Column #412 Who really is the Old Dart Coach?
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Who really is the Old Dart Coach?
As you read these words the Old Dart Coach, Howie Reed, is en route to Thailand…
The country will never be the same.
In a few days he will meet up with his long-time friend David Brook, former Chief Executive of Federation Brewery (which signed John Lowe in 1986 to what became the longest sponsorship deal in brewing industry history). I met Brook in bar in at the MGM in Las Vegas after John Lowe’s daughter was married in 2004. We’ve kept in touch since.
Brook likes bars, it seems. And beer. He owns the famous Island Lager Bar in Phuket. That’s were the Old Dart Coach is headed.
Phuket will never be the same…
A self-described “man of leisure” today, Brook still finds time to pen a regular column for The Phuket News. To borrow a turn of phrase from the Old Dart Coach himself and for those who have no “eye dear” of his background and “not too Chablis” credentials to write about our sport, the following article is reprinted with Brook’s permission.
Dartoid’s World plans to visit Brook’s establishment in June. So David and Howie: save some beer for me!
Colorful, even flamboyant, are apt descriptions. But do not be fooled by appearances. This is a guy with a personality to match and a career that’s equally colorful.
It started back in 1938 in San Diego when Irene and Chuck Reed became proud parents. Educated in California, and in particular at Oregon State and San Jose State Universities, Howie achieved Bachelor and Masters degrees.
But alongside college studies Howie’s passion for sports was realized – American football, baseball and wrestling in particular. As time progressed he even enjoyed success as a professional rodeo cowboy and steer wrestler.
Involvement in sports shaped his career as a senior figure in national advertising agencies, as an executive with CBS TV and as a producer of professional rodeos. But two particular skills dominated – as a presenter and writer.
He emerged as a regular writer for leading US boxing and darts media; even today he writes as The Old Dart Coach for the biggest internet darts site, Dartoid’s World, and issues regular boxing articles and periodic writings on all American sports.
Not only a skilled writer, he remains a mean darts player, crafted by active playing in tournaments around the world with the big names of the time. His skills led him to captain no fewer than five national teams in the US and Southeast Asia.
Inevitably he produced darts event, including five Canadian national championships, while stage and presenter skills saw him front on ESPN.
Howie first came to Thailand in 1983. He was Thailand darts captain when I first met him in 1989 at the Pattaya Darts Open. He was of course dressed in what I found was a typically flamboyant pink-and-yellow outfit. We became and remain warm friends.
He is renowned, too, in the world of boxing; surely nobody is more knowledgeable. He has attended hundreds of fights around the world as ringside reporter or feature writer and is well known to boxers, ring staff, trainers, referees, promoters and even celebrities.
At a fight in Las Vegas, Howie’s friend, the late Tony Curtis, stopped by to say, “Howie, even I wouldn’t dare to wear a jacket like that.” Quick as a flash, Howie replied, “Cos you ain’t got the class!”
I have known Howie for over 20 years. I’ve been to his Las Vegas home and he is a regular visitor to Thailand and Phuket. When asked how he would wish others to remember him, he replied: “He made me laugh, was always true to his friends and he exceeded his limited abilities.”
Howie, you make me, and everyone you meet, laugh. You’ve always been a true friend and your abilities are boundless. You are unique and I am proud and honored to be able to call you my friend.
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