Column #HR161 Wisdom from the Bay Breeze Hotel, Pattaya, Thailand

Friday, March 18, 2016
Column HR161
Wisdom from the Bay Breeze Hotel, Pattaya, Thailand

One would think that with the Old Dart Coach safety ensconced in the Bay Breeze Hotel (Soi 11, Second Road, in Pattaya Beach, Thailand) all would be smiles. What’s not to celebrate? Warm weather, ice cold beer and a city populated with “oodles” of local ladies, called LBFMs by most all. LBFM equates to Lovely Brown Female Model or something like that… but alas, the ODC has the “RA” as he was lied to yet again by the Professional Darts Corporation.

It was just a week ago that an “unofficial” promised that from that point forward Michael van Gerwen would be called “Marvelous.” Just days later, that promise was broken. In reporting the results from the Players Championship when it stopped at Barnsley, never once was the name “Marvelous” used when mentioning Michael van Gerwen. The ODC is steamed.

For those not familiar with Players Championship events they are held over two days with each day paying a total of £75,000 with £10,000 to the winner and a handy £6,000 to the runner-up. Over the two days, Peter “Snakebite” Wright took day one and Steven “Peter Griffin” Bunting topped day two. Bunting would beat van Gerwen in the Sunday final 6-4. For the first time this year the “Marvelous One ” notched not a single win. Still Not too Chablis.

The “Marvelous One” did toss a 9-darter en route to adding another win against Phil Taylor 6-2. Let’s clear the air. Van Gerwen tosses a 9-darter and becomes “Nine-dart Michael.” BFD. He tosses two this year, but he’s marvelous every single time out. The ODC Nation calls upon the PDC to keep their promise, or else.

Please, no cards or letters after Phil Taylor came from 5-1 down to beat the “Marvelous One” in last Thursday’s Premier League. Taylor missed four doubles, giving the first leg away and then fell to a 5-1 deficit. Taylor used an 84-bull finish and then a 14-darter with a 120 finish, cutting the gap. Van Gerwen used a 170-check to get to 6. Van Gerwen had a chance for the outright win but missed three match darts. At 6-5, Taylor achieved the draw with a 12-dart beauty. For Taylor, a 6-6 draw is a win. They share the Premier League lead with 19 points each with van Gerwen at a one leg advantage is legs won.

There are items that concern the serious player and their supporters to the extent that Facebook filled with their worries. Some may call it whining but not the ODC. The difference between a “whine” and “stating the facts” is found in the attitude of the listener. It’s all too familiar with many that the ODC has little use for the World Dart Federation and by extension the British Darts Organization, although in all fairness the BDO actually is more positive than the WDF. “Little use” means that neither offer “Sweet Fanny Adams” for North America except as ways to take in money and make demands while generally not moving the tungsten any farther. The points earned in their “sanctioned” North American events for locals are as useless as feathered flights on tungsten darts.

One supporter questioned, “Tournaments in America decline BDO ranking because TD’s don’t want their events seeded. Tournaments in Canada get BDO ranking in spite of the NON SEEDING of events. WTF?” For the casual reader, a “TD” is a Tournament Director while “WTF” is “Well That’s Foul,” or something like that.

The answer is the president of the WDF is Canadian Bill Hatter, and WDF rules don’t apply to members of the WDF Ruling Class. The real question is: Why would anyone in North America care? WDF and BDO points mean nothing, with seeding doing nothing more than to protect a Chosen Few. The dirty little secret is that Tournament Directors do their own personal seeding anyway.

In the USA, there is a presidential primary underway to decide who will be the two candidates for President of the United States for the next four years. One candidate has bragged that “I’ve had four foreign leaders call and offer to endorse me for the President.” She said this as if Americans give a “flying flounder” what some foreign leader says or thinks about us. It’s time that darts in North America took the same attitude. Cut the umbilical cord with foreign organizations. Tell both the WDF and the BDO “thanks but we’ll take it from here.”

Darts in American is not meant nor organized to be a full-time profession occupation. Those who argue to “put more money up and more people will enter” are living in a dream world full of unicorns, Popeye’s Spicy Chicken and rivers of Miller Genuine. Like both political parties in the USA, the steel point “elite” give only lip service to the common players, saving the goodies for the very best. Their “you have to play the best to be the best” went chest up many years ago.

Like the mafia in movies the machine dart industry allows everyone to ”dip their bill” in the goodies. They take care of the vendors, the venues and the once-a-week players. Until the steel industry finds some “non-player” financial resources to fund tournaments they will continue to flounder.

The latest from the HALT Tour provided the realization to the ODC that when he has a goodly supply of golden elixir he has “delusions of youth.” Just the other right at Wonderful Bar while listening to a Thai Lady singing “Smooth Operator,” as only Fọláṣadé Adú can, the ODC started dancing on his bar stool. While engaged in that activity he looked to his left to find an older geezer dancing.

“Hmmm, look at that old geezer. Act your age,” he thought.

Then it hit him. As the great philosopher Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and it is us.” The ODC immediately stopped dancing, said Check bin (asked for the bill) and sheepishly made a rapid retreat – vowing never again to allow San Miguel Light or Sade singing “Smooth Operator” to implant the idea he could dance.

Dance? What he did was walk to music like the ladies of Pattaya’s go-go’s. (They walk to music, some so poorly, that they can’t afford clothes.) The ODC wondered where the new Mother Teresa was to help these girls walking “sans clothes” to music.

Thailand is a third world country which brought to the ODC’s mind a public service radio spot in Las Vegas. “Mother Teresa loved the poor so much she moved in with them.” The ODC wondered what a family that was already poor struggling to put food on the table would do when Mother Teresa moved in?

“Oh great, just what we need – another mouth to feed.”

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.