Column #HR189 The ODC was Stupid Wrong!

Monday, March 20, 2017
Column HR189
The ODC was Stupid Wrong!   

Get on the Internet and Google the “basic facts of life.” Nowhere will you find, although perhaps you should, “When it comes to the Stupid Pool the Old Dart Coach never uses just his toe to test the temperature. He jumps in with wild abandon.”

The latest kerfuffle occurred when the ODC penned, “Only two men have won two NOADT singles – England’s Mr. John Lowe (1983-84) and Yank John “JK” Kramer (1981 and 1999).

How about that?”

“How about that?”

“He was STUPID wrong!”

Roger Carter did win two NOADT singles but one was in cricket which doesn’t count because it’s a stupid game. Carter had a chance for a second 301 singles when he lost to “JK” in the finals in ’99.

Initially the ODC considered the “Sir Charles Barkley defense,” claiming he was “misquoted in his autobiography” and then like a Washington political weasel – with apologies to weasels everywhere – he asked to “revise the record.”

Next he considered illness as the excuse. A severe head cold. The Grim Reaper (played by Norm McDonald as in The Family Guy) was banging on the door at the Bay Breeze Hotel yelling, “Let me in. I have business.” In Thailand, the Grim Reaper can be bought off with female companionship. A simple bar fine might have solved the problem, maybe even have found the Grim Reaper a lifetime partner. It could have happened.

But the truth is that Ray Fisher (1972-1973) won two 301 NAODT singles. His first win came with “woody darts.” Steve Brown (1988-1989) and some guy named Phil Taylor (1990-1991) also won two North Americans Singles.

Then, with  his ego and creditability shattered, the ODC’s mind actually kicked in, remembering that Eric Bristow owned the NOADT in years 1979, 1983, 1984, and 1986. The ODC “assumed the position” of shame in the Sin Bin.

However, in his last column on International Women’s Day the ODC’s real oversight was not recognizing the ladies and their contribution to the NOADT. The NOADT probably had the best field of women players in the world. It was dominated by ladies from the USA and England. The greatest players in the world won NAODT 301 singles, with two exceptions…

England’s Tina Gulliver, with a record six World Masters wins, never won the North American although she did find success at what was called the Las Vegas Classic (now the Las Vegas Open) twice.

On this side of the pond Sandy Reitan never hosted the NOADT trophy, which is surprising as she was undoubtedly one of the all-time greats. She owned both World Cup and World Masters titles.

Two-time ladies winners were Gerry McCarthy (1971, 1972) and Kathy Karpowich (1978, 1984). McCarthy dropped out of darts for a time, returning for a very good career. Karpowich joined Sandy Reitan and Kathy Maloney to form the Big Three in American during the Golden Age.

The original Queen of Darts, Maureen Flowers, won three times in 1977, 1979, and 1981. Maureen was joined by fellow Englishperson (got to be politically correct) Mandy Solomands as a three-time winner. Solomands took the title 1989, 1990, and 1992. During this period Solomands was at the top of the world as she also won World Masters Crowns in 1988, 1989, 1993, and 1997 along with a couple of World Cup Singles.

Kathy Maloney was crowned NOADT champion on four occasions. She won in 1985, 1986, 1988, and 1993. She also won a World Cup singles and doubles.

With that written, the Queen of the NOADT was the late Stacy Bromberg who took the 301  singles an astoundingly FIVE times in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999. This record is remarkable as the ladies’ world field remained strong, unlike the men’s field that was depleted with the formation of the WPDPA – the forerunner of the PDC.

Ray Fischer was maybe the best of the early American players. He was part of the American Team in 1974 that on St. Patrick’s Day laid a whipping on a English Team at the Royal Manhattan Hotel in New York City. The win was the subject of the poem (in part below) by Jerry Walters:

A team came from jolly olde England, to fun city, on St Patrick’s Day

“The best in the world,” they were touted, when they came to the U.S. to play

It is true that they were never beaten, and were entitled to worldwide fame

But the team brimmed with overconfidence the day that they stepped off the plane

The Yanks were just rank beginners, and the English would put them to shame

Why, the Yanks still threw wooden darts, they had used in the American game

The dart world was in for a shocker, from the time the first dart was thrown

The crowd could hardly believe it, the Yanks were holding their own

The people all cheered for their idols, the excitement hung heavy in the room

And the smiles of the Englishmen had vanished, as the Yanks had sealed their doom

When all of the scoring was over, the Champions had been dethroned.

But then, the champion of Wales (Alan Evans) challenged  any Yank in the hall to play for $1,000.00. Ray Fischer accepted suggesting they play 501.  Evan rejected that saying…

“That game’s not for males. Let’s play a man’s game – 3,001.”

Fischer opened with a ton and tossed in a 99-dart game on his way to the win. Fischer averaged 95.77 with wooden darts. This was a time, in the words of David “Duck” Miller, with “…big fat wires and staples in every corner. Today, the wires are thin and there are no staples. Big difference.” What would Fischer have averaged on a PDC Board?

Fischer, like many of the era, was a true character in the finest sense of the word. His many-times doubles partner, the late Danny Valleto, qualified for the same description. It was said that he was the best money player ever. In Fisher’s words…

“Danny could beat anybody at any given time. He had this match in Trenton against a young guy named Rick Nye for a lot of money. He drove up from Wildwood to play in shorts and a cap, he looked like he just got finished working. He proceeded to win the match easily. Rick wanted a rematch and Danny says, ‘I’ve got some things to do, so call me in a couple of months.’”

Many times Fisher and Danny would team with the great Helen Scheerbaum for mixed triples. They were almost unbeatable. The ODC had the pleasure of playing mixed doubles once with Helen.

They were sitting at the bar of the Stockton Rod and Gun Club enjoying a beverage. Helen asked if the ODC was playing mixed doubles. The answer was “No,” as he had enough trouble getting someone to  play singles with him.

“Let’s play.”

They did and lost after a round or two probably because the ODC played like a wanker. After they shook hands the ODC apologized to Helen who replied, “Let’s go to the bar.”

Today that’s become, “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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