Column #HR258 This week’s Premier League finals… and a beautiful Latin lady

Monday, May 20, 2019
Column HR258
This week’s Premier League finals… and a beautiful Latin lady

It’s time for the Old Dart Coach to do his spring column cleaning – to bring the dear faithful reader the rest of the news in the darting world that’s fit to print.

The Premier League finals are this Thursday…

Night 16 had “mucho” excitement for the packed house at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. The scenario saw Michael van Gerwen trailing leader Rob Cross by a single point.  Top of the standing includes a healthy £25,000 league leader bonus.

van Gerwen did the business with an 8-5 win over a gritty Mensur Suljovic. The Marvelous One led 5-nil without allowing Suljovic a double.  Then he lost a leg which was followed by 3 more making the match 5-3.  John Part, commentator par excellence, pointed out that during a match van Gerwen is sometimes “so focused on a high average that when he loses that chance, he sometimes forgets the goal is winning the match.”

Rob Cross would fail in his goal to finish top of the table as James Wade broke their 4-all match and took a 6-4. Cross fought back to get within one leg at 6-5 and 7-6.  Wade’s win, predicted by the ODC, allowed the “bald one” to finish level with Jerry Feather in the PL handicapping contest.  Had the ODC lost to Feather he would have been forced to bow towards Colorado three times a day saying, “I’m not worthy.”

The PL win for van Gerwen was his 7th on the trot.  He takes on Daryl Gurney in the final four (Gurney handed van Gerwen two of his three PL league defeats). Wade will face Cross once again at the 02 in London.

With van Gerwen the obvious favorite it should be noted that he lost a Players Championship match 7-2 on Saturday to PDC rookie Glen Durrant in the lead up to PL final.  MvG passed on the Sunday event.

The Premier League is a big hit on TV.  The ODC estimated, as the PDC provided no figures, that an audience of 4 million watched each Thursday. In 16 weeks, the total is 64 million. (In the heyday of Mr. Lowe-Bristow the Embassy drew 9 million viewers.)

Recently, Mr. John Lowe was in China for the China Trophy of Darts. In the final he eked out a 1 leg win over Dennis Priestly.  Reportedly that final drew 37 million viewers.  Now that’s a “WOW.”  The ODC “speed dialed” Guinness to record the match as a world record – the oldest player in Mr. John Lowe at 73 with the largest one-time TV audience.

How about them apples?

The draw for the BetVictor PDC World Cup June 6-9 in Hamburg has been made. Unlike the draws made by the WDF for their World Cups the hometown team didn’t get a sweetheart draw into the finals or even the round of 8.

Germany’s wonder boys, Max Hopp and Martin Schindler, should get by the rookie pair from Hungary of Pal Szekely and Janos Vegso.  A win and Germany will face either #7 ranked Belgium or unseeded Hong Kong. Watch out for Hong Kong with Royden Lam who may be the second-best steel/machine dart player in the world.

Both teams from North America should escape the first round but then trouble looms.  Canada should easily defeat Italy as the USA should China.

The current then gets a lot swifter and the water deeper in the next round when Canada will face #1 England which might struggle in round one against an “under-appreciated” team from the Philippines.

The USA has a chance to make the round of 8 with wins over China and #8 Austria.

The ODC will have a round by round prediction as the event grows closer.

The ODC kind of celebrated May Day but not by dancing around the May Pole wearing flowers where his hair use to be…

Rather, he named the ADO International teams and wrote of the ADO Masters ladies’ team and its inclusion of a lady named Stitches.  And, with a mind that’s still battling the loss of the rotary phone he remembered a lady darter named “Pickles.”

Well, as if by magic (actually, Facebook) he found Pickles.  She is alive and well living what passes for the good in Arizona.  She found a 10-step program to ween her off darts and is living happily ever after. No doubt she’s a sweet Pickles and not a dill. There’s life after darts.

“Barry Hearn’s Challenge to North America,” screamed the headline on Facebook.  Not really…

As happens all too often the “headline writer” put their own spin on a story. What Hearn did was explain that the US Darts Masters was a chance for North America’s best to meet the best of the PDC July 1-2 in Las Vegas.

It’s the PDC which is “challenged” to understand the North America darting culture where 99.9% of steel darters play for the pure enjoyment of the game.

Writing of Facebook, has it ever caused any wonder why just because someone is a Facebook friend that you’d want to know when their birthday is?  Just today, the ODC got an email telling him that “Oswald R. Grabenstanch knows that you’re thinking of him on his birthday.”  Well, Old Oswald is wrong. The ODC not only isn’t thinking of him on his birthday but was reminded that he’d forgotten to unfriend him a long time ago. Thanks Facebook, for helping to cull the herd.

The ODC was a recent podcast guest on a horse racing handicapping show for the Las Vegas newspaper and a local casino.  On the way, fighting nerves, he stopped at the Dollar Store for fortification – red licorice and two packets of Tic Tac. In line he found himself behind a very attractive Latin lady with long black hair, flashing brown eyes, designer jeans and high heels.  The ODC (naturally) thought, “What’s not to like!”

The lady in front of the Latin beauty had a full shopping card so the line was stalled (much to the pleasure of the ODC).

As people do in line, the Latin lady smiled as she checked out the array of 4-packs of gum. She selected a pack of Big Red which caused the ODC to remark “Es Muy Bueno.”  She smiled more.  On a roll he continued, “Es caliente!” Another smile.

As such meetings go it was time to move forward as the lady at the head of the line finally checked out – with bill of $237.85.

At a Dollar Store!

The Latin lady had just a few items, darn it, for a total of $11.36. The ODC’s was $3.00 – he had three bills in hand.

The ODC watched the Latin lady take out several dollar bills and count them. When she handed her money to the cashier, she was $2.00 short.

She then took two more bills out of her purse, saw the ODC looking, and said, “I got them dancing last night. NO, just kidding.”

The ODC looked down at his three singles and replied, “Me too”  and then remarked further, “You did better.”

She left smiling as the ODC saw another opportunity missed.

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.