Column #HR56 Who are we? Bums.

Sunday, October 2, 2011
Column HR56
Who are we? Bums.

When growing up – okay, let me rephrase that – as he was getting older the Old Dart Coach often heard his parents answer his consistent whining with a quote from Psalm 37:39-40, commonly spoken as “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” The ODC seemed to have forgotten the advice of his parents as in his last column he went on a R&R…

…a rant and rave about the treatment of America darter Stacy Bromberg by the American Darts Organization (ADO) and World Dart Federation (WDF). The result, which should have been predicable, was the sound of one hand clapping or a tree falling in the forest with no one there. Little Zen stuff.

The ODC got a good kick—which he deserved—in the keister when an email arrived from a good palette. A “palette” is by any definition a female pal. She emailed, “Ah yea… as we all know so well… it’s easier to bitch and moan about things than it is to actually do something… my question to you is: did you really expect anything more after all these years of dealing with the same crap?”

His answer was “yes” ‘cause he’s stupid.

Why did no one else take up the case of Bromberg? Where was the American Team? Where were her fellow darters? They were silent because it was happening to someone else. As the ODC’s Pater would say, “action depends on whose ox is getting gored.”

Having been put in his place, the stubborn ODC decided to give it one more try to generate and transfer his total contempt for the leadership of both the ADO (Another Dysfunctional Organization) and the WDF (Weenies, acting Duplicitously and Fraudulently) while lighting a fire under darters.

Mr. Phelps would view that task as a Mission Impossible.

Look to the last weekend in Ireland at the Darts World Cup where there was a “Roster in the Air.” That term in itself may have you scratching your head. Originally it was written as a “Cock Up.” The ODC, being the politically correct gentleman he is, thought that maybe the term would be misconstrued to mean either a cry for help after 8 hour’s, a request for company, or an announcement of pure joy by the ODC. Hence “Roster Up.”

How did America’s team fair? The men’s team finished 12th behind Denmark, South Africa and Germany to name just three. The ladies of the ADO finished 9th behind darting powers Japan, Finland and Norway. England swept all three titles thanks to WDF President Roy Price and his loyal brand of bums.

England won the youth title thanks to a win by Jake Jones in the mixed pairs who by the “Price rule” should have been ineligible to compete. Jones played in 4 WDF events but 11 non-WDF events of which 7 were with the PDC. Oh yes, the winner of the youth singles, Jimmy Hendricks of the Netherlands, only played in 4 WDF Ranked events but 8 events of the PDC.

Others who played and who should have been declared ineligible were Antonio Muñoz and Javier Pla Costa of Catalonia, a dart federation that only gained full WDF membership after the World Cup. Then there’s Martin Heneghan of the Republic of Ireland who played no WDF events but 5 PDC events.

The WDF was aware of this information BEFORE the World Cup. Their reaction? Nothing. They ignored the facts. One dart official wrote, “Not only was Roy Price inventing some rules and distorting others, he was selectively applying them in a shameless show of blatant discrimination.”

Not that anyone cares, but there was a reshuffling of responsibilities for the WDF Executive. Oily Croft OBE (aka “Outrageously Big Ego”) was named “advisor to the WDF for staging and televising of major dart events.” Being a female snow ski instructor in Saudi would be a step up.

Wonder if they took back Oily’s key to the executive wash room?

But cheer up ADO darters. Not all is lost for America. ADO President, WDF Vice President and ADO America’s Team Captain, Buddy Bartoletta, was placed in charge of Administration for the WDF.

The modern Renaissance Man. He can do it all.

Was the WDF posting a reward for a job well done or your ADO dollars at work? Your call.

There should be no finger pointing at the players that represented America. They played the hand they were dealt. The men’s team was represented by #2 Larry Butler, #6 Jim Widmayer and number #7 Scott Wollaston in the 2011 ADO rankings. It’s interesting though that 4th member of the team, Jerry van Loan, is not among the 892 men ranked this year by the ADO. The last player ranked had 4 points. Hell, even the ODC once got 4 ADO points. While a very good player, van Loan was on the American team because he won a “playoff.” It use to be that the top four in ADO points from January 1 to September 1 made the World Cup team. Guess that’s not the rule now.

Better than making predictions is to play “what if?”

What if Stacy Bromberg would have been on the Women’s Cup Team in Ireland? Well, her replacement, Cali West, lost to Japan’s Ouchi Mayumi of Japan 4-2. Bromberg beat Mayumi 8-0 in the Shanghai Open. The Women’s final was between Julie Gore (Wales) and Tina Gulliver (England). Bromberg beat Gore in the last World Cup finals either 7-4 or 6-4. Tina Gulliver bested Bromberg 6-5 in the 2004 Desert Classic when Bromberg missed three from 92.

REAL DARTS

Elsewhere in the world there are darts being played with real rules at tournaments not not being run by overly inflated egos. The PDC made a second stop Nuland, Netherlands at the Van Der Valk Hotel. Scot Gary Anderson remains the hottest player on the Holland tour. Anderson ran his win streak in Nuland to 3 on the trot when he disposed of Colin Lloyd 6-2. This was Anderson 7th PDC Tour win of the year. The following day Richie Burnett broke a 10-year streak on the “snyder” with a win. In four tournaments in the Land of Window Shopping Anderson banked a keen £18,400 which is not too Chablis. The win propelled Anderson to the top of the players’ money list with £37,400 ahead of Big John Part who’s banked £30,600.

Another real dart tournament is ongoing in Hong Kong. It’s called the Soft Darts World Championships 2011 but just The World for short. The event has 8 qualifying events, called stages, which awards points and money at each stage. The event is run by the Singapore Slinger, Paul Lim. The finals will be held on December 17-18th at the Hong Kong Dart Club with the top 100 in points qualifying. Winners of each stage take home $12,832 and a meaningless 60 cents. Canada’s John Part and America’s Ray Carver have each won a stage so they’ll qualify for the finals. They should be joined in the finals by Chris White (#18 Canada), Scotty Burnett (#21 Sacramento), Rob Heckman (Vacaville, California – which in Mexican means Cow Town) and John Kuczynski (Zion Grove, PA.). The finals pay $128,326 dollars for the win. Counting Sacramento and Cow Town as Alto Mexico that makes 9 foreign countries represented. Real money for real darts.

TALES OF THE ODC… PAR UNO

Wil from Bangkok Eyes (Bangkok Eyes) quotes his pal Duke as saying “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.” Probably true but the ODC loves to wax somewhat inarticulate about the past.

For instance, he greeted the issuance each year of the ADO Tournament Calendar with unbounded joy. While most used the calendar to find dart tournaments the ODC used it to build his social schedule for “no host cocktail parties.”

One event never listed was the Blind Draw Doubles at Chris’s Club in Vallejo. That event was held on the eve of the Golden Gate Classic. It was a one off. It was a modified blind draw with those outside of Northern California in one hat and “locals” in the other. At the time the Golden Gate Classic was part of a swing for players that included Washington D.C., Santa Monica and the North American. Three of the four are now relegated to history. Players from around the world made this a four-week USA tour.

One year the ODC’s Rancho de Martinez played host to a veritable roster of “who’s-who’s” in darts. The Rancho guests included Dick McGinnis (Philly), Sonja Rolphs (England) the reigning World Masters Champion and ADO #2 at the time, Katy Hopkins, plus a couple of drop in guests that just seemed to stay.

As the crew headed over the Martinez-Benicia Bridge to Chris’s Club, Ms. Hopkins drew herself up to her full 4-foot-nothing height reaffirming her policy of not playing in any Blind Draws. “I don’t do blind draws.” And oh yes, the Martinez-Benicia Bridge was so named because it connected Martinez and Benicia but also Vallejo where Chris’s Club was and may still be.

The ODC had a similar policy mainly because he didn’t want to draw someone like himself. Being the smooth talking devil that he is, he convinced Kate that as the #2 player in the USA she had an obligation to her fans to enter the blind draw. Convinced she added the caveat that the ODC also had to enter.

Others entering were the Grand Lady of Darts, the late Lil Combs (England), Sonja Rolphs (England), local luminary “Linda Turkey” (now ex-wife of the late Flash Turkey), Kaye Reeves (an ADO Official) and Dangerous Dave McElhenny, who played on teams fours night a week with the ODC. Yes he was a glutton for punishment.

The draw was made and as luck would have it (although foul play is considered) the reluctant Kate drew the ODC as a partner. The Grand Lady of Darts, Ms. Coombs, drew Dave McElhenny. Ms. Kate and the ODC would meet a total falling down drunk from Southern California and a gentleman who was wheelchair-bound. The handicapped gentleman played darts by using a pair of crutches, putting them under one arm when throwing with the other.

The dart area at Chris’s Club was in a separate room from the bar with access via a 20 foot opening in the wall. The bar itself was about 40 feet long, curving at both ends. The dart area had 10 or so dartboards with wooden picnic tables for viewing darts or cribbage playing. Rancho guest McGinnis was ensconced at a picnic table in the dart room playing cribbage. He also wasn’t a fan of blind draws but loved cribbage.

As Kate and the ODC were one of the first matches called a goodly crowd was on hand. The first two legs were split with Kate, called “The Hovercraft” or HC for short, providing “attaboys” to the ODC. With the match tied at one, after a particularly good score the ODC noticed that the crippled gentleman had his crutches over the oche…

The ODC yelled in a voice heard throughout the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, “His foot is over the line! He’s cheating! It’s a crutch fault!”

Needless to say the crowd turned really ugly really fast.

The really drunk guy from Southern California hit the wining dart and the crowd cheered with glee.

After shaking hands the HC glided off to the bar where she viewed the ODC’s approach with a jaundice eye. The ODC’s attempt to apologize was met with a gatling gun response…
“I don’t want to hear it! You called a crutch fault on a cripple! Shut the “*&%$” up. I’m having a shot of 1800. You want one?”

The ODC never pass’s up a drink so said yes and shut up. Other first round losers Ms. Coombs, Ms. Rolphs, Ms. Reeves, Ms. Linda Turkey and Mr. McElhenny soon joined them.

This night would prove that “Tequila is not my friend”.
End of PAR UNO.

PAR DEUX to follow…

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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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