Column #HR301 The ODC scoops the (little) big boys, again!

Tuesday, April 14, 2021
Column HR301
The ODC scoops the (little) big boys, again!

As most regular readers know, the Old Dart Coach avoids the spotlight like the devil does holy water.  Those who knew him during the Golden Era are well aware that he’d routinely slip into a tournament hall, always inconspicuously dressed in an effort to blend into the surroundings.  Quiet and shy, he would silently watch.

NOTE: The above preface was required by the ODC’s Most Honorable Editor who then insisted that the following be acknowledged.)

In the April 1 edition of this column, the ODC reported some inside information from the world of darts.  Neither the American Darts Organization (yes, it still exists) nor the Professional Dart Corporation have commented (despite no requests for either to do so).  The ODC reported that the PDC was going to promote a Senior Tour.  Just days later, the Mirror headlines screamed…

“Phil Taylor set to make a darts comeback four years after announcing his retirement.”

…a rather big headline for a small sized paper.  Alas, just three days behind the ODC’s reporting!

The Senior Event is slated for February 2021 with 12 former word champions to compete for the £25,000 winner’s cheque.  Their entries will be augmented by a qualifying school open to all over 50 years of age.  The number to graduate from “Q” school will depend on a formulization of format along with how many accept inventions.  Along with Taylor, Bob Anderson and John Lowe have already accepted.  If allowed to play, make 60-year-old Paul Lim the favorite.

The ODC strikes again.

If successful maybe it will then expand worldwide.  It could (should) include international stars like Jerry Umberger (USA), John Kramer (USA), Tony Holyoake (Canada) and Terry O’Dea and Russell Stewart from Australia.  And so many more.

The ODC has long suggested that a dart club or promoter present senior’s only events, gents and ladies.  The bar take would be stupendous especially with no young whippersnappers running around craving “fufu” drinks with umbrellas in ’em.

Former world #1 (and also #1 in the cold hard heart of the ODC) Dr. Linda Batten asked (for a friend), “Can women play?”

The snap answer?  YES!

The catch?  What woman’s going to admit to being 50 or over?

Back in the Golden Age, a Japanese promoter put together an event for the ladies.  It was a worldwide invitational with only American Kathy Maloney left out.  “She plays to slow” – proof that the promoter, now long gone, was also a dickhead.

Today’s cast of stars could (should) include familiar names like Maureen Flowers, Dr. Linda Batten, Mandy Solomons and Sonja Ralphs from the UK along with Sandy Reitan, Kathy Maloney and Kathy Karpowich representing the USA.

Senior in age but young at heart, the Golden Era lives!

Just prior to the 2021 Premier League, Gary Anderson gave a wide-ranging interview on YouTube.  The ODC did his very best, which is sometime barely adequate, to understand what he was “on about.”  Not a clue.

Knowing that readers demand all the news, the ODC contacted his Scottish speaking interpreter, Roger “The Dodger” Nickson.  Dixon is better known as the Father and Mother of the Facebook page “Darts from the Past.”

He’s saying he doesn’t practice at home anymore, just tries to relax and do a bit of fishing.  His main bug bear is that the next Pro-tour week is on the Continent.  Germany and many other countries are in another lock down, way behind the UK in vaccinations.  He doesn’t want to risk going there until the all clear is given.  He’ll not be playing in the next series of events, thinks they should all be played in the UK until everything returns to normal. 

The Anderson whine continues to flow freely.  Does anyone care that he won’t be playing in the Pro Tour April 24-26 in Germany?  No.  Other players probably love it.  The entire world knows that he doesn’t practice.  He may not play in the PDC World Cup – and nary a tear will be shed.

The Premier League is operating this year with a new format, the first five nights being played back-to-back in Milton Keynes (Milton is a distant cousin of Lotta Keynes).

Scratched before the first dart was tossed was World Champion Gerwyn Price who tested positive for the Coronavirus and negative for personality.  “Price was upset as he had tested negative three times in Wales.  How can this happen?” He was replaced by James Wade who had been on a roll at the end of the year.

Johnny Clayton earned a great result in the World Championships.  With that in mind he considered chucking in his day job for darts full time.  The wise ODC cautioned, “Don’t give up your day job.”

Currently, the ODC is eating crow with fava beans and a Chianti.  After five nights, Johnny Clayton sits atop the Premier League table race (that is tighter than a Scotsman’s change purse) – only two points separate the top spot from the eighth.

Clayton has a draw (6-6) on opening night with Peter Wright followed by 4 wins, collecting 28 legs while losing only 13.  Along the way, he added a 9-darter in his 7-3 win over Jose de Sousa.  De Sousa would also collect a 9-darter in a 6-6 draw later.  A little “Monkey see Monkey do action.”

Glen Durrant has had a terrible time so far – he’s winless, having taken only 11 legs from a possible 35.  Commentator Wayne Mardle reckons that Durrant’s throwing his new darts with a different release.  Durrant recently changed dart sponsors.

For his comments, Mardle came under some flak from the Irish Potato Head moron that writes about darts.  The ODC apologizes to morons everywhere for the Irish Lug.  “How can he give advice when he’s never won anything,” spouts the whit-less one.

Being a champion has nothing to do with commentary or coaching.  The ODC and Mardle are excellent at both.  A keen observer is much more important than a guy who can hit a double when necessary.

The World Series of Darts will return this year with stops in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and the USA.  The USA stop is scheduled for June 3-4 at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

Given the current New York state of mind don’t bet on it.  That would not be Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” first heard by the ODC at the Stagedoor in N’Awlins.  Stagedoor was one of the great dart tournament hangouts.  Free crawfish feed on Saturday night.  Memoires.

New York?  World Series of Darts in June?  Don’t hold your breath.

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.