Dartoids World

Column #HR428 A NEW DAY?

Thursday, September 28, 2023
Column HR428 

In 1965, Nina Simone had a big hit with “Feeling Good”.  The song was from the play “The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd.”  Many years later, Canadian Michael Bublé released his version that became an instant hit.  He added his own unique style.  As Day 2 of the World Cup dawned, many darters were looking forward to: 

“It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good
I’m feeling good.” 

The second day of the World Cup is redemption day for darters that escaped Day #1 with expectations still in place and ready to fight.

The Old Dart Coach’s World Cup memories invaded what’s left of his mind while in the arms of Morpheus last evening.  The scene was a long bus ride somewhere in New Zealand for World Cup III in Nelson which is a designation town for no one.

There were two buses on this ADO sponsored trip.  The ODC was lucky to be on a bus full of Texans led by the late “Big” Jerry Smith.  The other bus contained the “Hoi polloi” and ADO officials, parts interchangeable.  During one particularly long stretch the Texans became restless calling for “beer!”  The bus driver was unaffected.

Then came a change in tactics.  “We need to use the restroom… NOW!.”

The plan worked.  The bus stopped at a four-corner sheep camp containing a post office, gas station, small grocery store and a pub.  The thirsty stormed the pub and found it populated with sheep guys in rubber boots (proving the rumor is true).  Beer was ordered Texan-style.  When barely finished with their third round, the bus driver appeared at the door warning: The bus is leaving.” 

Like a tsunami, a plan was hatched to buy cases of beer – making the rest of the trip bearable.  Each person bought a case (20 bottles) and headed out the door only to find the bus driver blocking the buses door.  “Alcohol is not allowed on buses in New Zealand.  It’s the law.”  

Quicker than you can say “Foxtrot Oscar” the crew made a quick left – to the back of the bus where a window was open.  The cases of beer were passed in.  The rest of the trip was fun, but not for the bus driver.  The next day he was a no-show.  We welcomed a new driver, Bruce, which is another story.  He fit in.

One that was happy with Day #1 was New Zealand’s Haupai Puha.  He’s now in the top 8 of the men’s singles and in the semis of the pairs with Ben Robb.  Never has a player or players from Oceana (Australia/New Zealand) won an event gold other than Aussies Keith Sullivan and Wayne Weening (1991) and Anthony Fleet and Geoff Kime (2009) in the pairs.  No player from New Zealand has ever won Gold in World Cup history.  Puha has two chances.

The top 8 of the men’s singles is surprising as no country has two players alive.  More surprising is not one English player made the cut.  Joining Puha in the top 8 of the men’s singles are North American’s Bruce Robbins (USA) and Robbie Mills (Canada).  Australia is represented by Brandon Weening which has papa proud.  Maybe saying, “Mate that’s my son.  Never has a father and son both won World Cup Gold.

Men’s singles at 8 going to 4 (semifinals) has Haupai Puta vs. Carlos Arcla (Catalonia) with the victor playing the winner of Berry van Peer (Netherlands) and Bruse Robbins (USA).  The other side of the draw has Aussie Brandon Weening vs. Robbie Mills (Canada) and Frank Burns (Germany) vs. Markus Straub (Austria).  Robbins can be the first Yank since Nickey Virachkul (World Cup II) to win singles Gold.  The Yanks had chances, but the “Pucker Factor” affected the same player twice.  Name withheld cause he’s a jerk.

The women’s team event is a “Cluster Faulk” – which the ODC found out should be a single word.  The best guess is that the top 16 teams will play Friday to the Sunday finals.  The 16, at press time, were not listed after Wednesday’s round robin.  England moved on with a resurgent USA probably in the top 16 also.  The USA lost only one match, a 9-7 decision to undefeated Sweden.  Finland’s women went undefeated as did Australia.

It was not a good day for the ladies of “Oh Canada” as they lost two matches – one 9-6 to Belgium and the other to undefeated Switzerland 9-4.  That means they’re out of the team event.  Tomorrow, the men’s teams will take the stage playing round-robin to the last 32 as the women’s pairs plays down to and including the semifinals.

The points towards the Gold now become important because only countries that are done with an event score points.  The current men’s leaders are Croatia (26), Northern Ireland (26) and Hungary (21) and Austria (20).  Austria can pick up points as they are alive in singles and doubles.  Watch New Zealand as they are in quarter finals in 2 events.

On the distaff side Belgium leads both Japan and Sweden by 2 points.  Belgium has no one alive in the ladies’ singles while England has two.  England also has no points – that will change on finals day when they will be in the pairs and team finals.  Bet the ranch on the English women to repeat…

One last Nelson World Cup III tale…

The ODC got the flu (wrongly accused by some of being over served) and spent the last day of the Cup either in bed or “barking into the porcelain microphone.”

The final day, a Sunday, he arose from the dead with a terrible thirst.  Finding a little shop, he bought two small cartons of milk and two cans of Ginger Ale.  Within seconds of devouring the last of the fluids, the ODC knew they were coming back up…

As the church bells rang, the ODC deposited what was in his stomach in the gutter.  A lady with two small girls in their Sunday finest was heard to say, “Don’t look at the horrid man.”  

Over time, the ODC became good friends with the “always” New Zealand boss Matt – of course telling him the story.  Matt was from Nelson and a good friend of the mayors.  When the Pacific Cup hit Auckland, Matt presented the ODC with a plaque signed by the Mayor of Nelson – making the ODC an honorary citizen.  How about that?

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.