Column #HR194 Don’t disrespect Dinosaurs!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Column HR194
Don’t Disrespect Dinosaurs!

There was a former President of the ADO who loved to sing…

Hooray, hooray it’s the first of May…  Outdoor f’ing begins today.

You just can’t get leadership like that anymore.

He could also throw nails with the best of them. His name’s withheld for obvious reasons. He was a heck of a guy.

With that as a template it appears it’s time for spring cleaning at the Casa de ODC. The suggestion came from the ODC’s landlady who opined…

“You know, if something happens to you it’s going to be very inconvenient for me to get rid of your stuff.”

The ODC pointed out that taking a “dirt nap” was not on his list of things to do anytime soon. So here we go getting rid of some dart stuff…

For sports fans the month of May starts with a great song My Old Kentucky Home as performed by the University of Louisville Band at the Kentucky Derby and ends with Back Home in Indiana at the Indy 500 as performed by the Purdue University Band. In between there’s lots of good stuff.

Recently an individual took to Facebook with his version of wit and wisdom. He missed on the “wit” and never got close to “wisdom.” He claimed that listening to the “Dinosaurs of Darts” (old timers – maybe with the ODC in mind) about the “past” was a waste of time.

“Things have changed. Get over it.”

Then for good measure he tossed in the remark that “dart players are stupid.” They can’t run anything.

Listening to “dinosaurs” is useless? Why would it make any sense to listen to those old geezers and geezerettes? Heck they roamed the oche when there were 20 or more steel point tournaments worth $15,000 and more, the North American Open had 1,000 entries in the singles, and darts in America actually had a functioning national organization. Yea, the old timers have nothing to give.

Dart players are not stupid. Take any sport in the world and ask, “Is it run successfully by its players?” Of course not. Players play and promoters promote. The PDC was wobbling along – run by managers – when they got smart and brought in a promoter. The rest is history or at least one version of it.

Oh yes, like all athletics dart players can step out of their realm having been led to believe that they are something special. They are on the dart board but off they can and are no smarter or dumber than your average person.

The “dinosaurs” of darts recently mourned the death of Rick ‘The Hammer” Ney. He was one of the all-time great players and characters. His son Rick Jr. is a young man of whom any parent would be proud. Jerry Umberger writes…

“Great young man, about 35-years-old, married with 2 sons. He is an EMT and also teaches those classes. He was teaching a class, about a month ago when a call came in about a lady having a heart attack. She lived a few blocks away and Ricky Jr saved her life. She was fortunate he was that close.”

Here’s an, “Oh, by the way”…

He’s running for mayor of his town. Good for you, Ricky Jr.

Another of the “dinosaurs” of darts is Phil Taylor. “The Power” probably should be called “Philip the Great.”

The last couple of years, fans have been running with shovels to toss dirt on his grave. The past few years darts writers and fans have jumped on the band wagon writing him off as a “has been” which most would agree is better than a “never was.” In this his final year, he’s cut back on his schedule while still appearing in his the Premier League. To quote Mark Twain, as Taylor might, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Entering last week, Taylor was in danger of missing the Premier League playoffs (May 18 at London’s 02) as his 4th position placing was dodgy at best. Michael van Gerwen was his opponent and Dave Chisnell was in 5th position, yapping at his heels.

After van Gerwen missed three for the opening leg he copped the next two for a 2-1 lead over Taylor. Taylor would level at two when he made 96 disappear (20, d18, d20). Then, it was four legs on the trot for Taylor including neat 11-darter. At 6-2 down in the race to seven, van Gerwen produced an 11-darter to extend the match before Taylor closed the show winning 7-2.

With the win Taylor is “almost” assured of the fourth spot when the finals begin at London’s O2 the 18th.

For Michael van Gerwen his week got worse after losing to Taylor. In the finals of the HappyBet Grand Prix in Sindelfingen – which has to be in Germany – he faced off against Peter “Snake Bite” Wright. For “dinosaurs” out there, Wright has been hotter than a “pepper sprout” as mentioned by Nancy Sinatra in the song Jackson. She sang with Lee Greenwood, “We got married in a fever hotter than a pepper sprout.”

Wright opened with an 11-darter against the darts. When van Gerwen missed a dart at d16, inside, Wright erased 52 for a 2-nil lead. In leg three van Gerwen missed d16 twice more allowing Wright to check on 161. Then it was 4-0, so when van Gerwen missed a double it became 5-0. Wright completed the whitewash with a 170 that set up a 31-check – no, not double 15 ½. It took two darts and added £25,000 to Wright’s bank account.

A large portion of the elite of the worldwide darting community will be descending on Las Vegas this week when DARTSLIVE “The World” Stage 1 storms Paradise Road just off the Las Vegas strip. The first “The World” event of the year will see last year’s top four in action, led by Champion Paul Lim. Lim, who plays out of Singapore, will have to beat 198 of the best machine players from around the globe. In addition to Lim the runner-up Boris Krčmar (Croatia) and two Americans (Alex Reyes and Leonard Gates) round out last year’s top four.

The big event will be Saturday and Sunday, although the tournament will run from May 11-14. The Main Event can be viewed live on stream – although actual play is rather boring. (This is something even “dinosaurs” understand.)

The 199 players from 15 countries will all have one more chance to buy The Old Dart Coach’s book, One Night While Drinking with the Fat Swede.

Padre Pronouncement: “Always carry a knife with you. You never know when you’ll run into a cheesecake or someone that needs stabbing”.

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.