Column #HR188 “Comradeship” and the Golden-Agers’ Reunion

Monday, March 13, 2017
Column HR188
“Comradeship” and the Golden-Agers’ Reunion  

Sitting outside Yates Pub on Soi Yamoto (named after the Japanese restaurant, Yamoto) the Old Dart Coach had a flashback to a scene in the 1992 movie My Cousin Vinnie (25 years old today). Joe Pesci (as the rookie lawyer, Vinnie) is sitting in the office of Judge Chamberlain Haller (played by the late Fred Gwynne). Vinnie asks the judge…

“Have you tried capital murder cases before?”

“Oh yea, lots.”

“How have you fared ?”

“You know win some, lose some.”

As he caressed a pint glass of San Miguel Light, ice, and “lemon” (as Thai call limes) this flashback occurred when I Rovers’ teammate Martin of Manchester sat down. The ODC had just lost a doubles match when he left his partner Martin (from Leeds) 52. The Englishman finessed that to 13. From that point, the ODC mangled the score enough to give the opposition 21 darts before they hit a successful double.

In his mind’s eye he could hear Martin of Manchester saying…

“Did you used to be good ?”

Martin of Manchester was too much a gentleman to ask the obvious. If he had asked, the answer would have been like Vinnie’s…

“Win some and lose some.”

What Martin of Manchester did say was, “You have a good stroke.”

The ODC thought, “That’s what they said about Pee-wee Herman.”

Manchester Martin continued, “You always win your singles.”

Mostly true, but if the ODC’s singles were a painting it would be a cross between a 5 year old’s finger refrigerator art work and a van Gough – the later years.

R’ N Roll Rick, playing darts after 28 years, passed on some advice…

“It’s good to open your eyes when you throw.” And… “Darts is about comradeship.”

Score 2 for 2 for the guy from Angeles City.

The UK Open lost Michael van Gerwen with a bad back and Phil Taylor who took a Pasadena on the entire affair. Peter Wright stepped in, producing magnificent darts including an 11-6 win in the final over Gerwyn Price. Wright’s first TV win was worth £70,000 while runner-up Price got £35,000.

It’s the “comradeship” that makes a geezer losing a 50-dart doubles game just as disappointing as Raymond van Barneveld blowing 3 at 40 to go up 9-7 against Peter Wright in the UK Open semi’s. Wright would win the next 3 on the trot for the win. Wright averaged 110.88 and Barney 108.10. Those numbers added together equal the darts in the ODC’s 501 singles game.

It’s “comradeship” that prevented anyone from going up to Barney to ask…

“Why’d you choke against Wright worse that a “fluffer” in a John Holmes 8mm film?”

It’s “comradeship” that will determine how many answer the call of Dr. Linda Batter-Duffy to attend the “Golden Age” darters reunion planned for Las Vegas July 12-15. As an aside, Dr. Linda’s name could be the answer to a question asked at a women’s softball game…

“Who’s up?”

“It’s Linda… Batten… Duffy.”

The PDC has agreed to assist with the reunion, whatever that means. It’s a fact that the PDC will be holding a North American Championship with 8 qualifiers to advance to the PDC U.S. Masters on July 14-15. Then, they’ll be fed – like raw meat to a hungry lion – to 6 of the greatest dart players in the world.

Las Vegas is where stars are come to play. The PDC is bringing current world champion Michael van Gerwen, 17-time world champion Phil Taylor, and 2-time champion Gary Anderson along with former champions Adrian Lewis, Raymond van Barneveld and the red-hot Peter “Snake Bite” Wright. It would have been nice if the PDC had included the only North American world champion John Part. He’s still got a shot via the qualification route.

The reunion is a flashback to the North American Open that will bring the “Golden Agers” back to Las Vegas. No argument, but the NOADT was the greatest dart tournament in the history of North American darts. For many, it was Las Vegas and “comradeship” that drew the crowds. For the overseas players it was a business trip and for many a profitable one.

The ODC is not the only one that noticed the singles finals almost always matched a Brit against a North American. Ever see two Brits or two North Americanos in the singles finals? Of course not. What part of a re-draw each round don’t you understand?

Only two men have won 2 NOADT 301 double in/double out singles titles – England’s Mr. John Lowe (1983-84) and Yank John “JK” Kramer (1981 and 1999). How about that?

Those were the days of the “A” bar president, Richie, serving Mr. Lowe, Big Cliff, Jockey and others who were invited…

Early one afternoon, a strange face appeared at the crowded “A” bar. Finding one seat open he sat down, getting barely a nod from Richie. Finally the newcomer, tired of waiting, called out to Richie…

“Hey, what do I have to do to get a drink around here?”

“Do you know Cliff Lazarenko?”

“No.”

“Bar’s closed.”

A very confused tourist left as the ODC massages his Miller Genuine with ice and Big Cliff laughed.

There was also the old Royal Hawaiian Al-Star Drinking Team suite (yea, they changed the name to please a bunch of PC weenies) with a bar open 24/7 – where the then elite met to trade stories and “comradeship” flowed.

Those memories will be relived, aided with “thinking” fluid, at the reunion.

The ODC does have some thoughts on what the PDC might consider…

The semis and finals of the North American Championship should be played on stage with all the pomp and ceremony of a PDC TV event. (During the last PDC visit, the North American event was played on the floor at the end of the day. John Part played Darren Young.)

For the “Golden Agers” – run two open singles events, one division aged 60-70 and the other 71-onward. Make it 301 double/double, best of 3. Play the finals on stage again with all the pomp and ceremony of a PDC TV event. Use some North American folks to work those matches as markers, referees, and introducers.

For many years, when in Thailand the ODC played for a bar owner named Danny. He was and is a hardy fellow full of good cheer. He showed up recently at I Rovers for a little aiming fluid and a good chin wag. During the evening he brought up the subject of President Donald J. Trump…

“He (President Trump) says he’s going to build a wall that will keep out Mexicans. Some say it will never work. I don’t know. The Chinese built the Great Wall and they have no Mexicans.”

In honor of last week’s International Women’s Day, the ODC calls upon the words and wisdom of the Sage of Santa Barbara, Dennis Miller. Oh, but he was a dart player…

“I hear that to honor International Women’s Day some women have decided to sleep all day. They are using as their theme song the old Helen Reddy hit, ‘I am Women’.”

“ I AM WOMEN – hear me snore with sounds too loud to ignore.”

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.
Howie Reed

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