Column #HR108 The Year of the Follically-challenged

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Column HR108
The Year of the Follically-challenged

As strange as it may seem, the Old Dart Coach found himself taking a guilt trip recently. Anyone familiar with the  ODC would think, “Lad’s got a lot to feel guilty about!” While true, it will shock those familiar with “dahts” in America that the trip came about because Toeing the Oche doesn’t  offer enough coverage of the current American darting scene.

Mostly, these spaces are filled with news of the PDC, memories of past exploits (real or imagined) and the ramblings of a mind whose IQ barely reaches triple digits (okay, almost hits triple digits when rounding high).  The reasons for this lack of coverage, besides being taken deep with a lazy stick, is lack of handy and timely information.

The commissioner of the NFL makes $44 million per year. The flak for the PDC makes considerably less,  But they do share one common trait: they have jobs that pay them to “get the word out.”

The American Darts Organization (ADO) is staffed by mostly volunteers. They do the best they can when one considers that working with dart players is like herding cats through a Las Vegas Casino on Saturday night. A book on their labors for darts might be entitled  “The Things We Did For Love,” which just happened to be a song by 10cc.  No, you don’t know how they got the name. Trust the ODC.

Love, like “flowers that bloom in the spring” (tra-la-la) is an integral part of the darting scene.  Cupid usually fires his first arrow late at night after a long drawn-out blind-draw doubles (which, of course, started late), as the remaining few people share the last of a flickering night into the early morning hours. These athletes are finely-tuned with a mixture of  “aiming/group tightening fluid” with hormones raging. As the last of the golden elixir evaporates amid the cacophonous surroundings… a Stevie Wonder tunes takes over,

“My Cherie amour, lovely as a summer day.”

Then enters Billy Joel instructing you to “Tell Her (or him or whatever) About it.”

According to extremely robust statistical calculations, 38-40% of the time it’ll end with Jerry Reed singing “She Got the Goldmine and I Got the Shaft.”

Fade to black with Tommy Edwards singing his baby heart out to “It’s All in The Game.”

Sometimes, it’s “I love you honey, but the season’s over.”

Dahts and love – they’re a mugs game. Regardless, the search for perfection is endless…

If you happen to be Chinese or have ever eaten at a Panda Express maybe you look to the Chinese calendar for inspiration or the key to the future.  But it’s not going to help this year unless you’re a horse. Unicorn’s need not apply.

There’s a clue out there though, for this year.  This is the year, so far – drum roll please and maybe a some ruffles and flourishes – of the folliclly-challenged person.  In darts this year “bald” is beautiful. In fact it’s “F’ing lovely.”

Over in the Motha Country where a lifestyle of bad teeth and warm beer hasn’t been able  recapture the lost British Empire, Dutchman Michael van Gerwen is tearing up the old pea patch.  He’s going through the boys of the “44” – that’s their country code – like a dose of salts thru a seagull. He’s been able to cause a major “power failure” that may or may not be a sign of things to come. His latest triumph was a win in the Dutch Open over Mervyn King (6-4) worth a nifty  £20,000. This was van Gerwen’s first “W” since his New Year’s Day World Championship. So perfect he’s not but “bald’ he is…

The American Bald Eagle, Larry Butler, is soaring in the early stages of the ADO/BDO season. ADO/BDO   Some tournaments in the Colonies carry both ADO and BDO ranking points.  So far, Butler has won the singles at the Ray Chesney Philly Open, the Camellia and the Shoot for the Moon event in Huntsville “God Dam” Alabama. Hmm. Three for three. Not to Chablis.

Butler leads the ADO standings with almost double the points of runner-up Gary Mawson, who’s either a Canadian or Yank depending on where he’s living. Butler’s a no-show when it comes to BDO Invitational or USA BDO Regional Rankings. Jim Widmayer leads the Yanks on both those tables based on his one win last year and his play in two “invitational events” in England this year. Not high yet in the rankings is Darren “Big Daddy” Young who just happens to be bald. Wash out.!!!!

Cali West leads the ADO ladies standings with a narrow lead over Brenda Roush and Paula Murphy a close third. As it seems to be the year of “Bald is Beautiful,” these ladies best watch out for Ms. Stacy Bromberg. She’s back in the hunt after a battle with cancer. If you should be walking in the woods and come upon Bromberg in a battle with a bear – you best jump in and help the bear.  Stacy got her first come back “W” at the Camellia in the cricket singles when she beat Brenda Roush.

The ultimate guilt trip is played out when a friend passes on without you telling them how special you think they are…

Dave Melton wasn’t well known in darting circles. He lived, worked and played in Southern California.  Dave just simply liked people. He was the most even tempered, kind and gentle person imaginable. Not easy when you’re dealing with dart players, as he did as the second Head Honcho of the Royal Hawaiian. He succeeded founder Mike Enright who set a high standard which Melton equaled.

Over the years the ODC and Dave had their disagreements. The fault lay with the ODC being the opinionated slovenly-oaf he is.  Their disagreements never led to being disagreeable thanks to Melton. He wouldn’t allow it.  Melton’s presence made a room more alive, a shared cocktail more congenial and a simple “hello” a moment to be treasured.  Darn it Lord, you took one of our good ones but isn’t that usually the case?

Stay thirsty my friend cause we’ll all be joining you at some point.  When we do you’re very presence, like always, will make us feel welcome. God Bless.

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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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