HR#123 ODC to visit Dark Side on All Hallows Eve!

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Column HR123
ODC to visit Dark Side on All Hallows Eve! 

The scene? One of the finer dining spots in Las Vegas. The Old Dart Coach, resplendent in his finest evening wear, is making yet another visit. He’s finished his martini on the rocks with an olive and an onion – shaken not stirred – when a tuxedoed young-perky-lady-serving-person approaches and asks,

“And what will we be having this evening?”

The ODC didn’t remark, “Oh you’re joining me?” but instead ordered.

“I’ll have the crow rare with mustard-orange sauce terrine, fava beans and a nice early 2014 Chianti.”

This is a change from his usual roasted crow and a Miller Genuine.

Yet again, the ODC is forced to eat crow with no one to blame but himself.  He first tried to blame a male yenta (יענטא) which is impossible as there is no equivalent of a female yenta. For those not familiar with the term it’s “a Yiddish female name which is used generally for an old gossip.”  Yenta’s are also inquisitive, all questioning and persistent.

The ODC’s pal Ernie – called “The Blind Guy,” mainly because he’s blind – is married to a lady named Sue.  Sue’s called “The Green Valley Yenta.” A phone call to their home gets the following message, ”If you want to talk with Ernie push 1; for the Green Valley Yenta push 2.”

Pushing 2  gets, “The Green Valley Yenta offers a wide range of services and classes including effective gossiping, effective meddling, and match making. A new class will be starting in January. Sue is the only certified yenta in Southern Nevada receiving her certification from the International Board of Yenta  located in Brooklyn, New York. ”

Upon further review the ODC came to the conclusion that the darting world is jam-packed chocker-block full with “multi-sex yentas.” It’s one of those – who we will call Jack – who prompted this particular visit to dine yet again on crow…

The ODC approved the following in the last column with regard to the long gone North American Open, which was a 301 double start/double finish event: “The late Carry Kolibus in either ’83 or ’84 did throw back-to-back perfect 301 games in the North American.” Thanks to the fictional Yenta Jack a “do-over” is necessary.

Okay, slight mistake. “It wasn’t Cary Kolibas.

It was Kevin Hayes.  He shot six-dart games in consecutive rounds, not games. In the next round, the quarter finals, he opened with a 160 then fell apart and lost to the late Nicky Virachkul, the eventual winner.”

It was darts yentas that brought about the revolution in England which saw the long-time power in the BDO de-crowned with a radical ultimate equipment change. “Ultimate equipment change?” A horse racing term used when a horse is gelded.

Thanks to dart yentas accounts of the recently concluded Rumanian Open are out in the open.  Yes, Romania – the home of Dracula and wandering Gypsies. After World War II the country was ruled with an iron hand by dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. His reign celebrated the nation’s waif-like women gymnasts who won Olympic Gold while serving as sex toys for he and his family. Females were treated like servants. Old habits die hard.

This year, the Romanian Open followed the WDF Euro Cup which they hosted. The men’s singles was played in a large room with the top 8 on stage and final 4 on Euro TV. The ladies were in a smaller cramped room where play was stopped as an air conditioner was turned off, effecting play.

“They (the ladies) wanted their semi finals on stage as there was a 90 minute gap before TV started. They didn’t ask for top 4 TV although men’s top 8 was. They thought it wrong to play (their) semi-final on (the) floor in an area, where 20-plus people would struggle to watch .”

The initial answer from organizers was “Nici O” which is Romanian for “FO.” Funny that the Executive of the WDF and the BDO didn’t step in and solve the problem. When the ladies got to top 4 they took a stand. The ladies – Deta Hedman, Lisa Ashton, Lorraine Winstanley, and Anastasia “The Russian Fox” Dobromyslova – showed resolve along with more cojones than any of the WFD or BDO executives present.

A Toeing the Oche on scene reporter yenta sends, “They (the ladies) seemed to have won as they were told the semis would be on the  stage. They were kept waiting some time when they were told that the stage was not available (even though it was). The semis would be on the floor and the final on stage.”  The ladies’ reply?  “Nici O.”

The ladies are not blameless. They forfeited the chance to play their final on Euro TV. American star Stacy Bromberg posts, “ Players cannot go to tournaments feeling they can ‘bully’ the tournament directors by ‘boycotting,’ etc.” (That’s not always true as many in America are advocating a player’s boycott over the ADO and WDF surcharge for singles events.   The coin has two sides.)

The Romanian Darts Federation (RDF) has asked the BDO and the WDF to ban the  ladies.  “The four players requested to change the schedule of the competition, demanding to have the ladies’ semifinals played on stage. Because no change could have been done to the announced schedule, the RDF staff explain(ed) the reasoning why changes (could not) be performed and tried to convince the players to play. But their decision was to stop playing in the competition.”

The players in question are prohibited from any public statement.  Even without all the facts the ODC still has no trouble with taking a stand.  The WDF and the BDO were in attendance and should have resolved  the situation on the spot. They didn’t. The ladiess are banned from the Romanian Open for three years. BFD.  The ODC, being much more fond of the ladies than either the BDO or WDF, takes their side while admitting that they probably made a mistake – losing money and ranking points.

The Sage of Sittingbourne Dave Whitcombe asks, “Should women play darts? For one thing they have got to figure out how to put a stem and flight in, can they do that? And then there is the pointy end so could they harm themselves? Women know your limits!”

We interrupt this brilliant effort to insert some dart stuff…

The PDC  European Championship paid off a whopping £250,000 with £55,000 to the winner. Early it was “UG LEE” with seeds Adrian Lewis (to Jelle Klaasen), Simon Whitlock (to Barney), James Wade (to Ronny Huybrechts), and Gary Anderson (to Terry Jenkins ) out after round one all by scores of 6-4 – except Anderson who at least got a 6-5.

With two exception things went about as expected. A big bump in the road was the Stephen Bunting knocking out of Phil Taylor 10-9. Bunting, the reigning Lakeside “Almost” Professional Champion, made his first big splash in the PDC pond. It was a “wing-ding doodle” of a match as Bunting jump started things by taking a 3-0 lead. Taylor fought back for ties at 5, 6, 8 and 9 but never led. Up 7-6, Bunting had a shot at the 9-darter when following two maximums he got treble 20, treble 19, but missed the d12. He got the d6 for the 8-6 lead.

Bunting would crash in the quarter-finals to Terry Jenkins 10-7. After a tie at 2 he fell behind 6-3, 7-4, and 8-5. The other surprise was the apparent resurgence of Raymond van Barneveld who got to the semi-finals before losing to eventual winner Michael van Gerwen 11-6. Van Gerwen easily took out Terry Jenkins (11-4) in the final.

Finishing his meal of  rare crow with mustard-orange sauce terrine, fava beans and the last drop of his Chianti, the ODC mused over cognac and a fine cigar. He wondered if anyone had come up with an answer to the Sage of Sittingbourne, Dave Whitcombe, when he axed…

“So why are players in the PDC hitting so many 180’s? Could the treble on the Unicorn boards be slightly bigger perhaps?”

Ought to help sales of the Unicorn board.

The ODC looks forward to All Hallows Eve, his favorite holiday, as it was on that day many years ago when his ex-wife crashed her broom from the 99 cents store, becoming a statistic.

This All Hallows Eve the ODC is going for a trip on the dark side with a rare appearance at a soft point event in Las Vegas. The deal was sealed with the promise of beverages and a free Indian meal. The ODC can’t be bought but can be rented for a price.

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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