Column #HR275 Eatin’ crow!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Column HR275
Eatin’ crow!

After dining on a meal of “crow” (medium rare), fava beans and a nice Chianti the Old Dart Coach is ready to give this column deal another try…

Recently, the ODC wrote, “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.”

In fact, that may be the dumbest thing the ODC has ever penned.  (EDITOR’S NOTE: Goodness knows he’s written some really dumb things.)

The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is the crowned champion of rising from obscurity to worldwide fame.  Their recent fight between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone did the equivalent of 2 million PPV buys which yielded about $140 million.

(The crow tasted okay, but the fava beans were undercooked.  Thank God for the Chianti.)

E. Ron Dean, a formable player in the Golden Age, wrote a book about teaching darts technique called KISS. The acronym means Keep It Simple Stupid.  That philosophy should be the guiding light for all sports.

Consider boxing. The sport has 41 world champions in 17 divisions. Chaos reigns supreme and boxing has for the most part become a minor sport.

With the American Darts Organization, we have the National Points Champion and National 501 Champion. There should be one champion – THE Champion.

The National Points Champions are “Chainsaw” Joe Cheney and the titian-haired Paula Murphy.  The National 501 Champions are Elliot Milk and Julie Weger. Clearly THE ADO champions should be Chainsaw and Paula as their titles required a year-long effort. Yet, Milk and Weger are National Champions.

Guess two champions are better than one.

The preceding was settled at the Las Vegas Open which is becoming a premier event on the ADO calendar. Paula Murphy must have enjoyed her trip to Vegas as she took the tournament’s 501 and a second in the cricket singles.  Newlywed Chris Lim won the ’01 singles beating Danny Baggish.  The tournament put on full display the demise of the cricket event. Between men’s and women’s singles 126 less enter the two cricket events.

May the Year of the Rat eat up all cricket events just as they do cheese.

The news from the Motha Country continues to be dim for the BDO. Consider Wayne Warren who won the BDO’s “Our” World Championship which was worth £20,000. Lady darter Fallon Sherrock went two rounds in the PDC World Championships and collected £25,000.

“Follow the money!”

The PDC also collected a rousing £400,000 from Qualifying School with darters jumping the sinking BDO ship.  One person wrote that it’s “…more about what the BDO lost – the BDO needed those they lost more than the PDC need those they gained.” There were 32 BDO players that went to Q School with only 7 making the PDC field of 128.

Fallon Sherrock went to PDC Qualifying School as did Lisa Ashton.  Fallon fell short but Ashton became the first lady to gain a tour card through the Qualify School.    Some years ago, Anastasia Dobromyslova, from Russian but living in England, competed in the tour with mixed results.

Ashton was the 128th and last qualifier as she had to wait ’till the final match to see if her points would hold. They did. Sherrock still has her trip to New York for the US Masters along with a Premier League appearance in February 13 in Nottingham against Glen Durrant.

A while back, the roving reporter for this space, Russ Lopez – called “Slopes,” tipped the ODC on a young then 15-year-old, now 16, female player in England.  He was referring to Doncaster-born Ms. Beau Graves who with her ponytail flying has reached #3 in the BDO rankings.

At the recent BDO ‘Our” World Championship Graves beat Tori Kewish of Australia (2-0) and then Aileen de Graft of Netherlands (2-1) before eventually losing to “Miracle” Mikuru Suzuki (2-1) who won her second straight title. Graves was the only player to win a set against Suzuki.

Watch out world!

We in the Colonies owe a huge debt to the people of England.  Without them the sport of darts would not have been invented. We also have the English to thank for the American Revolution as without them there would have been no need for a revolution. But that’s a different subject.

The American Darts Organization was patterned after the BDO’s structure. Kind of.  That mode has exceeded its “use by” date.

If one puts stock in social media rumblings the BDO may be on its last legs. The culprit?  The BDO’s failure to develop utilizing the tools of modern media and promotion.

Many will attribute the PDC’s rise to television. That’s true with betting sealing the deal.  The PDC didn’t go to TV executives and demand that they televise darts as they wanted, rather they asked, “What can we do to make darts attractive for you?”

It’s unfortunate that one trait of our English cousins is that they take suggestions as a challenge.  The PDC has, not surprisingly, ignored any suggestion emanating from the Colonies.

The U.S. Dart Masters is a prime example…

The PDC wisely chose to bring their traveling exhibition to Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, they refused to listen and accept that the 4th of July was the very worst time of the year to hold an event. Furthermore, they did nothing to really involve the American darting community apart from a qualifier that cost a player $400 dollars.

Now, the PDC has moved to New York for their annual trip.  Those that attend will find that Vegas’ $6 beers and sensible room rates to be a thing of the past.

It’s a shame that the PDC did nothing to integrate themselves into the North American darting community.  They came with the attitude: “We’re here, love us.”

The ultimate slap in the face last year was when they failed to even mention that Americans were celebrating our Independence Day.  The 4th of July.

Heck, they should have.  They were responsible for it.

Say 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.