Column #HR192 “There are no North Americans that can compete in the PDC.”

Monday, April 17, 2017
Column HR192
“There are no North Americans that can compete in the PDC.”  

Throughout the years there have been many public relations mistakes. OJ Simpson’s “The other dude did it” ranks up near the top.  The new United Airlines proposed advertising slogan – “Fly United… we beat them all” – probably won’t have the cat saluting when it’s run up the flag pole.

Some PR blunders are caused by blind loyalty, ignorance, stupidity or (sometimes) just misunderstanding.

The Old Dart Coach is going to give the Professional Darts Corporation the benefit of the doubt. He’s going to do that primarily because there’s a rumor that he’s still in the running for the Mother Teresa Award for 2017.  Therefore the “unofficial” PR handling of the PDC visit to Las Vegas on July 11-15 will be chalked up to “pure stupidly” with a tad bit of arrogance tossed in for a hearty good stew.

Numerous people associated with  the PDC, unofficially, have made it very clear that the PDC couldn’t give a “Sweet Fanny Adams” about darts in North America, and even less their involvement in it. Should you not be familiar with the term “Sweet Fanny Adams” check it out on the Internet.

The oft heard prevailing “wisdom” of those individuals on North American darters is: “Why should we care? There’re no North American players that can compete in the PDC.”

That’s pure unadulterated balderdash.  True, there probably aren’t any Phil Taylors, Michael van Gerwens,  Gary Andersons, Adrian Lewises, Raymond van Barnevelds, or Peter “Snakebite” Wrights in North America.  But to say that there are no North American darters that could compete is akin to the French in WWI saying, “No one can cross the Maginot Line.”  Pure ignorance of which dart players and the French the world over have an endless supply.

There are easily 20 North American darters that could complete and survive if they lived in Europe.  There’s the rub, you arrogant elite snobs. You’re protected by an ocean from your arrogance, stupidity, and overly inflated egos of self-importance. Anyone remember the Great British Empire? “The sun never sets.” Now it never rises.

The PDC visit to Las Vegas for the North American Qualifiers and Championship and U.S. Darts Masters on July 11-13 belies those thoughts. It’s a big PDC investment in North America. The PDC is giving the darters of North America a gift. They should be as happy as Michael van Gerwen with 32 left, three darts in his hand, and the opponent at 250. Bowing towards Barry Hearn’s home three times daily is optional.

Playing in the four qualifiers, worth a total of  $61,200, will cost a player a grand total of $400. That’s chump change. The top 64 in each qualifier will earn $100. The top 32 get $200 while a top 16 is worth $300.

Unlike the “wink and nod” large tournaments in North America, each qualifier will have NO seeding. Can’t wait to hear the “top” big-timers whine when they draw each other in the first round. Here the “top players” won’t draw “failed to show” or  “you bring your own darts?” into the money. The average player actually has a better than 50-50 chance of breaking even. Like betting the horses or college football that’s a win.

Toss in two night’s lodging, July 10-11, at the Tropicana Hotel  for $85, double occupancy, and the darters have a deal that beats the hell out of Tuesday’s at Popeye’s where you get two pieces for $1.69 (even though the bastards raised the price by 20 cents while the ODC was out of the country).

The eight players that qualify for the North American Championship on July 13 will earn a minimum of $1,250 plus a place in the U.S. Dart Masters where first round losers receive another $1,250.  The winner of the North American Championship will take home $5,000 with the runner up getting $2,500.

If there are things that darter’s love besides darts it’s aiming fluid or group tighter and gossip. The PDC visit has been besieged by rumors which have morphed into gossip.  One is that the U.S. Darts Masters co-coordinator Charles Peterson of  RedEye Rhino bought 300 tickets for the event, actually sold a dozen or so, and gave the rest away.

The ODC asked Peterson to clarify…

I have a partnership with the PDC working with Barry Hearn and Matthew Porter.  It’s my duty with the PDC through marketing and promoting to fill seats for the event. I knew with the loyal and supportive following that RedEye Rhino has in North America I could do the unthinkable and sell 200 spectator tickets in a short period of time. I asked Barry to reserve me 200 tickets and let me work my magic. In three weeks in the month of December, seven months before the event, we sold 200 tickets.

TV Pitchman Ron Popeil would giving that answer a standing “O”.

Tickets cost $150 each.  One source in England said, “The PDC doesn’t care if anyone from America buys a ticket.”  Mr. Peterson somewhat confirms that when he states, “I know they are expecting 300 fans from the UK and are expecting a packed house.”

With 500 season tickets at $150 dollars each that’s $75,500 in the bank before a dart is thrown. Add in the estimated 100 North American entries at $400 each and you’ve already got $115,000 of the $160,700 prize fund.

That’s not to say that the PDC effort in Vegas is not without critics. Closing the four qualifiers to the general public is arrogant and stupid. Each player gets one companion pass. How does that build interest in darts? It doesn’t, nor does charging $40 for the North American Championships. In a recent reversal the PDC will now provide each player that enters the qualifiers a “season ticket” for himself and a companion.

Dart players have an intuitive nature that’s part of their DNA. Wanna bet that some of the players try and sell their “season ticket” and companion pass? They should beware – at its heart the PDC are dart players. They’ll nail you like Gary Anderson does the triple 20.

Congratulations to the Ontario Darts Association which held their Provincial Championships last weekend. The singles drew 365 men and 199 ladies. Well done!

Not so well done was the nitwit, name withheld because he’s an ignorant wanker, who posted after reading these numbers, “Yet the PDC wants to go to VEGAS in July. Doesn’t make sense.”

Right. Who in their right mind would want to go to Las Vegas when they could instead go to St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada?

“Maude, where would you rather go: Las Vegas, Nevada or St. Catharines, Ontario?”

“Oh, yes, definitely St. Catherines. It’s near Buffalo.”

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.