Column #HR55 Buddy, Buddy, Buddy – your silence speaks loudly.

Friday, September 16, 2011
Column HR55
Buddy, Buddy, Buddy – your silence speaks loudly.

Toss the name Sextus Aurelius Propertius around at a dart tournament and you’ll likely collect a bag full of “brook trout looks.” Brook trout looks? That’s when you look into someone’s eyes and, in the words of Gertie Stein, “there is no one there.” She was talking about Oakland, California, the hometown of the Old Dart Coach, but his look is more akin to a brook trout on steroids. Old Gertie also said “A rose is a rose.” Funny but the ODC thought it was a rutabaga.

Old Sextus was a “Latin elegiac poet of the Augustan age.” But you probably knew that. He was born “around 50-45 BC” and “died shortly after 15 BC.” No, he did not die before he was born as, like dart players, old timers often start with something and work their way to nothing although, unlike darters, they aren’t happy when they got there.

Why mention Propertius? He wrote, “Always toward absent lovers love’s tide stronger grows.” That was modified in 1832 by Miss Strickland to “Tis absence, however, that makes the heart grow fonder.” That explains why many former dart players love the sport so much. Never a gentle lover, the sport can and usually is a cruel lover. She giveth and then taketh away. She’s a demanding master, giving no quarter while asking for a complete commitment many have no intention of giving.

A recent poll by the TITBS Group found that 95% of all Americans walk around daily with their “heads where the sun doesn’t shine.” Since dart players are probably somewhat less than representative of the broader US population we can put 98% of their heads in the “dark place.” The largest percentage of dart players play once a week in a local league, maybe a nearby tournament or two, putting their darts away once league is over. They couldn’t give a whit (which makes a RPH look like a 19 foot 6 inch caber) about the ADO and even less about the WDF. The latter is interchangeable by darters with the twitter WTF.

There are then 2% that do care with only half of those, perhaps, actually trying to do something.

The late Rae Chesney was one of those that cared about darts and those that competed. He was sincere, hard working and honest in his convictions. He and the ODC were friends, maybe even pals. They shared a love of the game with widely different methods of making it better and more responsive to the players. Chesney’s approach was favored by those in power while the ODC, playing old Don Quixote to the hilt, was not a favorite of the ruling elite or even the not ruling class. “Stuff Happens.” Rae may have had it right but history will never know as he was taken away by cancer. He was rewarded in passing with a tournament named in his honor. The ODC put his money where his big mouth was. He still has his big mouth. They agreed on at least one basic principle: that dart players should have more say in the governing of the sport. That was true then and even more so now.

In the ensuing years the old leaders of the ADO moved on, either up or down depending on your view of the “old leaders.” They have been replaced, unfortunately – if recent actions are any indication, by those influenced by the same nefarious pressures. The players, be they tournament or league, have nothing to say with the running of the sport or the direction it travels. The sport is governed by an elite group that has forgotten they are supposed to represent the thousands of American players and not their over inflated egos or supposed economic interests.

In the Motha Country, where the sport began, a similar situation existed for years. The British Darts Organization, under Oily Croft, ran the sport with an iron hand and head. When the power was questioned the questioner was probably sent to the Tower of London. Croft’s trump card was always “You can play for your country.” When all else fails play the nationalism card.

Finally a group of players had the guts to say “Enough” or “No Mas” if you’re from the Sa Habla land. The players broke away and struggled sometimes doing exhibitions in businesses that sold used cars called “experience vehicles” in England. Today those players are alive and kicking as the Professional Darts Corporation. In the meantime the “proletariat” of the BDO that remained finally had enough, ousting Croft and Cronies last month. As the ODC’s Grandma Reed would say “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

At the PDC’s most recent Players event in Derby, Holland’s Raymond van Barneveld and Scotland’s Gary Anderson each walked away with £6,000 for their respective wins. Canada’s John Part collected £5,000 for being a runner up and then finishing deep in the second draw. Part continues his climb back towards the top.

How did this group of dart players get from there to here? First they took control of their own business. They got sponsors while running their own tournaments. One little mentioned aspect of their growth was that they replaced the “hurly-burly” atmosphere of the BDO with a business like approach. They acted like professionals.

The easy rebuttal is for American’s darters to point out, correctly, that it’s “like comparing apples and oranges.” There are though many similarities…

The American Darts Organization collects membership fees, sanctions tournaments, collects a surcharge from each tournament entrant in singles events and runs national events.

Is there any real advantage to being an ADO dart league? Not really. When the ADO sanctions a tournament do they guarantee the prize money or provide any financial assistance? No. Does the sanction bring in players? Yes. Of course, for the local guys and gals that may supply the majority of the prize money may not be a plus. Like the former BDO elite, those that run the ADO have no chance of not being re-elected as the members that pay the bills can’t vote. Still, it’s better to be an ADO League than not… maybe.

It’s with the World Dart Federation that the American darter of all stripes should have gotten the “RA.” The WDF President Mr. Roy Price, apparently added and abetted by ADO President & WDF VP Buddy Bartoletta, is a complete moronic weasel who never lets facts get in the way of the “elite’s” agenda. In case you missed it Ms. Stacy Bromberg, probably the best lady darter in the world, was removed from the ADO World Cup Team by ADO President Buddy Bartoletta. Mr. Bartoletta never answered an email from Toeing the Oche asking for information. Grandma Reed also said “Silence is golden” and “Silence sometimes speaks loudly.”

In Mr. Bartoletta’s case both apply.

Bromberg was “removed from the ADO team” under an interpretation of a rule that needs no interpretation. Under 2.01 of the WDF By-Laws a playing member is defined as “a person who is affiliated with a WDF member Darts Body.” Okay, that’s Ms. Bromberg as there is no argument that she is a member in good standing of the ADO.

Further in the By-laws under the same section is “They (the player) must also actively play a majority of their competitive darts within the system created and approved by the WDF Member Dart Bodies.” WDF President Roy Price playing Pinocchio to Dave Alderman’s Geppetto decreed, “As you can see, WDF Member Darts Bodies is a plural. This is because it is intended to refer to events within the WDF Ranking System.” That of course has no basis in fact. It’s a “figment of a very vivid imagination” and “total BS” not to be confused with “regular BS.”

If the preceding statement is fact then NO Player on the American or Canadian World Cup Team is eligible to play. Why? It would be impossible for them to have played the “majority of their events within WDF Ranking System.” So if you want to represent your country don’t play in any ADO or NDFC events unless you play in more WDF Ranking Tournaments. That ought to make those that run tournaments in North America happy.

The WDF though doesn’t use the same rules for the BDO’s Jake Jones a member of the England Youth team. He played in 7 PDC Events THIS year. The term “this year” is important because according to WDF President Price “events in both WDF and PDC from 1st January this year until the World Cup will be included in our analysis of player’s eligibility.” Another made up “interpretation” as the “official” WDF Year, according to their own By-laws runs from August to August.

When questioned about Jones’ eligibility Price wrote, “Jake Jones has played in the following NINE WDF Events.” Well actually, no, he didn’t. Two of the events listed were Youth Events which do not appear on the WDF Calendar nor do they carry WDF Ranking Points. One event, the England Classic Singles, is not on the “official” WDF Calendar. Regardless, Jones played in either 7 or 6 WDF Tournaments and 7 PDC Events which makes him ineligible for the World Cup under the Price Rule.

EMAILS

One of the goals of Toeing the Oche is to draw comments from readers. Mr. B from a land far away opines, “Great read. Don Quixote… reckon Christmas Cards from some of these guys will not be arriving this year in North Las Vegas! The phrase “Couldn’t organize a booze up in a Brewery” comes readily to mind! Stay well… keep tilting at windmills… and keep socking it to ’em!

The Hawk from the Blue Lagoon is a man of few words. “Must assume that Roy Price is *****… he sounds so much like Obama! LOL… Promise them everything and give them the shaft!”

Also a man of few words is the Lord of Pattaya also known as Mr. Stefan Lord. Some also know him as The Fat Swede which plays in the titles of the book the ODC is working on. The full title of the book? “One Night I Was Out Drinking With The Fat Swede.” How’s the book coming? To this point two people have given up trying to read it so the future looks dim. Mr. Lord emails, “Well put, Mr. Blomqvist!”

Then comes an email that very politely informs the ODC he is again wasting his time. The mailer asked that no name be used. “What the ADO or WDF or PDC does or doesn’t do, fair or unfair, the absolutely overwhelming majority of dart players simply don’t care about. They don’t care about anything but having a beer. Even 95% of those who show up at tournaments – supposedly the best and most aware and dedicated of all players – don’t give a ****. They are clueless about it all – from what the “governing” bodies are doing, to how the tournament they are at got put together, to why the cost of a beer is what it is. But they complain about it all. A few have ideas about how to improve things – but do absolutely nothing to make anything new and better happen. I do feel damn bad for what was done to Stacy. I really wish there was something I could have done. At the end of the day I just hope she continues to take everyone’s money for as long as she’s enjoying traveling all over the place and being treated like crap.”

One email that did not arrive, as mentioned earlier, was in answer to a request from Toeing the Oche’ of August 27 to ADO President Buddy Bartoletta asking for his side of events. As the ODC’s Pater would say “Respondent sayeth nothing” but his silence overwhelming.

AND FNALLY

It has been pointed that while some think that ODC means Old Dart Coach there are others who see it him as the Old Doddering Codger. The latter seems to manifest itself when he wanders off into a world of his own. This usually occurs after copious amounts of “aiming fluid” made by Miller Genuine at his local called “The Sporting Chance.” He has the perchance to consume pints of golden fluid while being bedazzled by the flashing Latin eyes of a lady much too old to become a serious squeeze. She’s almost 30.

When the ODC comes to he spins tails of wondrous things seen and heard. His latest venture in the “doddering state of the aged” took him back to a dart tournament somewhere between 69 BC and 30 BC. He knows the date because that’s when Cleopatra VII reigned. She and her current squeeze, Mark Anthony, showed up at the Greek Backdoor Open with intentions of playing in the “not necessarily mixed doubles.”

Cleopatra showed up with a rather large rattan purse. As they were sitting around drinking “hgt” or “zyrghus,” which is the Greek word for beer, Cleopatra screamed in anger as her purse fell to the floor.

She then yelled louder.

Then again with an over hand left to the jaw of Anthony while yelling…

“Mark, I said grab my asp.”

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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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