Column #HR91 Take this Jason Collins!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Column HR91
Take this Jason Collins!

Very seldom does Toeing the Oche break a blockbuster news story.

Like most dart writer’s plying their craft, it damn sure ain’t art. The ODC picks up bits and pieces, adds little darts gossip mixed in with a “tad” of mindless rambling for good measure.

NEWS FLASH: BUTT FIRST…

Coming out of a slump it’s difficult to know, at first glance, whether the light at the end of the tunnel is a pot of gold or the Super Chief. For two time World Champion Adrian Lewis it’s one of those “could go either way deals.” He got drilled again like a bad tooth during Week 12 of the Premier League. Phil Taylor jumped to a 5-0 lead then missed two doubles. Lewis closed to 5-2. Returning the favor Lewis missed four at tops losing 7-2. Taylor averaged 105.24.

Under the second half Premier League format Lewis had a chance for a .500 week against Robert Thornton. Down 0-2 and 1-3 Lewis led 4-3. Thornton leveled at 4, Lewis missed four at tops – a familiar scenario. The “Fat Lady” licked her lips, took a sip of water preparing to sing “Farewell It’s Been Good to Know You”. Lewis fell 7-5 when Thornton erased 145.

Week 13 was better. Lewis lost only once. Things won’t improve as he gets both Andy Hamilton and Simon Whitlock in Week 14, both battling for a playoff spot.

So where’s that bright light leading, maybe, back to the Promised Land? At one of the last Speedy Services UK Open Qualifiers Lewis made the semi finals. He was cruising along with a 5-2 lead over “The Mercurial One” Michael van Gerwen when the light turned into the Super Chief. Van Gerwen came back to win 6-5 aided by four missed match darts by Lewis. Van Gerwen would then blast Mervyn King away 6-0 in just 10 minutes.

Still, if mentally Lewis thinks it’s a win then it’s a win.

With the Speedy Services UK Open Series over it’s on to the Players Championship Series. For newcomers these event are held on a Saturday and Sunday with the field of the 128 players “full” players cards. Each day offer £50,000 with a £10,000 going to the winner. The runner-up collects £5,000 which isn’t too chablis or even a “White Zin.”

The Wigan Robin Park Tennis Centre hosted weekend one. Probably lot less “love” then is usually found at a tennis centre. Michael van Gerwen didn’t win the opener. He lost in the quarter finals to Scotland’s Gary Anderson 6-5. Anderson then ran into countryman Robert Thornton being dispatched 6-3. The other semi was a family battle between the Brothers Huybrechts. Ronny emerged triumph 6-1. The final? Huybrechts missed at least 6 doubles losing 6-0. Thornton was brilliant as he had checkouts of 82, 151, 130 and 101 and a 12-darter, finishing 6/7 and averaging 111.33.

Following the week’s McCoy’s Premier League play Michael van Gerwen said of the coming Players Championships, “I’ll win at least one. It’s job done for me!”

Boy was it a job well done. He was in trouble only twice coming from behind to defeat Peter Wright 6-5 in the quarters then winning 3 on the trot to beat good guy Dennis Smith 6-4 and reach the finals. In the finals van Gerwen beat Stuart Kellett 6-1.

What of Adrian Lewis? Sent packing early by Steve Hine 6-5 then Johnny Haines got him by the same score on Sunday.

For a few in the USA Thursday meant watching Premier League play via the computer. At the recent darts event the ODC heard two fellows from Texas chatting while enjoying a refreshing beverage. “Thursday’s the best day of the week. I take my sandwich lunch break with my computer to watch the Premier League play.”

Funny but the following week those Thursdays of Premier League ended for those in the colonies. No longer shown live on Justin TV. This just as the PDC gets high profile coverage on 60 Minutes Sports on Showtime.

Just stupid. The PDC was building a loyal fan base in the states, partially erasing the foul taste from the “ridged digit” tossed at North American players when we didn’t drink the grape Kool Aid of their previous USA ventures.

NOW THE BREAKING NEWS…

The ODC has admitted that he’s ready to come out of the closet – to shed the light of day on his personality sexually.

“I thought I had to live a certain way. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue. I am and have always been a practicing heterosexual.”

A courageous step, but once out there – in manner of speaking – for public discussion, it seems fair to raise questions.

“How about those flamboyant attention grabbing shirts that cried out, “Look at me?” Then there’s the died yellow hair – what’s left of it – and the Mickey Mouse watches to say nothing of his collection of Barry Manilow CD’s…

He’s just being him.

“It’s not be easy considering the political climate in the world.”

“I know that this is an unusual time to make such a declaration but I want to be maybe the first to “come out” publicly. I’ll suffer slings and arrows but one has to stand on principle. To be honest to ones-self. Maybe I’ll pave the way for others to emerge into the light of day. While I don’t practice my sexuality as much as I did or would like my commitment is solid. Yes I am open to endorsement deals and speaking engagements at youth groups.”

With his new found freedom the ODC answered the following Dart Darling request on Facebook…

“I’m tired of having a ‘job’ and having to go to ‘work’ and pay the ‘bills’ – am now accepting applications for a Sugar Daddy.”

The ODC answered. “I’m old enough to be a Daddy. I’m sweet enough to be sugar. Do I need money? ”

So far no answer.

The ODC’s waits for opportunity to knock on his door.

If it does he’ll probably answer the phone.

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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