Column #HR19 North American Players Miss the Good Ship Lollypop BUT the Menace’s Ship Comes In

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Column HR19
North American Players Miss the Good Ship Lollypop BUT the Menace’s Ship Comes In

Peter Cross sang the song “Some Day My Ship Will Come In” which is probably what North American players were singing when the good ship “HMS PDC” landed in Canada. Even if they never heard of Peter Cross or the song they might have been singing…

Someday my ship will come in
Someday I know I’m gonna win
Someday my work will be done
My hopes and dreams are gonna come true

It’s a well known fact that when “your ship comes in you better not be at the airport, train station or waiting for a Greyhound Bus.” When the PDC hit Canada for their annual stopover with a pair of Players Championship at the Hilton Hotel in London, Ontario, that was the case for North American players. That ship’s cargo was delivering cash with a chance to win enough money to move up in the Order of Merit. Maybe cash deep enough to overtake North American leader John Part and a win ticket to the Grand Slam of Darts. Yank Darin Young trailed Part by only £300 but managed to win only £200 as he crashed in the first round on Sunday going down 6-5 to Steve Evans. Meanwhile John Part led all North American players with £500 for the weekend so he’s still atop the standings. In short, North American players were not dockside so they missed out on the HMS PDC’s “Good Ship Lollypop” when it sailed back across the pond.

The world’s number #24 Jamie Craven had a field day winning Saturday’s event 6-4 over Michael van Gerwen. On Sunday Craven was sailing along until the final where Colin “Jaws’ Lloyd opened a can of “WA” whacking him out 6-1. Still great weekend for Craven with £7,500 won. Missing were the top 7 in world rankings with 45 others PDC players making the trip. Opportunity knocked but like Helen Keller the North American players answered the phone.

THE PEOPLE SPEAK

It was with the greatest of shocks when the Old Dart Coach (he doesn’t handle shock well) was informed that “the” Mr. Brook questioned the fact that the Rubick’s Cube can be solved in 20 moves out of a total possible moves of 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. If the ODC says or writes it “take it to the bank.” Opening a dialogue, as this space tries to do, is always beneficial sometimes maybe. Last time we met the ODC was on the old soap box, possibly an old Ivory Snow box with Marilyn Chambers on the label, about the PDC turning darts into a poor imitation of wrestling. Not from a performance standpoint as that would imply that some matches were not on the “up and up.” With Bookmakers providing a large amount of the sponsor money that would spell doom as in “You’re out of here guys and lady.”

Dave Whitcombe is a name that many from past dart wars remember. His genial manner combined with relaxed style and over-all ability made him one of the top players in the world. He’s never afraid to speak his mind. One year at the World Master’s, when it was still a big deal, Whitcombe was stopped from going on stage to play Eric Bristow because his darts barrels had what Olly Croft claimed was advertising. The name “Unicorn” was the culprit. Croft simply ignored the fact that Eric Bristow had “Crafty Cockney” (which of was the name of his company) on every part of his glorious body and his dart flights. But that wasn’t advertising according to the “Book of Croft” which people stopped buying a long time ago. Now it’s not as if someone came up to Whitcomb on the practice board. Croft waited until he was ready to mount the stage for play. Whitcomb was as cool as a cucumber as, looking down at the table abutting the stage, he randomly picked up a set of darts saying “These’ll do me.” He won. Take that O. Croft.

Whitcombe emailed his pal the ODC with his thoughts on the PDC…

“I personally agree with the article. I believe it’s Barry Hearn who likes the ‘entertainment’ tag, and is 100% behind his players if they wear or do something different. Indeed, he is trying the same thing in Snooker, and now they have given him carte blanch over Snooker ‘entertainment,’ he has introduced walk on music and openly encouraging the players to copy darts. I think there is a place for this sort of thing if in fact a particular player has always done it from day one when he got a chance on TV. But like the invented nick names some of them have, which is just made up for an effect that doesn’t work, I find some of the ‘entertainment’ antics very cringe worthy. They are simply copying wrestling but making a very bad job of it.”

Darts players play darts – period! If we want entertainers, Barry Hearn and Unicorn should sign up Rich Little and Wayne Newton.

A person named John wrote to the boss of this space, Mr. P. Dartoid, in regard to the criticism of Phil Taylor for the “stupid ‘look Mom I’m riding a donkey in Tijuana’ cowboy hat and over-sized glasses.” Mr. John wrote: “I agree about the hat, but the glasses were 3D glasses needed to view 3D TV, the semi-final and final at the World Matchplay was shown for the first time ever in 3D, that was the reason the producer asked Phil to wear them, I am not sure why he wore the hat, maybe to illustrate he was larger than life, which I guess right now he is.”

What? Phil was going to view his match in 3D so he needed the glasses? That explanation makes as much sense as Paris Hilton explaining that the cocaine found in the purse (it fell out and into the hands of a police officer) she was carrying wasn’t hers. Nor was the purse. Yes it was her lip balm, prescription asthma medicine, driver’s license and credit cards but the purse was a friend’s. “I saw the white stuff in a plastic bag but though it was chewing gum.” The ODC has thee words for Paris. “Remember O.J. Simpson.”

Former London manager and the first Executive of the original players association Roger Nickson adds his two cents to the ODC. “Good piece, power to your writing arm or should I say glass raising arm.” Regardless of any opinions the PDC is doing a lot more right than they are doing wrong. Yes the ODC “glass raising arm” is fine. He practices daily. Thank you very much.

WORLD CUP

Somehow the ODC missed the announcement that the first PDC World Cup will be played December 3-5 at the Rainbow Meadows Arena in Tyne & Wear which actually means “Wash & Wear” but you know Geordies. There will be 24 2-person teams with the winning team’s players getting £20,000 each. Runner’s up will get £10,000 each. The teams will be ranked and chosen by their rank in the Order of Merit. Phil Taylor/James Wade will make up the England team and also ranked #1 with the Netherlands with Barney and Co. Stompe ranked #2. The 24th seed belongs to Russia thanks to rank #106 Anastasia “The Fox” Dobromyslova who has banked £4,999 over two seasons. The PDC is delivering on a promise made late last year that they would host a “World Cup.”

This World Cup should not be confused with the World Dart Federations bi-annual World Cup which is a truly great event but unfortunately run by the same marble head who runs the BDO. Twenty years ago the ODC presented, in writing, a plan to stage and televise the WDF World Cup. The then WDF VP who took the report said (when asked by the ODC eight months later if any action was taken), “No.” The arrogant bastard then added, “We knew that you weren’t smart enough to write it. Who did write it?” The WDF VP was answered by the ODC with the international sign of fellowship via hand language or should it be written the “one finger victory salute.”

PRIESTLEY WINS IN BARBIELAND

Dennis Priestley was one of the few full PDC members to travel to Australia for the Australian Open Players Championship. Some might have taken a pass because with Simon Whitlock paying well and at home they would just be fighting for second place. Not Priestly who back in the day had great success in the Land Down Under. Priestly took care of Whitlock 6-3 in the quarters then eliminated Aussie fellow pro Paul Nicholson 6-5 in the semis. The final against Mark Hylton was a 6-3 win worth £5,000 pounds which equated to 8,737.63 Aussie dollars before their recent elections. For Priestly his ship keeps coming in and he’s at the dock waiting.

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.

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