Column #HR85 Hey critics – lay off Butler and Young!

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Column HR85
Hey critics – lay off Butler and Young!

A critic is someone who can’t do something but doesn’t know it – or accept it – and bitches about those who can – someone “who tends to make harsh or carping judgments; a faultfinder.” This is especially so when it comes to sport. Many, perhaps most, would describe the Old Dart Coach as a critic. He believes he can do anything except grow hair on his head or understand any book with “For Dummies” in the title.

The ODC will criticize the Brit Bastards that have stolen the idea of this column for their on-line chat show called “Off the Oche.” It’s a show that highlights the PDC Premier League play. Some say “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” No one that’s ever had a creative idea stolen ever made that statement. Come up with your own ideas you collective wankers. Bet you don’t even know where the term Oche comes from.

Critics might have a field day with the American’s performance in World Cup III – but not the ODC. Larry Butler and Darin Young crashed like a car running in the Talladega 500 and are probably being excoriated by some with witless rhetoric not normally heard in polite company. Butler and Young should answer with “go far away and multiply” or in twitter talk… “FO.”

Sometime race cars just crash, no real fault of the driver. Neophyte darters learn that sometimes things “just happen.” The ODC learned that “It’s the Dart God” when things go awry. The “DG” is unforgiving, can be judgmental, cruel, but at times very rewarding. She’s a demanding mistress with unexplainable mood swings. DAH.

Playing out of the Holiday Inn in Concord the ODC, before a home crowd, was set for his first 120 league checkout. The décor of the cocktail lounge featured a brick wall with dart boards mounted. The ODC’s first dart landed in the triple 20, the second midway between the triple and the desired double.

The crowd fell silent. The ODC took a deep breath remembering the old lesson, “the darts ‘in’ just take it ‘out.’” Back came the dart with stealth-like precision followed by the usual syrupy smooth release and flowing follow through.

WHACK!.

WHACK?

That’s the sound a dart makes when it hits sideways halfway up a brick wall. For the ODC the memory of “nowhere to hide and nowhere to go” remains indelible. The Dart God had struck Let he who has not been attacked by the Dart God cast the first stone. Darters are familiar with the tungsten telegraph so within a hour’s time the ODC became “Brick.” Oh the shame of it.

All darters have similar memories. Today it would be a “WTF” moment. The American team departed World Cup III with two “WTF” moments.

Prior to the World Cup the ODC predicted in print, “Butler and Young will have to best Finland and Germany to move on.” That drew a response from Holger a regular reader from Germany, “They won’t. Neither of them.”
Holger was right.

The USA first faced Finland. Up 2-0 in the race to 5, Darrin Young had three darts to make it 3-0. He missed. Finland won 5-4.

Next up was Germany. The Yanks were up 2-0. Butler had three at 40. His first dart was a fat 1 which landed with the effect of the ODC’s “brick shot.” Unable to right the ship, the opportunity sailed as Germany came back for the 5-4 win. USA out.

NASCAR drivers at Talladega after a big wreck explain “It was one of those racing deals.” Butler and Young? “The Dart God gave us half a victory sign. The ‘DG’ got us.” She can be a bitch.

The Bitch “DG” had no trouble smiling on the England Team of Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis. For the Saturday knockout rounds the weather outside was in the 30s and overcast. To borrow from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western “It was a beautiful day for a hanging.”

At the end of the day there was more carnage on the floor of the Alsterdorfer Sporthalle than after “The Big one at Talladega.” For the record Talladega means “pulverized rock” in the language of the Choctaw Indians.

Five seeded teams were hung out to dry after being pulverized. In the lead up to the Cup play “wise guys” mentioned Wales, Australia, Scotland and Netherlands as teams that could upset reigning champs England. Only the Wales duo of Mark Webster-Richie Burnett, Germany and England escaped the Saturday seeded slaughter.

Germany had a stress free 5-2 win over Poland. The winning leg had the home country fans “rock’n and rollin’” when Jyhan Artut and Andre Welge opened with back-to-back T80’s. Artut missed the 9-darter but his partner ended it in 12 which is not too Chablis.

Wales took out Canada 5-2 coming from 2-1 down hitting four doubles with four darts. Croatia- Northern Ireland was a see-saw match. Croatia tied the score at 4 on Robert Marijanovic’s 120-out. In the decider both teams had darts to win with Marijanovic’s double 13 providing the 5-4 win. The Emerald Isle suffered another loss when Japan eliminated the Republic of Ireland 5-3. Japan’s Haruki Muramatsu, a soft point player, was brilliant hitting a pair of T80’s and three of the five winning doubles.

The Dutch Duo of Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen were heavy favorites to send the Fins packing. They led 2-0. After a pair of Fin T80s it was 2-1. They leveled when Jani Haavisto hooked a double 18. The Fins moved into the lead 3-2 behind Jarkko Komula’s T80 and doubles missed by Barney and van Gerwen. Haavisto hit his 3rd double for a 4-2 lead. The Dutch got to 4-3 down on a double 2. With a chance to extend the match van Gerwen missed double 18 and two at double 9. Komula hit double 10 for the win (with four of their legs less than 14 darts).

Spain’s Antonio Alcinas is well known as a good player. He was teamed again with Carlos Rodriguez. In 2010 they made it to the semi-finals. The Scots led 3-1 only to have Spain come back to level. Then is was 4-3 Scotland – when great scoring allowed them to miss 5 doubles before Anderson hit double 1. Robert Thornton would miss one at tops on a 100 finish for the match. Alcinas leveled at 4 with double 5. The final leg was all Spain. Alcinas hit T80 leaving 81. With Scotland not in three dart range Rodriquez set up tops for Alcinas which he took.

Last year Australia lost in the finals. This time around Simon Whitlock and Paul “The Jerk” Nicholson got their respective reproductive organs knocked on the floor. Belgian brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts went through them like corn through a seagull. On the way to a 5-1 win the Brothers Huybrechts averaged 101.08.

For reasons that makes no sense the World Cup format changed from the quarter finals on. Why? The Brits love to mess with a good thing…

After all doubles play singles were added – two singles first and if tied a doubles match. Belgium copped both singles from Croatia for a 2-0 win. Wales, England and Finland advanced with 2-1 wins over Spain, Japan and Germany. Only Germany had a dart to win the deciding doubles match.

Belgium reached the finals with a 2-1 win over Finland. After splitting the singles the Brothers Huybrechts tossed a 4-0 doubles licking on the Fins. England reached the finals by the same score 2-1 score. Adrian Lewis made up for his earlier 4-3 singles loss to Richie Burnett by hitting doubles to level the pairs at 3 and then hit the winning double. Burnett had double 10 from a 140 finish to win the match 4-2.

The finals was played 4 singles with a doubles match if needed. It wasn’t. The only win in the finals for Belgium came from Kim Huybrechts over Adrian Lewis 4-0. That tied it at 1 with Lewis then beating Ronny Huybrechts 4-2 as Phil Taylor sealed the deal 4-1 over Kim for the 3-1 win.

Yes, the Dart God smiled on England. Some would call it luck. The great golfer Jack Nicklaus once said of luck, “The more I practice the luckier I get.” That may be true but still it never hurts to have a little insurance…

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Can’t hurt to buy chocolates, a card and roses for the Dart God. She just might grant you that extra triple or double that will make the difference. Of course Taylor does it with Champagne and Caviar but it’s the thought that counts. Oh yes, and “size doesn’t matter.”

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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