his home table. I could never beat him at his home table.

Didn't know his real name. Only knew him as spiderman. Since he was the best guy in Baltimore, maybe he never had the local competition to up his skills over time. Just a guess.

Damn...wish I knew he was that good nationally....cause I don't think he was that much better than me Woulda liked to compete more and go for the gold!!!! LOL!!!!


I only got to play Pat once in Baltimore - in '76, the year after he won the Collegiate Championships in New York (I didn't place). In '74 I had played a few practice games with him at the Brunswick North American Championships in New York. And I played at E.J. Bugs (his AH bar) several times. I talked to Pat on the phone a couple times, I think, but he was hard to get ahold of because he spent a lot of time at the racetrack.

When I got to Baltimore I called Pat and his mother told me to go down to Little Italy and ask around the street corners for Pat. So I did, and I found out he'd be down at Bugs in Fells Point (Fells Point was my favorite Baltimore hangout anyway) later. When I got to Bugs, Spiderman was holding the table as usual (5-point tables, under black light). I said hello, put up my quarter, and beat him the first game we played. Then he disappeared and never came back that night.

I called the next day to talk to Pat but got his mother again. She told me that after he lost that game he left and ran all the way home (a number of miles).

Mark

 
Red puck - 25 Apr 2012
Total Posts: 192
tableman said:
Earl said:
An old friend of mine just reminded me about air hockey and "Spiderman" back from the mid 70's in Baltimore. We used to play him. He was the best AH guy in B'more at the time. We were pretty good.

I recall playing him a bunch of times. Once in a while and occasionally I would beat him at my home table, which was a couple of bars down the street from his home table. I could never beat him at his home table.

Didn't know his real name. Only knew him as spiderman. Since he was the best guy in Baltimore, maybe he never had the local competition to up his skills over time. Just a guess.

Damn...wish I knew he was that good nationally....cause I don't think he was that much better than me Woulda liked to compete more and go for the gold!!!! LOL!!!!


I only got to play Pat once in Baltimore - in '76, the year after he won the Collegiate Championships in New York (I didn't place). In '74 I had played a few practice games with him at the Brunswick North American Championships in New York. And I played at E.J. Bugs (his AH bar) several times. I talked to Pat on the phone a couple times, I think, but he was hard to get ahold of because he spent a lot of time at the racetrack.

When I got to Baltimore I called Pat and his mother told me to go down to Little Italy and ask around the street corners for Pat. So I did, and I found out he'd be down at Bugs in Fells Point (Fells Point was my favorite Baltimore hangout anyway) later. When I got to Bugs, Spiderman was holding the table as usual (5-point tables, under black light). I said hello, put up my quarter, and beat him the first game we played. Then he disappeared and never came back that night.

I called the next day to talk to Pat but got his mother again. She told me that after he lost that game he left and ran all the way home (a number of miles).

Mark



Do you know why he ran back home after losing to you?
 
tableman - 25 Apr 2012
Total Posts: 690
Red puck said:
tableman said:
Earl said:
An old friend of mine just reminded me about air hockey and "Spiderman" back from the mid 70's in Baltimore. We used to play him. He was the best AH guy in B'more at the time. We were pretty good.

I recall playing him a bunch of times. Once in a while and occasionally I would beat him at my home table, which was a couple of bars down the street from his home table. I could never beat him at his home table.

Didn't know his real name. Only knew him as spiderman. Since he was the best guy in Baltimore, maybe he never had the local competition to up his skills over time. Just a guess.

Damn...wish I knew he was that good nationally....cause I don't think he was that much better than me Woulda liked to compete more and go for the gold!!!! LOL!!!!


I only got to play Pat once in Baltimore - in '76, the year after he won the Collegiate Championships in New York (I didn't place). In '74 I had played a few practice games with him at the Brunswick North American Championships in New York. And I played at E.J. Bugs (his AH bar) several times. I talked to Pat on the phone a couple times, I think, but he was hard to get ahold of because he spent a lot of time at the racetrack.

When I got to Baltimore I called Pat and his mother told me to go down to Little Italy and ask around the street corners for Pat. So I did, and I found out he'd be down at Bugs in Fells Point (Fells Point was my favorite Baltimore hangout anyway) later. When I got to Bugs, Spiderman was holding the table as usual (5-point tables, under black light). I said hello, put up my quarter, and beat him the first game we played. Then he disappeared and never came back that night.

I called the next day to talk to Pat but got his mother again. She told me that after he lost that game he left and ran all the way home (a number of miles).

Mark



Do you know why he ran back home after losing to you?


Yes. He wasn't used to losing and he didn't like it. So he got the hell out of there. :)

Spiderman was one of a kind. Of all the bizarre, weird, eccentric people in AH, past and present, he is near the top of the list. A fascinating character. Too bad Eric Anderson wasn't around then, he could have done a whole film on Pat Wolfe alone. :)

Mark

 
davebarnett - 14 Jul 2012
Total Posts: 4
Hey Mark,
I've often wondered what happened to Pat Wolff, aka Spiderman.

You're right, he was an odd character. I remember in the NY 74 tourney he played that wild hammering ultra aggressive style that intimidated most of the competitors, while telling everyone there he had the best slice shot in the WORLD. (Well... Baltimore at least) Reminded me of the Ga football players we used to battle at the Dawghouse in Athens. Except you had to make sure they won a few games if their girlfriends were watching... otherwise you'd have a drunk and pissed off linebacker to deal with.

What a contrast of tactics and personalities. Spiderman hammering away 15-20 shots a point and me defending the barrage and countering with the offspeed slice off the left bank.

He called me a couple of times at the dorm in Shreveport before the 75 tourney trying to talk me into playing. He claimed he'd been practicing against a guy who played the same progression I used on him and that he was going to beat me this time. I tried to explain that coach Evans wasn't letting me off to make the tourney but he just wasn't buying it.

The phone ringing off the hook on a Sunday morning in November 75 woke me up from a late night-early morning post game celebration. I got up thinking there must be a problem at home. It was Pat. Screaming he'd won the tourney and he'd obviously been up all night. I was like... uh Pat... you know it's 6am right? Yeah... that was Spiderman.

Did he ever play in any USAA tournaments?

Dave

 
tableman - 15 Jul 2012
Total Posts: 690
davebarnett said:
Hey Mark,
I've often wondered what happened to Pat Wolff, aka Spiderman.

You're right, he was an odd character. I remember in the NY 74 tourney he played that wild hammering ultra aggressive style that intimidated most of the competitors, while telling everyone there he had the best slice shot in the WORLD. (Well... Baltimore at least) Reminded me of the Ga football players we used to battle at the Dawghouse in Athens. Except you had to make sure they won a few games if their girlfriends were watching... otherwise you'd have a drunk and pissed off linebacker to deal with.

What a contrast of tactics and personalities. Spiderman hammering away 15-20 shots a point and me defending the barrage and countering with the offspeed slice off the left bank.

He called me a couple of times at the dorm in Shreveport before the 75 tourney trying to talk me into playing. He claimed he'd been practicing against a guy who played the same progression I used on him and that he was going to beat me this time. I tried to explain that coach Evans wasn't letting me off to make the tourney but he just wasn't buying it.

The phone ringing off the hook on a Sunday morning in November 75 woke me up from a late night-early morning post game celebration. I got up thinking there must be a problem at home. It was Pat. Screaming he'd won the tourney and he'd obviously been up all night. I was like... uh Pat... you know it's 6am right? Yeah... that was Spiderman.

Did he ever play in any USAA tournaments?

Dave



He never played in any USAA tournaments, despite our efforts to roust him out.

But he did play in some of Mike Dickstein's tournaments, including a PA State tournament Spiderman won (it might have been '76, will have to check the history). I remember Dickstein telling me Pat kept calling him the night before and morning of the tournament, waking him up, trying to decide if he should come. He finally drove to State College from Baltimore and won the tournament. :)

Mark
 
carolina phil - 15 Jul 2012
Total Posts: 1084
Hey, let me in on this elite conversation on and with the very earliest gods of AH:

Dave Barnett, Pat Wolf, Mark Robbins and me, Phil Arnold.

Wow, it's like a Time Machine to have the three of us talking in the present together about those mythological times way back when it all began.

Dave, I called you or tried to call you at Centenary around 76 or so. I heard of you from Mark when I met him at the 1975 New York Aurora/Brunswich Collegiate AH tourney that Pat won and called you about. I finished thrid, losing by one point to Ron Yamanaka from LA who proceded to get killed by Pat. I think I would have beaten Pat in a close match but I will never forget how Ron had me down 6 to 3 in the final game, and I hit three straight cross straights to tie the score before he hit a right wall over and won:) I tracked him down the next summer in LA and beat him many games. But, back to Pat: after the NY tourney, I flew down to Baltimore with the number one player from Houston who did not compete in NY (he was a chief ref, not in college), Jim Bill Carter. We called Pat and met him at Bugs about three days after the NY event. I beat him two of three and Jim got him two of two. He left and never saw him again. Though we beat him, it was close, and he was a talent. But by 1975 he was not playing a hard driving game. He was playing a nice flowing touch game, with his hand back aways on the low top mallet, and leaning his tall and thin frame over the table, deftly controlling the puck and scoring with a smooth striking motion. In those days, I played a hard wild game with a fine cut serve; and Jim was more controlled but hit with power backhands and a great forehand; he had a fine, for that period, moving out slightly defense that interfered perfectly with banks and straights. I think we brought a hard hitting style that Pat was not used to. But, no doubt, he was great for the time and would have competed well with anyone anywhere at that time. I read here that you had a "slice shot." When and how did you develop that slice concept? We called it a "cut." Did u learn it from someone else? What gave u the idea and about when? Thanks, Phil
 
davebarnett - 16 Jul 2012
Total Posts: 4
Hi Phil and Mark,
Sorry I missed meeting you guys post Brunswick. If Shreveport had any serious players I never ran into them. Not sure I could have juggled that in with the soccer commitment during those years. I found out about the USAA in 95 or 96 when one of my kids saw an internet article about Billy Stubbs. I hadn't picked up a mallet in almost 20 years but I got to knock it around a little with Billy and Don James in Athens. Wish we'd had the camcorder rolling when Mark and I played a few warm up friendlies that year.

Craig Rudow was a great innovator of Brunswick era and we worked out a lot of tactics and progressions against each other in 73-74. We were fanatics, playing 10-20 games a night against each other during the week and then holding the tables at the B&L Warehouse in Athens for hours on busy weekends. Craig was also the first guy I knew using the deliberate miss as a set up.

When Craig and I started playing AH winter73 I think we both projected the way you'd attack the keeper in soccer onto the table. A basic scoring move would be to run the ball right to left, aim to the left post, and cut the ball back to the right post. About 5 games in we were trying to replicate that with AH. The slice was a basic tool in my progressions from that point on and I used it more than flat straights. I also used the primitive "quick draw" out of the pocket, sliding it left to right diagonal and cutting it left post in one motion. (cut serve?)

The other slice shot I hit was the left bank, which I used as the #2 off moving diagonal R-L straight, hit from left of center. Understand that when I say moving diagonal that was chase rebounds as much as me pushing a primitive diagonal drift.

Against Pat in NY I lost the first set but scored a few easy points in game two off the left bank slice. So I went to that until he backed into his goal and that opened up the straights from the same RL slide/progression. Frankly, with $5k in 74 money on the line, and having to play with the heavier knob mallet, I was just happy to find a shot I could still hit after another hour long wait.

You mentioned losing a close match in 75. In the 74 tourney I got out of Athens on a 7-6 win over Craig in the final game after he'd put me in the losers bracket. Turned out that was my toughest match. I lost the first set in the round of 8 in NY, was down a game and 0-6 to Freidel in the semi before routing him 2 sets to 0, and then lost the first set to Spiderman before finding some rhythm and getting him 3-1.

I found an old AP black and white of the final point celebration from NY74. Let me know how to upload and I'll be happy to contribute to archive.

Dave
 
jsbritton - 18 Jul 2012
Total Posts: 421
sweeT ... are you still in GA dave ?
 
davebarnett - 18 Jul 2012
Total Posts: 4
I've been back in Athens since 1990. I have a CPA firm near UGA.

Will any of the upcoming tournaments be webcast? I caught one of Billy's recent challenge matches from Houston I believe. Was really fun to see live.
 
tableman - 19 Jul 2012
Total Posts: 690
Phil: it was ROD Yamanaka.

Dave: Wow - and I always thought YOU were the inventor of the moving-puck/chase game! Now it turns out it was a guy named Craig. That's like finding out that before Lemieux, there was Crossman, Hendrick, and Brad inventing/discovering AH. Or learning that before Jesse, there was his mentor Freddy in Philly who taught him the deliberate set-up game.

Some people think I invented the chase/moving-puck game, because I was the first one to use it in a USAA setting. But I first saw it in '74 when Barnett used it. I was speechless and amazed - to see a guy let a puck bounce out from his back rail, then hit it on the move, crossing, cutting or banking it. What a revelation. Dave did it on a slow-moving puck (his was not a power/fast game) but nevertheless it was effective.

I quickly incorporated it into my game, and at much greater speeds, but curiously, I would simply wait until serendipity allowed the puck to bounce out from the back rail. A few years later it hit me: why not deliberately set it up by hitting it offgoal off the rail to the other guy's corner, so it would come back out of my corner?

So that was the evolution of the chase game that almost everyone uses a little bit, but is more heavily used by the likes of Goran and Wil.
 
carolina phil - 20 Jul 2012
Total Posts: 1084
Dave,

Do you mean that Craig just dumped the puck off goal in order to catch the puck and set up a new shot; or do you mean he hit it off goal in order to put it in motion to create a flowing chase game?

So, you had the cut serve in the beginning? I recall "inventing" it here in late 73 or 74 one night. Kept whipping it out of the goal gliding it on the Table, and swinging into it with cut motion, or rw bank or hard off goal options. Kept missing it or hitting it weakly. Solo pratice hours later; took about a week; and I had it. It is my signature "progression", and I have used it all these years.

I assume you are right handed, like me; Mark is lefty.

The first person to do the cut shot, slice shot, here was about the time you were doing them in Georgia, late 73 or early 74. The guy's name was Randy someone from UH who played in our earliest weeklies. He started beating everyone out of nowhere. I recall his high top mallet doing something to the puck that mystified me, going one direction but the puck scoring to my right. Within days Jim Bill Carter improved on it and dominated; within a week Jim said to me, "Phil, I have a shot that always scores." He had a big grin. I said "always?" He reaffirmed, "Always," He took me to Damian's and show it to me. In wonderment, I started trying it that night and that same night added it to my serve: the cut serve.

Carolina Phil
From Greenville, SC, by the way, Dave, not far from you.
 
tableman - 21 Jul 2012
Total Posts: 690
carolina phil said:
Dave,

Do you mean that Craig just dumped the puck off goal in order to catch the puck and set up a new shot; or do you mean he hit it off goal in order to put it in motion to create a flowing chase game?



I believe what Dave is saying is the latter; that Craig actually invented the moving-puck chase game by deliberately going off goal, then letting it hit his own back rail/corner, then hitting the puck as it came out. That's what I saw Dave do in '74.

As for the cut: while you guys were inventing the cut in Houston, Joe Campbell is generally credited with inventing the cut in Philly.

Interesting sidelight: in the 70's and 80's, and extreme cross-cut became known as the "Texas cut".

Mark

 
davebarnett - 25 Jul 2012
Total Posts: 4
To clarify, the deliberate miss shot I remember Craig Rudow working on was just a straight off goal that he would use to try to move the defender off center and then come back with a straight off the rebound. Not a big part of his game but something he used to annoy the hell out of me with.

BTW Mark... did you ever play against Friedel? If he wasn't the cockiest...wish I had a video of he and Pat in the dressing room before the final 4, bragging about all the games they'd won and telling a reporter what they were going to do with the prize money. I was sitting in a chair shaking my head and thinking "I'll have to kill myself if I don't beat these two." The reporter said he didn't have time to interview me but if I'd stick around until "after THEY play the final" he'd like to get a quote. I may have only had about 20 minutes of A game that day but thank goodness I got to drop it on Friedel while his girlfriend was dancing around the table snapping pictures.

Phil - call me if you're ever coming through Athens. I'd like to meet you.

Mark - I think there's a polaroid somewhere of you, Billy, Don, me and Craig. From Athens circa 96 or 97?

Dave
 
fupersly - 18 Aug 2014
Total Posts: 231
I don't know why this thread stopped? Please continue it!
 

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