Column #HR168 Jo “Momma” Wright… be WRONG!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Column HR168
Jo “Momma” Wright… be WRONG!

Those in Tungsten World who question Toeing the Oche as the “cutting edge” of darts opinion do so at their own peril. This column recently pointed out that the integrity of PDC matches is paramount for continued growth.

“The PDC has been very clever in promoting TV darts as a vehicle for gaming. It has been unquestionably successful. With that success comes an inherent danger – as in the case of all gaming involving humans: fixed results. The PDC is ‘extra’ careful as any suspicion would cause financial disaster.”

Those concerns were never more apparent than during the final night of Premier League play in Rotterdam. The top three players to advance to the final were set. The 4th spot was up for grabs. Gary Anderson (already in) was playing Adrian Lewis with Peter Wright playing Raymond van Barneveld.

“Wright had to dump Raymond van Barneveld – and hope Anderson defeated Lewis – for him (Wright) to qualify for finals night.”

Peter “Snake Bite” Wright’s wife, Jo, aka: “Jo Mama,” took to Twitter prior to play with an “allegedly private message” to “a friend,” which became public.

“We all know that Gary will be giving Lewis a position next week, don’t we?” (As in “giving Lewis” the one point he needs to get to the play-offs.)

Anderson and Lewis are friends.

Before Anderson and Lewis met, Wright blew a 6-4 lead with van Barneveld, settling for a draw when he missed d19 and d8 for the outright 7-5 win. He got a point.

Lewis would have to lose. He beat Anderson 7-2.

After the match, Wright then tweeted again: “I rest my case. Always Wright.”

That brought out the “twitter” in Adrian Lewis. “You (Jo “Mama” Wright) are an absolute disgrace. It’s not Peter as he’s told me first-hand he doesn’t use Twitter. You’re a horrible woman. I’m never malicious towards anyone apart from yourself.”

Had Lewis been clever he might have tweeted, “Jo Wright… Jo Wrong.”

Hate to disagree with Mr. Lewis – not really but it looks good in print – but the Old Dart Coach  heard Lewis use disgusting ethnic-sexual language against an opponent who had just beaten him. The ODC answered in kind, which Lewis will either admit or not. As to his other claims? Up to the “ears of the beer holder.”

On a roll Lewis continued, “I really do hope the DRA (Darts Regulation Authority) take this seriously. Nobody in darts I know of would ever throw a game.”

The latter part of  his statement has to be taken with a “grain of salt, a lime and a shot of tequila.” In the very early days of “professional darts” a couple of players were quietly sent to the sin bin for alleged “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Jo Mama’s answer to Lewis was hogwash?

“It was taken out of context. Again.”

This  defense – not as creative as “The dog ate my homework” or “The other dude did it” – didn’t work the first time it was tried in 43 BC. Cicero said some unkind things about Mac Anthony. When confronted, Cicero allegedly said, “It was taken out of contest.” Mac Anthony didn’t buy it. He sent soldiers who killed  Cicero, cut off his head and paraded it through Rome. Doubt that Jo Mama will face a similar fate.

Levity aside, this is serious. The PDC handles disciplinary problems in-house like the mafia. Peter Wright made himself “unavailable” for the 2016 Betway World Cup of Darts. Bet Wright was surprised by his decision…

The final of the Premier League night went as expected with Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor meeting in the final. “Marvelous” Marvin had no trouble of disposing of Adrian Lewis (10-4) with Taylor a 10-7 winner over Gary Anderson.

In every sporting event there are “tells” as to the outcome. The van Gerwen-Taylor match had three. First, van Gerwen was playing Taylor who he lately has spanked like a “puppy that peed on the carpet.” Then, at 3-2 van Gerwen, Taylor missed three to level. MvG then ran off 5 on the trot before Taylor could erase 80 with two making it 6-3. In the next leg, Taylor was left with 40 as van Gerwen put on a little show with 100 left. He used the always crowd pleasing 20, double top, double top.

“Goeienacht. Ik zie je later nog!”

“Goodnight. See you later.”

Final was 11-3.

The Dubai Duty Free Masters is a heck of a deal for the eight players. It’s a paid exhibition dressed up to look like a battle to the death. With a total purse of 750,000 Arab Emirates Dirham – $204,215 or £139,451 – it’s great way to spend a couple of days.

Two things stand out about this battle in the desert. Watching on television you would swear the PDC imported their fans from the Motha Country – who came to “PAAAAARTY!” In a pre-match interview Phil Taylor revealed for the first time, “I’ll be semi-retired after January. Barry (Hearn) won’t be happy but the travel has worn me down.” Hmmm.

As is usual, “Marvelous” Marvin van Gerwen reached the finals with an 11-7 win over Dave Chisnell. Gary Anderson was “even-Stephen” at 6 when Taylor broke by hitting the d13. As happens often these days, Taylor then fell apart losing 11-7.

Sports has been said to “write scripts” that would be unbelievable if used for a movie. The final in Dubai was one of those scripts. It’s why we love darts. Consider that “Marvelous” Michael van Gerwen  had won 50% of the tournaments he played in this year.

Van Gerwen opened with a 12-darter for a 1-nil lead which he built to 7-4. In the past, the rap on Anderson had been his inability to finish. The past jumped up when he missed eight darts at a double allowing van Gerwen to increase his lead to 8-4.

Rather than fold, Anderson opened the next leg with a 171 and checked 130 on the bull for 8-5 in 12. Then it’s 8-6 with another 12-darter. When van Gerwen missed four at d18 and 9 Anderson checked 68 and it’s 8-7. Van Gerwen’s 177 is wasted as Anderson erased 76 with d8 for his 4th leg on the trot. Van Gerwen is able to regain the lead (9-8) when Anderson uses d10 to level once more. With his fourth T80 of the match and van Gerwen missing d16, Anderson captured the lead for the first time. Van Gerwen appears to be on his way to deny Anderson the victory but his three trips to the oche and six missed doubles allow Anderson to hit d5 for the victory.

Congrats to Aussie Russell Stewart for being the first inaugurated into the Darts Players of Australia Hall of Fame. Good on ya.

The ODC has his first book due out in late June. When the finished product was sent to the publisher former four-time British Prime Minister William Gladstone (1809-1898), in heaven, somehow got a copy. After reading it he wrote, “So long as there is this book there will be no peace in the world.”

Guess he won’t be buying an fairly priced autographed copy.

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.