Author Archives: Howie Reed

Column #HR365 A Week in the Netherlands

Friday, December 9, 2022
Column HR385
A Week in the Netherlands

The World Darts Federation (WDF) “Hoi Poly” and 635 dart players invaded the city Assen, Netherlands, to hold forth the World Masters, World Open and WDF World Championship Qualifiers – a veritable festival of darts.

It’s also the AGM (Annual General Meeting) for the WDF.  The Old Dart Coach attended many as the representative of Thailand.  He incorrectly believed that his responsibility was to vote in the best interests of Thailand.  Foolish knave.  The WDF changed the rules and the ODC was shown the exit, as was Thailand.

Some months ago, the ADO posted an article stating “The WDF is our boss.”  The WDF voted, one would assume with the ADO’s approval, to raise the surcharge from $2 to $5 for WDF singles – a 250% increase.  Our spy said one country had flyers stating the $5 surcharge before the vote.  Just like elections in Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania – results in before the vote.  USA players give the ADO $1 and the WDF $5.  Great folks.

The word out of the Netherlands is that some mail’s waiting for either a train or bus from Amsterdam to Assen did some Christmas window shopping (for themselves).  $100 dollars for 20 minutes.

Back in 1991, the Winmau World Masters was held at the Ramada Inn in Earle’s Court London.  The local practice pub was called the Cock’s Inn and it was here that the crews gathered.  It was a good year for the Yanks as Ms. Sandy Reitan won the only World Masters for the USA.  Three other ladies came close – the late Stacy Bromberg and Kathy Maloney along with the current Maryland Popp were runners-up.

That same year Dave Kelly made the top 8 stage.  The event was won by Rod Harrington who defeated Phil Taylor 3-2.  Taylor never won the Masters as the split occurred with the BDO.  The best showing by a Canadian was a runner up by Bob Sinnaeve in 1986 to Bob Anderson who won three in a row.

The Sultan of Sittingbourne, Dave Whitcombe, arrived at the top eight which meant stage play.  Five minutes before the start, BDO President Sam Hawkins told Whitcombe his fights were illegal and could not be used on stage.  There was a BDO rule that you couldn’t advertise a product on stage.  Whitcombe’s flight were Unicorns.  Unaffected, Whitcombe borrowed a set of darts and won his match.

It’s significant that the 635 players are made up of men, women, boys and girls.  I, we, you, he, she, it, they, this, these, that, those, LGBTQIA+, YMCA and ESPN+.  As the tournament is in the Netherlands more Vans appear on the entry list than in an Amazon parking lot.

With 300-plus men it’s an exercise in futility to try picking a winner, especially since all but the North American players are mostly unknown…

Jelle Klaasen, a former PDC player, is the #1 seed and #2 Neil Duff (Group winner) with Danny Lauby #10 (WG).  All survived.

USA players advancing at press time are Elliot Milk (WG), Robbie Philipps (WG), Chattanooga “Chainsaw” Joe Chaney, Jim Widmayer (WG), Leonard Gates (WG), Kevin Luke (WG) and Jason Brandon.

Canadians include Steve Warnock, Jim Long, John Norman Jr. and Darcy Trenholm.  The Maple Leafs are victims of really large and groups.  WDF President Bill Hatter, from Canada, didn’t help his guys with the draw.  The USA’s Buddy Bartoletta did good.

The Women’s field is comprised of the usual WDF suspects as the PDC ladies took a Pasadena.  Beau Greaves, Deta “The Queen” Hedman, Netherland’ Aileen de Graaf Mikuru Suzuki and Almudena Fajardo are all headed to the KO round.  The later, Fajardo, is one to watch even though she lost to Greaves in the finals of the Europe Cup 7-4.

The women of the USA include Cali West, Carolyn Mars, Tracy Feiertag, Tanja Bencic, Tasha Stewart, Clayanna Brandon, Sandy Hass, Liz Tynan, Aaja Jalbert, Lisa Tylor and Robin Curry – they did themselves proud.

Canada has Brenda Moreau, Latressa Skrzyniak, Angela Aucoin and Darlene van Sleeuwen.

Now, with both groups at 64, the brackets are set – with Group winners playing group runners-up from a different group.  That put the USA in good shape to advance to the round of 32 with 6 group winners.  Only The Chattooga “Chainsaw” and Jason Brandon will face group winners.

The Ladies, with 35 byes, will have a short first round.  But only Cali West (USA) and Brenda Moreau will move on to the round of 32 by doing nothing but drawing well.  Good for them.  At least two ladies from the USA are assured of the round of 32 as they’ve drawn teammates.  Sandy Hass will play Liz Tynan and Cali West will face off against Clayanna Brandon.

The Old Dart Coach will predict the that ladies’ final four will be Beau Greaves, Mikuru Suzuki,  Deta Hedman and either Cali West or Priscilla Steenbergen.  Greaves half of the bracket is clear until the round of 4 where she’ll meet the winner of  West vs. Steenbergen.  Deta Hedman has a clear shot into the round of 4 where she’ll in all probability meet the winner of  Mikuru Suzuki vs. Almudena Fajardo.  

The Living Legend (Paul Lim) as opposed to The Legend (Russ Lopez) made it through to the round of 64.  He started show but showed true championship grit.  The Living Legend makes history.

The Old Curmudgeon dropped in from the Three Dot Lounge.  Plumb level full of advice fluid he was quoting André Paul Guillaume Gide a French author and Immoralist.  “I had to admit that to me each person’s worst instinct seemed most sincere.”

Let the fun begin.

Stay thirsty my friends.

 

Column #HR384 The Three Dot Lounge is Open…

Friday, December 2, 2022
Column HR384
The Three Dot Lounge is Open…

Back in the day, the Old Dart Coach always looked forward to Friday and the arrival of the San Francisco Chronicle sports page…

Inside the “Green Sheet” (the sport section was printed on green paper) sports writer Bruce Jenkins would start his column with “Welcome to the Three Dot Lounge”.

Jenkins was the son of the famous musical arranger Gordon who worked and caroused for years with Frank Sinatra.  Three dots (…) in a newspaper lingo mean “more to come”.

Jeff Smith, in the words of a Larry The Cable Guy, “got er done” as he qualified for the PDC World Championship being played December 15 to January 3 at the Alexandra Palace in London.

Smith swept through the field like the Maple Leaf’s Auston Matthews does on the ice when scoring a goal.  Smith had one close call against Jack Main in the round of 48.  Main broke out from 2-3 down to go up 5-3 using 16, 11 and 12 darts, denying Smith a shot a double.  But Smith held and claimed one back.  He then got another in “ugly” (19 darts) fashion, followed by a 15-darter for a 6-5 win.  He would then stroll in his final match to a 7-1 win over England’s Nick Fullwell – and into the Ally Pally lineup…

Smith will join fellow Notre Americanos Leonard Gates, Danny Baggish and Canadians Matt Campbell and David Cameron at the Big Dance.

Three of the five have reasonable draws with chances of moving on to the next round better than 50-50…

For Matt Campbell and Danny Baggish only one will move on as they face each other at the jump.  The winner will face Mervyn King where the odds of a win are less than good as King is a tough old customer.  First round losers collect £7,500 – the Baggish vs. Campbell will win at least £15,000. 

The ladies will be in the spotlight during the early rounds of the World Championships…

For the first time there are three.  Those players outside the seeded 32 are dependent on the draw to “escape” to the first round…

Lisa Ashton would appear to be in the cat bird seat with a draw of Ryan Meikle.  Meikle lost to MvG 6-3 last weekend averaging 97+.  A win and Ashton would get the #32 seed.  Not good, as that seed will face the red-hot Raymond van Barneveld.

Fallon Sherrock drew Ricky Evans (who lost 6-3 averaging a beatable 92+) – the winner will face Joe Cullen.

Wunderkind sensation Beau Greaves gets the toughest assignment.  She’ll face William O’Connor who was level at 4 with Krzysztof Ratajski last week only to lose 6-4…

Bounding rumors are an everyday occurrence at the Thee Dot Lounge…

Early in the year it was that Michael van Gerwen was on the way down from the mountain top.  Last weekend at the Cazoo Players Championship Finals van Gerwen took home £100,000 when he tossed a spanner in Rob Cross’s hope for a TV title.  In winning his 5th TV title of the year, MvG did it in spectacular 11-6 fashion…

With the match level at 1, van Gerwen tossed T77, T80 with a T44-check on d12.  That be 9-darter.

Cross got it close (down 6-7) when he missed 2 to level the match.  van Gerwen then took out T70 which caused the Fat Lady to lick her lips getting ready to sing.

Forced to withdraw from last year’s World Championships with Covid, van Gerwen is the betting choice early on.  van Gerwen said, “If I play my game, they can’t beat me.”…

Josh “U” Rock came into general prominence when he tossed a 9-darter against van Gerwen in the Grand Slam.  That Rock was defeated 10-8 was lost as the announcers immediately announced he was the next great player.  Within hours, his future prospects were elevated to a level not unlike a pint with no head or being born at night in a manger with a star overhead.

As Bill Shakespeare might have said, “Me thinks they spoke too soon.”

One thing is true- he’s head and shoulders ahead of other PDC youths.  He picked up the youth championship title with an easy 6-1 won over Nathan Girvan – Rock averaged a sizzling 104.13.  He would trail only once in the tournament (that at 0-2) against Sebastian Bialecki.  Rock would win that one 6-3.  Maybe they didn’t speak too soon… 

While all the pros were toiling away in Minehead the Winmau Jr. Darts invaded the Gibraltar…

America’s Kaden Anderson got to the JDC Open quarter finals but lost to Henry Coates of England.  Canadian Ethan Marshall defeated Yank Peter Stewart Jr. 4-3 where winning the bull decided the match in the quarter finals.  Marshall would lose his semi match to England’s Luke Littler 5-2.

Littler would hang a 6-0 Snyder on fellow Brit Evan Willoughby in the final.  That would be a darting double as Littler also won the JDC Open the day before against Pim Van Bijnen of Denmark.  Van Bijnen broke out after being level at 2 to take the lead 4-2.  Littler got to 3-4 when the Dane couldn’t check with 6 from 32.  They tied at 4 when Van Bijnen left 40 from 61 as Littler checked 25 after missing the bull from 129.  Littler closed it out in 15 and 16 darts for the 6-4 win.  Play continues at press time…

The Three Dot Lounge, like any pub in the world, has its cast of characters…

There’s an Old Curmudgeon who comes around daily.  He sits on his stool, sips a Guinness with a roll your own in the corner of his mouth.  He’s been places seen things and probably got a t-shirt somewhere along the way that has long been lost and forgotten…

He mumbles to himself while at times dispensing advice and wisdom which no one seems to appreciate…

Yes, he’s an old dart player who remembers paper boards, flights and brass darts.  He’s uncertain about tungsten darts as he thinks maybe there a passing fad.  Playing cricket is foreign to him as is keeping score without chalk.  His wisdom though shouldn’t be ignored.

The Old Curmudgeon told the Old Dart Coach recently, “Your friends can accomplish what enemies’ can’t”.   

Stay thirsty.

 

 

Column #HR383 Where were we?

Thursday, November 22, 2022
Column HR383
Where were we?

But first…

There are times in sport when you’re stunned into silence and or brought to tears of pure joy.  It’s like a romanticist having a loved one sent IL DIVO singing “I will always love you.”  That’s what happened on the seventh day of the Cazoo Grand Slam.  If you didn’t yell “I love this sport!” you never toed the oche.

Raymond van Barneveld turned the clock back to 2012 when he won the Grand Slam.  Remember, he retired to play exhibitions.  Then Covid hit.  Last February, he went back to Q school as he fought back, believing in himself.  He was ridiculed.  But he had himself and his Army.  Maybe on that stage after a remarkable comeback with the crowd in a frenzy he thought “How do you like me now?”

The match was superb.  Barney was down 8-3 after tossing away the first 2 legs with missed doubles against #1 Gerwyn Price.  He leveled at 2 in 10 and 15 darts, but Price then built a lead with 12, 13, 14 and 2-15 dart legs.  Barney saw only 2 doubles during that run.

John Donne wrote: For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. 

It was impossible not to feel those words were for Barney.

In a magnificent display, Barney won the next 7 legs (aided by Price who missed 8 doubles in 4 legs).  Price got to 10-9 in 13 -which Barney answered in 14.  Price edged back to 11-10 when RvB opened a can of “WA” (14-10).

“I’m probably in the top five players of all-time along with Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Eric Bristow and John Lowe, and everyone knows I can do this.  It is all about belief.”

RvB is right.

But then, like for Cinderella, the clock stuck 12 and the shoe wouldn’t fit – meaning Barney wasn’t going to the finals.  He ran into Michael Smith who started with legs of 10 and 12, eventually leading 5-0.  With the final score at 16-12 even new math would deduce that Michael Smith was on the way to a final.  Barney was trying to climb Mt. Everest in wooden shoes.  That same math will illustrate that after a slow start going 12-11 wasn’t enough.

Following the 5-0 “pause for the cause” Barney took 3 on the trot.  At 9-7 Smith, the match was magic.  It would be tied three times over the remaining12 legs.  In those legs there was an 11-darter, three 12s, two of 13, two of 14 and three 15-darters.  van Barneveld tied the score at 11 when Smith missed 8 doubles.  In the past, that would have been Smith’s “purple patch”.  Not this time as he lost only one leg the rest of the way – and that in 13.  Smith’s prodigious scoring of 104.1 over 28 legs speaks for itself.

When Nathan Aspinall and Luke Humphries met in the other semi their styles were diametrically opposed – Humphries throws with a nonchalance that seems almost effortless while for Aspinall it seems like throwing each dart takes the ultimate effort.

Coming from behind, Humphries leveled at 4 and then jumped ahead to lead 6-4 and 7-5 before losing the lead at 8-7.  They would then be on the same page at 9, 10 and 11 when Aspinall took the lead with a nifty 21-darter that included only two scores of a ton.  Aspinall used only 24 darts to extend his lead to 14-11.  At 15-12 the ASP ended it with a T21-check for a trip to the finals.

But WAIT! 

Historians know that it was an ASP that bit Cleopatra on the bosom, ending her life.  Some believe that it wasn’t an ASP but an Egyptian cobra.  Regardless Cleo bit the dust.

Nathan Aspinall’s bite had been lethal at the Cazoo Grand Slam this year.  For Smith this would his 9th try at the TV finals.  The first eight didn’t go well.

The smooth stroking Smith survived the bite of the ASP building a 7-3 on his way to a 16 -5 win.  Smith used 16 and d20 to get the monkey of choking in finals off his back and collapsed in pure joy.  After receiving the £150,000 check Smith commented, “I’m used to giving the runner-up speech.”

OK, now…

On the hit television show Yellowstone, Kelly Reilly, playing Beth Dutton, said to her dad, You can love memories, but they won’t love you back.” The Old Dart Coach usually abides when a redhead speaks but not this time.

He loves his memories of the Choo Choo Classic – the one where a lady friend (name withheld, but her first name is found in every song and her last name’s a stable of an Asian diet) in which they left the blind draw on the way to a after party…

On the way they ended up in a ditch and the “projects” and eventually parked on her parent’s lawn with a cup of beer on the roof of the car.  Two seemly adults, the ODC and the lady, were then chauffeured to and from the Cho0 Choo by the lady’s mom.

On two occasions the ODC played pairs with Randy Goodpasture.  They shared a love of college football and the ability never to advance past the first round…

Eliminated early, they headed to a college pub in Chattooga called the Keg to watch Alabama-Auburn.  Randy was an Auburn alum.  The next year, again after a fast exit, they headed to the Keg to watch USC-Notre Dame.  We walked into an empty bar and were greeted by the bartender with, Are you two guys back again.”

Chattooga “Chainsaw” Joe Chaney will remember last week’s Choo Choo for some time.  With chainsaw revved, he went through the entrants like Paul Bunion did the Sahara Forrest.

No Sahara Forrest?  There was until Paul got there.  Chaney won the mixed doubles cricket, men’s singles 501 and both men’s doubles.

Oh yes, we were

…on the way to say Happy Thanksgiving but first…

Fallon Sherrock and the ladies of Europe have something to be thankful for.  As the ODC predicted, Sherrock will fill the empty spot in the World Championships.  Like the Tungsten God the PDC works in mysterious ways.

Sherrock gets in the draw as the PDC gives the Women’s Matchplay winner a spot.  In addition, the PDC prize fund will increase to £240,000 for 24 events across six weekends.

HAPPY THANKSIVING and stay thirsty my friends.

Column #HR 381 In form…

Thursday, November 17, 2022
Column HR381
In form…

Is there a more meaningless term than “in form”?  No.

A darts player was asked, “How are you doing?”  Their reply, “I’m in form.”

Horse players know form equates to losing tickets.  With form and a £1.25 a dart player can go to the £1 store buy one item.

There are exceptions…

During the War of 1812 America invaded Upper Canada.  In July of 1814, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane was fought near Niagara Falls, Ontario.  “It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and one of the deadliest battles ever fought in Canada, with over 1,731 casualties including 258 killed.”

In November of 2022, Canada retaliated as an “in form” Trish Grzesik and Maria Carli visited Niagara Falls, USA, for the Bull Shooter.  They went through the field like Joey Chestnut does hot dogs.  Trish and Maria finished 1 and 2 in the singles then 2 and 1.  They took the ladies doubles (combo) and the ladies doubles ’01 and mixed triples.

Two weeks ago, Paula Murphy had her way with machine darts in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.  Last week, she and Mr. Bigglesworth took the Seacoast Open by storm.  Murphy took the cricket singles, top 4 in ’01, mixed doubles and ladies cricket doubles – and won tournament MVP.

“Chattooga Chainsaw” Joe Cheney won the cricket singles and punched his ticket to the WDF World Cup in 2024 along with Robbie Philips, Cali West and Carolyn Mars.

Form is what Fallon Sherrock always displays, especially with her demeanor.  Regardless, she receives online abuse.  She’s ostracized by fellow players.  “It’s mostly the women.  I’m not welcome with the women anymore.”

Women being mean, jealous and catty?  How shocking.  

“It doesn’t matter what I do, I am still going to get hate.”

During the recent women’s series Sherrock played Beau Greaves in a final.  As in the PDC Players Championship there were no spectators – players sat behind a curtain watching on TV.   The two were level at 3 with no leg going more than 15 darts.  After 12 darts each, Sherrock wanted 40 with Greaves on 148.  Greaves took out 148 and a roar emerged from behind the curtain, breaking best of order.  

“It was literally all the room.”  

Of course, they’re jealous, mean and catty.  Sherrock has what they want – she’s one of the best women players in the world, attractive and talks in complete sentences not grunts.  If Beau Greaves intends to be the face of ladies’ darts, she best get some good advice and take it.

Form and endurance are needed when paying in the 2022 Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts.  After eight groups of four playing round robin the field of 64 was cut to 16 and the knock out took over.  Both ladies, Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrock, and Leonard Gates, went out with nary a win.

There were some great matches but, alas, the ODC spotlights “in form” Yank, Gates.  The Soldier’s out chart is harder to understand than the Fermat’s Last Theorem math problem – that took 365 years to solve.

Gates faced Damon Heta and led 3-0 and 4-1.  At 4-3 Gates went off.  Wanting 70 his first dart scored 18, probably he was going for the trip.  His next dart was a miss, then double 16 leaving 20.  Against Jermaine Wattimena and tied at 1, Gates wanted 112.  His first dart scored 20 leaving 92 which called for another 20 shot, hopefully a triple. Nope – t19 leaving 35, then another 19 to leave 12.  One commentator said, “No one wants to face Gates in the World Championships.”  Whisky Tango Foxtrot.  Draw him, hire a car and make sure he’s on time.

Missing from the round of 16 was Peter Wright who fell short by just one plus leg.  He and Alan Soutar were tied with wins at 2.  Soutar moved on.  During the round robin Wright missed 5 darts that would have won four legs.  Against Soutar, won by Wright 5-4, Soutar took out 73 after Snakebite missed two doubles.

The two oldest players in the field turned the clock back…

Raymond Van Barneveld, the 2012 winner, faced Simon Whitlock in a “wing ding doodler.”  Whitlock started out like a 4-alarm fire, leading 5-2, but that turned into a dumpster fire when Whitlock blew a 5-2 lead in the race to 10.  They were even-steven level at 5, 6, 7 and 8.  Barney took a first time lead at 9-8 in a leg that was ugly as it took 21 darts.  Whitlock from T52 went T20, T20, miss.  RvB from 51?  19, d7, 9 – leaving 9.  Whitlock, with 32 – d8, miss, 8.  RvB got the 9-8 lead with 1, d4.

Whitlock trailed with 130 after Barney used T40 to leave 81.  On the heels of a pair of T12 checks the Wizard tossed T20, T20 leaving d5 – which he missed by a hair.  Barney took out the 81 with 19, 12 BULL.  When the bull hit Barney became airborne.  Great hang time for a guy with wooden shoes.

Barney will play Gerwyn Price on Friday as Price fought back against Danny Noppert from 4-7 down.  Price drew level at 8 with a nifty T64-check of T19, T10, Dead Bill in 12 darts.  Price followed that with a 13-darter.  Price would show Noppert the door with 6 darts from 184 and 15 darts.

Michael Smith will get yet another chance for top four when he engages Joe Cullen Friday.  Smith led 4-1 and 5-2 against Rob Cross but Cross cranked it, drawing level at 8 using a pair of 15 and 14 darts combined with checks of 62 and 104.  Smith came back to take the final 2 winning 10-8.

Dirk van Duijvenbode vs. Joe Cullen: Cullen built a 9-2 lead, winning 10-4.

The “in form” ODC will now predict today’s (Thursday) results…

Take Nathan Aspinall over Jermaine Wattimena who will need to start fast to be competitive.  The victor will face the winner of Michael van Gerwen vs. Josh “U” Rock who has been a late season sensation.  Those that underestimate MvG do so at their own peril.  The Rock will be broken.

It’s then “round up the usual suspects” as Johnny Clayton will take out Alan Soutar while Luke Humphries shows the door to Ross “The Boss” Smith.

BIG NEWS RELEASE next week.  Until then…

Stay thirsty my friends.

Column #379 A Pause for the Cause

Thursday, November 10, 2022
Column HR380
A Pause for the Cause

Most sports participants take brief respites from the grind of competition.  Darts kinda took a deep breath last weekend…

Across the big pond was the final chance to qualify for the PDC (How’s Your ?) Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts starting this weekend.  It’ll be fun listening to John McDonald pronounce Wolverhampton.  ‘Tis the last TV biggie before the World Championships and with £650,000 in the pot and £150,000 to the winner it’s a big deal.

The Slam runs a full week plus a day.

Gerwyn Price defends.  The 32-person field is divided into eight groups of four playing round robin.  With groups, like in the Soccer World Cup, there’s usually a “death group”.  Not this time – although Group B with Danny Noppert, Simon Whitlock, Mensur Suljovic and Christian Perez could qualify with the usual caveat that all need to play well.  DAH.

Two ladies and Leonard Gates are in the field.  Lisa Ashton faces Michael Smith to start.  Fallon Sherrock again plays Peter Wright – in their last TV encounter Ms. Sherrock fell just a few stray darts short of a win.  Yank Leonard Gates starts with Jonny Clayton.  Gates can win if he doesn’t have to count.  Toeing the Oche will have early results next week.  Action starts this Saturday.

Memories of New Mexico and the New Mexico Open (“Oh no, here again goes the old geezer taking a trip back in his fading memory”)…

The State of New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment.  It’s unique.  A friend and the Old Dart Coach left the Colorado Open in Denver by car on a Monday morning and headed to Phoenix for the Roadrunner Classic.  In the early afternoon came a pitstop just across the New Mexico line – at a little spot comprised of a welcoming sign and an Artic Freeze.

The Artic Freeze was empty except for two Native American teenagers at a table.  The ordering window was devoid of human life…

“Don’t worry guys, someone will show up soon” advised one of the teenagers.

Someone did.  Order placed.

Then, one of the Native Americans went to the window.  His buddy said, “Get me a small coke.”

“Do I look like Mother Teresa to you?”

Teenager doing stick.  Great.

We were on Route 66.  “It winds from Chicago to LA, more than two thousand miles all the way, get your kicks on Route 66.”  The song was by Bobby Troup, should you axe.

We spent the night in Gallup at the famous El Rey Court Hotel – a movie star hangout in the 1940s and 1950s when shooting cowboy movies in the area.

We asked the desk clerk about good Mexican food.  “We have the best”…

It was a big restaurant with a long bar as barren as the Gobi.  A waitress appeared.  We ordered chips, bean dip and two ice cold beers.

“No can do beer.  Our liquor license was suspended.  Ends tomorrow.”

“How can you have Mexican food with no beer?”

“Honey, walk across the street.  Buy your beer.  Put it in a paper bag.  Bring it back put it under the table.  I’ll bring you a bucket of ice.”

Off we go…

“We’d like a 6-pack of Coors (we knew no better) – please but it in a bag.”

“Guess you’re eating dinner across the street…”

The New Mexican Open was famous for the Temperance Singles.  It started at 10:00 AM on Sunday.  State law didn’t allow liquor service until 1:00 PM…

We arrived at 9:00 AM and complained about no “aiming fluid” – when Lois Miller (Los Angeles) said, “want some orange juice?”

“No thank you.  I have ORANGE juice in the thermos.”

Then the light bulb shone brightly.  Russian orange juice.  Others had Russian tomato juice.  The tungsten God works in mysterious ways.

The Temperance may be gone.  Rather than seeking aiming fluid, the ladies had to deal with Brenda Roush.  She hit the darting lottery – having some kind of tournament.  Roush took one singles and was runner-up in another.  She took one women’s doubles with partner Rene Ripol and was runner up in the other.  Then, a mixed triples title.  WOW.

More recently, another lady had herself one of those weekends on the beach of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.  It was the 3rd Battle on the Beach, a $20,000 soft tip event.  Paula “The Titian Tornado” Murphy was “en fuego” winning two singles and a pair of doubles with Kimberly Panti.  WOW.  How about a bottle of Gallo Chablis in a paper bag?

“Chainsaw” Joe Cheney took a week off from steel darts for a trip to the dark side of machine darts.  He added another “Laurence Welk” to his many laurels.  In the cricket he lost in the main draw sending him to the loser’s round.  Escaping the loser’s tag, he found himself in the final-final against Kenny Doyle.

Doyle is alternately described as either a “white-bearded flip-flop-wearing darter” or a “61-year-old beast of a dart thrower from Florida.”

Doyle, sans flip-flops and tossing flame used his first three trips to the oche in the final throwing 9, 9, 7.  Cheney came back to take the leg, then rolled to a 3-0 set win.  Coming from the losers round he needed two sets for the win.  He took the second set 3-1.  Cheney won 6-1 against the best.

Cheney finished runner up in the 501 losing to Seth Stefano.  Cheney won the first when Stefano scooped up two on the trot for the win (2-1, 2-1).

There’s one darter that never takes a pause for the cause – like the old Timex commercial he just “keeps on ticking”…

If Larry “The Eagle” Butler, was performing at one of the showrooms on Las Vegas Strip, the marquee outside would need only display “LARRY.”  In darts he’s the equivalent of showbiz stars Frank, Cher and Sammy.

Last weekend, there was a bundle of players at the second-to-last DPC (Dart Players Chicago) event of the year.  The occasion saw Butler end the reign and unbeaten streak of Jason “The Bearded Dart Guy” Watt with a 7-3 win.

Stay thirsty my friends.

 

Column #HR378 EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! ADO THREATENS GOLDEN AGE DARTERS… RENEGES ON AGREEMENT. (Volume I – Issue II)

Thursday, November 7, 2022
Column HR3787
EXTRA!  EXTRA!  READ ALL ABOUT IT!  ADO THREATENS GOLDEN AGE DARTERS… RENEGES ON AGREEMENT.  (Volume I – Issue II)

The phone rings…

Howie Reed… this is Matt Stoner, Vice President of the ADO.

Impressive.

(This followed a communication Mr. Stoner sent to another individual…)

I have been informed there has been some type of overthrow of sorts and Howie is making all the final decisions for the Golden Age Reunion.  Howie needs to contact me ASAP if we are going to get this sorted out.   

There was nothing to “sort out”.

Mr. Stoner was misinformed…

Yeah, Howie needs to call me like yesterday because this whole thing is on the brink of blowing up in their face and the ADO will not be made to look like the bad guys.

A darter’s reply… 

Seriously?  Did I read that correctly?  I don’t know Matt Stoner, but he should do stand-up comedy.

Mr. Stoner, on the phone…

So, you, Howie Reed, are attempting to run a tournament at the only tournament the ADO runs? 

Howie: Yes, but… 

Mr. Stoner: I’m asking the question here!

(It’s always good to know who’s “in charge”!  So much for “sorting things out” with Mr. Stoner – that’s like trying to ask a question of the January 6th committee.)

Mr. Stoner: Unless you apologize for your bashing of the ADO and the money you (Howie) have cost them the ADO will not allow any events in the venue.

(For the record, the ADO sued me in the middle 1990s – some 30 years ago, possibly before Mr. Stoner was even born.  Apologize – that is impossible – due to principles, a term the ADO Board doesn’t understand.  Never apologize for telling the truth.  Never apologize for defending yourself – as in this case against a lawsuit filed by the ADO Board after they were (wrongly) convinced they could take me for a lot of money.  The case was settled – no money changed hands.)

I put down the phone after politely replying to Mr. Stoner (although I may have, or should have, questioned his intentions, or principles) and wished him a nice day.

Within an hour the ADO posted a statement.  All are encouraged to read it.  It would make Joseph Goebbels proud.  Some excerpts…

The ADO fiction.  What we heard was that Reunion “representatives” had contacted the Tuscany hotel in order to acquire an extra meeting room or two.  …we wouldn’t have had any issues with that, except that they claimed to be from “the ADO” and obviously expected the ADO to foot the bill! 

The FACTS.  We asked to rent a room and use the ADO’s existing bar so they would not lose revenue.  The Tuscany salesperson said she would call back.  She never did.  At NO time did the Reunion Committee ask the ADO to cover the bar cost nor did anyone on the Committee represent themselves as “The ADO”.  That is a lie.  

The ADO fiction We fully supported the original idea – and still do – but there is no way that we can allow an independent group (to) jeopardize the smooth running of an established world-ranked tournament!  Furthermore, we certainly will not allow them to procure ADO members’ funds for their own use.

The FACTS.  So, this “group” by accepting your offer of 1-6 boards on Saturday after the first round of your mix triples would jeopardize the smooth running of an established world-ranked tournament (and) we certainly will not allow them to procure ADO members’ funds for their own use.

A “world-ranked” tournament?  WDF world points?  A player garners valuable WDF points so they can pay their own way to Europe.

The Reunion Committee never asked for nor wants ONE DIME FROM THE ADO.  As the ADO runs the tournament, have they ever – in the past 20 years – published a financial statement for the members?

How’s that little problem with the IRS?

And finally, more ADO fiction.  Therefore, it is with great regret that we have to withdraw our initial offer of room, tables and dartboards for the use of the Reunion.

Well, actually, this statement is factual – not that the ADO ever wholeheartedly supported the Reunion, they have indeed turned their backs on the Reunion and the very players who supported the ADO from its very inception so many years ago.

But the ADO is mistaken if they think that without their support there will be no Reunion.

The ADO has absolutely no effect on the Reunion.  In fact, it is the other way around – it is the Reunion which will be delivering people to the ADO’s tournament, increasing bar and room revenue.  The only cost to the ADO is courtesy of which they have little.

The ADO, via Mr. Stoner, has used more stalls than the backside of a racetrack to throw a spanner in the works of the Reunion.

A while back, Russ Lopez contacted Mr. Stoner.  Mr. Stoner offered the Reunion the use of the ADO 800 number for reservations (like we needed his permission), tables in the venue and 1- 6 boards for a Saturday Blind Draw (the later as per an email from Chuck Hudson on October 16).

Then Mr. Stoner said, Now, (that) we have given you something you have to give us something.  Stop Howie Reed from bashing the ADO.

There it is sports fans.  Howie Reed is “Dr. Evil”.   

Russ called Mr. Stoner numerous times and received no reply.  The Reunion Committee attempted to rent a room and use the existing ADO bar.  Russ reserved (and confirmed) a hospitably suite.

Then, like magic…

Mr. Stoner finally called Russ “informing” that no suite would be available and accused the Reunion Committee, when trying to rent a room, of attempting to make the ADO responsible for the bar!

Again, from the ADO statement, …we wouldn’t have had any issues with that except that they claimed to be from “the ADO” and obviously expected the ADO to foot the bill!”  A blatant LIE – and they know it.  At no time did we ever represent ourselves as the ADO.

Perish the thought!

The Reunion Committee did acquire a suite.  I, Howie Reed, personally went to the Tuscany to check out the suite and see if it were possible to create a semi-private area using dividers.  The suite was in a separate building.

I asked if it could be moved.

I was advised of the procedures and took notes.   I then spoke with the gentleman in charge of facilities, asking him if dividers were possible.  I told him (Lance was his name) that Chuck Hudson suggested I speak with him directly.  

Afterwards, I immediately called Chuck to bring him up to date on my visit…

When I finished, he said, let me tell you what’s happening…   

I learned that Mr. Stoner had sent Chuck the following…

Howie Reed wants to open a bar at the Las Vegas Open – he’s trying to cut side deals and he told the Tuscany that Vice President of the ADO Chuck Hudson sent him.

Either Mr. Stoner was misinformed (always a good excuse) or he’s a BALD-FACED LIAR.  Even Vergas Sports Book wouldn’t take that bet.

The Dave Kelly Memorial Senior Open will be held Friday, January 20 at a Las Vegas darts venue.  The Senior Open is for Men 65-75.  There will be a Women’s 50+ event (no proof of age required) plus an Open Event for Men 76+ and women 65+.  The venue for Saturday’s “draw” event will be announced shortly.  

Mr. Stoner:  If Howie doesn’t contact me today, we will release our statement.

Good for them.

When asked to comment Dr. Evil, Howie Reed, said…

It just proves that no good deed goes unpunished.  We’re pulling in people that would never attend the ADO event.  They’ll bring money for rooms, beverages and food.

These self-appointed arrogant ADO “leaders” have forgotten that it was the geezers that helped build the ADO – which the ADO “executives” then p***ed away, turned into a laughingstock.  They are as irrelevant to darts as the WNBA is to basketball.   

Column #HR377 BEAU-DACIOUS!

Thursday, November 3, 2022
Column HR377
BEAU-DACIOUS

Long before the Old Dart Coach picked up a dart, he would pick himself up from rodeo arenas across the USA.  He settled on steer wrestling which insured a trip to terra firma – place he was very familiar with trying to ride bulls.  One the baddest bulls of all time was named Bodacious.  In 135 times out he had only been ridden for the required 8 seconds 8 times.  He also was nasty and loved hurting cowboys.

Ladies’ darts has BEAU-DACIOUS.

The wunderkind teenager, Beau Greaves, went through the PDC Women’s Series #13-20 like a tornado through a trailer park in Kansas.

“Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”  For Greaves, the world of darts has been a trailer park in Kansas and she the human tornado.  Next to Beau, Bodacious the bull is an amateur.

Despite not playing the first 12 PDC Women’s events, Greaves still found herself #3 in the Order of Merit after four events.  The top two players would qualify for the PDC World Championships at the end of the year.  Lisa Ashton had the top spot assured (£8,850) although Fallon Sherrock held a slim chance to finish #1.  What Sherrock had to do was defend second place against the hard charging Greaves in third (£4,000).

Greaves, to the surprise of no one, swept all four events last weekend.  That’s eight on the trot – 132 legs won and 48 lost.  Greave’s faced a decider in only one final – that was against Lisa Ashton in event #18.  They had met twice in “majors” this year with each earing a win – Greaves 5-1 and Ashton 4-1.

Like Bodacious the bull, Greaves came out “en fuego” holding in 15, breaking in 13 and leading 2-nil.  Ashton answered with a duo of her own when Greaves was unable to check from 8 with 4 tries.  Trading legs, they were level at 3 and 4.   Greaves had a chance to win 5-3 when she busted 82 allowing Ashton to erase 20.

In the 9th leg Ashton led after 9 darts – tossing T37 to leave 98.  Greaves at 100.  Greaves tossed T20, then missed d20 and d10, leaving 10.  Ashton developed “noodle arm” at 98 leaving 16 but was then without a dart left for shot at double.  Greaves’ d5 brought the curtain down.  Matt Wilson posted that Phil Taylor won 59 pro events in a row.  Greaves is at 42 and counting.

Greaves’ performance overshadowed the return to the oche of Anastasia Dobromyslova.  The brilliant Russian and British dart playing citizen had been away from the game since being “banned” by the World Darts Federation.  Sharing equal shame for the banning are women players that didn’t have the stones to support her.  As one player pointed out, “Dobromyslova collected two quarter finals on the comeback road.”

Mikuru Suzuki’s year has been up and down.  When she was good, she was really good.  Last weekend she was really good – this followed a subpar performance at Lakeside when she left after a second round loss.  Following that loss Suzuki staggered a bit then righted the ship reaching the PDC Women’s finals (13, 14 and 15) before running into Beau Greaves and losing 5-1, 5-2 and 5-3.  She reached two finals last weekend, losing both.  Guess to whom?   Too easy: Beau Greaves 5-1 and 5-3.

Falllon Sherrock had to defend her second place in the Order of Merit for a trip to the PDC World Championships.  Sherrock missed out on the “Pally Trip” by a mere £1,051.   Sherrock lost to Mikuru Suzuki 4-0 earning £50, then suffered a semi loss to Lisa Ashton 5-2 for £400 followed by a final against Ms. Greaves.

Against Greaves, Sherrock was tied at 3 when she was unable to takeout 81, leaving 40.  Greaves causally, as is her demeanor, said adios to T48.  Greaves followed that with a beautiful 11 darter (T40, T40, T40, 81-out).  Sherrock ended the weekend with another loss to Mikuru Suzuki.

Sherrock haters will celebrate her loss of the “Alley Pally” bid.  Those include the Irish Slug, aka “drunken male reproductive organ” who’s stock and trade is hate and filth.

Beau is on her way to the PDC World Championships.  With that decision the WDF #1 ranked women player just issued a “see ya later” to the WDF Lakeside Championships.

Sherrock could still get the one “Ally Pally” spot open.  She missed four series events to fulfill PDC obligations in New Zealand and Australia.  The final weekend, she lost a final to Beau, a semi to Lisa Ashton and two to finalist Mikuru Suzuki.  Not too Chablis, even consumed out of a brown paper bag…

Last weekend, two USA ladies had themselves some kind of weekend.  Had either wanted to go flying on Halloween evening their mode of transportation would have a chauffeur in full livery.

The Witch City in Nashua, New Hampshire, saw Cali West win both women’s singles.  The ’01 singles had WDF ranking points.  West defeated Paula Murphy 5-3, but this still leaves her behind Murphy in the WDF rankings.

In the cricket event West took Marlise Kiel 2-nil in 67 darts.  Danny Lauby Jr. added WDF points with a 6-1 win over Jay Waugh.  Lauby’s the #1 ranked Yank with a WDF Lakeside Championship invite in the offing.

Sandy Hudson was not afraid of the Ghost on the Coast in Myrtle Beach as she was the one that said “BOO”.  Sandy was scary good taking both the ladies singles and ladies cricket doubles.  Alex Spellman, on a Beau Greaves-type roll, won both singles, men’s cricket doubles, mixed doubles and triples.

Congrats to Darin “Big Daddy” Young as he emerged from a shootout with Leonard Gates to capture the cricket singles in Nashua.  Gates opened the proceedings with a 17-darter.  Young drew level when he ended it (278-220) with T15 and T20.  Young pulled ahead in score (368-287) but had some pies open which Gates used to close at 368-353.  Gates needed 3×15 plus one more to win.  He got 3×15 but left Young the chance to close it out with a single 15.  He did.

What’s the chances of the ODC mentioning cricket?  As likely as a cowboy riding Bodacious’ for 8 seconds.  Darin Young, like Larry Butler, is one of the Golden Age of Darters who is still going strong.

It was mentioned that the bull Bodacious “was nasty and loved hurting.”  Just to be clear, BEAU-DACIOUS is not nasty, but she does like laying a hurt on competitors and sending them away from the oche shaking their heads looking for another pint.

Stay thirsty my friends.