Column #HR 274 Fallon Sherrock, the BDO and an URGENT call for darters to help a friend!

Monday, January 13, 2020
Column HR274
Fallon Sherrock, the BDO and and URGENT call for darters to help a friend!

The Old Dart Coach goes on an unexpected sabbatical that included a 43-day stay at a luxury establishment with 24-hour service and lousy food… and all hell breaks loose in the Motha Country, the alpha and omega of darts. To borrow the words of the late Slim Pickens in the movie Blazing Saddles, “What in the wide, wide world of sports is a-goin’ on here?”

A lady, one Fallon Sherrock, goes two rounds in the Professional Darts Corporation World Championships and the British Darts Organization steps on its own reproductive organ once again…

In the history of sport, no sport has made such a rapid rise to prominence as darts has under the guidance and promotional skills of the PDC.  They have brilliantly married sport and gaming to capture an enthusiastic fan base as devoted as any (with maybe the exception of old men surfing the internet for porn). The PDC rarely misses a chance to gain public attention especially when they are “politically correct.”

In the 2018-2019 World Championships the PDC invited Lisa Ashton to compete. She played a first-round match losing to Jan Dekker 3-1 with an 88.56 average. By choosing Ashton the PDC checked two politically correct boxes – a female and a lesbian. Ms. Ashton collected £7,500 and a spot in the commentary booth. She was less that simulating there.

With her two wins in the PDC World Championships Fallon Sherrock struck PDC gold.  Her first win was against little known Ted Evets (3-2) and the second against PDC # 12 Mensur Suljović (3–1). Chris Dobey ended her run (4-2). For her effort Ms. Sherrock earned £25,000, an invitation for at least one Premier League appearance (Nottingham – February 13) and a trip to the USA for the U.S. Darts Masters.

What her win doesn’t mean is “Sweet Fanny Adams” for all of women’s darts.  But her inclusion in the U.S. Masters in New York will give the PDC a promotional tool which they’ll ride like a jockey does a Kentucky Derby winner.

Now, let’s turn to the BDO and their inability to run a one car parade…

Just before the start of their BDO “Our” World Championships Fallon Sherrock withdrew with the explanation that “as no prize money has been announced I will withdraw” – or words to that effect.  Now, take a deep breath and consider: does anyone really think Ms. Sherrock would play in a BDO event that would endanger her PDC perks? Of course not.

In addition, at the BDO event she would at some point, if winning, have had to face Japan’s “Miracle” Mikuru Suzuki.  A Sherrock vs. Suzuki match up would have been be BIG TV for the BDO. Of course, the PDC will deny any involvement in Ms. Sherrock’s decision.  If you believe that then you also believe that as the cow jumped over the moon, she was singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in a very Judy Garland voice.

Ms. Suzuki won her second BDO “Our” World Championship on the trot. In winning her four matches she lost only two sets going 9-2. This included her 3-0 whitewash of Lisa Ashton who had a higher average. So much for averages. If there’s anyone who thinks the PDC didn’t try to get Suzuki, then please check back to the aforementioned “cow over the moon” reference. Two days later the women’s prize money was a cluster.

The BDO still owes a Dutch production company for the TV production of the World Masters.  By changing the venue from the Lakeside to the 02 they lost a major sponsor for their championship. The Sage of Sittingbourne (David Whitcombe) opined on the prize money, “(It) has been slashed to a laughable amount.” Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

There is a situation here in North America that is much more serious. Darters are a part of a “secret fraternity.”  There are no secret handshakes – just a multipart ritual that include a pint of lager, a set of darts and an entry fee. But there is one more component: when one of our own is in danger and in need of assistance it’s up to all darters to pitch in with help. And they do.

And they must again.

Timmy Nicoll is the youngest of the Nicoll clan and possibly the best dart player. The ODC makes that statement knowing that sister Julie will challenge it.  That’s the Nicoll way. Always competitive, up to any challenge, never quitting.

Last summer, Tommy Nicoll was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. At the time of the diagnosis he was advised to undergo chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, then treatment to stabilize his blood cells followed by an operation to remove the cancer.

Everything went as planned every step of the way, almost.

On the day of the operation, family and friends waited nervously in the waiting room. After four hours the doctor emerged for a private conference with Tim’s wife Kim. Word for word what the Doctor told Kim is private and nobody’s business.

What is known is that the cancer had grown around the blood vessels in the pancreas. In order to remove the cancer Timmy would have had to be under anesthetic for so long that he probably would not have survived.  After eight hours the doctor concluded that the cancer was “inoperative” – giving Timmy two years to live.

Now at home, Timmy is being watched over by his sister Julie and niece Jessie as his wife Kim works to support the family that includes three children. Timmy’s previous employment was no work no pay.

The Nicolls don’t quit. Sister Julie is exploring a cancer specialist in Indianapolis who is the best with this type of malignancy.

Longtime friend Gractia Manning has started a Go Fund Me page on Facebook. Ironically, Ms. Manning is a prosecutor in Ohio. This might be the first time a prosecutor tried to help a dart player.

Stay a little thirsty to start the new year and donate to Timmy’s Go Fund Me page at Help Timmy. Darters stick together.

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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.