Recently, I completed my first Soft-Tip dart season that I have participated in. Being someone who mainly threw the steel tip variety, I really had no idea what to expect. Add to that, I threw on a newly formed team. Here we are, four guys who, for the most part, never threw together in a team setting before. All four of us are decent shots. I figured we would do well.
And we did just that. After a slow start, finding ourselves in fifth place in a six team division, we started our climb to the top. In the second half of the season, we were in a tight battle against one of the other team for first place. We would hold the top spot for a week or two, and then the other team would snatch it away. Back and forth it went for the last half of the season. After the last match of the season, our team went back to our home pub to see how the other team did.
During the trip, my heart was pounding. We threw well enough to have a decent chance to overcome a three game deficit. When we arrived, we traded scores with the other team. After both scores were announced it was discovered that, after 18 weeks (3 of those were bye weeks) and 195 games thrown, they had won the 'A' Division title by one game. We were runners-up by one stinking game. I couldn't believe that we were one [insert personal favorite expletive here] win short.
After getting my Team Captain and myself a drink, we sat down and looked back at the season. I don't think we should have done that. It made the one less win even harder to swallow. We had an attitude of 'win as a team, lose as a team'. It turned into a 'if I would have won that game an 'x' amount of weeks ago'. I know of about six games that I should have won but didn't.
There was the time I needed four bulls to win the game. I hit a single and a double. From my normal spot, I effectively blocked the bull. There was no way that I was going to be able to throw through the flights that were in the way. I should have stepped to the right so I can at least see part of it. Sure enough, the flight deflected the third dart and the game was over on the next throw.
There was another time that I was frozen with 80 left. I hit a single 20 with the first dart. Instead of going for 19's then, I tried to hit a single or a double 20. That dart landed dead center in the triple. For those of you who do not understand the freeze rule, here is what happens when you hit your remaining score when you are frozen...you lose. Just another example on how I have 'earned' my moniker Doofus.
Then there was the time that I had the chance to freeze the player who was sitting on a fat single out. Instead of throwing the dart to freeze, I tried and set myself up with a good finishing dart on my next throw. Needless to say, I didn't get a chance to at it. Neither did my partner.
Then my Team Captain reminded me that I didn't have a monopoly on the lost opportunities. He cited the fact that I was frozen out more times than everyone else on the team, combined. He also stated that he had his more than his fair share of bad nights. He then added that we won many games that we should not have. I had to at least agree with him on the last statement. We did throw in some great come-from-behind victories.
If we finished 20 or so games behind, I don't think it would have been so tough to take. The closer you are to the 'brass ring' the tougher the loss is when you try and grab it and miss. Especially when you know and believe that you could get it. The wins are more gratifying and the losses are more devastating. The playoffs are coming up soon. I'm pretty sure that we'll see them, more than likely, in the finals.
But I still can't get it out of my head. We needed just one more win.