Column #HR121 Live your dream! Never give up!

Thursday, September 18, 2014
Column HR121
Live your dream!  Never give up!

Everyone is familiar with Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. Dr. King wasn’t the only one with dreams. Every dart player worth the salt on the rim of his or her margarita glass has THE dream. To be the world champion. In those dreams, usually after a copious amount of golden elixir, the dreamer is standing on stage with one dart to defeat either  Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis or John Part.

The  hand is steady, the mind clear as the eyes display the “steely cobalt blue stare of a paid assassin.” Then “KA BOOM” – they miss the double by miles, the crowd boos and one of the afore named gentlemen mops the floor with them (you!) for yet another world championship. In the post game interview the winner forgets your name and doesn’t even say “I’m over the Moon.” Oh the shame of it.

Those at the top usually don’t have to dream. although many use the magic golden dream elixir anyway. The ODC use to dream of fame and glory until reality set in. That occurred at a dart tournament, pronounced Dahts by SSK, when the ODC had a chance to win a match. Not the flipping tournament but just an early round match. Watching was one of the top players of the day who also doubled as a “horses’ ass.”  He could multi task.  The ODC missed three at the double, lost the leg and the game after leading 1-0 in the race to 3. In all honesty the ODC blew more leads than Sergio Garcia and he, the ODC, never did the horizontal mambo with a tennis star.

In typical ODC fashion, the ODC tossed a temper tantrum with words not used in polite company but as he was at a dart tournament he used them anyway. He bemoaned the fact that he missed “three flipping darts at a double.”  The top player said,

“Why are you mad? You’re not that good.”

That’s when reality set in. The top player was right but the ODC took a modicum of pleasure in the fact that said “Top Player” was and still is “the north end of a horse heading south.”

One of the rules for Toeing the Oche is never to refer to an items in a previous column. No one cares what happened yesterday – but rules are made to be broken…

Recently this space mentioned a gentleman who has dart radio show. Toeing the Oche wrote, “One must discount (name withheld ) as an ignoramus.” Well, “My God the Bridge.” Said person then posted on Facebook the following, “Had you bothered to listen to the show, you’d realize you totally misquoted me.” The gentleman is correct it would have been a bother. Placing that aside the first refuge of a scoundrel, athlete  or politician is to say, “I’ve been misquoted.”

The most famous case of this occurred when former NBA great, Sir Charles Barkley, said of his autobiography “I was misquoted.” Naw. “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor”  is number #2  tied with “It was a video that caused the attack.”

It should be noted that the gentleman doesn’t dispute the fact that he’s an ignoramus. He gets points for that. He then attempts with his rapier-like computer skills to spear the ODC and impale him on his own staff for all the world to see. What a sight to see that would be.

“Alcohol journalism seems beneath you.”

The gentleman is spot on once again. A quick search of Google for “Useless Jobs” finds “alcohol journalism” three spots lower on the pecking order than “writing about darts” while thinking anyone gives a hoot. The two endeavors are separated by “beauty consultant to Nancy Pelosi,” “hair stylist to Phil Taylor” and “comedy writer for Tommy Cox.”

The gentleman closes with, “Feel free to disagree or rip me on anything I say.” The ODC was going to thank him for the permission but as it was  already established and confirmed that the gentleman was a ignoramus… it was back surfing for porn.

Thirty years ago, professional dart players were dreaming of the opportunity to play darts for real money. “Real money” as opposed to multi event tournaments that paid little. The real pros made it down the road scratching out what money was available. They did exhibitions for whatever they could get.

Then came the PDC which made their dreams come true. Welcome to Players Championship events. No TV – just professional players playing darts. Real pros playing for real money. Over the course of a weekend, with a singles each day, from a field of 128, half would make £250, 16 would make £500, 8 would take home £1,000, 4 would pocket £1,500, and a pair would get £2,500 – as the winner would take home £10,000 and the runner-up £5,000. The pound is worth $1.63 dollars so the winner got more than $15,000. Not too Chablis.

North American darters dream of a PDC world on their continent…

In the movie Uncle Buck, with the late John Candy, Buck is called into the principal’s office  to discuss his niece Massey. He’s lectured by a dried up of prune named Anita with a mole on her face.  She tells Buck that Massey is a “6-year old who’s a dreamer and a silly heart.” Buck replies “I don’t think I want to know a six-year old that isn’t a dreamer or a silly heart. Take a quarter and go downtown and find a rat to gnaw that thing off your face.”

Steel darters are dreamers. They have to be. In North America the number of tournaments are down, participation is down, money’s tight, there’s inter-sport squabbling and the future unclear.

Sure they’re dreamers and silly hearts. Good for them. At times like these a little Dr. King and a lot of the late Jim Valvano can do wonders. Dying of cancer, Valvano’s last words on national TV were, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

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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