Column #HR277 Is the PDC losing its mind?

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Column HR277
Is the PDC losing its mind?

As difficult as it may be to believe The Old Dart Coach has an ego as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon. This condition can affect anyone (or entity) which becomes overly enamored with oneself (or itself).  As an expert on ego it is the ODC’s opinion that the PDC is very close to becoming afflicted. Its natural as it comes with some measure of public notoriety.  The main problem is that those stricken take council only from themselves.

As the ODC and most politicians should know it’s easy to become infatuated with your persona while having no degree of self-awareness.

Poker players have “tells.” Infatuations do too. In public this “tell” sometimes manifests itself with outlandish statements combined with helpings of “delusions of grandeur.” The late comedian Norm Crosby would have said “protrusions of glandular.”

The PDC may have fallen into this trap.

The “First Lady” of the PDC, Fallon Sherrock, recently played her first Premier League match in the City of Nottingham, a place previously noteworthy for being the home of Robin Hood who robbed from the rich. Old Robin was no dummy – he knew the poor didn’t have anything. As a plus he was doing the “dirty” with Made Mariam (pun intended).

Here’s what the PDC said of Nottingham…

“Sherrock, who became a global sensation at Alexandra Palace in December… picked up where she left off at a packed-out Motorpoint Arena.”

Equating Ms. Sherrock’s performance at the World Pro with a “global sensation” is a bit much, either that or the writer was using his own personal globe.  At last count there were 7.3 billion people on Earth. It would not be unreasonable for the ODC, or anybody, to suggest that 99.9999% are unaware of Fallon Sherrock.

What was also over-the-top was that during Premier League play an advert/promotion ran comparing Sherrock to the greatest female athletics of all time.  Shirley you jest!

From such a lead one might conclude that Ms. Sherrock put on a display of darts that wowed the well-fueled crowd at Nottingham.  The fact is she had a 6-4 lead over Glen Durrant, then settled for a 6-6 draw (with an assist from Durrant who missed 17 doubles). Post-match Durrant baked a “porkpie,” as a gentleman should, saying of the pro-Sherrock crowd that booed his every attempted a double, “It had no effect on me.”

Of course, the crowd was behind Sherrock. There’s nothing a male or female dart player enjoys more than when a man loses to a lady. A draw is not a victory.  Remember, “close” only counts in hand grenades, horseshoes and the results of deviled eggs and beer at a church social.

The Scottish Open followed Sherrock’s Premier League appearance.  In the Lady’s Singles Sherrock would run into teenage phenom Beau Greaves.  Greaves reached the final when she bested Deta “The Queen” Hedman. In the final Greaves would prevail beating Sherrock with a 94 average to Sherrock’s 93.

Make no mistake, Ms. Sherrock is everything the PDC wanted. She’s articulate, attractive and very television friendly.  How long will it be before Ms. Sherrock faces off against “Miracle” Mikuru Suzuki in a match promoted in the same fashion as the Phil Taylor (PDC Champion) vs. Raymond van Barneveld (BDO Champion) in 1999? The Match of the Century.

Ms. Sherrock will make her first USA appearance when the US Masters kicks off June 5-7 in New York City. This USA visit spent 3 years in Las Vegas on the most impossible dates. Each trip encompassed the July 4th weekend.  Darters and the ODC complained about the dates as the 4th of July is a big family holiday in the USA. The English view the date differently.  Funny that.

The PDC couldn’t resist going “bananas” over the move to New York.  The PDC’s announcement “informed” that it was to be played at Madison Square Garden. Like the BDO which bragged of playing at the O2 (actually, the Indigo Theatre) play really is being held at a venue adjacent to main arena.

“This is a world-renowned venue and 20 years ago it would have been a pipedream for darts players to take to the stage in such an iconic arena – but this is another exciting move for us as the World Series continues to grow.” The “world-renowned” venue is actually Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden which no one would recognize. Madison Square Garden seats 20,789 and the Hulu Theater 5,600.  The cost of a weekend pass is $765, $234, $165

The fans attending will find transportation, hotel rooms and food very expensive with the $6 dollar beers of Las Vegas a fond memory.  The PDC ignored the dart history of Las Vegas but more importantly the pride that North Americans take in their darts and Las Vegas’ place in darting history.  Las Vegas for years been synonymous with major darting events. The North American was a “must attend” for eons. Now, the Las Vegas Open is a major.  Las Vegas is a destination city 12 months a year. New York? Not so much.  It’s not only the blind who can’t see and the deaf who can’t hear.

The Camellia Classic is a tournament that has grown into a major from the year when it was a “bar room shoot.” Today, the Camellia in Sacramento, California, is a major dispensing more than $25,000 this year.  According to the incomplete ADO schedule, the Camellia is second or third in terms of payouts of all ADO tournaments. This year’s event was another reminder that women’s participation in darts is on the decline. Only 39 women played in the singles as opposed to 170 men in theirs. The Camellia (and Syracuse) also showed the continued decline of cricket entries.  This makes the ODC happy, as if he had good sense.

On the other hand, all the above notwithstanding, the PDC may be spot on (as they’ve made few mistakes so far).

This column is dedicated to the ODC’s long-time dear friend Tom Ewald of Ohio.  He passed on recently. He may get a chuckle out of this effort as he reads in Heaven.  He will be an addition to God’s land. God Bless.

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.
Howie Reed

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