Column #HR144 All hail American women dart players!

Thursday, July 9, 2015
Column HR144
All hail American women dart players!

It’s been said that a goldfish has a very short attention span. The often heard comment (frequently said to the Old Dart Coach) is, “You have the attention span of a goldfish.”  A new study conducted by Microsoft shows that humans have an attention span less than that of a goldfish.  Microsoft conducted a study of 2,000 Canadians, concluding that their attention span had decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds today.  A goldfish?  Nine seconds.

Even taking into consideration that the survey was conducted on Canadians it’s still not too far a reach to conclude that a goldfish has a longer attention span than your average American. With that as a premise, it can be conjectured that Americans will celebrate the crushing victory by the women’s World Cup soccer team for no more than eight seconds.

With a television audience of 22.86 million for the final – the largest ever for any televised soccer event in the USA, one might ask: will the results have any real effect on American sporting habits? Probably not.  Many will still fondly remember the 1999 women’s World Cup champions.  Many remember the kick by Brandi Chastain before a jam-packed Rose Bowl crowd that found the “onion sack,” giving the American team the World Cup victory. If the kick itself wasn’t enough to leave an impression in the public’s minds, then Ms. Chastain ripping off her shirt and running in her sports bra left an indelible one.  Men remember things like that.

Just as America’s soccer women have been the best so have American’s darting women. It’s a shame that American darters don’t remember them. That might not be the case if they’d taken off their shirts and ran around the room in a sports bra. We’ll never know.

Few America’s darters even remember when their women won the WDF World Cup. It’s the ladies of America’s darting community who have reached the top of the mountain on more than one occasion. On three occasions, American’s women darters have ruled the world of darts. In 1984, America’s Ms. Sandy Reitan was the WDF’s top female player in the world. In 1991, Sandy became the first women ever to win both the World Cup Singles and the World Masters in the same year.  Two American ladies finished runner-up in the World Masters, which is something the men have never done.  Kathy Maloney (1993) and Stacy Bromberg (1995) both lost in the finals 3-1. A win by Maloney would have given her the World Cup Singles and World Master in the same year.

Then in 1987, at the World Cup in Copenhagen, the team of Kathy Karpowich and Kathy Maloney ruled the roost – the ODC was sitting on the bleachers in a big cold gymnasium rooting his baby heart out for the ladies. That, after the captain of American’s men’s team – name withheld to protect the stupid – requested of the  ODC, “Would you please (yes, he said please) not follow the men’s team; it’s upsetting them.” While this may have been true, low scoring and missed doubles were probably far more upsetting.

The American ladies would have two more overall wins with Kathy Maloney-Stacy Bromberg and Stacy Bromberg-Lori Verrier. Not to be forgotten are the ladies (Kathy Karpowich, Kathy Hopkins, Kim Keller, and Eva Grigsby) who helped America win the Pacific Cup.  All hail American women dart players.

For all practical purposes, the women’s World Cup singles and the WDF Masters are the “world championships” for women. Sandy Reitan’s WDF World Cup singles win was the first. Other winners for the American women were  Eva Grigsby (1989), Kathy Maloney (93) and Stacy Bromberg (09). Ms. Bromberg was unable to defend the title, as she was “banned” by the WDF (while the ADO sat on their well-worn backsides, agreeing like good little puppets).  Heck, they were Bruce Jenner before Bruce Jenner and, like Jenner, they knew it.

As this space, so far, isn’t fair-balanced, we must give some time to the American male. The only World Cup singles winner was the late Nicky Virachkul, in World Cup II.  Until the formation of the PDC, the best men in the world played in the World Cup, dominated by England.  The one exception was in 1985 when America beat the English in the 4-person team (9-0). Yes, that’s called an “ASS KICKING.”  The exploits of  Payne, Ney, Kramer, and Valletto have never been repeated.  England’s Eric Bristow won five singles on the trot with Mr. John Lowe wining one on either side to bookend Mr. Bristow.

Male darters humor is pretty ribald most of the time. It is what it is.  There are exceptions such as the often quoted postings here from the Sage of Sittingbourne, Dave Whitcombe. Not this time, as we’re focusing on the ladies. A former big-time lady darter from Canada posted the news that “you can freeze leftover wine and make wine sickles.”

Her friend asked, “What’s leftover wine?”

There is an honesty with women darters. Here’s an example from the grand expanses of Alaska…

“I enjoy a glass of wine each night for health benefits. The other glasses are for my witty comebacks and flawless dance moves.”

It’s just not dart players but those women who are dart wives, girlfriends or decline to state.

That brings us to the Aristotle of Arizona – no, not the Aristotle that bagged Jackie Kennedy. This Aristotle is like the Greek philosopher born in 382 B.C., who then took a dirt nap in 322 B.C.  Some claim that Aristotle was a male but remember it was Greece, in B.C.

This (Arizona) Aristotle is one of the ODC’s all-time favorites, who shall be called “Babs.” She and the ODC share a fondness for darts, either rum or vodka, and gaming. Babs is also a regular poster on Facebook, almost always bringing a smile to the face.  She recently posted her “dart players” approach to Facebook, as applied to everyday life.

“Presently, I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles. Every day, I go down the street and tell a passerby what I have eaten, how I feel, what I have done the night before, and what I will do after.”

She continues “I give them pictures of my family, my dog, and me gardening and spending time in my pool. I also listen to their conversations and then I tell them I love them. And it works! I already have three persons following me: two police officers and a psychiatrist.”

Then there’s the lady darter who asks, “How do people get eaten by sharks. Don’t they hear the music?”

We leave you today with some common sense from Babs…

“The reasons rump roast is called rump roast is because if it was called ‘cow’s ass’ nobody would eat it.”

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.
Howie Reed

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