Column #HR157 “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidly.”

Thursday, January 28, 2016
Column HR157
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidly.”

The Dart Coach was in a deep-blue funk after producing the worst column of a long and storied Hall of Fame career.  It was rumored he’d taken to drink attempting to drown his sorrows. Friends tried intervention including phone calls, cute Facebook memes, and Popeye’s chicken. All seemed lost.

Only six people admitted to reading his last effort – five men (four of them foreign), Queen La Tasha and one critic. The lady’s a VIP being the “self-proclaimed” spokesperson for the “African- Jewish American Community” in Las Vegas, the first person to hold that honor since Sammy Davis, Jr., who she said, “did a lousy job.”

The critic, of course, took great offense, firing off a message to put the DC back in his proper place. The person’s initial complaint was that the DC had quoted someone from a dart discussion group where …normal ettiquite in these cases is disagreements remain in the group and not spread out among other groups. Notice that “etiquette” is spelled wrong. Spell check alert!

The individual was just warming up.  I find it interesting that many times both you and ‘spineless’ use forums and DDG as fodder for your column.  Nailed it, although who “spineless” is remains a mystery.

Is it because you want to stir the pot or because you just can’t find anything else to write about in darts except your own asinine drunken escapades from ancient history? Spot on again.  To quote  Bobby Flay, “A well-stirred pot produces a tasty meal”.  The DC takes great offense at the term “your own asinine drunken escapades.”  Those escapades were, in fact, judicious, prudent, sagacious, sage, sane, sapient, sensible, sound and wise – not to mention lots of fun.

Just like the TV commercials where you can dial an 800 number and get a wonderful product for only $19.99 – “BUT there’s more…

“If your goal was to attempt to bring a serious issue where the rules need clarification for the future of the game then you picked a shitty way to do it with insults and insinuations that are inaccurate at best.”

Nice language. (Foul language is the mark of the inarticulate MF.)

The message arrived just as the ODC was celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Remembering what Dr. King said, the deep blue-funk disappeared as if by magic. “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidly.”

The Las Vegas Open was a great darts tournament with an international cast which included players from Japan, Sweden, Finland, England, and Canada. Like the old North American, it included an ADO National Championship with Sandy Hudson and Tom Sawyer being crowned Cricket Champions.  In the world of international darts being a cricket champ is like being the best snow skier in Iraq.

The expected brouhaha over a woman of the second category, aka chick with a stick, entering the women’s singles never occurred.  Thanks to Toeing the Oche, the International Olympic Committee changed their rules so that men who want to compete as “women” will not have to eliminate their God-installed original equipment…

To require surgical anatomical changes as a pre-condition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights. If they declare themselves women and reduce their testosterone below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to competition, they can compete against ladies.

The men’s singles did provide a bit of a kerfuffle. A primarily machine dart player, unseeded Benjamin Dersch, won both the 501 and the cricket singles. The machine dart community was doing the Snoopy dance on social media. Machine players from time in memoriam have had a perceived inferiority complex. The other side of the coin is that steel point players always felt and acted superior. The double win had the steel dart community crying, “One off!”

They did point out that in cricket the highest seed Dersch faced was #8 Joe Chaney (in the semis), beating #18 Ross Snook in the finals. It was kind of strange and not terribly accurate seeding, with  #2 and #4 going out in the round of 32 followed by  #1 (Larry Butler), #3 (Jim Widmayer) and #5 (Darren Young) going out after the round of 16.

One poster wrote, “I don’t see the big deal a dart player won a dart event. A discussion would be needed if a pool player won a dart event.”

One of the DC’s long-time pals, called a baseball super scout, is an executive with the Boston Red Sox. He was asked once how he judges a hitter. “You can either hit or you can’t.”  It’s the same with darts. You can either play or you can’t.

This is not the first time that a machine dart player gained the attention of the steel point world.

NOTE: Warning here for “Rich Noggin’” – but the following is “ancient history” though not “asinine” and hardly an “escapade,” but there might have been some drinking involved.

In 1983, the finals of the North American Open paired Mr. John Lowe and a soft-point player from the Midwest named Lane Helgeson. Both had gone through a top-notch international field. It was a close match which was won my Mr. Lowe. Afterward, he commented, “He played very well.”  Helgeson may have won a leg in this double/double 301 match, and that opened many eyes. Machine darts had arrived, albeit briefly.

For dart players, the Las Vegas Open had all the buzz and excitement of their very own private circus.  There was danger, humor, intrigue, romance, celebration and heartbreak all there for the taking.  Old friends greeted, new friendships were made, beverages consumed, games won and lost with a million stories told and remembered. It was a meeting of the clan, a family bound together by tungsten, fueled by the competitive spirit. The outside world had little or no effect on what took place in the dart hall. Not all was peaches and cream though, as some came to the realization that the Las Vegas of 2016 wasn’t your Las Vegas of old. Today Las Vegas resembles the law firm of Dewey, Cheatem, and How.

With weather delaying flight in the East, many flying out were stranded an extra day or two in Vegas. On Tuesday morning, social media recorded the thoughts of a dart player sitting at the bar of the hotel waiting for his flight to finally leave, “I’m sitting alone at the bar. The darters have all left. It’s lonely.”

He must have felt like the young child who visited the empty lot where just a day before the tent circus had held forth. He might have cried thinking, “Where has it all gone?”

Know the feeling.

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.