Column #564 Darts in America – 2000 vs. 2018

Saturday, September 28, 2018
Column 564
Darts in America – 2000 vs. 2018

According to a survey conducted in the year 2000 by the American Darts Organization the average dart player in this country was 38 years old. This suggests that today on average you and I are about 56. In my case (and the Old Dart Coach’s) this is excellent news.

In 2000, the average household income was $56,564. Today, if we’re still playing darts – and we sure as hell are – our household income is roughly half this figure because our spouse has walked out.

Most of us had jobs: trades (19%), technology/telecommunications (16%), professional – including financial services, engineering and sales representatives (13%), government workers (12%) and real estate-related (10%). These percentages are presently about the same (however, there is incontrovertible evidence that some of us were caught naked in the presence of nurses when we were born – so apparently, we have the “qualifications” to be either President or a Supreme Court Justice).

We owned cars and trucks (43% of us owned a truck). Our preference was for American-made (Fords, Chevrolets, Dodges and Pontiacs). Today, we own the same vehicles – we can’t afford new ones because they (and gas) cost twice as much, and we no longer have our spouse’s income.

In the year 2000, we were Wal-Mart shoppers. For everything from sports clothing and equipment to music and videos the super-retailer was the darters’ top choice to find a good deal. Today, we frequent Wal-Mart to snap photos with our smart phones of obese women in halter tops and men in diapers and post them online.

We were becoming tech-savvy. Back then, 88% percent of us had Internet access and we spent about an hour a day online. We used online services for e-mail and work- and school-related activities. Today, we use the Internet to hunt for porn.

According to the ADO survey, 82% of us consumed alcohol, mostly beer. Only a quarter of us drank liquor and just 6% (probably women and girlie boys) drank wine. Today, 116% percent of us drink beer.

Our fast-food preferences were: Wendy’s (27%), Burger King (22%), Taco Bell (15%) and McDonald’s (7%) and we opted for Coke over Pepsi (53% to 43%). Nothing’s changed except that Burger King dethroned its creepy cartoon mascot who bore a striking resemblance to Simon Whitlock.

Starbucks (at 40%) was our preference for coffee, followed by Waffle House (12%) and Denny’s and Cup A Joe (4% each). As Starbucks has greatly expanded operations with outlets today in airports, malls, hospitals, day-care centers and even prisons it is likely they have an even larger share of the darters’ market, except among players who are black and need to take a leak.

Dunkin’ Donuts was named by 46% as our favorite donut or bagel shop, with Einstein Bagels second (8%), Bruegger’s Bagels at (5%) and Krispy Kreme (3%). Obviously, those who responded to the ADO survey (82% of them being alcohol drinkers) were too drunk to answer this question correctly. Even lab rats and soft-tip dart players know Krispy Kreme is best (although Canadians would argue for Tim Hortons).

In a difficult to accept as accurate finding, the ADO survey concluded that in the year 2000 the average American dart player household spent $968 on personal entertainment. Today, at least among the men, this figure is just $84 (again, since costs have skyrocketed and many of our wives have split). However, this does not account for the cost of beer, fast food, poker and condoms – in which case the “personal entertainment” figure has increased substantially. This is another reason why we can’t afford new cars or attract new spouses.

Other than darts, drinking and sex, our favorite participation sports were golf (16%), fishing (13%), baseball (10%), billiards and bicycling (8% each) and bowling (7%). Our spectator sports, which 66% of us viewed on ESPN followed by Fox at 21%, were: football and baseball (17% each), basketball and auto racing/NASCAR (9% each) and golf (8%). Not much has changed since we still can’t watch much darts on television and we’re too preoccupied hunting for porn to watch a pirated match on the Internet. Besides the Brits and Dutch still always win so who really cares?

Other common hobbies included: sewing and crafts (23%), reading (20%), gardening (17%) and photography (11%). Puzzled by the high percentage of sewing and crafts aficionados, I studied the cross-tabs and discovered that only one person really checked this box. Her name was Anne Kramer.

In the year 2000, American dart players attended an average of nine tournaments each year. Travel distance was the main factor in determining attendance (70% of respondents listed this as key). Other considerations were cost (48%), event pay-out (44%), work schedule (41%) and the reputation of the host organization (25%). Not a single person surveyed checked the box that read: “reputation of the ADO.”

Our preference in darts was for Accudart (90%), Bottelsen (16%), Unicorn (15%) and Harrow (9%). In the dartboard department Nodor (29%) edged out Accudart and Winmau (at 26% and 23% respectively). With the influence of popular products from Asian suppliers like Monster, L-Style and Cosmo these figures have no doubt changed considerably. Of course, nobody in their right mind purchases from Target.

So as the world has changed in the past 18 years so have many of the preferences and practices of American darters.

Except one…

Even though it was not part of the year 2000 ADO survey, one tendency of darts players has remained constant, at least according to Google Analytics. As in the year 2000, of the thousands of people – almost all men – who visit this website in the few days after a new column is posted an overwhelming 98.2% do not actually read my column. They click directly to the Double Out shots. As to the women – 100% of them send me hate mail.

Of course, Google Analytics is occasionally prone to error. Therefore, I have emailed my close personal friend Steve Brown at the ADO (who the ADO still won’t admit it’s paying) and am counting on him to verify my findings in the next formal ADO survey, scheduled to follow the ADO’s next financial report in the year 3000.

And just in case you’re wondering, the graph at the top of this column does not reflect a decline in the popularity of our sport in America. It reflects the decline in respect for the so-called “governing body” of our sport (and it’s generous).

From the Field,

Dartoid

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Dartoid
Author of the column that since 1995 has been featured by Bull’s Eye News, the American Darts Organization’s (ADO) Double Eagle and numerous other darts publications and websites around the globe.
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