Column #HR65 The PDC World Cup II vs. Super Bowl XLVI

Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Column HR65
The PDC World Cup II vs. Super Bowl XLVI

In a recently released study by the IDGARA Humane Research Center it was determined that 30% of the world’s population suffers some emotional or mental disorder. This condition manifests itself in behavior that to a normal person might be explained as “unexplainable.” The survey conducted upon a random sample of adults 18 to 64 has an accuracy rate of + or – .069 %. To the common person – which according to the same survey represents 90% of the world’s population – this condition is described as being “a bubble off center.” Lots of “common” going around these days. The survey further states that this “condition” – which could be called the bubble far from center – is prevalent among 90% of those that play darts, drink beer, watch reality shows featuring people without a full compliment of teeth and/or surf the Internet for midget porn. So if there are three of you sitting there and it isn’t you… proceed with caution.

This would explain why the Old Dart Coach would get up at 5 a.m. on his country’s undeclared national holiday to watch the PDC World Cup of Darts II finals from Hamburg, Germany. (The ODC had also arisen, as if by magic, the two preceding days at the same – and was then glued to the computer.) Of course, the national holiday was Super Bowl XLVI being played later in the day between the New England Patriots and the New York Football Giants. XLVI? That would be 46 or 14 and double 16. The Giants prevailed 21-17 in a game that, while exciting, had not nearly as much drama or suspense as PDC World Cup II.

THE DREAM TEAM

The “Dream Team” moniker was well deserved with Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor the #1 and #2 players in the world. The world in this case being the PDC. This team at times acted more like a nightmare before staggering and falling into the title. Fans of the NFL might remember that before the start of the 2001-2012 season the Philadelphia Eagles were called a “Dream Team.” It’s possible that the handle “Dream Team” was first used for the 1992 USA Olympic basketball team which was made up of Michael Jordan, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, David Robinson and Sir Charles Barkley. This 1992 Dream Team went through the competition like corn through a seagull, which is really a rat with wings. Although Phil Taylor certainly belongs in that “rare dream team air” the jury will be out on Lewis until his body of work fills more than a “Post-it.”

PDC WORLD CUP II

The PDC World Cup II was held in the Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in Hamburg, Germany where the weather outside was colder than an “ex wife’s stare.” For most of the event the crowd was about the same. A German friend emailed during the competition that “these are not German dart fans but tourists.” We in America blame our woes n tourists also. It did seem at times that they looked “like a BDO crowd,” as one person blogged. In all there were 24 nations represented with 48 players. Doing the math means that each nation was represented by two man teams. Before you pounce, it’s not politically incorrect to type “two man teams” as no ladies appeared in the PDC Order of Merit.

The Russian Fox, Anastasia Dobromyslova, abandoned the PDC for the friendlier confines of the BDO/WDF. Dobromyslova is currently #2 in the WDF rankings behind “The Six-Foot Chocolate Bar” and long time ODC palette – which we know is a lady pal – Ms. Deta Hedman. Rumors swirled on the Internet that. Ms. Dobromyslova was contemplating a return to the PDC. The same source also reported 492 Elvis sightings in Las Vegas. So it could be true.

The preliminary round was played between seeds 9-24 and was played doubles only, first to 5. In 5 matches the higher seed prevailed with Canada (John Part/Kevin MacNeil) beating Hungary, USA (Darin Young/Gary Mawson) taking out the Philippines and Austria over New Zealand by scores of 5 to 3, while Sweden (Magnus Caris/Dennis Nilsson) advanced 5-2 over Japan. Croatia and Denmark upset the seeding with 5-4 wins over Finland and Gibraltar respectively. South Africa shocked the darting world – not really, but go with me on this one – by defeating Spain 5-2. This was the same Spanish team that beat England and Scotland in PDC World Cup I. The Springboks side of Devon Peterson and Shawn Hogan sent a wake up call as a team to be reckoned with. They were an unlikely pair as Peterson has the looks, talent and personality to be a matinee idol while Hogan, who lost an eye in a childhood hunting accident, has that “stay out of my way” glare oft seen in western movies.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG

The first full round would consist of two singles (first to 4) worth one point each with one doubles (first to 4) worth two points. It’s easy to criticize the format but probably uncalled for. The ODC did say “the draw for the first round sucked as the #9 team played the #1 seed.” Upon further review the ODC still thinks the draw sucked but – here comes the old mea culpa – it’s only the PDC’s second World Cup. It’s evolving made for television even because that’s where the money is… so “STFU!” One reader thought that a more fair system for seeding the teams might be based on the combined earnings of the playing members. That would work too.

Unlike other PDC events, World Cup Play is “mugs away” which works but should be tweaked. If the players or team are tied going into the deciding leg they should “diddle for the honor.” The ODC is a great believer in “diddling” for any reason. It would also add another touch of drama as did the “leg of death” played in the finals.

FIRST FULL ROUND

Singles was played first. America split with hometown Germany 1-1. Darin Young had little trouble taking out German #2, Bernd Roith, but did so 4-2. Gary Mawson was unlucky to loose to #1, Jyhan Artit 4-3. The ODC, being the irritating jerk he is, emailed a friend in the “Land of VWs and Beer and Brats” that he could beat Bernd Roth. “Do not understatement him. He is a good player.”

The Canadian pair of John Part and Ken MacNeil shocked some of the darting world – the part was already wasn’t shocked by the South Africa win, when they beat both Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor 4-3.

South Africa faced the Scotland pair of Gary Anderson and Peter “Snakebite” Wright and got their doors blown off. Scot Gary Anderson beat Shawn Hogan 4-3 while “Snakebite” laid a good old fashion whipping on Devon Peterson. The Springbok pair would have to win the doubles and then a one leg decider. The USA had to win the doubles while Canada would move on to the next round by beating England or losing the doubles and winning the “sudden death leg.”

THE THOUGHT PLICKENS

Both Wales and Australia won easy, 4-0, to advance while Netherlands advanced 3-1.

Haven’t mentioned Sweden which was tied at 1 with Belgium after the singles… but now, with at least one reader in the land of the “Girl With the Butterfly Tattoo” that situation will directly be rectified. Sweden had the best walk on music – “Waterloo” by ABBA. The ODC correctly pointed out to no one, “for dancing and singing it’s great but remember that Waterloo is where old Napoleon got his ass handed to him.”

Magnus Caris is one of the few still playing at championship level from the days of old. It’s been rumored, and backed by video, that Caris never smiles. Not so – as not only did he smile but he may have done what the Swedish call dancing to the ABBA tune. He was playing with former Swedish strongest man Dennis Nilsson. A blogger said of him, “He doesn’t have a forehead… he has a 5 head.” With the need to beat Belgium in the doubles, race to 5, the Swedes fell behind 3-0 after some really sloppy play that doomed them. They got it to 4-2 with Caris hitting both doubles, but couldn’t get any closer, losing 5-2.

CANADA-ENGLAND

“Oh Canada” that got the “suck draw,” with nary a drink before or a cigarette after, was up 2-0 over heavily favored England. The Dream Team” had been a nightmare. The Brits got the early 1-0 lead when Phil Taylor laid a T40 on them which Lewis made disappear. Part took out 76 after a Lewis missed double to level. Lewis gave England a 2-1 lead. The score got to 4-2 England when John Part’s 109 finish on double 16 grabbed a leg. With “mugs away” the rule, Lewis tossed a T80 and then made up for another Taylor missed double, taking 32 for the win and a “sudden death leg.” Going for the bull after Part missed both red and green on the third try, Taylor gave England the honors. World Champion Adrian Lewis would waddle to the rescue with a 140 which left them at 110 after 12 darts. Taylor would set up double four which Lewis erased.

SCOTLAND-SOUTH AFRICA

Scotland against South Africa was a match that if written by a writer and then made into a movie, no one would have believed. The Springboks were down 0-2 in points and then found themselves down 0-2 in the pairs as Devon Peterson missed the bull on a 90 exit. Peterson’s first T80 and 56-out narrowed it to 2-1. Gary Anderson gave the guys from the “Land of Kilts and Nervous Sheep” a 3-1 lead on a 120-out you will never find on any out chart. His triple 20 was followed by double top and then double 10. Anderson, not known for hitting doubles, did so twice in one leg. Go figure.

South Africa got back a leg behind Peterson’s second T80 and d9. Then it was level with Peterson’s 101 finish. Peterson, who lit up the chilly venue with his smile and dancing style during the walk on, tossed his third T80. When the Scots missed 4 at a double Hogan took out double 8 to give the guys from South Africa their first lead at 4-3. Scotland throwing first could hold serve to level so Hogan’s following d16 forced the match to a “sudden win” leg. Peterson won the bull but the Scots stole the thunder as after an Anderson T80 they wanted 144 after 9. Peter Wright got it to 60 when Peterson missed a 126 finish on d12. Gary Anderson then missed two at a double as Hogan took out d6 for the improbable comeback win for the Springboks.

USA-GERMANY

The ODC is on a mission to remove two things from the earth. One is the “man hug” and the other is mindless morons that blog. Both tasks are probably a mission impossible and both were manifested during this match. First the “man hugs.” The hometown Germans and the Yanks did so much “man hugging” on stage it was hard to discern whether it was going to be a dart match or a bridal shower. Guys go back to the handshake or knuckle nudge.

Prior to the match the “yappers” on the TV kept saying “This match depends on how well Darin Young plays.” “BS!” cried the ODC at the monitor. “With Darin Young you now what you’re going to get. The question is: can Gary Mawson play well and especially better than the #2 man (Bernd Roith) for the Germans.” The teams traded the first four legs with the darts. America would take the lead, against the darts, 3-2. The Germans would take the next two kegs to move to 4-3, just one leg from a win. Young missed a 123 finish but when Jyhan Artut couldn’t connect on double 8 Mawson would send the game to the deciding leg. Germany’s Jyhan Artut led off with a T80 and added a ton which his partner duplicated, leaving 64. But the Germans but didn’t get the opportunity to tee-up again as Darin Young then made 106 go “bye-bye” for the win. At this point some mindless jerk-off blogged…

“First time America’s ever won a war on its own.”

The ODC immediately signed up to blog and sent the following…

“Stick it, you 19-throwing, side saddle-riding, George Michael-listening to piece of human garbage.” Case closed. End of story. Thank you very much.

THE QUARTERS

The #2 seed, Australia, had no trouble with Belgium, winning 3-1 in a similar format to round 1. Simon Whitlock got an easy 4-0 win over Kurt Van De Rijck and Paul Nicholson lost 4-2 to emerging star Kim Huybrechts with the Aussies taking the doubles. Two things to consider here. First Paul Nicholson is a Geordie which is “a native of Newcastle-upon-Tyne” in England. He lived in Aussie for 6 years so becomes an Aussie. Also he wanted, for this event, to be called “The Asset.” The ODC was surprised that the word was spelled with an “et.”

Netherlands, the defending champions, went through Northern Ireland like a hot knife through butter, 4-nil. “Yes Margaret that means they won the singles and doubles.”

Darts is the most humbling of games. You can go from the Penthouse to the Outhouse in a nanosecond. The South Africa-Wales match proved that in spades. Wales’ Mark Webster dispatched Shawn Hogan 4-0. The comeback of Wales’ Richie Burnett was completed with his World Cup appearance. It was a long way back. He had the task of playing one of the early stars of World Cup II in Devon Peterson. Peterson opened with a 13-darter. Burnett leveled at one. After both missed doubles Peterson connected for 2-1. Burnett, utilizing his first T80, leveled. Peterson erased 105 which left Burnett with a wry smile. Burnett will level at 3 when he opens with t80 and closes with 16. Both players score T80 and 140 in the decider. Burnett would leave 51 as Peterson wanted 116. Peterson took out the 116 for a 12-darter which left Burnett with another smile but this time not so wry, one that said “WTF.”

Wales was up 3-2, one leg from the win. South Africa leveled when Shawn Hogan took out 121 with d18. In the decider Wales had first shot at a double but Mark Webster missed the bull for a 121 finish as Peterson had a shot at 61. Peterson hit a 12 with his first. He stepped away from the line asking referee Russ Bray what he had left.

“49.”

“I have 49?”

“Yes”

Peterson then hit 7 and double 16 for the apparent win. He started his celebration but stopped when the silence of the crowd was over whelming. It hit him like a shot of Jägermeister – “OF” which is similar to “WTF.” The terms as the terms are interchangeable, in all languages. Burnett hit double 8 for the win and a wry smile of his own that said, “There is a Welsh God in Dart Heaven. “Peterson from Penthouse to Outhouse.”

The draw of England against America screamed for Carol Channing to sing her baby heart out with a revised edition of Hello Dolly…

“Hello Oily. Well hello Oily. It’s so nice to see you back where you belong.”

The sub title would be: “Let’s get rid of the North America lads.”

Gary Mawson started things off by defeating Phil Taylor 4-3, coming from down 3-2 for the win. Mawson leveled following a missed 127 bull Taylor attempted, finishing with d17. Against the darts Mawson penalized Taylor’s missed tops with a double top of his own for the win. Mawson had been a target of the bloggers during play. He beat Phil Taylor so “STFU.”

Darin Young against the darts took leg one. Young, up 2-1, missed three doubles which Adrian Lewis converted for 2-all. Young got the lead back overcoming a Lewis T80 with a 64 finish. Lewis leveled at 3 with a 76 finish. With the darts Young missed a 121 finish with a bull, then two more at tops. Lewis, using an out chart not often seen, took 40 with double 1 and double 19. As it should be, the match came down to the doubles play. It also came down to missed doubles – with the duo with the fewest to win. With England up 3-2, Darin Young opened with a T80 which evolved to Gary Mawson having a shot at an 88 close. He missed which allowed Lewis a shot at 81 which he took with the bull. England advances.

THE SEMI FINALS AND FINAL

The semi finals were perpadedic to say the very least. Australia and England moved on to a finals match up with 5-1 wins. Australia led from the first leg but England came from 1 nil down. Taylor lost his singles to Richie Burnett when he continued to struggle with doubles but with scoring that was superb. Being tossed a hanging curve ball or googlie that doesn’t google (little cricket terminology) the announcers were required to say,

“You score for show and double for dough.” They didn’t disappoint.

For the finals the format went from 4 points to 7 with a point coming first to 7 legs. The match was constructed with 4 singles and one double. Phil Taylor’s double troubles continued against Paul Nicholson when he missed 17 from 27 but hit 7 for the 7-4 won. He did what? Yep missed 17-24 but had three 177 set ups which got him by. Lewis increased the England lead with a 7-5 win over Simon Whitlock. Lewis played like a world champion with 5 T80’s and a 161 finish although at times he looked to be “totally worn out” or “nekked” (or is it knackered?), as the Brits say. “Jackpot” Lewis “nekked” – not a pretty sight.

“Not hard to figure as he’d been hauling around not only his own fat ass but Taylor’s as well.”

The England lead would become 3-0 when Taylor, despite missing 19 doubles, would beat Simon Whitlock 7-6. Taylor had a spectacular average of 105.93 which is darn near 106. He closed the deal with an 11-darter. The ODC has a theory – he has lots of those – that when one player has trouble with doubles is jinxes the board.

“He’s got the board so fouled up no one can hit a double.”

Seemed to be prophetic…

Nicholson got Australia their first win in the finals 6-4 over a struggling Adrian Lewis who was obviously tired from load he carried. The PDC World Cup II would come down to the pairs. Australia needed a win and got it with ease. They took the first three on the trot against a sagging England team. Down 3-nil, England got one back in a game that appeared no one wanted. England converted on their 12th try at a double, having missed the first 11. A 12-darter pulled another one back for England. Simon Whitlock tossed his sixth T80 of the match then a d8 for a 4-2 lead. Australia got it to 5-2 behind Whitlock’s 7th T80 but then Nicholson missed the bull at the end of a 170-check. Taylor let Nicholson off the hook when he missed 3 at doubles allowing Whitlock to hit the double.

Phil Taylor scored a T80 and a 100 finish to edge back to 3-5. Nicholson hit d16 to move the Aussie’s within one leg of the win and overtime. He hit the double, then posed for the crowd to confirm the ODC’s opinion that the moniker “The Asset” should not be spelled with an “et.” Whitlock took over the winning leg with a T80 and a 124 finish to end the match and bring the PDC World Cup II to a final leg.

Both teams showed the strain as each struggled to a finish. Lewis couldn’t leave a double from 88. Nicholson missed double top and d10. Taylor missed two. Whitlock missed d10 and then tossed a fat 5 using his third dart to “angrily” toss a bust. Lewis hit d5 for the title. ENGLAND WINS!

AND FINALLY…

The PDC World Cup II paid out £250,000 with £20,000 to the winning team of Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis. Those sums dwarf what the WDF World Cup pays – which is zero, nada, zip. An aggressive national dart organization would be on the phone to the PDC asking for the chance to name their own national team for PDC World Cup III.

So how do you explain a guy raised in Oakland, California getting up on Super Bowl Sunday at 5 a.m. to watch darts from Hamburg, Germany? Well, men and women were meant to evolve but for some, like the ODC, it takes longer.

In hindsight, was the PDC World Cup II more enjoyable than the Super Bowl?

During the Super Bowl the ODC and pal consumed various adult beverages, fried calamari, and home baked pizza. Still the Super Bowl didn’t have the drama, tension or excitement of the PDC World Cup II. Another plus was that the World Cup didn’t have some old bag dancing (that was Madonna) without the terpsichorean skill of Magnus Caris. Terpsichorean? Look it up!

The PDC World Cup II was a clear cut choice as #1. As in “winner-winner-chicken-dinner.”

Stay thirsty my friends.

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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.
Howie Reed

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