Column #HR38 Is “with” a preposition?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Column HR38
Is “with” a preposition?

English teachers implore students to “never end a sentence with a preposition.” As the rule doesn’t apply to those who don’t know what a preposition is it’s a mystery why this rule is so important. One of the two people who regularly read this effort supplied the answer. “If you end a sentence with a preposition you are in danger of having a dangling modifier.” We all know that you never want to have your “modifier dangle.”

Then there’s “Youth must be served.” W. C. Fields was once asked, “Do you like kids?” His answer? “Yes my dear. I like them parboiled.” That may reflect the feelings of some PDC players after the PDC Pro Tour stopped at the Barnsley Metrodome for a pair of UK Qualifier’s which are like Players Championships but different.

Included in the darting festivities was a PDC Unicorn Youth Tour event held after the “big boys and one lady” finished PDC play on Saturday. Michael Smith, a 20- year- old, which is a little old for a ‘YUT,” tossed a nine-darter but couldn’t get the better Shaun Griffith in the final, losing 4-2. Could Smith’s 9-darter – the first on the Unicorn PDC Youth Tour – be a forecast of what would happen during Sunday’s PDC play? Consider this, “if it didn’t make a difference why would it be mentioned?”

Since joining the PDC in 2007 Steve Brown has racked up nary a win. That all changed when he escaped three 6-5 wins using a nearly 104 average handling Ian White 6-3 in Saturday’s final. Simon Whitlock appeared to be carrying the form he showed in his last Premier League appearance losing in the semi’s 6-3 to eventual winner Steve Brown. Toeing the Oche tipped a name to watch as Dave Chisnall. For the second week in a row he eliminated Yank Unicorn Women’s World Champion Stacy Bromberg. Bromberg though played well hitting 5-180’s and racking up a 164 finish. Not too Chablis but not Cheateu Lafiete Rothchild 1958 either. Chisnall found himself in another quarter final for the third event in a row losing to Ian White 6-3. White as mentioned lost in the finals after taking out World Champion Adrian Lewis 6-1 in the semis.

Sunday brought a dose of “Youth must be served.” Michael “9-dart” Smith, runner-up for the Youth Tour event on Saturday evening, made up for it Sunday with a win in the “Big Boy” event. Smith went thru his early opponents like corn through a goose, dropping only five legs in three games. Smith found himself in deep stuff in the last 16 when he was down 5-2 to Robert Thornton. Thornton couldn’t close the sale which allowed Smith to advance 6-5. After taking out Vincent van der Voort 6-2, Smith eliminated an in form Simon Whitlock 6-4. Dave Chisnall, playing on the other side of the draw, got by Wes Newton 6-5 to reach the semi final for the first time. A 6-4 win over Darren Johnson placed him into his first final.

The final between the two youngsters, Smith and Chisnall, was a barn burner although it didn’t start out that way. Smith catapulted to a 3-0 lead with a 106-finish in the first leg, then two missed Chisnall doubles and a pair double tops in the third. Chisnall returned the favor with 3-0 run of his own to level. The best leg in that run was a 12-darter of 140, 180, 145. With 36 remaining Chisnall worn it down to 18 which he hit with his third dart. The two would then trade legs the rest of the way. Smith at 4-3 which could have turned the match into 5-3 but Smith missed the bull on a 130 escape after a 171 approach. Smith back in front 5-4 on 14 darts. Both players scored 180’s but Chisnall used his taking 82 with double top to level at five. Smith missed three darts which gave Chisnall a chance for the win but his one dart at double top was low. Smith then erased double 5 for the victory.

PREMIER LEAGUE Par Quatre

With an overflow crowd of over 4,000 the Premier League hit Exeter with the Raymond van Barneveld-Phil Taylor match being the main attraction. The semi main attraction at the PL is always “funny costumes” proudly being shown off by “folks” drinking beer while proudly mugging for TV cameras. Good fun that. While some of the attire was good it didn’t come close to the “costumes” worn by San Diego State students at the recent San Diego State-BYU basketball game. A large number of San Diego State students came “dressed in dark pants, white shirts with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, simple black ties, back packs and bicycle helmets” much like the attire worn by BYU students while on mission. If San Jose State is the Harvard of the West then maybe San Diego State is the Duke of the West.

It’s a mistake to assume that “Old Mo” will ride with a player from one week to another in the PL. The previous week Mark Webster had been demolished by Gary Anderson 8-1. Webster was matched against World Champion Adrian Lewis. Nice spot for a come back? Not. But “Old Mo” like the female mind works in mysterious ways. Match referee and pal of the ODC “Young” Georgie Noble had the pleasure of calling Mark Webster’s spectacular dismantling of World Champion Adrian Lewis 8-2. Webster averaged over 110 with eight doubles from nine darts. Now that is Cheateu Lafiete Rothchild 1958 with or without a crystal goblet or in a brown paper bag. Lewis fell behind 0-1 as Webster took out 101. With Webster at 65 Lewis wanted 80. Showing his immaturity Lewis opted for the exhibition like double top-double-top finish. He hit the double-double really showing up Webster. Lewis would then go on to lose six of the next seven. Besides his 101 in the first leg Webster also had a 124 and a 92. “You showed him Adie.” Webster was in a word “fantastic.” Grow up Lewis and stop treating the PL as an exhibition. Period. End.

Gary Anderson continues to lead the PL standing after his 8-3 stroll over the sleepwalking like James Wade 8-3. Regardless of what commentator Wayne Mardle said, this one was over early. Anderson took the first four on the trot with steady but not great scoring along with Wade’s inability to string anything together. Anderson’s set up in the 4th leg was great with a 137 to leave 36. The only big scoring came for both players in leg five when one T80 was answered with another. Mardle also said that “Anderson is currently the best player on earth.” Horse Doodle. Anderson’s finishing still leaves much to be desired with only eight of 24 hitting the lipstick either red or green.

Simon Whitlock celebrated birthday 42 in high style dealing Terry “The Steer” Jenkins an 8-1 pasting. Jenkins was coming off an 8-2 defeat at the hand of Phil Taylor. Simon Whitlock’s birthday present was that “Old Mo” was hanging with the Aussie as he gets back to where he was. It’s possible that Jenkins could have altered the course of this match but he missed two darts in the 2nd leg and one in leg five for wins. In fairness the 5th leg miss was the tail end of a 124 finish. “If” Jenkins scored with those the match is even at the break. Of course, if “ands and buts” were nuts and honey we’d all be in paradise. Whitlock’s set ups early were good with 180 to leave 40 and 96 to leave 40. “I broke him early on and it gave me the momentum to go on from there.” The Thunder from Down Under speaks the truth.

The van Barneveld-Taylor match was over at the break when Taylor took a 6-0 lead. Barney had his chances as he missed doubles in three of the first six legs. In the 3rd leg Barney was on 40 when Taylor made 147 do a “Houdini.” Taylor’s 4th leg was by far his best with 180, 140 and 165 to leave 16. Taylor got it done for a 10-darter. At 6-3 maybe the best two players of the modern era looked like a couple of yahoo’s in a beginner’s league. They wallowed with five doubles apiece before Taylor hit double one. “He kept clawing back but missed crucial doubles to make it 6-4 and that turned the game because I was starting to think I’d settle for a draw at that point.” If you’re Phil Taylor with a 6-0 lead which becomes 6-3 and you’re thinking of a draw at seven someone is telling “Porkies.” Porkies? “Pork pies lies.”

PRIEMER LEAGUE Par Cinq

One of the ODC’s favorite people is an Irish gentleman named Frank Lyons. Lyons plies his trade on TVG the horseracing network. He likes to say that when a horse is “gelded” it is the “ultimate equipment change.” The ODC implied that Terry Jenkins had undergone a similar operation last week after getting clipped by Simon Whitlock 8-1. He stopped referring to him as “The Bull,” calling him “The Steer.” The Bull is back as he got the 8-4 win over Mark Webster before a crowd of over 7,500 at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester. Jenkins did it with timely scoring along with economic finishing. Jenkins had six 180’s evenly divided with and against the darts. Jenkins tossed a 180 in the first leg to leave 8 which he missed with three. Eliminate those three misses and Jenkins was eight for 12 closing. Webster won the opening leg against the darts. In leg two Jenkins used 180 to leave 40 which he erased. Webster appeared on his way to winning the 3rd leg but Jenkins took out 140 for 2-1 lead. Webster would level at two but then “The Bull” charged with a run of five on the trot going up 7-2. Webster was coming off a win with a 110 average over Adrian Lewis.

Gary Anderson has sailed through the first weeks of the PL with a clean slate so his meeting with Phil Taylor was “The Match.” Anderson, a great scorer, has trouble with doubles and it was doubles that did him in losing 8-6 in a match that was there for the taking. Writing of Anderson’s problem Dave Allen, PDC info guy, wrote that he “was left to rue missed doubles in the penultimate leg.” With the match level at six Anderson had two darts miss double top for a 7-6 lead and the darts in the decider. Taylor miscounted with his approach in the same leg to leave 34 instead of 32 but converted. Taylor captured the match with a nifty 12-darter.

The remaining two matches were blow outs from the start. Raymond van Barneveld lost the first leg to James Wade then took eight of the next nine for an 8-2 win. Barney probably should have won eight of eight but Wade took out 136 in the 5th with Barney on 32. One dart writer called Wade’s performance “under-par.” He was being kind. Simon Whitlock took out 81 with the darts in the first leg to go one up on Adrian Lewis. For the “Thunder from Down Under” the next seven legs were ugly as Adrian Lewis was brilliant with finishes of 72, 113, 96 and 116 topped off with a 136 for the match and an 8-2 win. Lewis, playing like the World Champion, which he is, was eight for 11 with doubles averaging 102. It’s not as if Whitlock didn’t have chances. He connected on only two of 10 attempted finishes. “Since I beat Phil Taylor in my opening game, maybe I’ve been too relaxed but I’ve worked hard since last week,” said Lewis.

THE UK Qualifier

Trevor Denman is the premier race caller in America. One of his signature calls, which comes when a horse is coming down the homestretch and adding to his lead with every stride is “He’s racing like the wind.” Had Denman been calling the UK Qualifier at Wigen’s Robin Park Tennis Centre he would have been saying of Adrian Lewis “He’s playing with the wind at his back.” Lewis backed up his spectacular Premier League romp with a come from behind 6-4 against Robert “I Can’t Hold Lead” Thornton. Scottish star Thornton sped to a 3-0 lead after Lewis missed 10 doubles in losing the first two legs. The third went to Thornton with a pair of 180s as part of a 12-darter. Lewis got his three on the trot which included a very keen leg with 3-140s and an 81 bull finish. Thornton got it to 4-3 then fell behind 5-4 as a result of a 124 Lewis finish. Lewis opened the 10th leg with 180 which Thornton answered with two of his own that left 41 after nine darts. Playing with the darts Lewis finished 88 with double 14 in 11.

Sunday’s event was an all Dutch final between Vincent van der Voort and Raymond van Barneveld. Regardless of the 6-4 win for van der Voort this one was a photo finish. Both players missed double 12 for 9-darters while scoring in bunches. The two were tied at 1-, 2- and 3-all. Van der Voort moved ahead when he broke serve with a 180 followed by double 6 as Barney watched at 40. The lead would be 5-3 then narrow to 5-4 after van der Voort missed a double 15 for a 150-out giving Barney a second chance at a double. The match went into the van der Voort column with a 70-finish. For Barney, making a rare appearance in a non-televised event, the £3,000 won as runner up will qualify him for the UK Open televised finals in June. Why? NO EYE DEAR.

THE ODC SPEAKS

Kathy Maloney is hosting the “No Bologna Maloney Reunion Dart Tournament” April 22-23 in Gulfport, Florida. Dartoid’s World asked, “Who would you like to partner with?” Is “with” a preposition? NO EYE DEAR.

Jerry Umberger leads the list followed by John Lowe who both will be there. Lowe is also planning a fall tour of the USA. Bookings available.

I was wrong when I claimed that golf commentator David Fererty was English. Roger the Dodger emails, “The coach is ill-informed on this occasion. David Fererty is British by way of being born in Northern Ireland, but no way is he English. We never like ‘hookers’ in England, well not that type anyway.”

Watching the Premier League on the computer is good fun and an afternoon well spent. March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, is the next day of PL play. The viewer can go to Justin TV at 11:00 a.m. on the left coast which is 2:00 p.m. in the east.

On St. Patrick’s Day we celebrate St. Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland. Most of them have resurfaced at various night clubs located in Las Vegas casinos. One blogger scribed, “Darts fans have severe fetal alcohol syndrome.” The end.

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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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