Column #520 Let’s hope the rumors aren’t true!

Monday, August 22, 2016
Column 520
Let’s hope the rumors aren’t true!

We hear it all the time, have for years. Complaints. Excuses. Blaming. And a wish!

There are no professional darters in the USA.   

There isn’t any money in the game here.  

The country is too big.   

Travel is too expensive. 

Best of three legs on the ‘diddle’ tour will never prepare an American darter to compete on the world stage.  

We don’t need the PDC or the BDO. 

We can’t get sponsorship. 

We’ll never get on television. 

We need our own tour!

So, along comes the Championship Darts Corporation (CDC)…

Anthony Eugenia, Peter Citera, and David Irete – three guys with passion and dedication to the sport.  Three guys who have listened to darters’ concerns, sacrificed time with their families and opened up their wallets to give darters what they have clamored for…

A professional tour.  Long format darts with decent prize money.

Eugenia, Citera, and Irete are gentlemen. They produced. They have been true to their word.

One must assume they thought they had a committed base of players standing with them in their quest. One must assume they believed if they offered what players said they wanted to compete against the best in the world, the venture would be widely embraced.

They did what they said they’d do – created a tour and, although participation was modest in the first year, they held strong in their belief that, once established, the “wait and see” guys would line up to join, that more and more of the many quality darters would participate.

Last year, I am sure it was a surprise to many that the extremely talented player who led the pack from start to finish declined to play in the first tour finals because of a personal commitment to his girlfriend.  This individual was applauded for his strong personal family values. I applauded his decision. I still do.

Although his absence was widely accepted, some argue that it put an asterisk on the event.  Some have quietly suggested that instead of praise for his commitment to his girlfriend and family, he should have been criticized for lack of commitment to those who have put so much time, effort, and money into building the CDC tour. Again, I still applaud his decision. I would have done the exact same thing. There are more important things in life than darts. Still, there are rumblings.

IMAGINE, some say, if in 1991, Phil Taylor hadn’t followed through on his commitment to the WDC?

Now, we find ourselves at the end of the second year of the CDC tour, with the finals approaching.  The location was selected to offer the best opportunity for streaming and filming – to make a REAL SHOW of it, to give even more momentum to the desperate need for energy to grow the sport and enable the best of the best of our darters to stand toe-to-toe with the best in the world, and win.

There are more rumblings…

There are rumors that more than a few of the top 16 will decline their invitation.

It’s too far.  

It’s inconvenient. 

The prize money isn’t worth it.  

One must ask: If the most talented and successful players think it’s okay to show up a handful of times a year for eight chances at a decent prize, how can they possibly decide not to participate in the finals for an even better payout?

I hope the rumors are wrong. What a slap in the face it would be to Eugenia, Citera, and Itete. What a blow it would be to the sport.

If true – if any of the top 16 bow out of the CDC finals for any but the most urgent of reasons – the level of disappointment with these individuals should be of the highest order.

These days, the CDC is the best thing going for steel-tip darts in North America.

Anyone who is among North America’s cream, having earned the right to compete in this year’s finals, but who skips the event (again, for any but the most urgent of reasons) apparently is among an unfortunate handful of players who believe they don’t have a critical role in the success or failure of the CDC tour and the advancement of the sport in North America. It will be clear that they were just going along to take what they could when it was convenient.

Added to this group must be those top echelon players – those “wait and see” guys (you all know the names missing from CDC events) – who have shunned the tour completely, choosing to hang on to and defend the moribund and nowhere-bound ADO.

They are wrong. All of them.

This just ain’t the way to move darts ahead in North America.

From the Field,

Dartoid

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Dartoid
Author of the column that since 1995 has been featured by Bull’s Eye News, the American Darts Organization’s (ADO) Double Eagle and numerous other darts publications and websites around the globe.
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