Column #HR40 If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

Monday, April 4, 2011
Column HR40
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

Much was made in this space about the disgusting behavior of the drunken hooligans during Premier League in Glasgow. Echoing those sentiments the PDC issued the following: “We are investigating the events of Thursday (March 17), when a minority of the crowd in Glasgow behaved in a manner we do not want to see at our events. A number of the players received abuse beyond which could be considered as normal banter and both ourselves and the SECC are looking in to the matter. The people who threw drinks and coins either at the stage or the crowd are not darts fans and not the sort of people we want to see at our events. If any of them can be identified we will push for the strongest action possible to be taken against them but from the comments we have received from real fans after the event we are sure this will be an unfortunate one-off.
However, the PDC will strive to prosecute any spectator found guilty of throwing any item or behaving in a dangerous manner within the venue.”

“Light on,” as the ODC’s pal Paul Lim says.

HE’S BACK!

The old Alexander Graham Bell was ringing off the hook the other day with a phone call from the ODC’s pal Davis L. No last name to protect the guilty. Davis L. has been a dart partner, a teammate and someone who shared aiming, group tightener and stupid fluid with the ODC for a number of years. He asked, “Is there anyone out there who can beat Phil Taylor?” The answer in a word is… “No.”

A few weeks ago Taylor was said to be on the down side of the hill. “He’s past his prime,” said Gary Mawson just before he got drubbed three sets to nil. How’s that working out for ya?

Taylor was in a slump but maybe it was of his own doing (or choosing). No he didn’t mean to be in a slump but he violated the rule of former basketball great Bill Russell. The rule? “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

In today’s sport teams change jerseys it seems every day. Why? To sell merchandise. Taylor, maybe to please a sponsor, changed his darts, shafts and flights. Regardless of how Sid Waddell tried to sell the “new improved barrels, flights and shafts” it didn’t work for Squat or any member of the Squat family. Jack of course being the most well known.

No one would flock to dart stores to buy the “new improved Phil Taylor line” because they didn’t work for Phil. Oh sure these new “supplies” went into the board prettier but they didn’t win. Taylor wasn’t winning. Plain and simple. Taylor’s old darts went into the board “ugly” but effectively. In stepped the ODC reminding Taylor of the Bill Russell rule, adding, “Dance with the guy who brung ya.” For real dart players “dance and guy” are metaphors for “play and darts.” True fact. Taylor switched back to the darts that he tossed a pair of 9-darters with last year. Look ugly work good. He’s back!

Too bad that Tiger Woods doesn’t read this column because he could use the ODC’s sage advice. Tiger re-worked his golf swing when it wasn’t the golf swing that got him in deep “do-do.” (One could argue that his ex-wife’s golf swing might get an assist.)

After an opening round Premier League 8-2 loss to Adrian Lewis, Taylor has gone through the opposition like a dose of salts: Mark Webster (8-2), Terry Jenkins (8-2), Raymond van Barneveld (8-3), Gary Anderson (8-5), Simon Whitlock (8-5) and an 8-1 thumping of James Wade in Brighton. That Thursday PL result followed up what can only be described as a “Phil Taylor-like win” in the RTL7 International Masters in Holland. That win, worth a cool €20,000, came with a 113.6 average on the way to an 8-3 win over Raymond van Barneveld. What is an “€”? That would be your basic Euro dollar sign which is equal to $1.40 real money. That makes Taylor’s win worth $28,000 which at the Food 4 Less equals almost 40,000 Miller Genuine in bottles (limes extra).

In the final Taylor fell behind one to nil when he missed one dart at tops wasting a T80. In the next leg Taylor wasted nothing including another T80 with an 11 dart win. Taylor extended his lead to 3-1 with another 11 dart effort finishing on 89. Down 3-2 Barney missed two at double 19 to level and allow Taylor to erase 68 in two. Up 4-2 Taylor was never headed.

Meanwhile back at Brighton for week seven of Premier League play Simon Whitlock laid a “whoa Nelly old fashion whipping” on Mark Webster 8-2. Webster missed three at the double top in leg one and really never recovered. Whitlock was clinical especially when he erased 140 and 120. In leg six from 130 Whitlock’s left 5 (after 60-60-5). How do you take out 5? Well, how about double 1, single 1 and double 1. Got to love it. Yes, he smiled.

Gary Anderson for the second week in a row jumped to an early lead only to falter and come up short. This time Anderson was up 2-0 only to watch as Raymond van Barneveld leveled first at three and then built a 6-3 advantage, holding on for an 8-5 win. Anderson’s 6th leg, to level, was fun to watch as he tossed a T80 to leave 121 which he finished with a BULL. Good stuff that. In this one it wasn’t big outs but great approaches by Barney that included 140 to leave40, 140 to leave 24, 144 to leave 36 and 134 to leave 41 – which he took out for the match with nine and double 16. But of course you knave.

A very astute observer of sport has said “a tie is like kissing your sister.” Terry “The Bull” Jenkins will accept that after coming from 6-3 down for a 7-all draw with Adrian Lewis. Lewis can’t be pleased as he saw his lead disappear with only two doubles in the last six legs. By far the 11th leg was ugly with a capital “U” as the players needed nine darts to score a double. Jenkins got it. “A draw was probably a fair result in the end but if I’d hit the doubles in the 11th leg to go 7-4 up I think I’d have ended up winning.” Ya think? Setting aside the atrocious finishing, there were some good darts launched with the final four legs all top notch. Jenkins took three of them with 97 to leave 70 which he took, 137 to leave 86 which he took and a final leg of 180-95-145–60 and then 2 x 5 for the draw. Lewis won the 13th keg with 85-T-T35-T70 to leave 11 which went away with a 3 and 2 x 4.

HELLO PAUL NICHOLSON

Is there anyone out there who remembers Saturday afternoon bowling on ABC TV? Chris Schenkel, from the early 1960s until 1997, was the voice opening each show with, “We’re coming to you from the AMF Southshore Lanes in Alameda, California for the Midas Muffler Open.” Just before the championship match the TV screen would roll through the list of bowlers who cashed. “There’s Joe Fizzlewigle who had a good week finishing 24th.” You would say to yourself, “Self… that’s just peachy finishing 24th.” Actually it was good because bowlers were getting something so they could move on to the next stop. That’s where the PDC and its Players Championship is today. Finish in the top 32 and you’re assured of enough cash to get down the road to the next stop.

At the K2 Centre in Crawley two who cashed but didn’t win were Ronnie Baxter and John Part. Baxter finished top 4 and top 16 so took home £2,600. COSMO-sponsored player John Part had a good weekend as he only lost to Ronnie Baxter twice. Still, with a pair of top 32s he banked £800 which is enough to get down the road.

The weekend though belonged to Paul Nicholson who had himself a hell of a two day stretch. He won on Saturday taking out World Champion Adrian Lewis 6-4. On Sunday he started 3- nil only to run out of steam, losing to Wes Newton 6-4 in the final. They were level at three and four with Nicholson never having a double from that point on. It was a comeback weekend for Nicholson. He picked up £9,000. An astute dart analyst would inform the public that Nicholson was not wearing his signature little skinny 1960’s tie on Sunday. Equipment change! Bad idea!

PREMIER LEAGUE WEEK 8

Not everyone believes in truth. The American government claims that there is no CIA presence in Libya despite facts to the contrary. Toeing the Oche can announce that there is a CIA presence in the Premier League – as week 8 games were played in the CIA in Cardiff, Wales.

Why is this Toeing the Oche “honesty”?

Irene Maude Reed tried to drum into the head of her son the ODC that “Honesty is the best policy.” That was usually followed by the ODC being honest and getting his butt spanked. So much for honesty. Following the Premier League on Justin TV on Thursday last was not easy as other distractions abounded. It was opening day of the baseball season and even more distracting it was the season premier on the History Channel of Swamp People. As if all this wasn’t enough distraction the matches had all the excitement of the ODC’s first marriage. In short: “over before it started” with the exception of Gary Anderson’s 8-6 win over James Wade.

Anderson-Wade was the only match which had any drama – after the break as they were tied at three. Wade, called “The Machine,” purred to a 6-3 lead then sputtered. Anderson took advantage of three Wade misses to get back to 6-5 down. Anderson powered by three T80s swept to an 8-6 win snatching “victory from the jaws of defeat.” Simon Whitlock’s 40-20-40 out from 100 was fun watching in his match with Terry Jenkins. Whitlock mercifully use 54-18-Dead Bull to erase 122 and put Terry “The Bull” Jenkins out of his misery 8-3. That’s also the score by which Phil Taylor saw off Raymond van Barneveld.

Welshman Mark Webster Mark Webster was playing before his home fans. The negative was that he was playing lousy. He never posed a threat going out to Adrian Lewis 8-1. Webster is now on the wrong side of 3-16 for two weeks.

That’s not to say that there weren’t some great moments. The “the dart bloggers,” not to be confused with one of the Swamp People which one could understand, were in fine form. One asked, “Why can’t Pakistan play in the next soccer World Cup?” The answer? “Because every time they get a corner they build a shop on it.”

One of the danger’s of watching the PL on the computer is that sometimes the transmission gets interrupted. That occurred so one blog person contemplated, “My picture keeps stuttering.” The answer to the question that wasn’t really asked came shortly. “Must be your connection mate… restart ur router.”

“She gets mad… oh my router.”

Darts is fun stuff.

The following two tabs change content below.
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.

Leave a Reply