Column #HR271 Unintended Consequences
Sunday, September 8, 2019
Colin Cunningham is quoted as saying, “Watch out what you wish for, you just might get it.”
The Old Dart Coach’s take on this includes “The Law of Unintended Consequences.” You get 6 wheelbarrows full of dirt from a neighbor. Then place dirt in a planter. Into the new dirt is added tomato and watermelon plants. Two months later: the plants are overtaken by weeds. The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes.
In the UK the PDC has grabbed the spotlight for steel darts. In the USA machine darts has provided an alternative. Saddest of all ladies’ steel darts is waning. Darters wanted more money. They got it. Unintended consequences strike.
A male (with original natural factory equipment) wakes up one day hearing Shania Twain singing “Feel Like a Women.” When she gets to “Oh, oh, oh, Man! I feel like a woman!” he yells, ‘That’s me!” Now he enters the lady’s singles.
The ladies’ singles could become, “The Ladies’ Cisgender Gender Fluid Nonconforming and Non-binary Open” with 54 Genders accepted. In Canada it’d be the “LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP Singles.” Steel tournament directors be on guard!
Last fall, “Miracle” Mikuru Suzuki hit the steel point world at the BDO “Amateur World Championships” like bran muffins at the Senior Center. Lately, she would win the Swedish Open defeating Lisa Ashton. Ashton is #2 in WDF rankings. Ashton and Suzuki met in the finals of the Australia Open finals.
Some argue that women can compete against the men. They can but can they win? The results to date say no.
Take the best of 15 match final in the Australian Open. Ashton would win 8-6 with only 7 legs less than 15 darts. Ashton had the low game (12 darts) on the end of a 139 check which was also the high out. Neither of the ladies would have won on the PDC Tour with those numbers.
Ashton would return to the UK to take home her third BDO world title in 5 years with an easy 6-2 win over Anastasia Dobromyslova. Dobromyslova tried her luck against the PDC guys a few years ago with no success.
After Australia, Mikuru Suzuki took on the men at the soft point world championships (Stage #3) in Japan. She finished top 64. Quite a feat with 256 entries. Paul Lim won the event 3-0 over Hong Kong’s James Law. Lim had a tournament which for some would be a career. Lim won all his matches 3-0 for a combined 30-0. Next time he loses a leg some jerk will cry “Wanker!”
Thanks to longtime friend Babs Evans (The ODC would never write “old friend,” Babs) the ODC was able to follow “Chainsaw” Joe Chaney as he cut his way through the field of the BDO World Trophy. In the quarterfinals Chaney, with the match level at 5, tossed in a T80 only to see his next three darts go awry which allowed Jim Williams to check 120 for the win 6-5. Williams would win the title beating Richard Veerstra 8-6. The BDO failed in their write up to note that Chainsaw had the highest average against Williams at 86.93. Wankers.
Then there are those times you dream for something. It happens with no unintended consequences. Mensur Suljovic probably dreamed of winning his home country tournament…
As Gomer Pyle would say, “Shazam!”
The PDC final mid-summer travels ended in Vienna, Austria. Mensur Suljovic eked out an 8-7 victory over Michael van Gerwen. The match was tied at 2 when Michael van Gerwen used a 10-darter to lead 3-2. Suljovic would level at 3 as MVG missed doubles.
van Gerwen then got serious taking the next three on the trot to lead 6-3 in the race to 8. As he does, van Gerwen got the “walk-a- rounds” (an unintended consequence of leading) missed four doubles to get to 7. Suljovic took the opportunity to take the leg and the next two, with checks of 121 and 86, to level at 6.
van Gerwen got a leg to make it 7-6. Suljović would hold to level at 7. The winning leg came to Suljovic after van Gerwen used a T80 to leave 84 but missing the bull on his next turn for the win. Suljovic erased 70 with his favorite d14 for the 8-7 win, the title and £25,000.
One of the greats from the Golden Age has put away his darts for good. John Kramer was and is irascible, caustic and loud but above all one hell of a darts player. Oh yes, he was also a roomie of the ODC’s on the road.
Among other titles, he won the North American twice (1989 and 1999) and represented his country on more than one occasion. The most famous title came in 1985 at the WDF World Cup in Brisbane. That’s when four Yanks (John Kramer, Tony Payne, Rick Ney and Dan Valletto) defeated England 9-0. What is not generally known is that after each leg won Kramer would jaunt down to the England warmup room asking, “How’d you like that?!” or words to that effect. (The night before in the hotel lobby, Eric Bristow made a comment about how England would win. At that point Kramer suggested that he “urinate up a rope.”)
Kramer was a great winner dismissing a loss as just one of those things which usually included several expletive deleted.
He was predictable mainly because he was unpredictable. There was a period where JK, Kathy Hopkins and the ODC would meet each Friday at the St. Louis airport, they flying in from LA and the ODC from NorCal. It continued to the point that the bartender knew their names.
The ODC arrived once and went to the bar. “Your friends aren’t here yet.” They usually arrived first.
Watching the arrival gate, the ODC saw Kramer walking alongside with a Catholic priest, with Kathy next to JK. As they were late the ODC met them to go straight to the departure gate. To this point they hadn’t talked. Kathy had the look that said, “Trouble coming.” As the ODC approached he saw JK look down at the shoes saying, “Happening shoes, Padre.” The reply: “Thank you my son.”
JK suffered a stroke which involved a long rehab. The last time the ODC saw him play in a tournament was at the Las Vegas Open. They had warmed up together on Budweiser and Miller Genuine. John got called to play…
He returned. “How’d you do?”
“I was doing fine until they decided I needed a double. When did that start?”
Like all true champions John Kramer’s heart is fine but he had to say “No Mas” from arthritis of the spine which made it painful to practice.
You wish for a friend and darter like JK with the “unexpected consequences” just an added plus. As he wrote, “It was a hell of a run.”
Stay thirsty my friends.