Column #HR176 A busy weekend ended. A busy weekend about to begin.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Column HR176
A busy weekend ended. A busy weekend about to begin. 

Back when the Old Dart Coach was wending his way through various colleges, there was a popular saying when walking into a class for the first time and seeing a large number is Asians: “Oh sh–, look at all the DARs.”

For the uninitiated, “DAR’s” were “Damn Average Raisers,” which meant, in that class, just showing up wouldn’t get you a gentleman’s “C.” We weren’t picking on Asian’s, just stating the facts. Heck, they studied, which definitely gave them an unfair advantage.

Dart players from the past have their own “DARs” in the form of today’s PDC. Never one to sit quietly on the sideline with a no comment, dart legend Mr. John Lowe has spoken on today’s high averages attained by those in the PDC. Like Asian college students, today’s players have an advantage.

But don’t try to peddle the, “Well, today’s players practice more than back in the day” malarkey. Mr. Lowe isn’t buying it. “I use to practice up to 6 hours a day.”

“If we had those dartboards manufactured today in the 80s, we would be scoring 10-20 more per throw.” Which, one could argue, is what today’s PDC players are doing.

On today’s averages, Mr. Lowe says, “The increased size of the largest area is without a doubt the biggest contributing factor.” Which in American-speak means the doubles and triples are bigger.

The battle of the boards in the United Kingdom, which isn’t all that united, is between the PDC and the BDO/WDF. The BDO/WDF – some believe they’re the same – have claimed their averages were lower because their scoring areas on the board were smaller. That was true, as the BDO/WDF is wedded to the Winmau board while the PDC uses the Unicorn, which geezers know used to be the NODOR. What did NODOR mean? Stay tuned.

Unicorn (which Mr. Lowe has represented with distinction since right after Noah set sail with two of each – including dart players) provides the boards which the PDC uses – and they do have a larger scoring area. The PDC has not spoken on the issue. That’s not a surprise. As Mr. Lowe says, “The PDC, I’m sure, do not feel the need to state the size of the scoring area.” Heck, why should they, as they do what more sports ought to do: “Tell your critics to ‘go far away and multiply.'”

Howie CoverNEWS ALERT: We interrupt this column for the first reader reviews of the ODC’s new book, One Night while out Drinking with The Fat Swede.

JB writes, “My husband reads your book while wearing his bathrobe in the bathroom.”

From Ernie The Bind Guy, “I love the pictures.”

We now return you to Toeing the Oche…

The American Darts Organization recently held their 501 National Championships. The ADO tried their best to seed the players, which didn’t work out too well for the men. In the round of 32 seeds, 1 thru 5 and 8, 9, 13 and 14 went down to the “agony of defeat.” The top 8 saw only two seeds advance – Timmy Nicoll (4) and Christopher Lim (11). Lim would beat Nicoll (5-4) then go on to beat unranked Ray Dunmire (6-1) for the title. Chris’s Dad, Paul, won the title in 1997. One whit wrote, “Seems the apple fell 7’ 9¾” from the tree.” Dart humor, gotta love it.

The Championship Darts Circuit (CDC), the closest thing in America to the PDC, held Stages 7 and 8 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. This effort would not be complete without the first verse of the most popular song written about Ypsilanti by Alfred Bryan and Egbert Van Alstyne.

I’ll sing you a song that’s not very long It’s crazy as crazy can be The verse is as short as a pistol report And the chorus is longer than me. CHORUS: Ypsilanti, Michigan Ypsilanti wish again I’ve got an auntie who lives in a shanty In Ypsilanti, Michigan!

Larry Butler, with an 11-darter, got the win over Canadian John Part 6-4 in Stage 7. Butler took out ADO 501 champ Chris Lim in the semi’s 6-4, as Part got by fellow Canuck Bob Sinnaeve by the same score. Butler had also won the previous two stages in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, in faraway Taipei, Paul Lim merged triumph in the third stage of DARTSLIVE’s modestly called The World tournament. One rather clever darter called Butler and Lim’s exacta, “The Day of the Dinosaur.”

The CDC Stage 8 had Chris White take out Larry Butler (6-5), Nick Linberg (5-3) and David Fatum (6-5) for the win.

Next up for the CDC is the North American Shootout on August 19 at the Ambassador Hotel in Kingston, Ontario. The event coincides with the $20,000 PDC North American World Championship Qualifier.

The PDC has officially announced a stop in Las Vegas Nevada in July 2017. Former world number #1, Dr. Linda Batten, is putting together a tour from the Motha Country as part of a reunion for darters from the Golden Age. Yanks are invited to join in. How splendid of them to ask.

It’s a good guess that Dr. Batten is working with the PDC, as prior trips have not exactly been standing room only with North Americans participation. The PDC has yet to announce a playing format but stayed tuned – and bet a cool, refreshing lager that a CDC stop will be included.

It would be nice if the PDC in some way honored those North Americans who jumped in to join the then WPDPA, the forerunner of the PDC, giving the organization some credibility. The first two who joined where Dave Kelly and Sean Downs after their Embassy appearance. They were followed by Gerald Verrier, Jerry Umberger, Larry Butler, and Steve Brown. Just before the first Matchplay, Whit Whitley, Tony Payne, and Jim Widmayer signed up. Without these guys the PDC may never have gotten off the ground. Somewhere along the line, the PDC seems to have forgotten it was USA promoters and tournaments that continued to allow them to play and get paid when they were banned by the WDF. Among those are the late Tom Fleetwood and Billy Nicoll Sr. along with tournaments in Chicago, Cleveland, and Boston. Three cheers for them.

The ODC has a pal from the rodeo days named Joe Levy. Joe, a former bull rider, lives in Deming, New Mexico – a town that has had no songs written about it. Joe writes, “Donald Trump was watching the Olympics only to see how high the Mexican pole vaulters could go.”

NODOR? Means “NO ODOR – as early dartboards were soaked in a solution which had a rather “odiferous” long lasting aroma.

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.