Column #HR289 Huston, Gershwin, Peggy Lee – and DARTS?

Thursday, October 1, 2020
Column HR289
Huston, Gershwin, Peggy Lee – and DARTS?

In 1938, the year of the Old Dart Coach’s birth, actor Walter Huston took to the stage in New York to sing the “September Song” in the musical Knickerbocker Holiday.  He sang:

Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December 

But the days grow short when you reach September 

When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame 

One hasn’t got time for the waiting game. 

It’s possible, but unlikely, that at PDC headquarters someone broke out in song when the Unibet Premier League finally got to the final. You know the players did. They could have sung in the “key of ugly” these more appropriate opening lines:

Oh, it’s a long, long while from February to October 

But the days grow long when you’re mostly sober 

As the autumn days and early the sun does go 

The final is set and beer will flow. 

This year’s Premier League (lighten up Unibet – the ODC mentioned you once, which is more than you mentioned him) kicked off on February 6 and pulled down the curtain when regular League ended on September 5.

One surprise was Michael van Gerwen – he missed out on the finals (to be played on Thursday October 22) for the first time in his storied career.

One not very articulate Potato Head who writes about darts claims that van Gerwen is developing a case of dartitis. For those not familiar with the term it’s a disease that effects a player when they are faced with crucial darts, usually a double.  In common terms their arm will start shaking like a bed in a short time hotel in Thailand.

The other surprise was that Glen Durrant started the year’s play with a 7-3 win over Michael Smith. On the same night, another rookie. Nathan Aspinall. handed John Henderson a loss by the same margin.

After the first night, Durrant and Aspinall shared the top spot in the league. Durrant would end up top of the table while Aspinall held on for third place.  The other two qualifiers, not unexpectedly, were Peter Wright and Gary Anderson.

On the last night, Aspinall whipped Durrant 8-2 which considering that Durrant already had the top spot was a preview of nothing.

By finishing top of the table Durrant received a bonus of £25,000. With £250,000 available in the final it’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for the four players. The final four players were assured of at least £80,000 just for being there.

The Potato Head claims that the Premier League is “nothing but (a) paid exhibition.”

“Nice Work If You Can Get It” – which just happens to be a song from the 1930s written by George and his wife Ira Gershwin.

The World Darts Federation, much maligned in this space, deserves a bundle of kudos for their putting together the initial International WDF Virtual Cup.  With all international WDF events cancelled this new competition was born of a virgin swaddling clothes not included.

Major kudos (1 kudo equals 1 – 240 thousandths of a Bitcoin which is equal to the Indian blood of Massachusetts Senator Liz Warren) also go to USA-based DartsConnect.  They are supplying the electronic equipment needed to conduct the event.

Each entering nation can receive “free of charge” the electronic equipment.  At press time there are 43 countries entered with each team consisting of two men and two women.  The competition will run from October 4 to November 8.  Next year’s World Cup is still on the schedule for next September in Denmark.

Two North American countries will be in competition.  The American Darts Organization announced its squad on their website.  With the 2020 Americas Cup being cancelled, the US will be represented by the four players who were so cruelly robbed of a trip to Jamaica: Robin Curry, Dani Warmack, Joe Huffman, and Danny Baggish.  Kind of a “Jamaica Farwell” pronouncement from the song made popular by Harry Belafonte in 1957.  The opening line is:  Down the way where the nights are gay. 

The ODC has no comment.

From Canada will come Diane Gobeil, Trish Grzesik, Steve Russell and Robbie Mills.

The “Motha Country” put forward Martin Adams, Paul Hogan, Fallon Sherrock and Lorraine Winstanley.

Let’s be honest, the 2-2 format for men and women is about right.  During the World Cup, which requires four of each, asking some country to have four world class men or women is a bit much.  NO doubt that figure was raised from two to four in the name of PC: politically corrupt.

The PDC recently concluded its German Darts Championship. The event, held live before fans, saw “Dancin’” Devon Peterson lift the trophy along with a nice payday of £25,000.  Peterson was coming off a loss in a European Tour event in which he missed four match darts. This time he left space for a mistake as he closed out Jonny Clayton 8-3.

In the USA, the Championship Darts Circuit crowned Chris “The Great” White won the CDC trophy.  White, who moved from Canada to California (truly a lateral move), has more CDC event wins than anyone else in the premier darting series. White is great darter but more importantly he is a great person and a credit to the sport of darts. He’s the modern-day Jerry Umberger.

The ODC, seeing all the virtual engagement in the world today, decided he might try some “virtual” sex.  As he typed in the words “virtual sex” both his hands started to ache.

Regular readers might be asking, Is that all there is?  Yes. Remember Ms. Peggy Lee singing “Is That All There Is?” in 1969? It was the record of the year.

Is that all there is, is that all there is 

If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing 

Let’s break out the booze and have a ball 

If that’s all there is.

Not sure about the dancing but…

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.