Column #HR67 It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s Superman… maybe!

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Column HR67
It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s Superman… maybe!

Those who know the Old Dart Coach are aware that sometimes he’s a bubble off center (actually most of the time he’s a lot more than bubble off). The world deals with this by ignoring him completely.

Those who know the ODC also are aware that he often makes predictions out of thin air. In Twitter Town he’s widely known to be “FOS.” Recently, when commenting about the PDC and their proposed North American Players Tour the ODC was compelled to comment (about the further development of the tour) with the words, “When pigs fly…”

Well, kids don’t look up because the “porkers” are airborne.

The PDC, unlike other pretenders, has put their money where their press releases are. In addition to the previously announced PDC event in London, Ontario on August 26, Chicago gets a tour stop on July 22 and Atlantic City on September 9. Each event will carry a “guarantee” of $10,000 in prize money with a knockout format best of 11. The two events in the USA will be under the direction of Jay Tomlinson who ran the successful Lucky Strike Series back in the day. With the winner taking $2,200 in Coin of the Realm it’ll be a time for North American players to step up to the plate swinging for the fences. Put actions where the whining was. “You axed and you got it Buckwheat.”

The PDC has wisely removed competition from across the pond for these events by limiting it to players from North America. Yes, proof of residency must be provided. A hail and hearty “three cheers” (with a plethora of Miller Genuine) are due the PDC. One question that has yet to be answered is whether it will be a “random draw,” a seeded draw, or some combination thereof. The problem with the “random draw,” as old timers can attest, is that it was seldom “random.” All ADO sanctioned tournaments require a random draw. That’s their story and they’re sticking with it. The ODC suggests that the current North American Order of Merit be used for seeding for the initial event and then updated after one. Will that occur? Well, pigs are a flyin’.

A PREDICTION GONE RIGHT

One time when the ODC actually was correct was with his prediction that, with Phil Taylor, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” When the Premier League reached Exeter Phil Taylor once again painted a masterpiece. The victim this time was Aussie Simon Whitlock who lives in England and has German girlfriend. Talk about dipping ones toes in many waters…

With an overflow crowd of 4,000 hooting and hollering Taylor jumped out to a 2- nil lead which Whitlock narrowed to 3-2 and 5-4 before losing 8-4. It could be written that “Whitlock played well enough to win.” He did – averaging 105.44 while hitting 4 from 9 out shots. Taylor? He was in another world hitting 8 of 10 doubles and averaging 117.35.

“Holy Reindeer, Kemo Sabe!”

This average of 117.35 follows averages of 112 and 108 this year in Premier League play for Phil the King I.

Taylor stole the spotlight from Gary Anderson who demolished World Champion Adrian Lewis 8-1. Usually a “butt kicking” like this against a world champion would be garnishing all the print space but not this time, as Anderson’s win (aside from the final 8-1 score) wasn’t lights out. It was a three-year-old’s finger painting compared to Taylor’s Michelangelo. Anderson’s average of 93.47 was respectable and his 8 from 17 checkout was okay. He took only 19 minutes for the slam job. But Lewis was pitiful. He hit only one from 11 to finish. Not world champion type play.

If Taylor’s Exeter performance was a Michelangelo his display the following week at the Brighton Centre was a van Gough, the later years, performance. The mark of a great player is the ability to win ugly. Taylor won ugly while drubbing Gary Anderson 8-1. It was a sub-par Taylor as he averaged under 100 at 99.89. The two were tied at 1 with a couple of “does anyone want to win a leg” legs. Through the first few legs Taylor’s scoring was pedantic in the 70’s and 80’s. While taking 7 on the trot he raised his average to 99.89 which was noteworthy (as we just did). Simon Whitlock handed yet another defeat, 8-4, to Adrian Lewis who has yet to score a “W” in the PL. James Wade played his usual “herky-jerky” game beating Raymond van Barneveld 8-6. “Herky-jerky” meaning that one minute it’s “this guy is the best ever” but the next minute morphs into “how the hell did this guy every win?” Newcomers Kevin Painter got an 8-5 win over fellow neophyte Andy Hamilton. In the post match interview Painter failed to mention the sponsor McCoy’s. Wanna be Phil Taylor? Remember in post match interviews to mention your sponsor at least every 30 seconds. That’s what champion do.

SUPERMAN… Phil Taylor?

It wouldn’t be stretching the truth to equate Philip Douglas Taylor to Superman. In fact he may be Superman. Since his loss to Dave Chisnall in the world championships Taylor has, in the words of award winning sports columnist Ron Kantowski, “gone through the competition like the lumberjack on Red Bull did the Sahara Forest.”

“There is no Sahara forest!”

“Not now!”

The ODC reminds us that Superman was born on the planet Krypton, escaping as it blew up like a Kardashian marriage to a white dude. His father – Superman’s, not Kardshian’s – Jor-El placed him in a rocket and sent him to Earth. That may be why Taylor, like the president of the United States, uses a fake birth certificate to prove citizenship. The only thing on earth that could defeat or weaken Superman was Kryptonite. It brings on a fear no different that the fright a person on welfare feels when the word “work” is mentioned.

The initial 2012 event of the PDC Players Tour was held at the Rivermead Centre in Reading which is pronounced either “REDing or READing.” It’s up to you. Taylor went through the field like “the seagulls went thru locust in Utah in 1884 thereby saving the harvest.” On day one Taylor, “made the earth”

Nah, just joshing with you…

Taylor swept through the field as in 7 matches he went 42-8 including 6-1 laughers against Kim Huybrechts (he of the smokin’ hot lady person pal) in the quarters, Simon Whitlock in the semis and Wes Newton in the final. And “oh bi the way” he tossed in a 9-drater against Tony West (174-177-150 with treble 20, bull, and double top). In a classic case of understatement Taylor said, “It’s a brilliant day’s work.” He averaged 113.54 in the final. One could and did say that.

On Sunday Taylor created another 9-darter (180-180 with a 141 finish) against Peter Hudson for openers. He then pounded out wins of 6-3, 6-2, 6-0, and 6-4 to reach the final against Dave Chisnall. As already noted, Dave Chisnall had last defeated Taylor back at the world championships. Chisnall broke the throw to start with a nifty 12-darter. Taylor returned the honor then held for a 2-1 lead. Chisnall would level when both missed doubles but Chisnall missed less. Chisnall would take the next 2 legs, for a 4-2 lead, punishing Taylor for three missed doubles. Taylor would take the next three legs for a 5-4 lead.

With the win in front of him Taylor negated a Chisnall opening T80 with a pair of T40’s to leave 42. Taylor wouldn’t get a shot at 42 when Chisnall took out 92 (bull, 6, double 18). Tied at 5 legs, Taylor landed on 161 with Chisnall at 167 both after 9 darts. Taylor used the oche for a T20-T17, leaving a bull shot which he passed for a fat 18 to leave 32. Chisnall hit 131 to leave 36. Taylor then missed 3 at 32 while Chisnall missed 2 at 36 but he had three and didn’t waste his last one for the win. Chisnall took the prize despite being outscored 104.44 to 101.20. Now the question is, “Did Taylor prove he’s mortal, did he choke, or is Dave Chisnall Taylor’s kryptonite ?”

THE WILD MAN OF BORNEO… PAR DUEX

Paul Seigel, aka “Dartoid,” who created this web site and is often more than a bubble off too, recently toured and wrote about his searching Malaysia for “The Wild Man of Borneo.” Mr. ‘Toid lives in a vast mansion in Florida but travels the world wide. For the record the ODC bows in the direction of Florida five times per day with or without the appropriate rug – so it’s difficult to argue with the Most Honored Editor’s quest to find the Wild Man of Borneo in the dart bars Kuala Lumpur.

He tried establishments named Colors Fun Pub, The Jump, and Shark Club before finally ending up at La Locus. La Locus? That’s what Mexicans call the miracle of Utah. How the hell it got to Kuala Lumpur is anybody’s guess but maybe via white guys in white shirts, sleeves roiled up, ties, riding bicycle’s wearing safety helmets.

When he stumbled into La Locus he found dart heaven in Malaysia. He also met up with Ravi Sandiran one of the best players ever produced by the Island. In reading the Most Honored One’s story the name Ravi rang a bell with the ODC. Fighting his ever increasing case of “CRS” disease, the ODC searched in the far reaches of what’s left of his mind. He ordered a quick trip to the Visitors’ Guest Book at the old Casa de’ Reed. There in all its glory was an entry from October 1993. Signed in all prime and proper was Ravi Sandiran. Who would have thunk that in Kuala Lumpur, a city of 1.5 million people, the Most Honored Editor would have run into a darts player who was an old friend of the ODC? The ODC’s list of young friends is limited at best.

The ODC decided that he would like to touch base with Ravi. But how (which most will recognize as a take off on “How now brown cow?” without the “brown cow”)? No hill for a climber as the ODC instructed that an email address be obtained. No easy task that. Finally, thanks to WDF VP Buddy Barttilano, an email address for former Malaysian darts President Dharam Nanra arrived at the Barrio de Norte’ Las Vegas.

The ODC’s email to Mr. Dharam explained the situation and asked for an email address for Ravi. Mr. Dharam answered almost immediately. “Let me take you down memory lane,” he wrote. “It was Ravi, John Paul and me (Dharam) that visited your beautiful home in Tahoe in 1993 after the WC (World Cup in Las Vegas). I have always asked about you whenever I met any Americans at the various tournaments. I never got any feedback. I remember the last time you also emceed my events in Malaysia. I have also played for your team N2XS in the Pesta Suka in Singapore. Anyway that’s the history I can recall. I read somewhere that Dartoid was in Malaysia looking for the wild Borneo man. You have always left fond memories with the Malaysians and Singaporeans.”

For the record, Dartoid never found “The Wild Man of Borneo” and with good reason – the Wild “Man” of Borneo was/were actually two brothers named Hiram and Barney Davis from Mount Vernon, Ohio. They were made famous when they joined P.T. Barnum’s traveling freak show. By 1912 both had passed on. Borneo (in case you’re ever on Jeopardy) is an island which consists of the country’s of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Hey – the Most Honored One’s wife and boss bought that he was searching for the Wild Man of Borneo in Kuala Lumpur dart bars. That’s why he’s Da ‘Toid Man.

ODC TIME

In this politically correct environment it’s nice to find a sport, darts, where booze is recognized as essential equipment. I have been asked on many occasions, “Isn’t drinking a problem?” The plain answer “no” never seems to satisfy the Doubting Thomases. But ventriloquist Jeff Dunham’s character, Bubba J, had the answer when Dunham asked:

“Do you have problems with drinking beer?”

“No, I pretty much got it figured out.”

“Have you ever been to AA?”

“NO! That’s for quitters.”

Then an email arrived at the Casa from an aging former lady dart groupie (which should raise some warning signs). The email contained this line, “The theory is that beer contains female hormones (hops contains phytoestrogens) and that by drinking enough beer, men turn into women.”

To test the theory 100 men each drank 8 pints of beer within one hour. The email continued: “It was then observed that 100% of the test subjects, yes, 100% of all these men:

1) Argued over nothing;

2) Refused to apologize when obviously wrong;

3) Gained weight;

4) Talked excessively without making sense;

5) Became overly emotional;

6) Couldn’t drive;

7) Failed to think rationally; and

8) Had to sit down to pee.

A situation to ponder tomorrow… or maybe today!

Stay thirsty my friends and pop a few Miller Genuines.

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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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