Column #HR73 Triple X-rated Olympics?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Column HR73
Triple X-rated Olympics?

The Old Dart Coach was as excited as anyone had ever seen him. Well, okay, with the exception of those at Tim’s Bar Beer in Pattaya with whom he shares pints on occasion. Actually, any occasion in Pattaya will do “thank you.”

The ODC ran into the streets shouting…

“The Triple X Olympiad is coming to free TV live from England!”

Not really a Paul Revere moment.

Imagine his disappointment when it was “splained” to him that it wasn’t the “Triple X” as in surfing the net for training videos. Nay, nay. The “X’s,” he was told, were Roman numerals for ten. His disappointment only increased when he learned that Olympiad means Olympics.

Once the vernacular was “translated” the ODC was rather nonplus about the 30th Olympics coming to London (except for women’s beach volleyball and little lady’s gymnastics).

No darts. The ODC didn’t take the information well. As he wiped tears from his eyes he barely made it to the refrigerator for yet another Miller Genuine…

“That ain’t the answer to anything,” he was told.

“Wrong Bucko. It’s answers the question, “Would you like a beer?”

About every four years there’s a campaign by those that worship at the Altar Tungsten to have darts added to the Olympics. The efforts, while well meaning, will always end with the same result. Disappointment.

Back in the day when the skies were cobalt blue and spring water ran clear the ODC went down that well traveled “we need darts in the Olympics” road. He was, at the time, representing Thailand with the World Dart Federation. He asked the then WDF President who was suppose to be a friend, in private…

“Why isn’t darts in the Olympics?”

“There have to be 100 nations competing to be considered as an Olympic sport.”

The ODC, always vigilant, checked this out with the U.S. Olympics headquarters in Colorado Springs. Armed with the information he gathered the ODC tried to bring the subject up at the next WDF AGM. He also informed his “friend” the WDF President, again in private, that he was “FOS.” That news wasn’t earth shaking nor was it received well.

When the ODC got the floor at the AGM he was told that he was “out of order” by his “friend” the WDF President as items for the agenda had to be submitted months before – a detail his “friend” the WDF President, probably in his drunken stupor, forgot to tell him. When finally on the agenda, the motion was tabled until the next meeting. Oh yes, before the motion was tabled the ODC was removed by the WDF as the representative from Thailand.

What are the facts? Here are the questions that must be answered.

JUST THE FACTS (Typed with the sarcasm font on occasion)

“In order for an activity to qualify as a sport to be considered as part of the Olympics, it must be recognized by the Olympic Movement. To achieve this, the International Olympic Committee looks at the factors surrounding the activity. Is the activity something that is played on a worldwide level? Is it played on a national level in various nations?”

Further requirements state, “there should be a ruling body that is present for the national or the worldwide levels of play, or in some cases, both qualifications must be met.”

Darts qualifies.

By any standard the WDF would qualify as the representative for darts. In addition, there’s a common bond as both organizations, the WDF and International Olympic Committee, are rotten to the core.

Why then would the WDF not want darts in the Olympics? Just a guess but they have a fear that their control, such as it is, over the sport would be diminished but more importantly their “fragile egos” would take a bruising.

Still, well meaning people enquire. This time around when the question was put to the WDF President Roy “SWB” Price he was ready. In an email he wrote…

“An International Sports Federation must be IOC (International Olympic Committee) approved before its events can even be considered for inclusion in an Olympic Games.”

That’s true so the World Dart Federation would qualify – but why has it not applied for approval?

NO EYE DEAR.

In another email Price wrote…

“At the SportAccord Annual Meeting in London earlier this year the International Federations which are not IOC recognised joined forces. We formed the ‘Alliance of Sports Federations’ and elected a working group which will lobby the International Olympic Committee with the view of obtaining a blanket approval.”

SportAccord isn’t in the business of getting approval as their mission statement clearly demonstrates. That group within a group was to hold am meeting in May. Doctor Dart asked the most honourable Mr. Price the results of that meeting.

“Yes the meeting did take place, when anything of significance emerges a public announcement will be made.”

Man, you’d think he was protecting Barack Obama’s birth certificate and school transcripts.

THE SPOTLIGHT’S ON ENGLAND

For the next month the spotlight will be shining brightly on the Motha Country. One former darting great, Dave Whitcomb, isn’t a big fan of the Olympics. Tagged the Shakespeare from Sittingbourne he wrote,

“Never mind the Olympic bollocks, there is nobody better in the planet past or present that is as good as Phil Taylor in his sport. Nobody!”

A pal of his added…

“And Phil doesn’t cause travel disruption and put the bill in the tax payers hands.”

That’s a good lead in to the World Matchplay which is darts Midsummer Classic. It runs July 21-29 in Blackpool, called by some the Las Vegas of England. With £400,000 up for grabs the Betfair World Matchplay is for some darts players Christmas in July. The aforementioned Mr. Taylor will be going for his fifth successive Matchplay title and his 13th overall and has to be the betting favorite. This year’s event in Blackpool will share the stage with golf’s British Open, called The Open, played just a long two iron down the road from Blackpool at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

There’s a school of thought that to find a winner of a major, in darts or golf, you just need to check out the winner of the lead-in event. This year’s golf lead-in was the Scottish Open with the ODC rooting for Italian Francesco Molinari, mainly because his name sounds like a song sung by Domenico Modugno. Molinari lost a play-off to Jeev Milkha Singh who’s name may be a song title sung by Aruna Sairam. You can hear her singing as you wait for your Vindaloo and garlic nan at your local while sipping a Kingfisher – “The King of Good Times.”

The darts lead-in, the European Open, was taken by a “washed up” Raymond van Barneveld over Dave Chisnall. Chisnall, who has been the most consistent player lately, missed five darts at a double to level at 5 but lost 6-4. On the way to the win Barney took out James Wade (6-2) and Richie Burnett (6-4).

Too often prognosticators check the draw to arrive at their selection. As a seeded tournament that would put Taylor, Adrian Lewis, James Wade and Gary Anderson in the final four. The favorite has got to be Phil Taylor who gets the “almost” back in form Mervyn King in the first round. World Champion Adrian Lewis, the number 2 seed, will have to get by Robert Thornton to see the second round. Dave Chisnall is probably the wise guy’s pick but he’ll have to get by Ronnie Baxter. Baxter, coached by the ODC, has been working on a secret plan labeled HTFDD at his palatial Blackpool estate. HTFDD? “Hit The F’n Double Dude.”

Like all PDC majors the World MatchPlay will enjoy wall-to-wall TV coverage on SKY TV. Not within the range of SKY TV? NO problemo. Starting Saturday July 21 and running until the 29th you can watch every day, at 11 AM left coast time, on your computer at: Justin TV.

The same web retains the play for watching at your viewing convenience at a later date. Keen. At press time it was reported that the incomparable Sid Waddell will be making his return behind the mike after an extended leave of absence as he battles cancer. That’s a big plus for any telecast.

The World MatchPlay unlike either The Open or the Olympics won’t be hampered by the terrible weather that has wreaked havoc on the Motha Country this summer. The fact is that it’s been so wet that the Polish Water Polo Team, in England to practice for the Olympics, has had to withdraw. Seems their horses all drowned.

The mascot for this Olympics is Wenlock, named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock that helped inspire Pierre de Coubertin to launch the modern Olympic Games in 1986. Now what Monsieur de Coubertin was doing in Much Wenlock has been lost in antiquity. One view is that he was actually just outside Much Wenlock in Not Much Wenlock.

One darter walking around London noticed a guy walking around carrying a long mental pole asked…

“Are you a pole vaulter?”

“No I’m German but how did you know my name was Walter?”

Ranks right up there with Mr. Stefan Lord’s favorite ploy. When dining and asked by the waiter, “Are you finished?” he’s been known to reply…

“No I’m Swedish but done eating.”

As the second most interesting man in the world says, “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.

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