Column #HR294 A Clown Moans

Thursday, December 3, 2020
Column HR294
A Clown Moans

In practically all sports some athletes reach a point where they view themselves as abused and put upon – chagrined that they’re not receiving the fawning praise they feel they “deserve.”   They expect respect.  They feel slighted if they aren’t granted assorted wishes with a snap of their fingers or a nod of their heads.

After dispatching an opponent in an early round of the recently concluded Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals, reigning World Champion Peter Wright took center desk for a post-game interview.  Anyone watching the interview had to be on the verge of tears for what this poor man has had to “endure.”

One might think he’s “earned” Go Fund Me pages set up by fans – or at least a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

For the purpose of this soapbox tirade let it be stipulated that dart players are accepted as athletics, which is a stretch at best.  The only contest that most players are in physical shape for is a possible audition for the Goodyear blimp lookalike contest.  In England, their physical condition makes them well suited for planting their ample backsides in a BarcaLounger to watch a Peter Kay 24-hour marathon on the telly.

One of Wright’s complaints was that there were no fans, making it hard to play.  Yes, I won but my darts didn’t feel right.  I played rubbish. 

It wasn’t that many years ago when he would have been happy with any win.  Back in the day when he was a tyre fitter or out of work getting £14 a week he would have been “over the moon” with this success.

He hadn’t really set the world on fire with the BDO, getting to the last 32 in the World Championships in 1995 and the last 64 in 2001 World Masters.

One would think that with earnings of £1,011,000 over the last 2 years with a possibility of £5 million overall in his career in the PDC he’d be one happy puppy.

Nay, nay.

His main complaint was that because of the Chinese Virus (Kung Flu) he’d been locked in a room for of couple of weeks.  They won’t even let me decorate it.

Blimey!  What heartless bastards.

But fear not – when he gets to All Pally everything will be okay, but it’ll be a struggle, he admits.  The Old Dart Coach was shedding crocodile tears over the plight of poor old Peter.

Wright would be set free from his “undecorated prison cell” in the semifinals of the Players Championship – sent packing by Mervyn King 11-4.  He probably had to be forced to accept the £25,000 that came from being released.

One can only wonder if following the defeat Wright went outside and yelled at the top of his baby lungs, Free at last!  Free at last!   

The Players Championship is the culmination of a year-long series of individual Players Championships.  It’s those events that allow the PDC players to make a living.

The current Order of Merit has 63 PDC players banking more that £50,000 during a two-year period.  The leader of the pack is Michael van Gerwen with £1,494,750 followed by Wright at £1,011,000.  Wright joins van Gerwen and Phil Taylor as the only three players to break the £1 million barrier since the PDC moved to an Order of Merit system in 2007.

Going into the Players Championship Mervyn King was a favorite along with van Gerwen.  This although King hadn’t made TV final in six years and van Gerwen was in a slump.  King advanced to the final with a 11-8 win over Gerwyn Price.  van Gerwen, as mentioned, had been on a cold streak, not winning a TV event since the UK Open in March.

This caused critics, which are people who know everything but are dumber than a lump of clay, to suggest that van Gerwen has lost “it” – he was on the way down.

His performance during the weekend should have his critics eating crown with a nice Chianti and fava beans.  Best put the Chianti in a paper bag while drinking so the world will not know what a dunce you are.

During the weekend van Gerwen went 42-32 while averaging 102 over the 54 legs.  He topped out when he averaged a whopping 110 when dispatching Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-5.

Stating the oblivious, in which the ODC has obtained a master’s degree, van Gerwen did good.  In the final he was challenged by Mervyn King squeaking out an 11-10 win.  The 11-10 score is called sudden death.  It was for King but sudden life for van Gerwen.

The final was one of those “I got it you – take it!” affairs.  van Gerwen took the opening leg with 96-check only to see King take three on the trot for a 3-1 lead.  King used finishes of 115 and 107 for that lead.  van Gerwen answered with a hat trick of his own utilizing 146 and 94 checks leading to a pair of 12-darters which when aided by a 14-darter gave him a 4-3 lead – which King would eventually level at 5.

van Gerwen would move two legs adrift with checks of 72 and 160.  He went up 9-8 with a 135 finish on the bull.

In a “monkey see-monkey do” response King would toss a 13-darter from 126 using the “little red hole finish.”  In what had become a familiar scenario King would post another 13-darter to tie at 10 when van Gerwen then stumbled to get over the line – it was a pedantic finish when he took out d8 for the title.

Holding a £100,000 check van Gerwen was emotional.  I’m proud of myself.  I’ve worked hard for this, and to come back stronger and stronger like this means a lot to me.  Of course, it’s been a long time since I won a tournament so I’m glad I played a very nice tournament.  I played well and I’m glad to have my hands back on the trophy. 

King has at least one critic who posted the following: Am I the only one who thinks Mervyn King is behaving like a child… already he’s called MVG a wanker and just now a f****ng pr**k under his breath. He knows already how MVG reacts when he wins a leg…  grow up King or I’ll tell your mummy you sword.  

Naughty, naughty – momma always punishes a boy that swords.

Babs Evans is a women darter from the Golden Age with a wicked sense of humor.  She contacted the ODC with the tale of a group of Irish Animal Rights activists who raided a turkey farm, rescuing 5,000 imprisoned turkeys.  When asked what they were going to do with the birds a spokesman said, when they defrost, we’re going to release them into the forest.   

Stay thirsty my friends.

The following two tabs change content below.
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.