Column #HR220 Big Baby Lewis, the DRA and the Sword of Damocles

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Column HR220
“Big Baby” Lewis, the DRA and the Sword of Damocles

While enjoying the morning “Mia cup of coffee” (no Espresso Macchiato for the Old Dart Coach) he was struck with the realization that he owed Adrian “Big Baby” Lewis a sincere and deeply heartfelt apology.

It’s not easy to admit when a wrong has occurred but it’s even more difficult for man, woman or declined to state to stand up and issue an apology. The ODC is manning up. Without fear he’s now taking that faithful step.

The decision to apologize to Lewis comes not after hours and hours of soul-searching and quiet meditation. Those steps were important but it was the coffee jolt which struck like only lightning can to a 1-iron. The momentous event occurred when reading the written apology from Adrian “BB” Lewis which was published on February 8th. The truth is that the ODC didn’t have to read the entire “sincere bottom of the heart” apology to know that he’d committed a grievous error and wronged Mr. Lewis.

For those not in the loop, Lewis in his quarter final match in a recent UK qualifier acted, in the opinion of the ODC, like a hooligan in a pub. The Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) wanted to appear to disprove of Lewis’s actions while substantiating the ODC’s opinion. They took immediate action by suspending Lewis on the spot or at least close by.

Who or what is the DRA?

The DRA is a not-for-profit company. One of its primary roles is to ensure good governance and integrity within the sport of darts. The aim of the DRA remains to seek recognition as the regulatory authority for darts worldwide with responsibility for providing and administering rules and regulations that will improve the image and profile of the sport within the professional and amateur ranks. The DRA Rules Book sets the standards of behavior for players in DRA sanctioned events.

The final decision was handed down by the Disciplinary Committee of three members – two former policemen plus former player Richie Gardner. The decision? Lewis would be fined £3,000 and given a suspended three-month ban.

Reading between the lines, they did “Sweet Fanny Adams” to Lewis for his actions. He was a child sent to his room for a “Time Out” – and the room contained two HD TVs, a cell phone and a couple of laptops. “That’ll show him”

Adrian Lewis issued a statement: “I am now in a position to issue a statement as the due process has taken place and the Darts Regulation Authority have had their hearing. I deeply regret that my frustrations got the better of me as I felt that my opponent was trying to provoke me.”

My goodness how could the ODC have been so wrong!

The culprit here was rookie card holder Jose Antonio Justicia Perales – as it appeared to Lewis that he was trying to provoke him. Having reviewed the tape one can clearly understand Lewis’ actions as the aforementioned Spaniard refused to roll over and play dead during a UK qualifier.

Perales made the matter worse by having the audacity to hit triples and doubles not realizing or maybe not caring that he was playing the Great Adrian Lewis who “makes the PDC better.”

Lewis’s statement continued: “I realize now that I should have reported any problems to tournament officials instead of confronting Jose Antonio Justicia Perales after the match. I would like to offer my sincere apologies to the PDC, the sponsors of the event Coral, my own sponsors who I thank for their loyalty and support, my manager, darts fans and finally my family.”

Lewis admits, like the “mature” adult he is, that he should have gone to tournament officials.

“Mr. Official, this ‘spick’ is trying to provoke me!”

“What exactly is he doing Mr. Lewis?”

The sound of crickets would have been clearly heard throughout the Leisure Center.

Lewis’ statement went on: “I would like to say a big thank you for all of the kind messages sent to me from all over the world, and now I just want to put this all behind me and concentrate on playing the game I love and trying to make my way back to the top.”

As someone that used to do a bit of scribing for political candidates, the ODC learned that the first rule was to tailor the message to fit the candidate’s style using their speech patterns.  Anyone that believes Lewis actually wrote or understands his statement should be sentenced to a lifetime of selling sun tan lotion in Scotland except during their two days of summer.

There were some messages of encouragement posted on Facebook. One hooligan wrote, “Lewis didn’t do anything. If that happened to me I would have ‘nutted him.’” Just to be perfectly clear, the “kind suggestion” here was to “perform the ultimate equipment change” on any male that “appeared to provoke.”

Another wrote, “As with most all altercations there are two sides to every story. These DRA ***** are fining players for the most little things and doing it publicly except when the player involved is in the ‘clique’ (like Taylor was) and their punishment is kept secret.”

It’s hard to argue with this viewpoint.

That’s especially true of the criticism of the way Taylor was treated. The person does have a point in that what Lewis did would have been unnoticed except for the incident being posted on the Internet. That’s life today.

The three people that make up the DRA Disciplinary Committee wanted the public to think that they recognized the sport has moved on from a time when darts in a pub was the way to measure one’s reproductive organ.

The DRA has been given responsibility to take a pub sport by the scruff of the neck and drag it kicking and screaming into the modern era of “real” sport.

This action has done nothing to advance the sport.

Some felt the action taken was too severe. Too severe?

Lewis was fined £3,000 which is chump change for the players of the PDC. If he plays nice for 6 months he can then go back to being his offish self.

One PDC person said: “He has the Sword of Damocles hanging over his head.” For those a little weak on Greek mythology the Sword Of Damocles was a large sword hung over the King’s chair, held by a single horse hair.

If the DRA Disciplinary Committee runs true to form the Sword of Damocles will have less effect than an old man’s reproductive organ at the retirement center.

Some things never change.

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.