Column #HR 374 REDHEADED STEPCHILD?

Thursday, October 19, 2022
Column HR374
REDHEADED STEPCHILD?

Perchance the term is familiar?

Currently, it is a reference not to a human being, but to the condescending attitude of those in power.

The accepted definition is clear: the term redheaded stepchild is used to describe “…a person who is neglected, mistreated or unwanted.” 

Originally, the reference was to red-haired stepchildren of mixed Italian-Irish families in the late 19th century.  These children were often viewed as evil.

The Old Dart Coach has a different opinion of those with “red on the head”.  Having married one in a moment of drunken stupor (possibility both parties), the ODC believes that red hair on a lady is God’s way of saying, “Watch Out.  Proceed at your own risk.”

Of all the PDC events worldwide the Gibraltar Darts Trophy is the “redheaded stepchild.”

A little about Gibraltar.  It’s a British overseas territory inhabited by 34,003 humans according to the latest census.  The people, like those of most English speaking places, primality speak not English but some language – Spanish perhaps and/or a local dialect.  This is a trait they share with New York and Los Angeles.

Not included in the census were the 230 Barbary macaques which are actually monkeys.  They arrived before the British arrived.  Many believe they were brought to the island during the Islamic period and served as either wives or concubines.

This year’s edition of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy went sailing alone as smoothly as the waters that surround The Rock often do.  The area is the only place on earth where the Atlantic Ocean mixes waters with the Mediterranean Sea.

The quarter finals found the “usual suspects” going through: Peter Wright 6-3 over Luke Humphries, Rob Cross 6-5 over Josh “No Rock of Gibraltar” Rock and Michael van Gerwen 6-4 over Nathan Aspinall.  The other match was between Damon Heta and Gabriel Clemens.  It was well played up to a point.  Tied at 3, no one had missed a double – with 3 legs at 15, 1 of 14 and two 11-darters.

Heta would take the next 3 of 4 for the win as Clemens again found himself in need of the “Heimlich Maneuver” to survive.  He missed 10 doubles to win all 4 of the legs.  Clemens the “Saarwellingen Choker”?  How rude.

With Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen in the semifinals it looked like a replay of the Grand Prix finals.  That would give Wright a little payback for his 4-0 skinning by MvG…

Wright took care of business in spectacular fashion with 7-1 rout of Rob Cross.  Cross, down 0-6, took a leg with an 11-darter (T80, T34, T17, 16-out).  As Cross retrieved his darts, he gave that “How about that” smile to the crowd.  Wright averaged 108.6.  Checking, Wright was 7/11 – just like on every corner in Pattaya Beach, Thailand.

van Gerwen was doing his part when he opened 4-1 and 5-2 leads over Damon Heta.  The Aussie, a traditional slow starter, got rolling with 14- and 12-darters to gain back 2.  MvG added a leg getting within one of the finals.  Heta would tie the match in 13 and 11 darts denying MvG a shot at a double.  After leading all the way, in the decider Heta punched out 72 for a finals trip.

It was a T80 feast as 16 were scored in 13 legs.  Each had eight (which was a personal high for Heta).

It was a calling “Dr. Heimlich… STAT!” final.  Wright leapt to a 3-nil lead which disappeared when Heta checked T67 (T20, T19, BULL) and then followed that up in 16 darts to level.  From there Heta would lead 4-3, 5-3, 5-4, 6-4, 6-5 and 7-5.

On the verge of elimination Wright took the next two forcing the decider.  Enter Dr. Heimlich…

After 9 darts Wright trailed when 140 points left him with 85.  Next trip t15 and 2 misses.  Heta needing 110 got to 32 with 2 darts – then missed with the third.  At 40 Wright missed with 3.  Heta, maybe in recognition of the Barbary macaques, did “Monkey see, monkey do” by missing 3 at 32, leaving 8. Wright missed 3 at 10 as Heta looked on in disbelieve.

With no Dr. Heimlich, Heta did a Dr. Kevorkian – putting an end to the agony hitting d4 for the win.

So, Aussie Damon Heta won his first TV “kinda Major” which prompted Swedish Sweetheart, Annette Richardson, to post “Damon, you beautie.”  Ms. Richardson is also “The Pattaya Princess” and an “Aussie Sheila.”  She wears many hats.

The redheaded stepchild of all darts are women’s darts – as if it was written in one of the founding tablets for some long forgotten pub.  The ladies have been treated as second class players.  One cause, which makes economic sense, is simply the number numbers.  There are less lady players worldwide.

The WDF does support the ladies.  The glow of their support was tarnished with the exclusion of Anastasia Dobromyslova from their “world” championships.

Women darters share equal blame as none had the intestinal fortitude to boycott those championships unless Anastasia was returned to the draw.  Sisterhood seems to be a one way street.

The PDC is making an attempt to elevate the ladies’ game – testing it to determine if it’s economically viable.  The final four PDC World Series events take place the end of October.  If the final 4 is a mirror of the last four, Beau Greaves will collect a bag of treats on that Halloween weekend.

Can she be stopped?

Maybe – the other ladies could play dress up as witches, and chant: “Double, double toil and trouble.  Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”  It’s worth a try.

The redheaded stepchild of dart games is the double start (or cricket -YUK!).

There’s nothing the league player likes more than to watch the pros struggle to hit a finish – which makes them human.   Even more fun is if they have to hit two each leg.

Raymond van Barneveld, on the comeback trail, offered his opinion of the double start.  He thinks the double in start is “out of date.”  What’s out of date is Barney’s opinion.  On anything.

ODC romance update.  Gone from his dreams is Milana Vayntrub (the AT&T Girl).  She’s been replaced by Kathryn Feeney (The Wendy’s girl with Reggie Bush).  Why?  She has a Candy Cunningham attitude.  And no red hair.  Love it.

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.
Howie Reed

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