DARTS. WHEN 180 is THE BEST
When you are recovering from a giant Xmas lunch there are two alternatives in our family. Backyard cricket or the Darts on Fox. Both are Xmas staples.
This year with the mellow drowsiness of the last white lingering I found the couch and started my search through Foxtel. The screen filled with a heaving chanting crowd in fancy dress singing “here we go” and a strange looking middle age gentleman with multi coloured Mohawk fleuro shocking green tights line dancing on the stage and gesturing to the crowd like a pantomime hero. Oh I said this must be Peter Wright. I had found Sky”s coverage of the 2018 World Darts championship.
Try to forget the bizarre audience, the cheerleaders wiggling their poms poms and the room commentator introducing the “players” like a it was a heavyweight boxing match. Try to ignore the never-ending gambling adds and garish outfits that the players sport.
Just concentrate on the game. These guys have skill. While not athletes they are highly trained darts players and have an unerring ability to hit what they aim at. The outer ring- double the score, the inner ring triple the score and the inner and outer bull which count 50 and 25 respectively are at their mercy. A critical ability is to hit the outer ring when under pressure. Fail and you give your opponent his chance.By the way I have seen no women competitors.
Now “the players”
Number 1 seed is Michael van Gerwen from the Netherlands. Michel has won over $3 million over the last 2 years. He is tall bald headed and as he strongly propells his darts malevolently at the board. His outfit is striking a lime green shirt with a truly aggressive attitude. He is always the one to beat.
Number 2 is Peter Wright see above. He won over $1.5 million over the last 2 years. His outfits are crazy but his talent is elete.
And so we go on. Up to last year the most amazing player was Phil Taylor who finally hung up his darts after a truly storied career when he won 16 world championships. Clearly the Donald Bradman of darts.His career earnings were over $15 million and he ruled over darts for many years. He was not flashy just solid and effective and beat everybody time after time.
Darts is essentially English characterised by typical English, Irish and Scottish characters. Now Europe, Australia and the rest of the world are coming to grab some of the goodies and glamour.
Long may it survive!