Column #HR154 Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Column HR154
Merry Christmas!

‘Tiz the holiday season throughout the world. A time we celebrate Christmas with joy, family, and good friends.

RIP Mike Enright

For darters from the Golden Age of darts, there is sadness with the death of Mike Enright. Mike was born in Blackpool but made the move to the Colonies where he became a well-known figure on the darting scene. For many years, he ran the St. Patrick’s tournament in San Diego, which was the “big stop” on the tungsten spring tour.

The elite of the darting world (they just were and knew it – so p*** off!) knew him as one of the co-founders of the Royal Hawaiian All-Star Drinking Team. The PC crowd took over later changing the name to “Darting Team.” An everlasting pox on them.

Mike and fellow darters were sitting at the bar of the Pacific Hotel on Waikiki during the first Royal Hawaiian Dart Tournament. There, a group of darters and fun people gave forth to the Royal Hawaiian All-Star Drinking Team. At its zenith, the group had more world champions, more masters champions, and more country champions than any club in the history of darts, then or now.

Mike served as president, and some might say ringmaster to fun members from America, Canada, England, Wales, Scotland, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Brunei and, yes, even Oklahoma and Texas. Mike has now gone up to heaven where he’s probably sharing a pint with Barry, Peter, Jocky, Bud and a couple of Davids. Not only sharing a pint but probably a story or two.

The ODC first met Mike on a trip to the World Cup in Nelson, New Zealand 1981. They kind of became world cup co-captains as the “appointed” captain was busy being important. They got sandwiches, beers and cheered. Two years later, Mike would captain the team in Scotland. That aside, they forged a lifelong friendship. Mike and the ODC even played pairs one year reaching the round of 16 of the North American. The ODC had two darts to beat Eric Bristow and Leighton Reis 2-1. Of course, the ODC choked, but just barely.

Debbie Bosang in a posting wrote, “I never saw Mike without a smile on his face.”

Mike never met a stranger. So, with sadness, we will celebrate this holiday season with our prayers going to Mike’s wife, Michelle, and the hope that God takes care of our friend in heaven.

The “not brothers” Lopez

The ODC got an early Christmas gift when he was able to reunite with old friends “the not brothers” Lopez. Frank Lopez was a superior dart player from the Chicago area and a heck of a guitar player. He and the ODC used to meet up once a year at the Stage Door bar in N’Awlins, Louisiana during the New Orleans Open. Frank recently has been touring in South America with Blues Legend Linsey Alexander, strumming his guitar. Alexander’s latest hit, on the Delmark label, is “Come Back Baby” with music by Frank and lyrics by his wife Mary.

The other Lopez is, Russ, called “Slopes” by the ODC. He cemented his friendship with the ODC when he bailed in as the ODC was getting his rather ample bottom beat on at the Dutch Open. Russ, a retired Air Force veteran, was a good dart player representing the USA on a number of occasions. He recently dropped in to say “hi” driving a new Mercedes SUV. They adjourned to the ODC’s favorite local where the barmaid, the angel Sondra-Sondra, spotted a fellow Hispanic in a new Mercedes with Texas plates and said it just yelled “drug dealer.” Naw, just retired and living the good life. Two great gifts for the ODC.

The Sage 

The Sage of Sittingbourne is oft quoted in these spaces. He’s the Christmas gift that keeps giving all year. He keeps the folks informed, such as writing, “Today I will mostly be writing Santa.”

As a successful pub owner, he can jump in to liven things up should the occasion call for it. “So it was down to me tonight to take over the dance floor and do me John Travolta. Needless to say, the birds swooned.”

It’s an unproven fact that “behind every successful man is a strong woman.” Behind Dave Whitcomb is wife Delph. If he’s the Sage she may well be the Scrooge, especially when she posted the following for New Years Eve at the pub…

Just a gentle reminder. NYE tickets are selling fast so a few things to remember that people seem to think will work:

I’m not your friend.

There isn’t a guest list.

 Lost your ticket. Too bad.

Unless you are staff yes you have to pay for your ticket.

Please don’t be offended when I refuse to sell you a ticket when I’m sold-out.

No, I can’t” squeeze” you in. 4. Unless you are staff, yes you have to pay for your ticket 5. Please don’t be offended when I refuse you a ticket when I’ve sold out! 6. No, I can’t “squeeze” you in!

Take note people!

Merry “bloody” Christmas everyone!

Just a few days later she posted again…

Chunk blowing season has started! Oh, the joy! Glad they made it to the car park! Thank you!

Santa works in mysterious ways.

Eric and Phil

Another gift for all dart players is Eric Bristow doing commentary. During play at the PDC World Championships, he pointed out that part of Phil Taylor’s recent problem is that he doesn’t always count well, often leaving no three dart out. “In the past he was usually so far ahead it didn’t make any difference, now it costs him matches.”

The British media has blown those simple words into a controversy. Okay, they pronounce it “CON TRAV IS SEE.”  Taylor responded, “I can count my money in the bank – bet he can’t.”

Those with some time should Google Taylor’s “incoherent” interview where he appears to be plumb level full of “group tighter and aiming fluid.” Ah yes, the Golden Elixir will do that to a person.

ADO. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ho. Ho. Ho.

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a dishonest posting from the ADO. “If you haven’t seen the news, the ADO have increased the payouts at the 2016 Las Vegas Open to a total purse of $30,000.”

Note that the ADO had “Sweet Fanny Adams” to do with the prize money increase at the Las Vegas Open.

To our readers around the world “Gladelig Jul,” “Froehliche Weihnachten,” “Nollaig Shona Dhuit,” “IL-Milied It-tajjeb,” “God Jul,” and “Sawadee Pee Mai.”

Oh yes, MERRY CHRISTMAS and God Bless.

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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