Fully Featured Website Hosting!!!
The Birth of
It was another scorcher of a day here in Las Vegas at the Professional Darts
Corporations (PDC) Desert Classic darts extravaganza.
Play started off on time but just a bit uneasy, as these are uneasy
times, when PDC event emcee, Phil Jones took to the microphone just moments
before the start of the third qualifier.
“There’s nothing to be worried about mates however, we have just been
informed that there is a bit of a security problem in the hotel.
You can not leave the area. If
you go up the escalators security will not let you return.
Apparently there’s some smoke upstairs.”
Fortunately, whatever the problem was it wasn’t serious.
Any concerns were replaced with the necessary focus on the final two
qualifiers and anticipation for the grand show that will unfold over the next
three days. Play began promptly at noon and 7:00 p.m. and moved forward
As the day worn on and as Lee Palfryman, Roland Scholton, Dennis Priestly and
Simon Whatley rounded out the final sixteen for the men and Deta Hedman (the
first ever black PDC finals contestant) and Chrissy Howat earned the last of
four spots on stage for the ladies, a crowd gathered around the Control Booth to
learn the match-ups for the first stage round.
LADIES DRAW: Chrissy Howat vs. Deta Hedman; Carolyn Mars vs. Stacy Bromberg
MENS DRAW: Alan Warriner vs. Wayne
Mardel; John Part vs. Richie Burnett; Dennis Smith vs. Simon Whatley; Phil
Taylor vs. Kevin Painter; Andy Jenkins vs. Ronnie Baxter; Colin Lloyd vs. Lee
Palfryman; Dennis Priestly vs. Roland Scholten and Denis Ovens vs. Peter Manley.
As the participants prepared for the night’s one-of-a-kind Las Vegas Strip
fireworks display -- I sat down
with ten-times World Champion, Phil “the Power” Taylor for a little
interview. I was a little
apprehensive about this because I’ve slagged on him some in the past.
“Slagged on him” (for those of you out there who don’t speak a
foreign language) is the British way of saying that I’ve “given the bugger
shit.” Anyway, since Taylor is
considerably larger than me and is known to carry sharp, pointy objects, I
cleaned up my act and asked only nice questions.
Also, just to be extra safe, I attended our meeting incognito.
I dressed up as a giant condom.
DARTOID: So Phil, you’re gonna be standing on the stage soon here in the
MGM’s Grand Arena, pretty much in the same spot where the likes of Mike Tyson
and George Foreman and Evander Holyfield have thrilled the world.
I imagine that even for you -- a ten time champion of the world -- this
is a bit intimidating. My question,
and it’s a biggie -- what inquiring minds across America want to know is: does England consider Lennox Lewis a Brit or a Canadian?
THE POWER: Ha! I’d have to say
fifty-fifty. What kind of an
interview is this again? .
DARTOID: I threw you a game of 501 on Tuesday night at Stacy Bromberg’s
Make-a-Wish charity shoot and, although you didn’t realize it, I probably
tossed the most brilliant darts of my life. You left me with 389 points on the board.
What I want to know, damnit, is: WHY?
THE POWER: I apologized, eh mate? (Translation into American English: “Obviously you don’t
know the proper definition of the word ‘brilliant’ because you suck.”)
DARTOID: Stacy’s shoot raised something like $10,000.
Do you do many exhibitions like this?
Is there a particular charity you favor?
THE POWER: I try to do a lot for the causes I favor, like special care babies
and cancer research. My wife and I
had two premature babies and my father died of cancer.
DARTOID: So it’s July 4, kind of a special day in the United States -- and
actually, sort of an odd day to be holding a darts tournament.
You’ve got the inside poop. I
mean you’re buddies with all the PDC big wigs, right?
Tell me honestly, was the selection of the date for the Desert Classic
designed as some sort of “pay-back” for America for kicking ass and winning
THE POWER: Definitely!!! (Another
translation: “And if it was the blokes on stage here fightin’ the war all
over again you’d be fixin’ me a cucumber sandwich instead of asking stupid
DARTOID: Ten times world champion… that’s probably earned you millions?
THE POWER: It has. It has.
It’s earned me $3 million. But
I’ve spent $5 million.
DARTOID: Can I have a few quid for the slots?
THE POWER: Of course, mate. (Special interpretation: “Sure, I’ll give you a few bucks.
But personally, I wouldn’t be seen in the casino dressed up like a six
DARTOID: How many championships are enough?
When are you going to pack your darts away for good and, when you do,
THE POWER: Hmmm. Well, I’m
enjoyin’ it at the moment. Thirteen
is my lucky number so I’ll at least looking that far ahead.
DARTOID: Considering how many people in darts look up to your game and your
accomplishments, I’m curious: who in the sport do you particularly admire?
THE POWER: I’d have to say everybody. Many
people don’t realize the practice that all the players put in.
Like any sport, darts requires tremendous dedication.
I admire this in everybody involved in the sport.
DARTOID: How about in America? I admire Brittany Spears, though I don’t know if she throws
darts. Is there a shooter in the
States who you admire in a similar way?
THE POWER: Ha! In a similar way to
Brittany Spears? I’d have to say
Paul Lim. (IMPORTANT NOTE:
In the interest of journalistic excellence, I must immediately clarify
Phil’s response here. My question
was poorly worded. I do not think
Paul Lim reminds Phil in any way whatsoever of Brittany Spears.
However, I could be wrong.)
DARTOID: A handful of America’s top shots were unable to make this tournament.
Guys like Roger Carter and Luis Martinez, for example.
Luis stood up pretty well against you a while back in Saskatoon.
Were you looking forward to a rematch here in Vegas?
THE POWER: It’s a shame Luis wasn’t able to be here.
I think he’d have qualified. He’s
got a lot of bottle.
DARTOID: You’ve met some of our young-bloods this weekend, guys like Ray
Carver and Shane Meeks. Perhaps
you’ve met Tim Cherven and Tim Grossman.
Maybe John Kuczynski and Jason Jarvis (who was mentored by Larry Butler).
What do you think: do any of these young guys have the package, the goods
to someday be the next Phil Taylor?
THE POWER: The next Phil Taylor! Well, I don’t know most of these names. I played Ray though, in Saskatoon. He’s very steady. Very
DARTOID: I’ve got just a couple more questions for you Phil.
But some pretty serious stuff. You
know I can sometimes be a bit controversial.
You ready? Okay.
First off: I hear you stole Tommy Cox’s shorts, right off his ample
bum. Tommy was kind enough to chalk
for me earlier, though I think I nearly killed him “by subtraction.”
Anyway, do you think he was wearing his shorts while he was chalking for
me? I missed a lot of shots just
contemplating this image.
THE POWER: Huh?
DARTOID: Okay, forget that. Second
to the last question: Can you get me a date with Gayle Farmer?
THE POWER: That’s an easy one, mate! Everybody’s
been out with Gayle. It’s nice to
see her on her feet again.
DARTOID: Outstanding! Okay, last
question, but probably the most important one to me personally.
Can you tell me in simple terms that I, as just a regular old American
dude can understand, what exactly the British term “bickie” means?
It’s a weird, kind of icky sounding little word.
I’m just incredibly curious about this.
THE POWER: That’s an odd question. A bickie is a biscuit, what you would call a cookie, I
suppose -- like the Cookie Monster. Does
DARTOID: I think it does. Indeed,
that was a very visual response. What you’re saying -- correct me if I’m misunderstanding
here -- is that “bickie” is not a negative term?
So it would not be offensive, and certainly shouldn’t be considered
offensive, if from now on I were to refer to American Darts Organization (ADO)
president, Roger Bick, as Mr. Bickie?
THE POWER: A Cookie Monster?
DARTOID: Let me put it another way. Would
you be offended if I called you Mr. Bickie or (oh horrors!) Mr. Potato Head?
THE POWER: Potato Head?
At this point the interview concluded because it no longer made any sense. Also
for some reason we were both feeling kind of hungry.
From the Field,
Fully Featured Website Hosting!!!