Column #HR141 Cinderella “Honk” Kong and the WDF World Cup FIASCO

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Column HR141
Cinderella “Honk” Kong and the WDF World Cup FIASCO

Toeing the Oche is the cutting edge. Granted sometimes the knife’s a little dull…

The Old Dart Coach picked Scotland to beat England in the World Cup. On the other hand, he also picked Scotland to beat defending champion Netherlands to reach the finals. He’s also top 37 in the CDC Fantasy League, only 14 points out of first place. Informed he couldn’t win because he’s “an employee” of Dartoid’s World, he informed the Most Honorable Editor…

“You will hear from my lawyer.”

A lady on Facebook axed, “Why can’t women enter the men’s singles or doubles?”  The ADO would probably answer, “because it’s the Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles.” Not always the case. Back in the day – okay, here we go again with the old geezer living in the past – those men’s events were called “Open Singles” and “Open Doubles.”

The ODC often played Open Doubles with the late Judy “The Witch” Campbell. Her job? Score, hit doubles and scare the hell out of the opponent. Changing the name of  Men’s events to “Open” also solves the problem of those who decline to state their preferred gender, usually marking it down as “none of the above.”

The PDC World Cup

Once every lady had a diary. She’d pen “Dear Diary,” exposing her innermost thoughts, feelings, and dreams.  Years later, when those musing became public, it was…

“I wrote that?”

Facebook is today’s  diary. One well-known darter wrote…

“I have tried watching this PDC World Cup of Darts from Germany, and I have to be honest – it’s boring me to death.”

The Old Dart Coach vehemently disagrees with that person’s opinion.  If everyone had the same taste, then Baskin-Robbins would have only one flavor. Rocky Road.

With the PDC TV package, the ODC  got up at 5:00 am to watch.  It was made possible thanks to the Customer Service Department of the PDC with Nitish, Raghavendra, Robin, and Martin (which could be a law firm in India).

The PDC World Cup, at least the first two rounds, is about sport and country. For those who have forgotten, “sport writes stories that if written in Hollywood no one would believe.”  For the 28 lower seeds, it’s a chance to represent your country and face the best in the world.

The opening session saw all seeds advance with ease. The evening session was great TV with Canada v. New Zealand, USA v. Netherlands, Singapore against defending champions Netherlands, and Honk Kong against Wales.

When the USA (Darin Young and Larry Butler) faced Netherlands (“Marvelous” Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld), on paper it seemed blowout possibility. It was an easy win for Netherlands, 5-2, although the USA did connect on two of the three double chances they had – Young (105), Butler (100). You can’t hit a double if you don’t get to one. The Netherland would lose in the semifinals to Scotland.

Number two ranked Scotland beat Singapore 5-1, but the score is misleading.  Harith Lim – playing with “not his brother” Lim Leong Haw (Paul Lim) – had darts to win the first four legs. To quote the late Sid Waddell, “It’s a funny old game.” Paul Lim got Singapore off the “synder” with double tops in the 5th leg.  The 61-year-old Paul Lim would leave Frankfurt to travel to France for the third event of the DARTSLIVE “The World” tour, where he would finish runner-up to USA’s Leonard Gates.

Canada, as the #11 seed, should have advanced when they faced the New Zealand Sheep Shaggers.  The first leg was a finger painting done by a two-year-old. The two duo’s combined for a total 13 missed doubles before the Kiwi’s Warren Perry connected with his 8th.  At the time, TV commentator Wayne Mardle said…

“Those missed darts by Canada may be their downfall.”

After falling behind, Canada would level at two, three, and four – but lose the decider when Mr. Perry erased 92 for New Zealand’s first World Cup win since 2010.

In every World Cup, there’s a Cinderella Story. In this one, the glass slipper fit a couple of primarily soft point players from Honk Kong named Ting Chi Royden Lam and Scott MacKenzie. Royden wears thick glasses with a white frame that screams, “Look at me!” Number 7 seed, Wales (Mark Webster-Jamie Lewis), should have taken notice.  Honk Kong trailed 1-0, 2-1. When they leveled at two, they never looked back.  Back-to-back T80’s made it 3-2, that became 4-2 when Royden connected with a 131-out. Wales got to 4-3. In the decider, Royden missed two at double 10 but not three as Honk Kong got the win.

The format would change in round two from doubles only to two singles and doubles if tied with a point for each. Honk Kong faced the Republic of Ireland.  Royden “bitch-slapped” lanky William O’Connor 4-1. Scott MacKenzie was doing the same – up 3-nil  to Connie Finnan – when he got the “every-loving 100% guaranteed son-of-a-bitch yips.” He couldn’t hit the Pacific Ocean with a beach ball standing on the sands of Malibu.

Different story in the doubles as MacKenzie hit doubles to give Honk Kong a 2-0 lead.  O’Conner would get the Irish lads level at two with a suburb 132-check, which he celebrated by prancing around like a chicken in the farm yard scratching for worms.  (Hmmm, he didn’t prance when he missed to make it 2-1.) Ireland would level at 3 when everybody missed a double except O’Connor, with double 4. Yes, he pranced again, which caused the ODC to yell at the monitor…

“What a dick.”

Scott Mackenzie took out 86 for the win.  Honk Kong would fall to Scotland 2-0 in the quarter-finals, but Cinderella’s slipper still fit.

The match of the World Cup was the quarter-final between Australia and Belgium. Australia’s Simon Whitlock was almost perfect, taking his singles 4-2 against Ronny Huybrechts.  There are some given’s in darts. One of those is if you’re a “JERK”  it will come out. No one epitomizes that more than Australia’s Paul Nicholson.  That’s why there was such pleasure at the ODC’s mansion when Nicholson blew a 3-0 lead against Kim Huybrechts, missing six match darts, then leaving the stage without a handshake after the 4-3 loss.

The deciding doubles was explosive. Nicholson missed two at tops as Ronny took out 72. Nicholson then took out 77 to level at one.  After the double hit home, Nicholson turned to the crowd (and Ronny) and did the “cut” sign, hand across the neck. Ronny looked like a thermometer in mid-July at high noon in Las Vegas.  At 2-1, Whitlock and Ronny both tossed 180s – Ronny’s came after he got seven in his first visit that caused the commentator to say,  “187 from 6 darts not too bad.” Nicholson leveled at two with tops. More “throat cut” from Nicholson.

Belgium made it 3-2 with Kim taking out 105. It’s a fact there are people that don’t believe in God. It’s also a fact that any real dart player knows there is a Dart God.  It is also fact that she works in mysterious ways and paybacks are a bitch.

How prophetic that Ronny Huybrechts would apply to the “coup de grâce” – a hit or shot that kills a person – with a 96 finish on the bull, the ultimate “F You” in darts – for the 4-2 double win and a trip to the semis.

World Cup “YEA” or “NAY”?

As the Roman poet Lucretius wrote, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” That was updated by 20th-century literary wit, George S. Kauffman, as “One man’s Mead is another man’s Persian.” Going with Lucretius on this one.

The Nation Darts Federation of Canada has announced they will not be sending a team to the World Dart Federation’s (WDF) World Cup, scheduled for October 21-25 in Turkey. Turkey has been in the news for its support of Muslim extremism.  Last year, Toeing the Oche called for the ADO to boycott the World Cup, out of concern for the safety of its players. The ADO remained silent.

This decision by the NDFC is important because the President of the NDFC, Bill Hatter, is also the President of the WDF.  One of his vice-presidents is America’s Buddy Bartoletta, a former executive with the ADO.

The ADO team voted not to go to Malaysia for the WDF World Cup after 9/11.  If given the vote again, they would probably vote for a “Pasadena” on Turkey.

There were probably lots of backdoor negations going on within the WDF.  If Hatter didn’t have the “okay” from WDF Kingpin Olly Croft at least one head at the WDF will be rolling.  Way to go Canada!

Finally, Open events in America would open the door to Caitlyn Jenner entering the dart world. From the grave, John Wayne voiced his opinion on Ms. Jenner…

“When a man discards his Johnson he doesn’t become a woman. He becomes a man without a Johnson.”

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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