Column #HR213 The ADO should beg machine operators to take over the sport!

Wednesday, November 1
Column HR213
The ADO should beg machine operators to take over the sport!

There are times, abeit rather rare, when the Old Dart Coach is spot on.

He may have hit on something recently when he mentioned that the PDC seemed to have “a big tournament every week on TV.” The overall effect of this could lead to overexposure which leads to the public losing interest. As a public loses interest invariably TV ratings and wagering drop. As Sir Isaac Newton’s third law states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” No, this is not the Newton who invented the “Fig Newton.” This Newton is the guy who got conked on the head with an apple and said “Ouch!”

Aesop who lived from 620 to 564 BC (like dart players they counted backwards) is famous for his “fables.” At the end of each tale he or she would write, “The moral of the story?” The quote “Familiarity breeds contempt” is believed to have come from the English translation of the fable titled “The Fox and the Lion.” Mark Twain, aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens, added a lighter touch when he added “and children” to this fable which then became “Familiarity breeds contempt and children.” (This was at a time when breeding was pretty much contained to he’in and she’in.)

Just this past weekend the PDC concluded their 4-day Unibet European Championship in Hasselt, Belgium. Those that watched on TV Thursday or Friday would have viewed a venue that was mostly populated by empty space. On Thursday, a TV announcer remarked that “The crowd is very respectful” which is just another word for quiet. Of course empty seats are always quiet and hardly ever get rowdy.

There’s a group on Facebook called The Real BDO Fanatics. They take to FB pointing out the positive aspects of the BDO and the WDF. Good for them. The BDO has come under fire for the lack of attendance at their major tournaments. The BDO Fanatics jumped for “Joy” (she being hot as dressed like a pint of lager) when the Thursday crowd at Ethias Arena was sparse. Racing to post a “Nay, nay, nay, nay”…

Is the hall half empty for this pdc event? Interesting how knowones mentioned it my point being if it’s a bdo event the haters would be going mental. (Editor’s note: The quote is exactly as posted; “knowones” may be an Old English word).

It took just seconds for a response. There will still be more in (there) that have paid than any bdo event bar the worlds. Its a Thursday evening with the lesser pdc players playing.

Patricianly true as the Belgium Brothers Huybrechts both played (which should have helped the crowd). They both got dusted. Then a post appeared that brought forth an interesting scenario.

Wait ‘till Premier League starts pay per view this time around. Which, if it happens, will be why they will scratch entry fees on the pro tour; they (PDC) are not afraid to try things, we (BDO) treat new ideas as if they are the Black Death.

The Old Dart Coach reached out to the PDC asking about PPV for the Premier League but no answer has yet been forthcoming. When boxing was riding high they went to Pay-Per-View for extra revenue. Now the sport and their PPV are deader than “Kelsey’s wiggle waggle.”

Many dart organizations are run by individuals that don’t know “gee” from “ha.” In the early days of the PDC the organization struggled. The “inmates (darters) were running the asylum.” The PDC though had the good sense to bring in professionals to run the organization. Darts organizations around the world might like to take note. Either do that or perish. The success of machine darts should be no surprise. It’s run by professionals.

The Unibet European Championship produced yet another “Marvelous” Michael van Gerwen triumph, which also was no surprise. For the 4th time in a row he walked away with the championship which now makes it 37 for his career and 16 for the year. This win as worth £100,000 which will by lots of “adult brownies” as made in his native Holland. The win did come with a tab of drama…

Australian Kyle Anderson almost got the best of van Gerwen in the semifinals. Usually “almost” only gets a temporary “Atta Boy” but this one was different. Anderson led 2-0, then 3-2 when van Gerwen ran off 4 on the trot for a 6-3 lead in the race to 11. At that point Anderson’s “Atta Boy” became worth £25,000 as he tossed a 9-darter with T80, T80 and a 141 finish. Anderson fell behind 8-5 but then took 4 on the trot to then find himself in a deciding 21st leg. But alas Cinderella’s slipper didn’t fit when he missed 2 match darts allowing van Gerwen to take 76 out for the 11-10 win.

In the finals van Gerwen faced Rob Cross who is quietly making a name for himself. He acts and plays like a true professional. No posing, no phony theatrics – just plain and simple really good darts. It was poetic justice (kind of) when he dusted Daryl “Hey Look at Me” Gurney 11-3 in the semis. Cross would lose to van Gerwen 11-7 in the final. Watch Rob Cross in the future.

It might be a coincidence that the European Championships will be leaving Belgium and going back to Germany. But probably not. Many other dart organizations may “treat new ideas as if they are the Black Death” but not the PDC. In America if the ADO really wanted to get their act together they’d go “hat in hand” to the machine operators and beg them to take over the sport.

That day will come when in answer to the question, “What’s that up in the sky” is “Pigs flying.” Egos must not be wasted.

Does anyone with an IQ of a kindergartener not think that the PDC could take over amateur darts should they so desire? Why would they? They wouldn’t. Dart organizations around the world provide the PDC with an influx of new talent at no cost. For them it’s a win-win situation.

If the PDC decided to add a women’s tour, which they could, European amateur darts organizations would be as rare as an honest quote from Hillary Clinton.

Bill is the greatest husband and father I know. No one is more faithful, true and honest than he is. (Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1998)

Yes, the Old Dart Coach dressed up for Halloween. His costume was a bit of a stretch as he played a dart player… a reach even for the former speech and drama major.

One young trick or treater was brought to the door with her mother who asked…

“How did you get those authentic looking cobwebs and spiders decorating your hallway?”

“Quit cleaning.”

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.