Column #HR179 The Moon, a Weapon of Mass Destruction, Apples, and Fags

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Column HR179
The Moon, a Weapon of Mass Destruction, Apples, and Fags

Before the Old Dart Coach became acquainted with the late Barry Twomlow and the likes of Misters Lowe, Brook, Nickson, Markovich, Baxter, Ovens, and Jones along with Ladies Batten and Ralphs his favorite Englishperson was Winston Churchill. The ODC was “over the moon” when in 1988 on a trip to Bangkok he actually played darts and had a few pints at a club once visited by Sir Winston Churchill, inside the grounds of the British Embassy.

The dart team from the Moonshine Pub on Soi Cowboy was in the first round of league playoffs. Short one player. Ned Hughes, the governor, asked the ODC to fill in. No additions to the roster were allowed, so the ODC played under the name of the late BJ Clark.

“Hell BJ signed up but hasn’t played all season, so no one knows him.”

The ODC had the night of his darting life which was dutifully reported the next day in the Nation, a major Bangkok English newspaper. The story headlined…

“BJ Clark leads Moonshine to playoff win.”

As the ODC was sipping a pint at the old fashion mahogany long bar, he looked up to see a picture of Winston Churchill with cigar and short glass filled with amber liquid at the very same bar, circa early 1900’s. Winston in white suit, plantation straw hat – and large cigar. It was a trip back in time.

“WOW!”

The ODC was jolted back to reality when he turned away from the bar. A portable TV was showing the women’s volleyball from the 1988 Olympic in Korea.

One of Churchill’s most quoted lines, an ODC favorite is, If you’re not a liberal at 20 you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative at 40 you have no brains.

The ODC likes to think Winston was describing him. With that mindset, the ODC is suspicious of “things” identified by their initials. Like ADO, BDO, WDF, LOL, WTF, RSVP, and VIP. Yes, PDC gets a pass.

MVG is a weapon of mass destruction!

With that in mind, the ODC is going off message by calling for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights under the direction of President Choi Kyong-lim of South Korea to step in to solve a serious problem. Michael van Gerwen has got to be stopped.

To professional darters, he’s a weapon of mass destruction. Granted, the UK tried with their Brexit vote to rid themselves of the troublesome Dutchmen, but that seems to be stalled in execution. Building a fence is not an option as the UK will always need taxi drivers, Indian take-outs, and the local street corner news agent.

Michael van Gerwen is making a mockery of the grand English game of darts. He’s showing no respect for the elite as he goes about turning them into his “Tungsten Tillies.” Wikipedia would define “Tungsten Tillies” as “male or female persons who follow well-known dart players around doing favors in the hope of receiving a used flight, a shaft or a smile.” Put in perspective, in rodeo, these people are called “Buckle Bunnies.” In baseball, it’s “Baseball Annie’s.” In professional football, they’re “Pigskin Polly’s.”

Van Gerwen is the living incarnation of the Roman emperor Tiberius who invited spintriae into his domicile for his own pleasure. To this point, van Gerwen, unlike Tiberius, when he’s done with spintriae he doesn’t push them off a cliff. YET.

A respite for PDC players?

PDC darters can only pray that maybe October will bring them a respite from the brutally that was the “van Gerwen September.” If those prayers are answered, the answer will come starting Sunday when the £400,000 Unibet World Grand Prix kicks off in Dublin. It’s the only double-start format on the PDC calendar.

The format already has Phil Taylor whining. He does that so well. After winning the Unibet Champions League Title, he said, “Well you now its double in and double out so anything can happen.” NS, Sherlock!” Taylor broke van Gerwen’s run with an 11-5 win worth £100,000. In an unexpected turn of events, in the post-match interview Taylor said, “Well yes, I’m over the moon with the win.”

How about a new children’s riddle? Instead of: “Hi-diddle-diddle the cat had a fiddle, and the cow jumped over the moon” try “Hi-diddle-diddle this cat don’t fiddle, and Phil Taylor jumped over the moon.”

Since August, van Gerwen has had a run of 35 winning matches with nary a loss. Even with his loss to Taylor last weekend he’s still 38-2. One dart legend opined after Taylor’s win on Sunday that “he’s still the man to beat.”

In the words of Brit Roger Nickson, “You’re joking.”

During that run was the sweep of a mid-week trio of Players Championships in Barnsley. Over three days, van Gerwen won all three events. In those three days, in addition to winning £30,000, he tossed two nine-darters in back-to-back days. For the month of September, van Gerwen took to the bank of his choice £130,000.

Championship Darts Circuit

While the PDC guys were playing for big money, the Championship Darts Circuit final was being played for a lot less money, but with the same level of desire and want-to. The winner of CDC   finals was Canadian Gary Broomhead as he downed reigning champion Larry Butler 10-7.   Broomhead only made it to the Invitational finals at the Dirty Bull in Woodland Hills, California, because some of those who qualified in the top 16 chose not to attend.

In the year-end standings, which Butler led, Broomhead was #21. During the stream of the final match, the commentator was heard to say, “Broomhead came in as the #13 seed, which is unfair.” No, the seedings were determined after a year-long competition, not on the whim of some Grand Poobah. That’s called “fair.”

Apple shot – Fag shot!

With van Gerwen whipping upon the PDC guys like one would a red-headed step child one great player, Gary Anderson, has a video that has gone “Gonzo” on YouTube. In the video, PDC presenter John McDonald, with an apple in his mouth, is standing in front of a dartboard facing Anderson. Anderson takes aim, let’s fly, and his dart lands in the mouth-held apple – dead square.

That brought to mind a story the late Barry Twomlow told on himself. “I had just won my first big tournament. Tommy O’Reagan was doing an exhibition at a nearby pub, so I showed up to watch. As the exhibition came to a close, O’Reagan saw me in the crowd. He introduced me, asking me to come up to the board…”

“Then he asked if I would hold a cigarette in my mouth, which he would remove with a thrown dart. He placed me with the cigarette level with the bull. As I stood with the cigarette burning and the ash growing longer O’Reagan played to the crowd. Finally, when the ash was almost down to my lips, O’Reagan tossed the dart – taking the cigarette out of my mouth and sticking it deal bull. The crowd went wild.”

“Later as we were sharing a pint at the bar I said to Tommy, ‘You have got be nuts to do that.’”

“I wasn’t holding the cigarette was I?”

Both gone. A pity.

Stay thirsty my friends.

The following two tabs change content below.
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.