Column #HR246 Darts and Farts!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Column HR246
Darts and Farts!

To quote the Chairman of the Board, the late Frank Sinatra, “And now, the end is near…”

Yes, it’s the end of another exciting year of darts and beer. Only the World Championships remain on the PDC Tour.  Beware: the ODC has laid down an oche in the front room and has been seen throwing – so he’ll be in top form soon. How long does it take to be horrid?

Unlike others that cover darts the ODC has no formal year-end review list of achievements by darters or drinkers.  However, the last few weeks have provided controversy – pronounced Con TRAV IS SEE – that inspired the PDC to issue dire warnings to the vile offenders while secretly doing a Snoopy dance, anticipating increased TV ratings.

First, the kerfuffle called “Fartgate” involving Gary Anderson and little known Dutchman Wesley Harms. Anderson emerged triumphant over Harms 10-2 in an early round of the Grand Slam. Mr. Harms accused Mr. Anderson of releasing odious vapors during their match. Hence “Fartgate” – about which PDC Major Domo Barry Hearn joked, “We must get to the bottom of ‘Fartgate. Something doesn’t smell right.”

The use of a gaseous release is nothing new in darts (and they say there’s no defense in darts). It’s been a staple since Day One. This ploy is effective when playing mixed events, especially when throwing before the female on the opposing team, which could lead to the following exchange…

“Hey fellow, you farted before my partner,” he said suppressing a grin.

“Sorry, next time I’ll let her fart first.”

From One Night, While Out Drinking with the Fat Swede (order now in the time for Christmas) comes following…

We (Ed Oliver and I) had drawn two really big fellows from Iowa. On rare occasion, a lot of drink and eating certain “stuff,” leads to me become gassy.  Rare, but happens. Not something to be proud of, which some call a lie, but the truth. We played in front of bleachers still half-filled from a final with fans finishing beers. Lost the first game without firing a shot.We’re going to lose to two guys from Iowa.” 

Down 1-nil and trailing, “I felt that I might have a slight release of gas. It was silent – called SAD in the trade – so no one would know if I just ignored it (always a good policy). As I walked to the board it occurred to me the air following me was not very pleasant. I thought of warning Ed’s wife, Heather, who was marking. Before I could say a word, she jumped in, “Howie Reed you are sick.” The report of my deed hadn’t yet reached the bleachers.

“We’re in deep trouble,” said Oliver.

“There’s always a way. I have a secret weapon.”

The “secret weapon” hit the bleachers. Fans bailed while making some rude comments.  The gentleman from Iowa was attempting to throw. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore. He stepped off the line crying, That’s just awful. I, of course, gave them the Alfred E. Neumann look of “Who me?” while continuing to dismiss whatever was going on. The look of innocence prevailed.  We won the match.”

Following the Grand Slam incident one English paper headlined, “Two pro dart players have accused each other of farting on stage during a match this week – casting a cloud of controversy over the heralded tournament.” Probably no pun intended.  Harms whined, “It’ll take me two nights to lose this smell from my nose.”

The Guardian reported, “Anderson – who has admitted to passing gas during matches in the past – insisted he was innocent of this olfactory offense.”

“If the boy thinks I’ve farted,” said Anderson, “he’s 1,010 percent wrong. I swear on my children’s lives that it was not my fault. I had a bad stomach once on stage before and admitted it. So, I’m not going to lie about farting on stage. Usually if I fart on stage I s—t myself.”

Way to go Gary. Always deny or use the OJ defense, “The other dude did it.”

One can “foul” when passing gas. In 1985, in the warmup room of Old Town Hall in Melbourne, Australia, the American team was warming up for their semifinal match against England.  One Yank, attempting to play a joke on a fellow team member, tried too hard to “mark his scent” at the oche. He fouled. When America beat England on stage 9-nil as one Yank played Commando. True fact.

Anderson would reach the Grand Slam final beating Michael van Gerwen 16-12 while pleading innocence to the odorous accusation leveled against him. Gerwyn Price would reach the finals when he beat Mensur “Top Four” Suljovic 16-12.

Little did fans know that the fun had just begun…

Anderson would charge ahead in the final 11-8 when Price applied the “needle” reminding old timers of their antics.  Price got into fist pumping, “peacocking” around the stage while his darts remained in the board, acting like a wanker.  Some claimed he wasn’t acting. It worked. Anderson lost his bottle, losing 8 of the next 10 legs. For Price, called a “walking steroid” by some, the 16-13 victory was worth £112,500.

At the Players Championship the following week, Price would lead in the opening round 4-0 and 5-1 only to lose 6-5 to Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski. The Dart God works in mysterious ways.

The Sage of Sittingbourne, Dave Whitcombe, chimed in, “I must admit I don’t like the celebration and fist pumping of a 180 or walking to the crowd halfway through a leg. It does put you off but if that’s how it’s going to be now you got to either play better and win making the guy look a mug, or meet fire with fire. And Sky would love that.”

Legend has it that on a couple of occasions the late Eric Bristow was head butted for his antics on stage – by both Alan Evans and Jocky Wilson. Official of all things darts, Roger “The Dodger” Nickson discounts those reports. “Lots of legend but not a lot of proof – when Eric and Jocky played exhibitions in Scotland they used to stage manage such stunts, but I never saw it for real.”

Darts is not the only sport under scrutiny…

“A Canadian curling team that includes an Olympic gold medalist was ejected from a curling event in Alberta on Sunday for being ‘extremely drunk, breaking brooms and swearing’”.

Sounds like a bunch of wanna be dart players.

Oh Canada!

Both Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price were referred to the Darts Regulation Authority for their misdeeds.  The DRA will be as diligent as James Comey was searching for Hillary’s 30,000 lost emails.

The DRA will do “Sweet Fanny Adams.”

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.