#HR140 Still “trending” after all these years (like it or not)…

Monday, June 8, 2015
Column HR140
Still “trending” after all these years (like it or not)…

Toeing the Oche has been around a long time and has built a formidable cabal of critics. Yet the column is still “trending” while other efforts are in the rubbish bin.  For the most part, the critics criticism is “freak” (pronounced FLEA CK).  The word “freak” may be unfamiliar to some, but it’s well known to others as, like Toeing the Oche, it’s one of the words currently “trending” in the USA.

The word and the information surrounding it was presented to the Old Dart Coach by a flashing-eyed Latina who controls what there is of the ODC’s financial empire. Yes, she works at a bank.

The ODC, being the smart ass he is, commented that she deserved a raise so she could get all her fingernails painted the same color.  Eight were eggshell. Two were gold sparkle. He was informed that this style of nail covering was “trending.” This surprised the ODC as the only “trending” item he was familiar with was “white or gray hair.”

When the ODC first learned of the “white-gray hair” trend, he  immediately thought of his pal Richard “Dick” McGinnis whose had gray hair for 30 years. It’s possible that now he’s a candidate for the cover of GQ.  The ODC does not go with most “trending” styles.  His will requests that when he “kicks the bucket” someone dye his hair blond one more time. A discount coupon for Sally’s Beauty Supply is attached.

The ODC’s ability to pick winners of sporting events is still “trending” after all these years. There have been some bumps in the road – like last year’s Super Bowl (a pass from the one-yard line?).

“Shirley you jest.”

Just last year, he finished second in picking the final results of the PDC World Cup. He had the winners (the Netherlands) and the runner-up (England). Not to Chablis.

This year, the event’s being held at Eissporthalle Frankfurt am Main.  The 32 two-man teams will compete over four days, June 11-14, with the winners taking home £250,000 and the runner-ups a niggardly £50,000.  This PDC World Cup sets itself apart from the “amateur World Cup of the World Dart Federation, as the PDC event provides prize money. Oh yes, and a trip to Germany as opposed to Turkey.  The two-time and defending champions, the Netherlands team, is seeded 3rd, trailing England and Scotland. One would think that the defending champion would be ranked first but the PDC apparently disagrees, and it’s their event.

The seeding is based on the cumulative Main Order of Merit of each teams’ two players. Japan gets the 16th seed because one of their players (Haruki Muramatsu) status as a Tour Card Holder. The ADO might consider sending it’s #1 male player to PDC Tour School. If an American player earned a Tour Card, they wouldn’t be thrown to the wolves as America has been this time – drawing defending champions, the Netherlands.

Before the conspiracy theory people and the “guy on the grassy knoll” have a go at the seeding – take a deep breath. Would the PDC fix the draw so England gets the weaker side of the draw just for TV – a draw that potentially sees their toughest match against Australia (Simon Whitlock – Paul Nicholson) in the round of 4 while the Netherlands has to beat Scotland in the round of 4?

Does seeding make a difference? Defending  Champions, the Netherlands (#3) will face England (#1) in the semis while second seed, Scotland, will avoid the champs until the final. That, of course, assumes that the top seeds will all advance to the final four.  If memory serves the ODC, there was a PDC World Cup with a re-draw but as the PDC does well: “If it don’t work change it.” They did.  Good for them.

The first round will be played doubles first to five. That should provide the opportunity for some upsets as, often, “two really good players together don’t equal the sum of their parts.” England’s duo of Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis is ripe for upset. Like little kids, “they don’t play well together.”

The American team of Larry Butler and Darin Young got the “death draw” against “Marvelous” Michel van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld. The heart goes with the Yanks, as they have a “micro” advantage, being familiar with playing doubles. Both players will have to be at their best.

Canada, however, as the 11th seed, has a good chance of making it to the round 8 where they run into the Guy’s in Wooden Shoes.  John Part and Ken MacNeil should get to that round with an upset win over  Northern Ireland (#6) in the round of 16.

The big surprise of the early round will be the team of Cristo Reyes and Antonio Alcinas, playing for Spain. Australia’s #4 seed may be earned, but their players are off form and crying to be upset. Spain will get to the round of 4 against England. The Netherlands will cruise until they run into a determined team from Scotland with Gary Anderson and “Snakebite” Wright. Anderson is the hottest player on the circuit and Wright has come into his own. Look for them to take out the Netherlands in the semis and face England for the title.  Scotland takes home the PDC World Cup for the first time.

It was misreported here that Cali West made the round of 8 at the first Championship Darts Circuit (CDC) event in Ohio. As a polite critic pointed out, “I’m a friend of Cali West, and she didn’t make the top 8.”  What being a friend has to do with it is a mystery – but he’s right. She made top 16.

Also, the official standings from the first CDC event are now out. D.J. Sayre leads with 24 points, followed by John Part (22), Larry Butler (19), and Darin Young (14).

There was a minor “dust up” at the first CDC event. A match was halted as one of the players told two people to “STFU.” Neither “offending” player has been charged with “jerkdom” or  “aiding and abetting” same.

The ODC continues to have a major impact on International darts. At the Dutch Masters, Stephen Bunting came a “cropper” losing to young English lad Josh Payne 6-4. The TV announcer tossed in, “Bunting was out on the town last night with some fellow players. He was stopped maybe 100 times for fans to take photos.  Not sure if they recognized him as a great dart player or they wanted a photo with Peter Griffin.”

Twice in that match, with a big lead and wanting 66 with three darts in hand, Bunting went for the bull. He missed. He ought to grow up but being Peter Griffin, and like Peter Pan, he never grows up.

Payne would lose 6-4 in the quarter finals to tour regular Justin Pipe. Payne is a protégé of the ODC’s longtime pal Dr. Linda “WB” Batten-Duffy. Before she was “Batten-Duffy,” Linda (with business partner, the late John Markovich) was instrumental in the careers of both Keith Deller and Bob Anderson.

So the “trending” Toeing the Oche continues… and bids adieu with “deuces” and “kick rocks.”

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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