Column #HR185 TARTS DARTS… How Dare Thee!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Column HR185
TARTS DARTS… How Dare Thee!

Not long ago, the Old Dart Coach invited the Las Vegas Reviews Journal’s top sport columnist to a “soft tip” bind draw at a local Las Vegas pub. It would have been a bar without darts. The “luck of the draw” – or “unluck,” depending on the draw – was a prelude to a DARTSLIVE world soft point event. The journalist, Ron Kantowski, mingled, and had a soda water – real journalists don’t drink while working – while gaining enough insight and  information for an  interesting column. One would think that darters would have been over the moon with the newspaper  coverage.

One would be wrong.

It seems that even a passing mention by Mr. Kantowski that some of the “ladies… may be packing a few extra pounds” was unacceptable. In the words of the late Irene Maude Reed, “My God the Bridge!” Mr. Kantowski was bombarded with emails decrying his lack of sensitivity towards ladies and their issues. Not to mention the “suggestion” that his parents either weren’t married or registered with the American Kennel Club.

The paper was “over the moon.” The column drew more comment than any previous effort. When Toeing the Oche mentioned the column the loveable and Mother Teresa-like ODC was showered with written abuse, most of it very unladylike.

In England lives the Sage of Sittingbourne, one Dave Whitcombe by name. The Sage runs a pub which is home to darts teams made-up of both ladies, gents, and those who will wait to designate their gender at a later date. He recently posted the photo at the top of the column with the title “Tarts Darts.”

Here is a brave man, “Shirley” to be taken to the woodshed for his characterization of “ladies” as Tarts. but nope. Not a peep. The Sage is unscarred, unafraid, and unbowed – although he does  spend a lot of time on the household couch rather than the communal bed. He takes great pleasure in poking the “Sacred Cows” of humanity which are “ones that are often unreasonably immune from criticism or opposition,” gender unassigned. “Sacred Cow“  means something different in the Hindu religion.

The BDO – British Darts Organization – recently concluded their “World Championship at the Lakeside.” Some darters,  among them Mr. Eric Bristow and Mr. John  Lowe,  took to Facebook to comment on the event. Most of the comments were centered on the lack of scoring, the inability to hit doubles when needed, or the lackluster enthusiasm of the crowd in the early rounds.

There was some basis for the comments as all those factors were present when compared with the PDC World Championship. Particularly irritating to The Sage were “average or below darters” questioning the quality of those playing at Lakeside. He took to Facebook himself, posting…

“You know those players who only win a couple of games a season in Division 4 Local League… bless ’em… Well, I wish they would shut their pie holes criticizing top players all the time on the darts forums.”

Eric Bristow was critically vocal almost daily and as always a fun read. Mr. John Lowe questioned the BDO claiming the winner at Lakeside to be a  true “world champion… that’s a legitimate question.” If the ODC’s memory hasn’t been completely destroyed through the ravages of “aiming fluid” and “group tighter,” the BDO has that right via the lawsuit between the BDO and the professional players many years ago.

Whitcombe jumped on the comments like a dog on a bone…

“Eric Bristow talking bollocks and now John Lowe is at it. Is it an age thing, bias thing, or just a plain old talking out your arse thing?”

Eric Bristow responded…

“I hear Dave Whitcombe doesn’t agree with some of my BDO comments, no probs pal, glad to know you’re ok and still alive and doing ok, ha ha.”

For those that care, Glen Durrant won the BDO World Championship 7-3 over Holland’s Danny Noppert where both averaged 88+. The win, worth £100,000 – pales in comparison to the

£350,000 for PDC world champ. The BDO news release calls Durrant “world number one.” Yeah, right. In fairness, the Lakeside is what it is.

Minor league sports can be entertaining.

Lisa Ashton (England) took the ladies crown 3-0 over Aussie lass Corrine Hammond. For the win Ashton collected a check for £12,000. She averaged 81.81. Good for her.

With the $30,000 Las Vegas Open this weekend, January 20-22, it’s just a guess that this year’s news won’t focus on “Can a transsexual – male to female – use the lady’s loo?” It’s not known if any “lady” actually sauntered into the women’s loo last year but no shrieking women running in horror from the ladies sitting place were reported.

This year’s Las Vegas Open is ranked by the ADO, BDO, and the WDF. The men get a break as PDC qualifying school takes place the same weekend drawing an entry list of more than 450. One that won’t be at the “Q” school is BDO champ Glen Durrant – unlike some former champs. Mr. John Lowe thinks that Durrant’s decision is sound. “It would be professional suicide for Glen Durrant to go to Q school, if he didn’t qualify what would people say? Also degrading.”

The Sage agrees, kinda…

“Being a long time supporter of the BDO system I’m not blinded by the word “loyalty” if you are a highly ranked player. There comes a time when you have to seriously consider a switch regardless of whether anyone, or even yourself, has any negative thoughts about it simply because of the potential earnings a switch could improve upon.

The theory is that if Durrant didn’t get the  PDC tour card his exhibition schedule would suffer. His BDO “world title” would mean ‘Sweet Fanny Adams” as it’s always what have you done for me lately. “Come see Glen Durrant, the World BDO Champion who failed to earn a PDC Tour card.

Included in the Q school entry list are some North American darters including Ken MacNeil, Chris “The Great“ White, and David Fatum. Hong Kong’s Royden Lam will try the make the jump from soft point to the PDC. Lam, ranked #6 in the DARTSLIVE rankings behind  #1 Loeng Hwa of Singapore. Yes, #1  would be Paul Lim.

The big news this year at the Las Vegas Open is that the Dart Shoppe – thank you Janice Turner – may allow the ODC to sell his bestselling book, One Night While Drinking with The Fat Swede. For those not in the USA it’s a chance to get this great read and coffee table star at the Amazon price with a personalized message. WOW. Does it get any better? NO.

When the book first came out the ODC hoped it would sell like hotcakes. Then came the realization that IHOP pretty much had that market covered.

The book is a “Tell All” or “almost.” Male darters can relax as it’s not that “Tell All.”

The book will provide chuckles, grins, and laughs. Will it bring World Peace? No. Will it feed the hungry? (It will only feed the ODC – but the problem must be solved one person at a time.)

The book will not answer this old Hindu quotation: “Bandar kya jaane adrak ka swah.”

Stay thirsty my friends while you ponder, “When does the monkey taste the ginger?”

 

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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.