Column #HR152 “A lavare a capu e ru ciucciu, ci perdi a l’isia!”

Friday, November 6, 2015
Column HR152
“A lavare a capu e ru ciucciu, ci perdi a l’isia!” 

The American Darts Organization team has just finished playing in the World Dart Federation World Cup in Turkey. Steve Brown, the Team Captain/Manager/ADO representative to the WDF/Communications Director – a man of many hats posted…

“We are proud of the American team.”

With all due respect Mr. Brown, as a former two-time American team captain and dart fan, “We are not proud of the finish by the ADO Team. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished 12th.  That’s “faulking sorry” – it’s a disgrace for a country with a proud darting tradition to finish behind the likes of darting “powers” Lithuania (men) and Italy (women).

The apparent ADO philosophy?  Showing up is enough.

No it’s not.

Is it fair to blame the ADO? Possibly not, but who are you going to blame? A player who missed a double? A team “manager” who’s there because he’s there? Don’t be silly.

The ADO sets the standards for selection, therefore the performance of the team. They seem to  take the Hillary Clinton approach – “What difference does it make?”

They don’t file with the IRS (as required by law) and they don’t publish a newsletter (as required by their bylaws and as promised to their members) yet,  no one is held responsible. The difference is that many darters actually love the sport and the country. The ADO  doesn’t have an agenda beyond “ME.”

Does the ADO  have a plan to ensure that players representing the dart players of America are prepared for world competition? Of course not. To quote an old Calabria proverb…

“A lavare a capu e ru ciucciu, ci perdi a l’isia!” (Washing the head of the donkey is a waste of soap.)

As Michael Corleone said, “The fish rots from the head.”

The latest example of the ADO’s cavalier attitude to international competition is that the American’s Cup Team was selected “by performance” while the “best 8 players in the USA” were playing in the World Cup.  The national qualifying event was held at the Ghost on the Coast tournament – a tournament run by two people from the South Strand Dart Association that has no ADO leagues, therefore no ADO  members and no other tournaments. Why hold a national event there?

“A lavare a capu e ru ciucciu, ci perdi a l’isia!”

Congrats to Tom Sawyer for his top 16 finish and Larry Butlers’ top 8. Sawyer lost to Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas, 4-2.  Labanauskas would lose to eventual World Cup champ  Jim Williams of Wales, 6-5. On his way to the top 8, Butler beat the reigning World Cup singles champion, Wesley Hams, 4-1.  Butler would  lose to Scotland’s Ross Montgomery.

America’s Team Captain posted, “So, you probably already know (sorry, I decided to hit the buffet before posting), but Larry Butler lost his quarter-final against Ross Montgomery (Scotland) 5-3. Just needed a couple more 12 or 13 dart legs.”

No sh** Dick Tracy. Just a few more 12 or 13 dart legs would have made a difference.

Now, the rest of the story…

During the playing of the match one source reports, “Ross recruited  monkeys to taunt Butler in the quarters while he was on the line.”

World Champion Gary Anderson – as quoted by dartjournalist.com – calls fellow Scot Ross Montgomery “a disgrace for Scotland.” This from a nation that condones taking sheep as dates to the prom.

With Scotland’s Ross Montgomery headed for a semifinals match again John Michael of Greece, things got interesting.  Someone “associated” with the German team lodged a complaint against John Michael, claiming he was “ineligible” to compete under WDF bylaw 7.05 (6) – the PDC rule. The German person can best be described as a “Harridan.”

This is the same rule that kept the American’s #1 Stacy Bromberg from playing a few years ago. The ADO went along with the ruling rather than tell the WDF to “PUAR.”

“PUAR?” The four words uttered by John Kramer to Eric Bristow before the American Team beat England  the 9-0 in a World Cup past that America should have won. Why didn’t they ? Missed a double in the singles.

Prior to the playing of the World Cup, the “AGM” (Annual General Meeting) entertained a motion to abolish the rule. It was defeated. Wonder how the ADO representative and the WDF vice president (from America) voted?

John Michael has earned £1,500 playing in the PDC over two years. The question arises why the “German representative” waited until Michael had reached the semi-final to lodge the complaint? At no point in the singles was Michael drawn against a German player.  When the WDF Executive excluded Michael (from not only the singles but all further events) the Greek team withdrew. The German pair of Puls/Sensenschmidt did get a bye to the round of 32 – where they lost.

Dart players love to gossip. The rumor at the World Cup was that if Germany had not protested John Michael then the Scots were prepared to do so. Why didn’t they do it in the first place?

“It wouldn’t look good.”

In the end, the WDF, like FIFA, have taken what should be good honest competition and turned it into an ego building exercise for a group of people who are impressed with their limited accomplishments. The World Cup should be for the players. If a vote were taken, there are few if any players who would have voted to eliminate John Michael from the World Cup. Players, for the most part, have a sense of fair play, wanting only to compete against the best.

A World Cup is like a duck floating on a placid mirror-like, azure pond. The duck, like the event, appears to be casually gliding along enjoying the scenery with nary a care. What most don’t see is that under the surface the duck is “paddling” like mad, pushing away the garbage in its effort to move forward.   The World Cup has the same characters as a placid lake. On the surface players moved along while consistently trying to push away the underlying garbage that impedes them in their quest.

“A lavare a capu e ru ciucciu, ci perdi a l’isia!”

The ODC gave some Halloween costume advice last time out. He was asked, “What did you go out as on Halloween?”

He went out as the most interesting man in the world. How was he dressed? Just his usual attire. Yes he was recognized by one and all.

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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