Column HR#116 The Deposition

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Column HR116
The Deposition

The Old Dart Coach was recently put under oath to give a deposition in a legal case. Part of the oath is to “tell the truth and nothing but the truth.” Any honest person would have no problem. For dart players it’s a little more complicated. They constantly “stretch the truth about their abilities” and “wins and Loses.” Darters are the eternal “could have beens.”  Not liars, just dart players.

This raises the question, “What is a dart player?” Often the answer is “a person a few bubbles off center that throws darts thinking it’s important.” A more modern day answer might be “the person you’d meet for a pint of lager at the local who would never be caught dead at a Starbucks enjoying an Espresso Macchiato.”  A darter is a “shot and beer.”

A recent post on Facebook bemoaned the fact that “when I beat a better player he always says ‘I didn’t play my best.’ Never does he give me credit for playing well.” That’s part of being a dart player. You misrepresent the opponent’s abilities while elevating yours. It’s not lying, just eliminating some facts which may not be helpful to the cause (while also adding others). Dart players know that if they play their best they’ll win. Of course, if an aunt had testicles a person would have two uncles – a situation not uncommon in today’s society.

The question then arises: is the ODC a dart player? Depends on who answers the question. His doubles partners over the years would answer “No!” That opinion is more than offset by really good players and tournament directors who said, “Good God don’t let him quit we need the entries. ”

The ODC would point that he’s in the National Darts Hall of Fame and once had WDF World Ranking Points. Those “valued” WDF points were accorded thanks to a top 16 finish in the Japan Open, the first WDF event of the year, which followed a Pacific Cup in Japan. The ODC may have made the top 8 except for throwing the wrong set up dart when in three-dart range. He was  roundly taken to task by the late Barry Twomlow with words like “stupid” entering the conversation. In truth, had the ODC made top 8 he would have gotten his doors blown off by pal Lam Yen Koi of Singapore. Not only was Lam a better player but the ODC’s “aiming fluid” and “group tighter” was wearing off. He, with Aussie’s Terry O’Dea and Louise Ball, had spent many hours in liquid warm-up.

The ODC loved the Pacific Cup. He once captained a winning American team to a third place finish. The Pacific Cup matched teams from countries on the Pacific Ocean. Every two years it was a battle between Canada, America, Australia and New Zealand for the Cup. Japan, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia had a few world class players which added to the international flavor of the event. Paul Lim won four Pacific Cup singles titles representing New Guinea and Singapore.

The Pacific Cup went the way of history in 2000, replaced by the America’s Cup. Why? The WDF Vice President and head of the of the Japan Darts Association (which he ran with all the benevolence of Uganda’s Idi Amin), wanted a “more important” Asia Cup so his “Little Nips” – his words – could win something. There was already an Asia Cup but he wanted it to replace the Pacific Cup. So it became the Asia-Pacific Cup. Japan has yet to win. Now they lose to New Zealand, Australia and sometimes someone else.

Given his passion for the long gone Pacific Cup, the ODC was most pleased when the ADO Team “emerged triumphant” last week in Tampa beating runner up Canada for the America’s Cup. Thanks to Brenda Roush we know that the team of Sandy Hudson, Brenda Roush, Tom Sawyer and Jim Widmayer beat Brazil 12-1, Belize 13-0, and Turks & Caicos 12-1. Never heard of Turks & Caicos? Join the club. How the Yanks fared against the rest of the field or the final score is a secret available on a need to know basis.

Still with the WDF (for anyone who cares) the 2015 World Cup will be held in Turkey. Who could resist a trip to Turkey? The ODC learned via Facebook that the team will be comprised of two players from “the best ADO 12 finishes” and two from the October national playoffs in Colorado. At the halfway point Larry Butler is leading Tom Sawyer by 52 points with Leonard Gates another 59 behind. The question is: will the WDF allow Butler to play should he qualify? Or will the PDC allow it? Butler played in the televised PDC World Cup of Darts. The answer will be coming at the speed of light from somewhere, or maybe not.

Some may remember that top lady player Stacy Bromberg was banned by the WDF from the last World Cup for “appearing” in PDC events. The ADO weasels went along with the action. What should the ADO have done? They should have told the WDF to stick it “were the sun don’t shine” and  resigned from the organization – this would have made the point and stopped the ADO from feeding the WDF $5,000 to $7,000 per year.

It’s not going to happen but what would happen if every darter that entered an ADO event with the useless WDF points refused to pay the WDF surcharge? Twenty players not entering a tournament while at the tournament would get the attention of the tournament organizers who in turn would get the ADO’s attention. Again, will it happen? Absolutely – when pigs fly.

The “Sage of Sittingbouane,” Dave Whitcombe, is a great example of the problems a darter may have under oath. He recently posted, “I have a cold which in man terms means I am one step away from Ebola.” Real truth there.

Then he followed with…

“I am currently sitting outside a café with Charlize Theron. Say hello to everyone Charlize. Charlize says hello. See, I wasn’t lying!”

He probably was sitting outside a café – he just adjusted the facts.

The ODC was challenged late in the deposition when somehow the subject of darts came up…

“Do you play darts? ”

“Yes.”

“Were you any good?”

“Am I still under oath?”

“Yes.”

“Not as good as I thought I was.”

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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