Column #HR88 Perception isn’t always reality

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Column HR88
Perception isn’t always reality

Let’s say that you’re enjoying a tall cool beverage at your favorite watering hole in Pattaya Beach. Let’s call the place Tim Bar Beer where you’ve been ushered to a duce outside table by Billy the greeter. The scene could even be at either the Island Lager Bar – home of the Old Dart Coach’s agent, “Not Yet” Brook – or the Irish Times on Patong Breach where the Corley’s hold court. It’s possible it could be at the end of a great Cajun meal at Bourbon Street in Bangkok where a nice glass of wine is shared with the boss man Doug Harrison.

Then the love of your life, out of the blue, with brown eyes like deep mysterious pools proclaims,

“I love you too much.”

The perception?

“WOW,” is the thought, “after all these years she loves me so much that never shall we part.”

The reality is a little different. What she means is, “your money has gone and I will be soon,” which would make a not too shabby title for a C&W song.

That’s just one example of where perception isn’t reality.

Just a few weeks ago the Naysayers – that would be Nays that say things – were writing the obits for two time world champion Adrian Lewis and golf’s Tiger Woods. Foolish knaves they be…

Tiger since has found his swing along with a big blond to win two out of three on the just concluded Florida swing. He’s moved back to the #1 spot in the world as Ireland’s Rory Mcllroy continues to battle the dreaded tennis infatuation disease this one called “Wozniacki.” With Tiger the perception is that it was probably his improved swing that made the difference. The reality may be that “it was a blond what did it.” Never under estimate the value of a tall cool blond.

Two time world champion Adrian Lewis was playing lousy in the Premier League. “Dreadful” would be a kind description but lousy will do. Lewis languished in last place with the danger of not making the cut from 10 players to 8 after week nine. Lewis turned it around, somewhat, getting two wins and a draw in three weeks. It started when Lewis hung a 7-4 win on the nascent mercurial Michael van Gerwen. Then he came from 0-2 down for a 6-6 draw with Gary Anderson which was followed with a 7-5 win over rookie Robert Thornton.

Barely out of the cellar, Lewis is in tough against Andy Hamilton (4-3) and Raymond van Barneveld (4-2-1) the next couple of weeks before the cut. Hamilton has to be riding high after a 7-4 spanking of Simon Whitlock. Barney will be pumped as he warms up with Phil Taylor who is in his usual mid-Premier League slump after losing 2 from 3. The Premier League can be viewed on Justin TV each Thursday at 3:00 pm EST and noon on the “really” left coast. That’s not to say that Lewis is out of the woods yet. He crashed out of the latest Players events, a pair of UK Speedy Hire Opens, in rounds 3 and 4.

There’s the perception that we root for champions to regain their touch to triumph again. Not even close to reality. We love it when Lewis misses 6 at double tops or when Tiger blows a 2 footer. It’s the same joy we experience when Prima Ballerina Svetlana Zakharova misses a simple “a la seconde” and falls on her ass.

Makes us feel better about ourselves.

Sometimes perception is due to the lack of information. Many are not aware of what’s going on with the darting scene in North America. It’s an understandable situation as, unless deeply involved or connected, information on the raid in Benghazi is easier to obtain.

The PDC’s an example of a darting entity that goes against the usual grain. They’re an example of developing a marketing plan and then cultivating what grows from it and letting folks know.

The latest example is the announcement by the PDC of the Dubai Duty Free Masters. The top eight players in the PDC rankings will travel to Dubai for the event scheduled for May 23-24. $250,000 will be up for grabs with $50,000 on the table for the winner. As the late San Francisco radio icon Din Sherwood would say every day, “from the mud grows the Lotus.”

As has been well chronicled, the PDC had to take baby steps before it took off running. Sure they tripped a few times but they kept getting up.

The New World Darts Series (NWDS) is doing the same thing although the perception may be a little different. The reality is that while the series may not be ready for prime time it’s on a steady course. Is it for everyone? Probably not. For the once-a-week players who could give a rat’s posterior about rankings, competition or getting a sponsor it’s a non-starter. For the serious player this series is a step in the right direction.

The second stop on the NWDS “tour” will be April 5-7 at the Tuscany Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas. There will be $32,000 on offer for the singles-only event competed by men, women and those that decline to state. The latter will have to make a designation prior to start of play.

The perception may be that with 45 ladies and 148 men the entry list is disappointing. In reality it’s better than Naysayers would expect considering the cost of entry and the fact that there will be NO sweethearts draws. The entry number falls short of the required amount by only 3 women and 44 men. Not too Chablis.

Attendance was probably improved with the announcement that the ODC would be making a rare personal appearance. While not able to enter the Friday blind draw do to an “incident” caused injury, he will attend. Best bet is he’ll be found at the bar scoffing up those $3.00 beers. “Three is fine but FREE is better.”

He may trip a few times but he’ll damn well get back up. If the NWDS does the same thing they just may be on to something.

The general perception is that when groundhog Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his hidey-hole on Gobbles Knob and doesn’t see his shadow it will be an early spring. This year there was no shadow but, alas, there was also no early spring as the effects of global warming have buried people in the East and Midwest under rain and snow. Folks are angry…

A prosecuting attorney in Butler County, Ohio issued an indictment against the Pennsylvania groundhog: “…the rodent misrepresented the coming of an early spring… I will seek the death penalty for fibbing Phil.” Lovable Phil became a rat. Perception versus reality.

Here’s one more… but it’s tricky.

Some may perceive this column as “much to do about nothing.” Some see 1,157 plus words strung together in a fine mosaic to paint a picture of a mind slightly deranged by many years of darts, alcohol, latent bed wetting, juvenile behavior, unrequited love or the attempt to meet the contractual 1,200 words required. Reality: it’s in there somewhere.

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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