Column #319 Whoever is Marketing Vegas must be a Moron!

Saturday, June 28, 2008
Column 319
Whoever is Marketing Vegas must be a Moron!

When nearly one year ago we last visited Las Vegas for the Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) Player’s Championship and Desert Classic Darts Tournament an evil giant asteroid was barreling its way uncertainly towards either: 1) Leslie Murphy and the Indianapolis-based National Darts Association (NDA) or 2) Olly Croft and the London-based British Darts Organization (BDO).

Perhaps you remember? Perhaps you have wondered why the national news never covered the amazing split of the asteroid which sent it careening towards both locations.

Well wonder no longer. The monster rock did strike and both organizations survived and are fine albeit as inconsequential as ever. Murphy and Croft of course make even less sense than before the tragedy but now have at least some reason to be forgiven their mental shortcomings. It is rumored that Murphy is considering another change to the height of a standard soft-tip board to “four inches” and Croft is predicting that either “Raymond van Barneveld or Robert Thornton will win at Lakeside” later this year.

So some things in the world of darts continue to stagnate in their own mediocrity.

In the world of professional darts however things just keep moving forward, getting unbelievably better and better, and the PDC is the reason why.

Chairman Barry Hearn, Tommy Cox, Dick Allix and Company are back again this week for the Player’s Championship and Desert Classic – with almost $300,000 on offer. The PDC North American Tour now includes seven events with more than $700,000 up for grabs. Worldwide the figure is nearly $10 million and Hearn has been heard to predict the not-too-distant day when the prize money on offer is twice this figure.

$20 million!!!

As of the end of April the top five players in the world according to the PDC Order of Merit – Barneveld, Phil Taylor, James Wade, John Part and Terry Jenkins – have all raked in more than a quarter million dollars in tournament winnings. And then there are endorsements and exhibitions. Part alone has won enough to purchase Canada. In a few years thirteen time world champion Phil Taylor may not be the only player driving a Bentley.

So as some at certain website forums lament what is wrong with the sport and condemn the ideas and effort others are putting forth to market it even more agressively, it should come as no surprise that most of those who have worked for years to see darts reach the level it has attained are gathered here in Las Vegas as the best of the best in the world do battle.

Perhaps the only few who are missing are John Lowe, Erik Bristow and the other legends – those pioneers who risked their careers for so much of what exists in our sport today, and might tomorrow. But they are continuing to do their part by participating in their own spectacular televised tour in England.

It’s typically hot but not humid here on the strip. The neon pulsates. The sound of the slots permeates the air. And, yes, there are some very pretty girls…

I was approached by one young lady (probably she was somebody’s daughter) while sitting earlier at one of the many bars in New York-New York where I am staying…

I wasn’t drinking – that would be bad. What would my daughter think? On the counter in front of me was just water.

I wasn’t gambling – that would be even worse! Oh horrors. What sort of example might I be setting for my impressionable child?

On a large silver tray held by straps around the young lady’s neck were several flashing lighters. She leaned towards me slightly, but just enough, if you know what I mean, and asked if I’d like to purchase one…

Of course I declined.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I would be more than pleased to buy a lighter if you were dressed appropriately. But dressed as you are you are nothing but walking pornography. You should be embarrassed. You’re not going to sell any lighters as long as you look like that. Please, go away. Put on something frumpy and come back. THAT’S good marketing. Then maybe I’ll buy one of your lighters.”

As she wandered off, convinced that I was some sort of nut job, I got to thinking…

There are half-dressed women all over the joint. There are gambling tables everywhere, even in the airport and grocery stores. People are drinking. I saw some old guy with a heavy gold chain at a Blackjack table bust and swear – and by this I don’t mean he just said “Aw shucks” or something like that; he unloaded the f-bomb! Not a person in the casino gave the guy a second glance! I couldn’t believe it.

Outside there are colorful brochures taped to the light posts and blowing around on the streets and sidewalks advertising PROSTITUTES who operate inside the law just beyond the city limits.

What is wrong with this place?

Seriously, who I wonder is the marketing moron who thought all this crap up? Are there people out there who really think that any self-respecting human being will return to this town after witnessing such unwholesome sights and sounds?

I should write the bastard a nasty letter and tell him I’ll never come back!

Something is WRONG.

This city is going to go BANKRUPT and fast!

The PDC must not know what they’re doing.

They must be out of their minds.

Bull’s Eye News must be nuts.

But Dartoid’s World will prevail…

I will gut it out and do my best, starting tomorrow, to report on all the action during the Player’s Championship and Desert Classic at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. In fact Dartoid’s World is the ONLY place you can read about all that is happening both inside and OUTSIDE the tournament.

I will be honest though. I will report the facts…

If I see Dayton Strawbridge punch out Evander Holyfield I will tell it like it is.

If I see a stacked showgirl walk James Wade onto the stage I will describe what I see.

If Darin Young puts a pair of panties on his head I’m gonna take a PHOTO!

The facts may not be suitable for young children and small animals but I will not harm any animals in the writing of my columns and I will do my best not to frighten the knickers off of anyone’s daughter.

The Player’s Championship starts at 10:00 am tomorrow. The Desert Classic – for which Bill Davis, Darin Young, the legendary “Bald Eagle” Larry Butler and Canada’s Gerry Convery have already earned their place on stage and a shot at the $40,000 grand prize – begins on Monday morning.

So stay tuned.

Or (I think it’s only fair to warn you) if you go by the moniker “Cannibal” or “Dartflight” or if you are of a similar mind and believe that television isn’t the “messiah” for darts in America – that a little pizzazz, a little sex appeal, a little pushing of the envelope is contrary to the best interest of our sport and that pizzazz and sex appeal are just idiotic, low-brow schemes and not what television executives are looking for, in addition to remarkable skill – my recommendation is that you grab your daughters now and find a deep hole somewhere to hunker down for the next week.

You ain’t read nothin’ yet!

From the Field,

Dartoid

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Dartoid
Author of the column that since 1995 has been featured by Bull’s Eye News, the American Darts Organization’s (ADO) Double Eagle and numerous other darts publications and websites around the globe.
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