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Column #HR388 I Could Write a Book…

Friday, January 6, 2023
Column HR388
I could write a book…

Stumped for how to begin this effort, the Old Dart Coach reached deep for a Frank Sinatra tune and was reminded of “I Could Write a Book” from the movie Pal Joey which also introduced “The Lady is a Tramp”.

(At the suggestion of Mr. David Brook the ODC also wrote a book.  The book sold like wildfire in North Las Vegas reaching an incredible three figures in royalties: .437 cents.  Hence, Mr. Brook’s subsequent suggestions have been ignored.)

Chronicling the 2022-2023 PDC World Championships would require in excess of the number of pages (5,322) in “How to Understand Women (Part 1)”….

In a word, the final was “schizophrenic” (i.e., with delusions, hallucinations and disorganization) and superlatives and expletives tossed in for accuracy.  This caused the ODC  to duck into the Three Dot Lounge for sanity

The “superlatives” include Michael Smith staying on the his “boil” and never falling under the “kotch”.  He’s the new World Champion (defeating Michael van Gerwen 7-4) after two failed attempts.  Smith, now also #1 in the world, engaged in the best one leg in darts history…

MvG broke to lead 1 set-nil and then took the first leg in set 2 in 15 darts.  Smith broke back to level at a set each.

In the third set van Gerwen opened with T80 which Smith followed with a maximum of his own.  MvG followed with T77, leaving T44.  Smith then added three more t20s, leaving 141.  MvG missed d12 for a 9-darter…

But Smith didn’t miss – t20, t19, d12 smooth as silk, finished the leg for the first 9-dart perfect game ever in a World Championship final.  WOW!

However, the best leg was in the MvG vs. Mensur Suljovic match – going from 32 to 16.  They turned back the clock to the 1984 Embassy Final when Eric Bristow faced off against Keith Deller.

MvG wanted 121 with three darts for the match.  He nailed the 20, following it with T17 to leave 50.  He then, of course, had two options: 1) the BULL or 2) to pull a “Bristow” by hitting a fat 18 to leave 32 (with Suljovic at 161).  van Gerwen chose the 18.

Suljovic then placed his first dart in T20.  “Now t17, Mensur!”  He did it!  “Will he hit the Bull?”  He did it!   “I don’t believe it.”  (MvG won the set 4-2 averaging 121.3 to Suljovic’ 102.7.)

In 1984, the ODC was at the British Open warming up, for some reason, next to Eric Bristow after the Deller win.  Deller’s managers at the time were Linda Batten and John “Murder a Pint of Lager” Markovic.  As usual, Markovic was giving Bristow the “Mickey”…

Bristow said, “I’d do the same thing again.”

“And you’d lose again,” shot back Markovic…

When Suljovic hit the bull, with palms up he turned to the crowd with the look on his face saying “see that was easy”.   van Gerwen’s look was different, seeming to say “that Seamaster Limited edition Platinum James Bond Watch I bought (£18,115,000, a steal) fell off a truck.  Unfortunately it was on the way to the £1 store.  But if I had another shot tomorrow, I’d do exactly the same.”

And lose

The ODC and the “Living Legend” Russ Lopez agree, for once, that Michael van Gerwen gave up and just wanted to escape the stage.

First sign of this surrender?  The 7th set with the match level at 3….

MvG led 2-nil in 14 and 15 darts.  Smith got a leg, and now trailed 1-2.  After 12 darts MvG needed 78 after a T80.  Smith wanted T30 which he erased with t20, t20, d5.  van Gerwen thought the set was over, went to his table, put his darts away and started off stage.  Looking up, he saw the scoreboard displaying 2-2.  Smith won the set in 14.

MvG was never the same.

Sporting events are often remembered for useless details.  The ODC loaded some for the Three Dot Gov’nor.  (Readers are welcome to use any of these analytics to win a bet in the pub.)

During the course of the tournament there were 1,800 legs played and 434 sets.  1,133 of those legs (62.94%) were won with the darts, the rest weren’t.  The tournament average was 91.66.  The highest was recorded by MvG in his match against van den Berg (who has become a marque whiner).  There were 901 T80s scored with 1,194 finishes on the red – from 54,560 darts thrown for 1,667,020 points with a checkout rate of 36.12%.  Michael Smith averaged 100.87 and hit an incredible 22 T80s, while Van Gerwen posted a 99.58 average with 15 maximums.

Last we met (last year!), five Norte Americans were still alive.  All shortly after met defeat meaning they’d be home for Christmas with £15,000.

Danny Baggish exited 3-2 to “Sweating” Mervyn King who keeps getting on with getting on.  King lost 4-1 to Rob Cross winning only 5 legs next out.

Leonard Gates took set one against “Family Guy” Stephen Bunting.  Bunting won the next 3 with Gates winning only 3 legs.  Bunting would lose in the Quarters 5-3 to finalist champion Michael Smith.

David Camron lost to Danny Noppert 3-1.  Jeff Smith succumbed to Mike De Decker (3-1).  Both Noppert and De Decker were out next round.

The Three Dot Lounge Gov’nor was shocked on New Year’s night when Gerwyn Price stumbled in.  He missed Price’s quarter’s match where Price was demolished 5-1 by German Gabriel Clemens.  (The Gov had been upstairs after the Missus said, “Let’s get your business taken care of now or else you’ll be hounding me all year”.)

“Happy New Year to you, Mr. Price.”

“Bugger off with the ‘Happy New Year’.  Won the first set 3-nil against that ‘effing VW Mechanic’.  Lost the next 5 sets, wining only 4-legs.  Lost £450,000.  Fell from #1 in the world to number 4.  Tried earphones hoping to hear Tony Robbins.  Got Tiny Tim singing ‘Tip Toe Thru the Tulips'”.

The Moron of the Week again goes to the BDO imbecile who posted, “Watching the (mercenaries) winter set play final, anyone who doesn’t think these lads are standing about 4 feet from the board or it’s just a CGI job want their head testing.  The BDO (family) would never hoodwink us like this.”  Cue Ron White: “You can’t fix stupid.”

No one loves darts like Thailand’s farang John Witkowski (who is a good cartoonist).  He posted the following this week.  “My dart team manager said, ‘I’m not the worst player in the world… but if he dies, you’re it.’”

This effort began with reference to Frank Sinatra’s tune “I Could Write a Book.”  The song ends (almost), as does this column now: “And the simple secret of the plot is that the ODC tells his readers he ‘likes them a lot’ and concludes with ‘we’ll  make our readers our friends.’”

Stay thirsty my friends.


  • Howie Reed

    Astute, often controversial, and always humorous, the Old Dart Coach, Howie Reed (a former rodeo cowboy and advertising executive), is heralded as the Dean of Darts Chroniclers - the most prolific and widely followed writer ever about our sport. He goes back decades with the legends and knows where the skeletons are buried (just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers!). Here are four well-known facts about the Old Dart Coach: 1) he is a Republican, 2) he loves the ladies, 3) he can drink most anybody under the table, and 4) he throws darts as bad as Dartoid.