#HR125 All About that Bass!

Friday, November 7, 2014
Column HR125
All About that Bass!

Back when he was but a little tot growing up on the hard scrabble streets of Oakland, California the Old Dart Coach’s mother had a favorite saying. As she became exasperated when a situation was blown out of proportion she would say, “My God The Bridge.”

This was years before Little Jimmy Dickens would record his hit “The Bridge Washed Out, I Can’t Swim and My Baby’s on the Other Side.” It was Irene Maude’s way of quoting Shakespeare’s “Much To Do About Nothing” as quoting Shakespeare to the ODC was and is like feeding a “jackass creampuff.”

The ODC’s column (“Tales from the Dark Side” – November 3) produced  lots of “My God the Bridge” material. Reprinted therein was a column by Las Vegas Review Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski. In that effort, entitled “Bar finds target audience,” Kantowski chronicles his visit to the Crowbar in Las Vegas for the Stacy Bromberg-promoted Pro-Am Toy Darts Blind Draw.

Found in the 931 words of the column was, I was surrounded by darts players, and by big women, and by an affable long-haired guy who trains elephants for a living. One supposes training elephants is not something one would do in his spare time, so it would have to be for a living. My darts-throwing pal had cautioned me about the big women. But not all the women were big.

After recounting various interviews the column ended with, A Bud Light truck rumbled up. Reinforcements were called for. It appeared the pros and the amateurs were going to be tossing soft-tipped darts all night, so I headed for the parking lot, where a lot of the darts players had spilled from the bar and were telling darts stories, or chatting up the big women.

At this point cue in Irene Maude to pronounce “My God the Bridge.” Seems the “Ladies of American Darts”, which is shortened here to LOADS for twittering and tweeting porpoises, took offense to Kantowski’s three passing references to “big” women. Believing in full disclosure some guy named Howie Reed, a former darter of little accomplishment, cautioned the author about big women.

The ODC has taken the unusual step to produce two columns in two weeks setting back a very important project for a friend. When notified the friend posted, “You must have stepped on some hooves.”

Facebook sprang to life with the sounds of LOADS expressing their anger not at the facts of the article, which were never questioned, but at the author. There’s a very popular guy on the radio who pronounces that “if you can’t challenge the facts resort to name calling.”  Toeing the Oche had made an attempt to inform darters as to just how their sport is viewed by those that don’t play. Let’s be honest: a sport born, bred and nurtured in bar is bound to have a few image problems from the “get-go.” One necessity for the sport to grow in America is to undertake steps toward a drastic image change. If the Facebook reaction to the Kantowski column is any indication then it will be a long time coming.

The same radio guy says, “If someone is making a fool of themselves don’t stand in their way.” Okay, maybe he doesn’t say that but he should. Here are some LOADS quotes which clearly indicate the level of anger, logic or lack of same, disgusting language and just general bad manners.

Does this guy actually get paid to be a journalist?

Clueless.

He also forgot to mention that there were a lot of ” big ” men I didn’t hear him talking about the men go educate yourself about the sport before you start making fun of it and running down the people that are playing it. If you are really mad a complete sentence has more impact. No one made fun of the sport or ran it down.

Then the LOADS went personal.

Time to flood his email about this disgraceful article. Btw, don’t they have a dental plan at the newspaper you write for? Every email that was signed was answered and he has all his teeth which is more than some dart players can say.

Make sure you look like Brad Pitt before you comment on someone’s appearance. This obviously from an Angelia Jolie look-a-like, although no picture was attached.

Here’s a winner: Totally agree nothing like being politically incorrect in a big way the comments he made about women and how people speak total ignoramus ggrr. This was pre-written in crayon as the person is not allowed sharp objects. Read again as he made NO comments about women or how people speak. “ggrr?”

Then there’s the Douche comment and a classy one from Garnet De Roche, living proof when his mother’s water broke she should’ve kept her legs closed and drounded him typical looser. Please notice that there is no word “drounded.” The word is drowned. What a Maroon, in the words of Mr. B. Bunny.

Inferring that all ladies in darts are “big” and resemble the fans in Nascar is politically incorrect and flat out wrong, Howie. Not something you’d expect from a “professional” author. Especially considering I’ve met some damn good looking girls travelling around for darts. So yeah, the author can screw himself for slandering my sport and the people who play it. Got to be a favorite. Nowhere did he “infer” that all ladies in darts are “big,” nor did he write that they “resembled the fans in NASCAR.” They would need big hair for that.

The worst written article i have ever read! Clearly this guy is clueless and should crawl back under the rock that he just crawled out from! I think that this guy managed to offend ALOT of people with this poorly written garbage. Signed…..NON BIG WOMAN!!!  Love that it’s signed “NON BIG WOMAN.” What disrespect she is showing her sisters by not joining them.

There are really no words for the way I feel about this article. Only because I’ve been out for so long now, it’s doubtful anyone remembers or cares how I feel about articles written such as this. One day I’ll be back and will happy to tell this guy to go screw himself. Yea you tell ’em.

To quote Jack Nicholson, “You can’t stand the truth.” Nice language “Douche,” “screw you” or   “Go screw yourself” just because someone isn’t looking through tungsten eyes. If the writer had been brutally honest he would have written “it looked like the offensive line from an NFL team” or “had there been grass there would have been a lot of grazin’ goin’ on” or “looked like an audition for a new Chic Fil A” commercial.

It’s ironic how politically correct language only applies to those that disagree with your point of view. One gentle lady  wrote, We all know that in text, there is no emotion or feeling coming across to the reader. It is perceived as the reader reads it, not as the writer intended it. That of course is preposterous as one of the goals of a writer is to set a scene viewed and transmit it to the reader.

Those that took to Facebook are no different than the “brown shirted thugs” that want to allow only their view to be publically expressed. Yet those same people will claim the high ground while demanding respect but doing darn little to earn it.

We end this special edition of Toeing the Oche with the hit song and video from the summer of 2014. It’s “All About that Bass.”

Stay thirsty my friends.

Bar finds target audience

by Ron Kantowski

Las Vegas Review Journal

I was surrounded by darts players, and by big women, and by an affable long-haired guy who trains elephants for a living. One supposes training elephants is not something one would do in his spare time, so it would have to be for a living.

This was around 7:30 on Thursday night at Crowbar off West Charleston Boulevard, behind the AMPM.

My darts-throwing pal had cautioned me about the big women. But not all the women were big. The one at the end of the bar, for instance. She was wearing a snug black tank top, with spaghetti straps. Alas, a guy sitting at the bar said she was the waitress.

This was at the official DARTSLIVE USA Open Early Warmup/Huge Blind Draw Pro-Am/High-Low/Double Elimination. That’s what it said on the flier. And here you thought some of these NASCAR races have long names.

The official DARTSLIVE USA Open would be beginning Friday at the Riviera. It would pay a guaranteed purse of $100,000. The pro-am did not pay nearly as well. But playing darts must be a lot of fun, even for small sums of money, because the joint was jumping.

DARTSLIVE is a company that makes coin-operated dart boards you sometimes see in bars. They have a lot of these coin-operated boards at Crowbar. The darts have soft tips, so you can’t “poke somebody’s eye out,” like my mom used to tell my brother and me when we would flip over the dartboard to the baseball side and practice Brandon Crawford relay throws from the dining room.

You can’t poke your eye out with a soft-tipped dart, or even stick one in somebody’s thigh. Perhaps that is why this form of darts throwing has become popular over the past 20 years or so, though the guaranteed $100,000 purses probably have something to do with it, too.

You can’t flip over the board to play baseball, however.

One of the cool things about a pro-am darts tournament, besides the buckets of beer and the big women, is that you can talk to the players while they are playing. Even the pros. You usually cannot speak to the pros at a golf pro-am while they are lining up putts, unless you deal cars for a living.

In darts, you don’t even have to replace the divots. And it’s OK to shout. In fact, I think it’s mandatory. Also, in darts, it’s hard to tell the pros from the car dealers, because everybody sort of dresses the same.

I could tell right away this one small guy must have been a pro, because his knowledge of English seemed limited, and because he wore glasses with white plastic frames – and because just about every soft-tipped dart he threw landed in the bull’s-eye. This was Royden Lam of Hong Kong.

His girlfriend, Winnie Chen, spoke English fluently. She said Royden is so good at throwing darts with soft tips that he has been awarded an exemption to throw real darts, the steel-tipped kind, against guys from England on the Pro Darts Corporation tour.

Guys such as Phil “The Power” Taylor, the only darts player I had heard of before Thursday, other than my brother.

I met Danny Delfino of Atlanta, formerly of Las Vegas and Hammond, Ind., because he once was a poker room supervisor for Caesars Entertainment Corp. and supervised poker on riverboat casinos. Now he’s a father and an electrician, because he didn’t want to raise his daughter in a casino. Delfino said the darts scene in Atlanta is not as vibrant as it is at Crowbar, at least not in the suburbs where he lives.

I met Larry Butler of Ohio. The “Bald Eagle” is the only American to win on the PDC Tour, in 1994. This is why a guy wearing a tropical shirt wanted him to sign a book about throwing darts that somebody else had written.

Butler took a pull on a Bud Light. He said he is 0-4 against Phil Taylor on the other side of the pond but that he could probably beat The Power in Switzerland or some other neutral site. A lot of darts players do not lack for confidence.

I met a lot of the pros and also one or two of the big women, who were as friendly as the pros. And then I met Chuck Pankow of Nashville, Tenn. Chuck is the pro elephant trainer of whom I spoke, which may explain why he says the pressure of throwing darts on the circuit is sort of overrated. He trains elephants at the Nashville Zoo. He’s also worked with big cats and chimpanzees.

It was so loud at Crowbar that you had to shout questions. One was shouted about the qualities one must possess to throw darts on the circuit and/or to train elephants. One of the amateurs shouted back: “Lots of Jameson.”

Jameson is a brand of Irish whiskey.

By then it must have been 9 p.m., and a couple of names, but only a couple, were being written in magic marker on the giant bracket, which looked like an NCAA Tournament bracket with lots and lots of play-in games. The Bald Eagle could relate. He’s from Dayton, Ohio, home of the play-in game.

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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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