Column #432 Wooly Bully
Friday, June 1, 2012
One might think that watching a Conga line of eight players throw at the bulls-eye for ten hours straight in an attempt to break a world record that was out of reach after the first hour or two would be a sure formula for some shut-eye. It wasn’t. Not on May 5th at Rob’s Billiards and Sports Lounge in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Possibly this is because Americans know Brits are shits and we’re certain that even though we did fall short of their record we’ll top it eventually. We’re winners not whiners.
But more likely it’s because of the song…
I can’t get the frickin’ thing outta my head…
10:45 am: T-minus 75 minutes until the first dart of the world record Bull-a-thon from Ft. Worth, Texas. Ten hours – 1,506 red bulls required.
Chris Allen, Chris Helms, Christian Haggmark (who replaced Davis Snider), Les Twinam, Connley Litton, Byron Dossey, Andrea Taylor, and Gordon Goodwin are snaking back and forth from the line to the board, warming up.
11:49 am: T-minus 19 minutes until the start of the Bull-a-thon! There’s a bird flapping about the bar! He has a bird’s eye view of the bulls-eye. Crowd is gathering. Organizer Erik Lusk is scampering about.
Brooklyn’s Phil “The Mad Hatter” Fried is on site, dressed in a giant leprechaun suit, special for the occasion. “It’s gonna be frickin’ historical!” he exclaims as he hugs one of the bargirls.
Noon: The Bull-a-thon is officially underway – first bull by Connely Litton and second by Les Twinam. 1,504 to go…
The song was Kelly “Rags” Ragland’s idea…
12:20 pm: At 20 minutes the team has hit 38 bulls. Gotta pick up the pace. They need 2.5 a minute or just over 150 an hour…
12:30 pm: 54 bulls at the 30 minute mark – 9.5 hours and 1,452 bulls to go…
12:50 pm: 93 bulls at 50 minutes. Behind schedule.
1:00 pm: At the one hour mark – 108 bulls. On pace for 1,080 bulls. Way off record pace. Gotta pick it up!
2:00 pm: 234 at the two hour mark. Pace has picked up (26 more bulls than in the first hour) but 74 off record pace.
3:00 pm: 359 at the three hour mark – 91 off record pace. Jocky Wilson said you “Gotta drink doubles to hit doubles.” Bring out the booze! The team is averaging 1.9 bulls a minute through three hours. Not enough.
As the record slowly slips away a quiet begins to descend on the crowd…
“We need darts music!” yells Rags.
He begins to furiously peck away on his Blackberry…
4:00 pm: After four hours the team is at 501 bulls (scoring 152 in hour four). Must average 175 bulls an hour for the next six hours.
“I found it!” shouts Rags, as he heads off to request his song…
7:51 pm: With nine minutes left in the 8th hour Byron Dossey hits the 1,000th bulls-eye. 506 still required.
9:00 pm: The final hour begins. Team has 1,135 bulls. 371 required to break the world record.
One big lesson was learned: speed is critical. While there is no substitute for accuracy (Byron Dossey hit seven dead-eyes), the transition from one player to the next is key.
Les Twinam set the standard at the Bull-a-thon, throwing his darts and then literally running to the board to pull them and dash to the side as the next player set up. I’d wager that Team Texas lost a solid hour due to slow transitions. It was probably advantageous Davis “Slow Hand” Snider was unable to participate.
A final note: Rag’s song selection, which played over and over during the Bull-a-thon was written in 1965 by Domingo “Sam” Samudio and recorded by his band Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. The record reached #2 on the American Hot 100 chart, kept off the top spot by The Beach Boys’ “Help Me, Rhonda” and The Supremes’ “Back in My Arms Again”. It was the first American record to sell a million copies during the British Invasion. The Brits are great at more than darts.
The lyrics of “Wooly Bully” describe a conversation between Hatty and Matty “concerning the American Bison and the desirability of developing dancing skills, although no attempt was made to synthesize these divergent topics in the song. The warning, “Let’s not be L-7’s”, means “Let’s not be “squares,” depicted by the shape formed by the fingers making an “L” on one hand and a “7” on the other.”
Wooly Bully was the name of Sam the Sham’s cat.
Despite the resemblance, Sam is not Byron Dossey.
From the Field,
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