Column #HR270 Letters (emails) to the Old Dart Coach!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Column HR270
Letters (emails) to the Old Dart Coach!

Those of you who in age are near or past the speed limit on Germany’s autobahn (80 MPH) may remember the American crooner Perry Como. He visited America’s homes with a weekly TV variety show.  At some point he’d sing “Letters… we get letters” and then proceed to answer a few. Today, Como would be singing “Emails… we get emails.”

The Old Dart Coach regularly gets hundreds of emails after every column.  Okay, maybe one or two.

The latest included one person’s assessment of the PDC and the ODC.  “I think they (the PDC) should change the PDC to PCD (politically correct darts) what a load of pussies complaining about bounced darts, got rid of drinking on stage.  I never watch them on TV boring personalities that’s why they dress up like clowns and Indians bring back Eric, Jocky, John, Cliff.  How am I doing so far at writing my column?”

(Actually, he done good considering punctuation’s not a requirement.)  “By the way you were crap at commentating and darts.”  (At least he’s honest.)  “Love your stories.”  (Well he did hit the out.)

The ODC once was a pretty good rodeo announcer (except for his voice and lack of knowledge). While the ODC does agree with lack of real personalities in darts these days he does not agree with many of the writer’s comments or their “right” to promulgate such unfair “observations.”

Darters from the past learned while nurturing their darting prowess in pubs.  Pub people know that finding characters in a pub is slightly less challenging then finding fleas on a dog.

In their attempt to appease critics the PDC has grabbed their ankles at the first sound of any critic’s discouraging word.

A critic is “one given to harsh or captious judgment.”  Critics will never be your friend.  With TV in charge “politically correct” is now in capital letters.

When the players association (WPDPA) started it struggled until they brought in new blood – Barry Hearn. This infusion turned the sport around.  With Hearn came innovation, knowledge and business acumen. Also, the willingness to try something brand new (or is that innovation?).  If it didn’t work (the first Premier League) they went back to the drawing board.

When the players ran things, they ran it for themselves.  They preferred long formats not suitable for betting or TV.  Then came the best of 12.  Bingo!

Steel darts has struggled in the USA and the reason is obvious (machine darts are here to stay so live with it).

Steel darts have barely moved on from the 1970s.  The tournament system has shrunk as ADO steel leagues disappeared.  Yet the ADO continues to utilize the policies that got them where they WERE.  They’re insane.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” said Albert Einstein.  The ADO keeps doing the same thing hoping the results will be different.

Dart players associations have sprung up around the country where serious players can compete against the best. (No noise, loud talking or aiming fluid allowed). In the latest, Dart Players of Los Angeles, Chris “The Great” White emerged as the year-long champion.  White is a Canadian who now resides in California, a lateral move.  White’s a good dart player but a better person.  The cream rises to the top.

Giving advice or suggestions to most dart organizations is like teaching a hippo to rumba.  On the other hand, free advice is usually worth the cost.

The apparent demise of the American Darts Organization has come not for failure to announce financial records but from inbreeding.  

“Dear ADO: check your mission statement!”

Nowhere does it say your function is to provide scholarships for youth or a living for players.  Do something POSITIVE for your regular league players.  The once a week player doesn’t give a Sweet Fanny Adams about international teams.

Here are some suggestions.  Build a computer database containing every player.  Charge them $1.00 per week, keep a record of their play at the league level, provide players’ ratings, eliminate “seeds” in tournaments and offer different levels of singles separated by player rating.

The PDC completed the last legs it Down Under Tour – New Zealand last week. Then it’s on to the Austrian Darts championship and finally the European Darts Matchplay.  Some may question whether Austria is “Down Under” but a map shows it’s “down under” Germany.

At the Melbourne Dart Masters (the word “Masters” makes it important) the “real” Michael van Gerwen emerged from his summer slumber to score a KO of Daryl “The Chin” Gurney 8-3.  For van Gerwen it was his first TV win since May.

When his summer slumbers hits van Gerwen’s serious about them.  At one point it was a 3-3 match.  Along the way he took out the still slumping Gary Anderson (8-6) before he dropped the guillotine on Peter Wright 8-0.

Then on to Hamilton, New Zealand, where a bumper crowd awaited them.  It’s always good to find a “bumper crowd” awaiting the players.

The event was sponsored by Burger King and TAB.  This is mentioned only because in the USA Burger King has come out with the new “Impossible Burger.”  Great name. Their marketing department knew that with “no meat” it would be impossible to sell to the ODC. The Whopper is King.

Awake from his summer slumber van Gerwen won his second title on the trot.  He struggled early against Kyle Anderson (6-5) who had 4 match darts that went awry.  MVG handled Gary Anderson (8-5), as everyone has lately, then blew the doors off Rob Cross (8-3) and Raymond van Barneveld (8-3) in the finals.

The final was played before 4,000-strong fans (no comment on how many were weak) and one assumes it was a “bumper crowd.”  There was no spotting of guys with sheep so dates must have been left home.

“I am so happy to win this title in Hamilton; it has been a phenomenal tournament and the crowd has been amazing.  I told my wife before I left three weeks ago, I am going to win two of the three events whilst I’m away and I’m so happy to have done that.  To play a final against Raymond is always an honor.  Raymond has been good for darts, like Maradona was good for football but now Messi has taken over.  It’s the same in darts now.”

Well said.

Just as Perry Como ended each show by singing “It’s so nice we spent this time together,” the ODC concurs – and reminds one and all:

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.