Column #HR22 Frankenstein at the Oche

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Column HR 2
Frankenstein at the Oche

If you were given the names of Charles Ogle, Bela Lugosi, Glenn Strange, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Fred Gwyne, Bo Severson, Peter Boyle and Bryan McDougle could you connect the dots? Could you tell anyone what all of these gentleman had in common? If you said they all played the Frankenstein monster at one time or another you would be spot on. You probably cheated also but that’s not a problem. Give yourself a pat on the back anyway. Peter Boyle made the monster lovable while collecting “attaboys” from men everywhere when he made Madeline Kahn as Elizabeth in the movie Young Frankenstein sing beautiful while hitting high notes on their wedding night.

But Bryan McDougle?

Back in the day when the North American Open Darts Tournament was played on the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach California McDougle was a integral ingredient in the mix that made the tournament a “must go.” The ODC played there, once leading 1-nil at a double, and then lost. What a wanker. He does remember one year when a contingent of more than 40 Nor Cal players made the trip wearing “Assault on the Queen” t-shirts. They could have used the same t-Shirts at the San Francisco Open but didn’t. The Nor Cal tour organizer had once been a trumpeter in the Marines. Everyone knows once a trumpeter always a trumpeter. He discovered that if he blew revelry with the horn in the air con system at 5 am it would travel to every cabin in the ship. Some didn’t find that act amusing.

The ODC had forgotten about McDougle’s part in the North American Open festivities as well as other “special appearances.” Once, Mr. McDougle showed up at the ODC’s house to watch the place when the ODC was making his initial appearance as Captain of the American team at the Pacific Cup in Hawaii. As a surprise he decided to repaint the garage. Slight problem – he got tired after a short time and stopped. The ODC from that point forward had a garage door half peeling paint and half bare wood. It’s the thought that counts.

The ODC’s memory was giggled when he received an email from Mr. McDougle taking him to task for leaving him out of his ranking of great American dart players. Forget for the moment that McDougle is a Canadian. “I find it hard to believe that you forgot that other famous dart player, from the old country of Transylvania, our dear friend Frankenstein.” He writes of himself here in the third person which is a sign of possible mental problems down the road. Back to McDougle: “He (Frankenstein) is reported to have been the only dart player in history to have actually shoved Eric Bristol during a match, at The St. Patrick’s Day shoot in the spring of 1984. After tossing two triple twenties, Franky gave Bristow a shove and he missed the third, but instead hit a double bull… needless to say Eric slaughtered the beast just the same. But Frankenstein still holds that record to this very day! The only person with enough gall to shove a wanker during a regulated match. That was a day I will never forget.”

Still not familiar with Bryan McDougle? How about Hawkeye or as the ODC calls him “The Hawk from the Blue Lagoon.” A true and cherished character from the Golden Age of Darts.

PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP GOES WINDOW SHOPPING

When most people think of the Netherlands they think off window shopping. For visitors this activity is not limited to Christmas or a special occasion but it’s probably the only time guy’s think about a spot of window shopping. In this instance when the Players Championship visited the town of Nuland the window they were shopping for was qualification to the upcoming Grand Prix which would close with a bang after this event. For geography buffs Nuland is a village in the Dutch province of North Brahant in the municaliyu of Maasdonk.

As with all Players Championships it was a 2-day event with full fields but this one may have been unique. On both Saturday and Sunday when the fields got down to the semi final no players appeared on both days. This occurrence shall be from this time forward called either “spread the wealth” or “What a Difference a Day Makes.” The latter with apologies to Ms. Dinah Washington. Surprisingly, James Wade, the world #3, picked up his first Players Championship of the year. In the final against Terry Jenkins a 167-check got Wade an early lead. Jenkins took the leads at 2-1 and 4-3. Wade would level, despite a par of 180’s, at 4. Against the throw Wade got to 5-4 before an 84 two-dart finish captured the title and £6,000.

The name Steve Farmer may not be well known to the average North American player. If the 45-year-old Farmer’s play on Sunday is an indicator things get better with age (a theory that the ODC subscribes to!). The win over Kevin Painter was a gut wrenching win that should produce “kudos” from all. He trailed 4-2 when he caught fire with four 13-darters for a 6-4 win. Not only does he collect £6,000 but books a place in the World Grand Prix as that window closed. “It’s the best moment of my career and I’m lost for words, quite emotional really. I’ve been playing for over 25 years and all the practice has paid off. When I was up there on stage I was determined not to waste all those years and to win – this is a dream come true.” Way to go Steve Farmer.

YOU’RE KIDDING

In a recent BDO event the ODC’s pal Deta “The Six Foot Chocolate Bar” Hedman won the women’s title beating out Karen Lawman 3-2. Karen Lawman’s name may be familiar to some old timers. She traveled in North America with her Aunt Judy “The Witch” Campbell who was a doubles partner of the ODC. In the press release announcing her win was the following sentence “Hedman’s first-ever Classic underlined her status as the British and world women’s number one. In the words of Ricky Gervice in the series Extras: “Are you having a laugh?” Of course they were “having a go.” The real Woman’s World Championship was held this summer with Stacy Bromberg taking down Tricia Wright 6-5. If Stacy isn’t number #1 then it’s got to be “The Russian Fox” Anastasia Dobromyslova who plays in the PDC on a regular basis.

The PDC calendar for 2011 was released with but a lone visit to North America. That one stop will be in London, Ontario on August 27-28. There’s a chance for “something “in the USA” as the PDC has a break from June 19 until July 16. If the PDC abandons the USA they will do so after maybe not spending their resources wisely. It’s possible that the PDC, as innovative as they have been, might like to try something else before they wave “adios” to America.

The risks are nominal but the rewards could be enormous.

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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.
Howie Reed

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