I was 9 years old when I saw The Hustler on TV (with parental supervision). By 10 I was challenging teenagers on the beat up table at the mini golf place mom would take us to on weekends and stealing my friend's older brother's cigarette butts from his VW van ashtray. I even joined a pool club in high school, but honestly, I was never as good as my younger self. For awhile there, mom even called me Minnesota Megs.
There were countless obituaries and tributes to Mr. Newman this weekend, but none of them give him credit for starting a young girl's smoking habit and sparking in her that desire to beat all those cocky jerks who never thought she had a shot to begin with. Ah, the power of the movies.