Column #HR290 Whoops – the ODC did it again!

Thursday, October 15, 2020
Column HR290
Whoops – the ODC did it again!

Like many humans and despite evidence to the contrary, the aging Old Dart Coach tries to multi-task.  That usually results in disaster.

When he appears in print, he’s often held accountable with malice aforethought.  Many recent emails suggest that the ODC’s fireplace is missing a few bricks and his chandelier “operating” with burned out light bulbs.

The Gentleman Darter, Chris “The Great” White, won the Dart Players of Los Angeles title not the CDC Cup as reported in this space.  Accordingly, the ODC will be fined one month’s pay by his Simon Legree-type editor/publisher aka “The Almighty in Florida.”  Unlike Judge Judy, he’s firm but only fair by accident.

Another USA darter has emerged to be designated as a “gentleman” by the ODC…

Tip a pint or more in honor of one Darin “Big Daddy” Young.  He’s been a fixture at all nine editions of the previous PDC World Cup representing the USA.  He was scheduled to make it 10 this year when players toe the oche November 6-8 at the Premstättner Halle in Graz/Premstätten in Austria.

Darin won’t be there.  He posted the following on Facebook…

I have recently been diagnosed with vertigo.  It’s not a severe case but it makes playing darts quite the experience.  After careful consideration I will not be attending the PDC World Cup in next month.  It was the hardest decision of my dart career, but it wouldn’t be fair to hold out and hope it clears up before then.  I’m hoping my doctor gets my head right soon.  I want to wish my replacement and Chuck Puleo the best of luck!  Go USA!!

Good on ya, Darin.

Meanwhile, there’s a virtual World Darts Federation International Cup going forward from October 4 to November 8.  Forty-seven nations will play in groups, each represented by two men and two women.  Groups will play a full round-robin with four men and four women from each group joining a 32-person knockout round.

Only Canada’s Diane Gobeil has played all nine of her matches with a record of 8-1 – her only loss being to America’s Robin Curry, 2-3.  The 8-1 record assurers Gobeil a spot in the round of 32 with the possibility of #1 seed.  America’s Robin Curry is 5-0 and teammate Dani Warmack stands at 2-1.  Canadian Trish Grzesik struggles at 1-3.

To the surprise of no one England’s Fallon Sherrock is sailing at 5-1.  Her teammate Lorraine Winstanley is 3-0.

The men’s scores?  This is a little slow in getting started.  Still, DartsConnect deserves a pat on the back for this endeavor.  It would however be a great help to lazy writers if each player were identified by nation.

Once upon a time PDC darters were playing 501, best of 11.  Then, up jumps the Grand Prix with a double start and finish, best of 5 sets.  For those who may inquire, there are no other tournaments with straight start and finish.

“Oh, but there were.”

While watching, the ODC heard the chick commentator speak of how unusual the double start is (practiced only in Northern England).   A respectful FYI to the fair damsel – double-double was very popular in the USA before USA darters became Englishfied.  The term “respectful “was used to make up for the ODC calling her a “chick.”  Bad ODC.  A true misogynist pig.

In the day, the two most prestigious tournaments were double starts.  They were the North American and News of the World.

There are those out there who disparage double-double as “not real darts,” promulgating that only straight in 501, best of 5 or 7, or 1,001, best of 7 are the real deal.  That argument is 100% bologna.  Each requires different acquired skills.   Usain Bolt ran the 100 meters in 9.58.  Would anyone with any sense say, “Well, he’s not that good unless he can break a world record at 1,500 meters”?  NO.

The final of the Grand Prix was for Gerwyn Price a pot of gold worth £110,000 (and back-to-back TV titles).  Price also won the World Series of Darts in September.  In the end Price would prevail 5-2 in the Grand Prix (3-0, 3-2, 1-3, 3-0, 3-2, 2-3 and 3-2).

Price jumped to a 4-1 lead in the final.  The debutante Dutchman, Dirk van Duijvenbode, could have folded his tent then and there in his quest for his first major TV title and just have headed back to the Netherlands with the £50,000 runner up sum – an amount that would buy a lot of adult brownies at a neighborhood “coffee shop.”

But no.  van Duijvenbode fought back to get it to 4-2 and then built a 2 leg to nil lead in the 7th set – before Price woke up to win 3 legs on the trot for the title.  In a touch of a “how you like this?” Price closed the deal with a 102-check. Thank you.

When the ODC used to visit his second home in Thailand, each Friday morning he would do three things.  He’d grab the Bangkok Post, get a cup or three of coffee (always good after a Pattaya Thursday dart Night at I Rovers) and light up a cigar.  With that done, he’d read “The Night Owl” column by Bernard Trink in the morning newspaper.

Bernard Trink passed away last week…

Trink covered the night scene (aka “Naughty Boy Scene”) in Bangkok and Pattaya.  The ODC and Trink agreed that one of the greatest songs ever recorded was Dinah Washington’s What a Difference a Day Makes (which segues perfectly into the 2020 BoyleSports World Grand Prix that recently concluded).

No player at the Grand Prix (the ODC’s father would always pronounce the “X” as a “CK”) typifies What a Difference a Day Makes more than Simon Whitlock.  (Whitlock was a late replacement for Adrian “Big Baby’ Lewis who caught the Chinese Virus.)

In the quarter finals, Whitlock took out defending champion Michael van Gerwen 3 sets to nil.  He did this by scores of 3-1, 3-0 and 3-1 – impressively dropping only 2 of 11 legs.  And his starting and finishing were brilliant – he was 11 from 16 starting and 9 from 17 in finishing.

Sing on Dinah Washington!

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.