Column #HR279 Drivel

Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Column HR278
Drivel

This is not an April Fools effort.  Sad but true.

With sports locked down tighter than a Scotchman’s wallet the Old Dart Coach will revert to writing about nothing or, as the late Bill Nicoll Sr. would say, “You write drivel.”

Darts currently is deader than Kelsey’s reproductive organ. If it weren’t for “Poor Old Kaw-Liga” (written by Hank Williams and sung by Country Charlie Pride) old Kelsey, a good old Irish Catholic lad from the old sod who after 29 years of marriage was childless despite 6 wives), would be the all-time loser. It must be said that he kept trying. Credit must be given for his staying power despite the lack of results.

Darts worldwide has been put on hold for the foreseeable future. For darters it’s a glimpse into the future when their lives will no longer revolve around darts.  In a way it’s a temporary retirement. Advice as to what do is flying around like accusations when your beloved comes home with lipstick on his collar or she has new Henry Winston diamond earrings that she got from “a friend.” “A friend” is a devious bastard.

Famed football coach John Madden retired from coaching to “spend time with my family.” Three days later, appearing on a local radio show he said of his retirement statement, “I found out that the family had their own lives, so I better find something to do.”  He became a broadcaster.

There was the professional football player who retired saying “I want to do a book.”

“Oh, you’re writing a book?”

“No, reading one.”

Which path will darters take?

The PDC Premier League is stalled until at least April, May or June (those being very optimistic projections).  The best guess is that everything will be on hold for the “pros” from across the water until at least July and maybe August. The economic impact for darters will be a trip back to the future without the option of pub exhibitions to fill the coffers. The top players will be fine with good sponsorships.  The average players (who are very good) might have to go back to actually working to make ends meet.  The odds are great that should one take a flight they will not hear air steward Gary Anderson say, “Coffee, tea or me.”

The first darter to be diagnosed with the Coronavirus or Covid-19 (aka Kung Fu or Yu B Fuk’d) is Australian Kyle Anderson.  Anderson’s biggest win came in the World Series of Darts Auckland Darts Masters in 2017.  He knocked on the door during the 2016 Australian Darts Open when he took out Michael van Gerwen 6-4, then in the semis going 4-1 up over Phil Taylor only to miss a match winning double to lose 6-5. This was a replay of his second Players Championship when a missed double in the semis against van Gerwen cost him a spot in the finals.

In the 2016 PDC World Cup, Anderson and partner Simon Whitlock had a chance for payback.  After eliminating hometown favorite Germany, they took down Demark to meet Netherlands in the quarter finals or round of 8.  After Whitlock lost to van Gerwen the pressure was on Anderson against still formidable Raymond van Barneveld. Anderson rose to the occasion wining 4-3. Alas, Netherlands would win the deciding doubles match 4-3 with an 11-dart leg.  Get well quick Kyle.

From the Motha Country comes the news that Des Selecta the head honcho of the BDO has resigned his position. According to all news reports he did this in total disgrace or “like a rat deserting the ship he sank.”  His long-winded resignation speech was a chance to blame “everyone except himself” for the problems of the BDO. From various sources, Selecta seemed to “squander” almost half a million pounds sterling, with creditors hoping to collect £200k when BDO Limited has only £60k in cash.

Two of the BDO majors lost a bundle.  The World Darts Trophy lost £100k+ while the World Masters lost £182k in the lasts two years.  The BDO “Not Really” World Championship lost £30k in coin of the realm. More could have been lost as the prize money was severely decreased by £136k. The move to the Indigo (from the Lakeside) also cost the BDO the £329k that annually came from the Bob Potters Hostel. The problems of the BDO prove that the trip from the Penthouse to the Outhouse is at times a short elevator ride.

America’s steel and machine leagues have been suspended as have most tournaments (many times with the words “temporarily” footnoted).  The ADO and the local committee have postponed the Cleveland Extravaganza which included the World Masters National Final and National Youth Championships. Not that anyone wants my advice, nor should they, but if rescheduling events try late July or early August.

The June 5-6 U.S. Dart Masters is dodgy at best. That’s especially true as New York City currently leads the USA in Coronavirus cases with 66,500 which is 4 times higher than runner-up neighboring New Jersey. The New York death toll surpasses all the other 49 states together.  As they say, “the situation is fluid.”

With Debi Downer disposed of it is time for some good news…

As the darting community knows, Timmy Nicolls is fighting a battle against inoperable cancer. The end of February there was a blind draw/ benefit/raffle held on his behalf at Mullvaney’s Sport Pub in Fairborn, Ohio. More than $5,000 was raised which will be used to sustain the Nicoll family for a short time. Speaking for the family Julie Nicoll said, “On behalf of the family we want to thank all those who participated either by donating raffle items or attending the blind draw.”

That’s not to suggest that that Timmy Nicoll and family still don’t need financial assistant.   To donate go to Gractia Manning’s Go Fund Me page.  It’s a big, fat link but it works: https://www.gofundme.com/f/timmy-nicoll-gofundme?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&pc_code=fb_co_dashboard_a&rcid=a070d734f09b4d5595f51c9fceee72bb

As the ODC was ready to type “Stay Thirsty My Friends” a voice from above interrupted.  The ODC was sure it wasn’t God as he sort of recognized the voice (God’s voice would be unfamiliar)…

Then it hit – it was the late Bill Nicoll Sr. saying, “Pal, you still write drivel.”

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.
Howie Reed

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