Column #HR23 “Writing About Darts for Dummies”

Friday, October 1, 2010
Column HR23
“Writing About Darts for Dummies”

Just purchased a copy of Writing about Darts for Dummies. The first lesson and key to success is to include “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.”

SOMETHING OLD

The Old Dart Coach has dictated good ole’ Houston Hartwell to give it a shot. Anyone remember doing a little belly rubbing, aka “slow dancing,” to either the Kingston Trio’s “Scotch & Soda” or Dean Martin’s “Memories are Made of This”? The ODC on many occasions has had his liquid helping of the former while what’s left of his mind dwelled on the latter. All dart players, the farther they get from active participation in the sport, become the better players. For darts all-time great Mr. John Lowe, who during his time couldn’t get better, the name “Hawkeye” was his personal “scotch & soda” leading to “Memories are Made of This.” He writes, “Hawkeye… now that name brings back many memories, all good ones. I remember him dressed as Frankenstein, standing dead still at the top of the gangway on the Queen Mary when a woman tourist walked passed. Hawkeye put his hand out and put it on her shoulder, the woman fainted, and the paramedics had to be called. Needless to say when the paramedics and the lady came round Hawkeye was no longer there!!! John.”

SOMETHING NEW (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE)

The Champions League is a new and innovative format developed by the PDC. Played in front of only the TV cameras and viewed on the internet it’s another chance for pros to pad the bank account. Three more players have booked a place in the Champions League by winning rounds 4-6 last week. James Wade was the first to advance when he edged out Dennis Priestly 6-5. In that group defending champion Colin Osborne “crashed out.” The door was open for Osborne to advance but he couldn’t beat Terry Jenkins in his final match. Jenkins would also exit winning only one match and that against Osborne. This should answer a question that is sometimes posed: “Will a player throw a game when he’s been eliminated to help a fellow player?” Jenkins answer was “No way, Jose!’” or words to that effect. Osborne’s only win came against Adrian Lewis who led the standings after the round robin at 6-1. Lewis would fall to eventual winner James Wade 6-4.

‘Tiz oft repeated that those who “don‘t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Adrian Lewis for the second day in a row led all darters at the conclusion of round 5. In a replay of the previous day Lewis went out in the semi, this time to eventual winner Wes Newton 6-1. In that match Newton jumped to a 3-nil lead and then expanded it for the 6-1 win. Newton also took the measure of Co Stompe 6-1 in the semis. Newton now joins Phil Taylor, Simon Whitlock, Alan Tabern and James Wade in the finals. Steve Beaton entered the tournament on day three of play. He didn’t waste the opportunity taking down Wayne Jones and Vincent van der Voort 6-3 in the semi and finals. Adrian Lewis after five rounds of excellent play “crashed and burned” going 2-6 in this round but did walk away with £8,450 for his efforts. Dennis Priestly who like a Timex “takes a licking” and is “still ticking” banked about £8,700 with more on the horizon in the next two rounds which will be played October 12-13. Those two rounds will precede the October 14th finals. Why? Mainly because October 12th and 13th precede October 14th.

SOMETHING BORROWED (THE GRAND PRIX)

Mr. John Lowe mentioned Hawkeye standing at the top of the gangway of the Queen Mary which is docked at Long Beach California. The occasion for the aforementioned “Hawk” standing at the top of the gangway was the North American Open Darts Tournament which the pretentious called the NOADT while the common folks called it The North American. The tournament was unique for its format of double/double 301. While the lads and lasses from across the pond moaned about the format they still came in droves to collect the cash. Droves? “Droves are like the seagulls swarming the locus in Utah but more intense.” One of the Old Dart Coach’s females pal, Ms. WB, once said, “If you don’t change this format we’ll stop coming.” The ODC answered, “So don’t.” They kept coming even when the tournament moved to Las Vegas.

One of the ODC’s favorite Brit gal pals was Sonja Ralphs who also became known as “Sam the Eagle” for the “eagle like stripe” in her hair. She took the opportunity of The North American in Las Vegas to get married. Some year’s later she decided that she really didn’t want to be married. Meeting the ODC in England one December she mentioned that she was no longer married. “You got a divorce?” “No. I just told him that getting married in Las Vegas didn’t count.” Guess it’s true that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

The PDC has borrowed the double/double format from The North American for its £350,000 World Grand Prix that kicks off from Dublin on October 4th. That would be Dublin Ireland where a six course Irish breakfast is a “bag of crisps and five pints of Guinness.” Those with the time and a computer can follow the live action match-by-match by going to Northern California Darts Association with the first match airing at 10:00 a.m. PST on Monday October 4th. It should come as a surprise to no one that Phil Taylor will be going for yet another win – his 10th Grand Prix title. The key for a winner other than Taylor may be the ability to draw away from Taylor, then reach the semi’s finals and pray for doubles. With that in mind look for Taylor, Lewis, van Barneveld and Whitlock to advance to the semis. Is there any chance that Taylor will get beaten before the semis? Three chances. Slim, none and a Chinaman’s but as Sid Waddell says “It’s a funny old game.” If the 2007 Champion James Wade gets by Simon Whitlock in the quarter finals he’s got a shot. The 2004 champ Colin Lloyd faces an “in form” Wes Newton in the first round. Should Lloyd prevail a chance into the semis is very good. The format though favors Taylor. As anyone knows, if you finish on a double you can darn sure start on one. Playing sets is also an advantage, starting with the best of 3 and ending in the final with best of 11. Let the fun begin.

SOMETHING BLUE

What? Need something blue to meet the requirements of Writing about Darts for Dummies? Not a problem. For the 20th year in a row the Old Dart Coach blew a bet on opening night of Thursday night college football. Some things, like flowers, are forever.

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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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