Column #HR109 Sandra Bullock’s Behind Worth $70 Million. Does Phil Taylor Care?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Column HR109
Sandra Bullock’s Behind Worth $70 Million.  Does Phil Taylor Care?

The Old Dart Coach is addicted to the Internet.  Like his other disgusting habits, of which there are many, he makes no apologies.  To prepare for this effort the Internet was scanned for clues on how to improve readership.  Out jumped an “attention grabbing” headline like those seen in the newspapers sold at grocery checkout stands that you never read.  The headline screamed…

“Sandra Bullock’s Behind Worth $70 Million?

The ODC, who considers himself a connoisseur a le derrière, flew to the story like Michael van Gerwen to a double.  Then he found out that Bullock could make $70 million in “behind” royalties for the movie Gravity.

The Ides of March, March 15th, marks the assignation of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.  It’s possible that, should Phil Douglas Taylor enter the Players Championship on that date in Barnsley, the  “coup de grâce” might be administered to a lately faltering darting career.  Certainly PDC players familiar with Shakespeare would say, “I come here to bury Taylor not to praise him” – this even though it’s Taylor who put them on the map, filled their bank accounts, and kept them in lager while making them somewhat relevant in the world of sport.

Whether Taylor will ever dominate again as he has for 20-plus years is debatable.  His biggest obstacle to that re-emergence?

The ODC opines – he loves to opine – the biggest obstacle is Taylor himself.  It’s a question of “want to” – especially since Taylor has signed a new $5 million dart deal with Target.  They’ll be marketing the 26g Target Power 9Five.  The 9Five might be the number of darts it’s taking him to hit a double lately, when he does hit them.  Has Taylor gotten so comfortable that winning or losing is as unimportant as the “price of tea” at the news agent?

It’s easy to criticize Taylor, particularly when he’s being an interviewed.  The listener knows what Taylor is going to say before he says it.  When asked about his deal with Target he said, “It wasn’t about the money.”  Hog Doodle.  Of course it was about the money.  His utterances are about as sincere as Captain Renault when he said, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.”  (Obscure reference #1: from the movie Casablanca.)

Consider that Taylor did hit a pair of 9-darters a fortnight ago at Wigen and finally got off the “snyder” in Premier League play with a 7-3 win over Simon Whitlock.  Whitlock is “nil” for this year’s Premier League.  It’s not as if  Taylor’s has fallen into the Ian Baker-Fitch Zone. “Ian Baker-Fitch Zone?”  (Obscure Reference #2: golfer Baker-Fitch won the 1991 British Open and then then disappeared into the “little house with the half-moon on the door in the Sears catalogue.”  Baker-Finch “would hit shots flawlessly on the practice range and then go to the first tee and hit a weak drive into the wrong fairway.”)  As Yogi Berra would say, “100% of darts is 90% mental.”

One Facebook guy has the answer.  “Target needs to make (Taylor) the correct stems.”  Yeah, right.  For all these years the ODC never realized that his stems were the problem.

There is though a saving grace for Taylor.  During the big TV tournaments, which for the most part are seeded, he’s still #2  in the Order of Merit.  Taylor has a comfortable lead over third place Simon Whitlock.  While there are no “lollypop” draws in the PDC – note what good being seeded #2 did for Taylor at year’s world championships – a #2 seed sure doesn’t hurt.

Which brings us nicely (that ODC is one clever bastard) to the subject of seeding tournament events.  Darts, especially in the US, has for years maintained that when you enter an event the name or names go into a metaphoric hat and then the matches are drawn.  It’s all random, luck of the draw.  For those of you that believe that: get prepared for a dose of harsh reality.  To ease the pain of reality let this space announce that there is no Santa Claus, the Easters Bunny has sex with chicken to produce Easter eggs and, and if you think I’m diving into the chocolate Easter egg deal, you’re crazy – and the Tooth Fairy may be a close relative.

If you’re a local player when your league’s really big tournament is coming up you’re told  “Come play, you have a chance that a couple of big players will knock each other out – and you can cash.”  It ain’t so.

Oh yes, and that “you have to play better people to get better” is just silly.  If you lose the first round every time the only thing you get better at is swearing, chugging beer, and being a jerk.  The latter trait you’ll pick up from the “fancy-shirt-hot-shot” that just beat you, called you by someone else’s name and is currently is in a private tête-à-tête with your soon to be former  significant other.

“But the ADO rules say you can’t do that.”  ADO rules are generally accepted with a “wink and a nod” along with the tournament director giving a Alfred E. Neumann look that says “Who me?” when asked.  Dare to cross any tournament director at your own peril.  Then get ready for  your next draw from hell.  Been there, did that and never got the damn t-shirt.  An ADO directive has all the force and power of Obama telling Putin what to do.

Like talk of Bullock’s “behind,” seeded draws or even Taylor’s apparent decline in performance is pretty much a pointless endeavor.  The market place will decide the value of Bullock’s “behind” and  Taylor’s new Target Darts.  Seeded draws will continue as that’s the nature of the beast.

Does Phil Taylor care?

Charles Barkley recently said, “No great athletic likes to have a bad day or game.”  That leads to  Proverbs 16:18.  “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before the fall.”  Should pride desert Taylor then, “There’s something so fitting about an arrogant fool cut down to size.”

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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